ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Be a Customer Service Superstar
As everyone who is in business knows, the customer is always right. The customer who isn’t always right is also not your customer. I’ve yet to see a business that can survive without customers.
I often hear stories that go both ways on customer service – the good experiences and the “what were they thinking?” moments. I’ve written and spoken extensively on the fundamental importance of stellar customer service, even when you’re not sure the person you are dealing with is ever going to be your customer. And I frequently use anecdotes to illustrate my points.
One of my favorites involves an animal, not a human customer.
Elephants never forget, or so they say. A man who had gone to the circus as a small boy made a return visit years later. He was sitting in a cheap seat when an elephant came along, reached up into the stand, wrapped his trunk gently about the man, and carried him over to deposit him gently in the best seat in the circus tent.
The man turned to his neighbor and said, “The elephant remembered that the last time I was here, years ago, I fed him peanuts.”
Just then the elephant came back, lifted his trunk, pointed it straight at the man and blew a stream of water in his face.
“Oh!” the man said. “I forgot I gave them to him in the bag.”
Elephants and customers both have long memories.
In that vein, I like to share this story of a local meat market that has three or four clerks waiting on customers. One of them always has a line of customers waiting for him – even if one of the other clerks is available. One day, a visitor asked the always-busy clerk the reason for his popularity.
“The other clerks,” he said, “always put more meat on the scale and then take some away to arrive at what the customer ordered. I always put less on the scale and then add to it. It makes all the difference.”
Closer to home, my sister Margie shared an experience she had when flying with a veteran employee of Alaska Airlines. Not only do they have (in my opinion) the coolest graphics on their aircraft, they also have ranked highest in airline customer satisfaction among traditional carriers for 11 consecutive years (2008-2018) in the J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study. Their bragging rights include a long list of travel industry awards.
Margie’s seatmate explained that the airline “goes above and beyond to pick employees in all fields that can each be described as a ‘people person.’” Their philosophy is that they can train someone to do their job, but they can’t train them to be a true people person unless they already are.
This attitude even extends to when employees are flying on their airline: they request a middle seat so their customers can get the better aisle and window seats. Alaska was the first airline in North America to sell tickets online and the first in the world to allow customers to check in and print boarding passes via the Internet. Very customer friendly, don’t you agree?
The company website acknowledges this commitment to customer service: “Whenever the history of commercial aviation is written, people ask how an obscure little airline in America's hinterland has continued to survive and thrive while once-proud giants disappeared. Grit and determination will be part of the answer. However, more than that, it's our people. Their caring, their resourcefulness, their integrity, their professionalism, and their spirit.”
Back in Minneapolis, the “Star Tribune” recently featured Natalie Foltz, a Lyft and Uber driver who wanted to make a difference for her riders, “even if it was just getting them to crack a smile.”
So she started giving handwritten notes to her passengers, inspirational quotes from famous authors and others she wrote herself. She even started a Facebook group for her riders that became an online community. One of the many messages said, “Thanks for the uplifting note today, and it was on green paper, my absolute favorite color. Thank you for taking time and brightening my day!”
Natalie says sharing the notes is the best part of her job. Make sure you and your employees share Natalie’s attitude.
Mackay’s Moral: It’s not about what you can do; it’s about what you will do.
Scoping Qualified Prospects for B2B Lead Generation: Shotgun or Laser?
Posted by Dan McDade on Aug 22, 2018 4:19:02 PM
A shotgun blast impacts a widely affected and less targeted area, while a laser beam is precise and accurate to its aim. Both have their place in sales and marketing. Only 7% of B2B Marketing Qualified Leads are Sales Qualified. Which style works best for qualified lead generation and provides a lower cost per lead?
The most effective sales people, appropriately nicknamed hunters, are laser-focused on results and seek the most qualified leads from their marketing team. They often bypass the shotgun blasted leads generated by broadly targeted campaigns, like webinars and direct marketing campaigns. Justifiably, sales teams consider the majority of marketing leads unqualified—not worthy of the effort to uncover the few that are sales qualified. In fact, fewer than 7% of leads that are passed on to sales from marketing meet the qualifications for true and actionable leads.
Alternatively, starting with highly targeted prospect lists, laser-focused outbound marketing campaigns provide sharp-shooter sales teams with fully qualified leads. Starting with multi-touch marketing activities centered on exploratory phone calls and nurturing emails result in a pinpoint set of leads. These efforts allow sales professionals to concentrate on closing highly qualified leads versus prospecting through responses.
Our infographic (download below) compares single-touch marketing campaigns that use a shotgun approach versus multi-touch, multi-media campaigns that center around laser-targeted outbound calling. The illustration shows the levels of action required to sift through and pass-on qualified leads to sales.
The laser targeted approach holds sales accountable for every lead. And most importantly, outbound calls combined with nurturing emails result in significantly higher close rates and lower costs per lead.
Infographic on Costs per Lead PDF:
A good overview of using your Linked In as a resource to reach out to people to meet for networking, employment, or potential sales. While it takes time to search and communicate through Linked In, the tool enables one to investigate who may be interested in you.
by David Jacoby
Well written piece on the opening part of the prospect phone call and clarifying your purpose. As the author mentions, the goal is to gain commitment to learn more and secure the time necessary to accomplish this with your prospective client/customer.
5 Effective Sales Prospecting Techniques You Should Be Using from blog.hubspot.com
Some salient points about making the effort to reach new people to do business and to build awareness of what you can provide them.
What are the challenges that you may have faced in establishing yourself as a "thought leader" for your business segment?