Monday Mornings with Madison

Monthly Archives:
March 2018

Turning Customers into Fans

Every company claims to offer superior customer service, or some such assertion. Excellent service is touted so often as a distinguishing feature in marketing and promotional materials that it really has little meaning. When companies with the worst record for service talk about their ‘commitment to service’, that’s when it’s sadly obvious that the term ‘great service’ has lost all meaning. Think Comcast Cable, a company that consistently tops the list of worst service providers year after year and did so again in 2017 Think Wells Fargo, also on the worst service list, who was caught creating millions of fake customer accounts last year. Actual great service – service that goes above and beyond and consistently makes customers happy – is rare and can, therefore, really be the ultimate differentiator in business. That kind of service is about going beyond the basics. It is about helping customers to not just connect with a company, but actually invest themselves in the brand.
According to Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles in their book Raving Fans, “Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.” They wrote that over 20 years ago. Having sold over 12 million copies, their book aimed to help business owners learn how to define a service vision, identify what a customer really wants, institute effective systems, and make stunning customer service a competitive advantage—not just a “flavor of the month” program. Of course, technology and robotics is changing how we interact with customers in a multitude of ways, raising the bar ever higher on the level of service customers expect today. So what does it take for a company today to deliver a level of service so profound that it turns customers into fans? How can a company or organization lead customers to become so emotionally invested in the brand that they become raving fans? Die-hard fans? Continue reading

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How to Find Talent Today, Part 2

Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, wrote that “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” Regardless of what a company does, having top staff is essential to every organization. From mortgage lending to manufacturing and from waste disposal to web design, companies need good employees in order to execute. But, with the overall unemployment rate at a historic low of 4.1% and with the bachelor’s degree-holder unemployment rate holding at 2.1% in many gateway and key secondary markets, it places serious constraints on the ability of companies to grow or thrive.
According to Steven Lindner with The WorkPlace Group, “With fewer unemployed people in the market, recruiting qualified candidates becomes more difficult. Employers must now begin to consider including other tactics in their recruitment strategy.” To compound matters, a thriving economy prompts companies to expand, requiring even more staff just when there are fewer candidates available. It’s a perfect storm of decreased supply and growing demand. That’s when HR Departments and Hiring Managers must get creative with their recruiting efforts. Not only do they need new strategies for attracting and retaining talent, they also need innovative sources for talent. Fishing in the same waters as everyone else will surely produce a smaller catch at the end of the day. It’s time to try new fishing holes. Continue reading

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