Growth

Blackberry with iphone screen

Digital Transformation Groundhog Day

Blackberry with iphone screenDigital transformation is the buzzword. Legacy systems, perverse goals, and lack of vision are the reality.

In most instances, digital transformation looks like changing the case of the blackberry, modernizing the screen and instead of the pixelated app icons they are now crisp and shiny.

Yet the operating system is still is slow, does not allow integration from one app to the next and you can’t really add any new apps.

In order to succeed in business today, you would want to compete with a modern operating system and up to date hardware and software processes. We all know businesses that seem to be running with those.

Fortunately, we are not living in Groundhog Day (February 2th, 2006?) where every day we wake up with a pretty little blackberry in our hands every morning instead of our current smartphones. A new option is coming:

However, the reality is that most businesses today are still running their businesses like they were running on Blackberries before IOS was released. They are slow, parts of the business don’t operate well with one another. They aren’t focus on innovating new applications. Their day to day operations and processes are programmed around last generation thinking. It is not quite the experience we were hoping for and trust me, their customers aren’t loving it either. How do they expect to stay ahead of our customers when customers are getting faster than us?

It’s no longer the big fish eating the little fish, it’s the fast fish eating the slow fish.

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Watch now! [Webinar] How to Provide Consistent and Extraordinary Customer Experiences

Smart entrepreneurs know that in order to grow a business you must keep an eye on both being productive and being innovative. How do you continue to be reliable and efficient with your existing customers while trying to push the boundaries on providing the best customer experiences? What are the technologies, philosophies, and systems you need to have in place to keep pace with your competitors and best serve your customers?

After all, reliable service typically equals loyal customers.

In this on-demand webinar, presented by Comcast Business and EntrepreneurNew York Times bestselling author and customer experience expert Bryan Eisenberg, and Teresa Ward-Maupin, vice president of customer and digital experience for Comcast Business, uncover the best practices for improving productivity and reliability, while striving for innovation and growth.

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Caring As a High Growth Strategy

Conversion optimization is a growth strategy, but it’s been handicapped. We all know what a sales conversion rate is, it’s the ratio of sales opportunities to closed sales. So if you close 3 of 100 opportunities your conversion rate is 3%. Sadly, this too simple understanding is holding businesses back, and not just online.

To increase sales conversion rates you can do one of two things:

  1. Decrease Friction – remove the obstacles that slow, block or confuse buyers while they are engaged in the buying process
  2. Increase Motivation – help the buyers gain confidence that this is the right purchase, at the right time in the right place and from the right people

Decreasing friction is much easier and more immediate than increasing motivation. I’m certain that’s why in 2017 the average US eCommerce conversion rate is approximately 3%. The top performers convert closer to 15% and Amazon Prime Members convert at 74%. Funny, in 2003 it was controversial when we asked people to consider why their online conversion rates were below 10%. We still ask.

Decreasing friction can be accomplished short-term, with a cross-functional team and a modicum of intra-company cooperation. That’s hard to accomplish. It’s worthwhile. Please don’t stop there!

Increasing motivation requires empathy for the customer across the organization and a cross-functional team. It also needs a leader who advocates for the customer, irrespective of silo or department. That leader needs enough authority to influence buy-in so it’s probably not the head of a department like marketing or sales. This so much harder to accomplish. It requires a leader who cares more about the customers than the particular internal structure of their organization. It’s the juiciest part of optimization and it’s a long-term growth strategy.

Caring about customers is what stimulates agile innovation and optimization. Optimization creates a virtuous cycle of high growth. It primarily requires caring about the quality of the experience of customers and potential customers. We wrote about Amazon’s Four Pillars of Success and how customer-centricity is the first push on the flywheel in Be Like Amazon: Even A Lemonade Stand Can Do It.

What stops businesses from extracting the juiciest parts of optimization?

  1. Internal teams focused inwardly instead of on the customer. They need a leader to help them see the bigger picture.
  2. Internal teams don’t think they have to change. Nobody likes change. They need a leader who knows when it’s necessary.
  3. Internal teams see themselves relative to competitors but not relative to the gap in customer expectations. They need a leader with a different reference point.
  4. Internal teams perform against a benchmark. However, often that data doesn’t reflect the customer’s reality. They need a leader who is focused on optimizable qualitative inputs instead of quantitative outputs.

Not caring enough about customers is what stands in the way of dramatic growth. It takes courage and vision to do what it takes to help customers buy from you. If you’re not the CEO or an owner you probably can’t pull it off without their full support. If you are the CEO or owner we’d love to hear from you.  Do you have the courage and vision to sustain a long term high growth strategy?

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El Ascenso Empresarial A Largo Plazo

Crecimiento Empresarial – primero un resumen de los conceptos básicos.

El departamento de marketing y ventas son los responsables de la adquisición de clientes, pero no la experiencia del cliente. La responsabilidad es de persuadir a los clientes potenciales para comprar productos y / o servicios. Aquí es donde la mayoría de las empresas se centran en el crecimiento de su negocio. Es un error.

El Costo de Adquisición es crítico. Añada todos los costos de adquisición de clientes. A continuación, dividir por el número de clientes adquiridos en ese período. Por ejemplo, si ABC S.A. gastó $ 100,000 en marketing en un año y adquirió 1,000 clientes su Costo de Adquisición es $ 100.

Margen Bruto es el porcentaje de beneficio que queda después de pagar los costos. Si el margen bruto es de 40% y la venta promedio de ABC S.A. es de $500, su beneficio bruto es de $200,000. Les cuesta $100,000 para generar $200,000 en nuevas ventas.

Cada empresario responsable y ejecutivo se preocupa por Costo de Adquisición y Margen Bruto.

Peter F. Drucker fue considerado el mayor filósofo de la administración (también conocida como management) del siglo XX. Fue autor de más de 35 libros, y sus ideas fueron decisivas en la creación de la Corporación Moderna. El escribió: “El propósito del negocio es crear y mantener un cliente“.

Crear un nuevo cliente es fundamental. Es sexy.

Y mantener un cliente también es fundamental. No es sexy.

La retención de clientes, el mantenimiento y servicio a los clientes, siempre reciben menos atención. Las acciones que toman las empresas para reducir el número de defecciones de los clientes no se celebran.

El valor de la vida del cliente, es abreviado a menudo como LTV, es Life Time Value en inglés. LTV predice los beneficios de la futura relación con un cliente. La retención del cliente afecta directamente a los valores de por vida. Si la ABC S.A. gasta $100 para atraer a un nuevo cliente, obtiene un beneficio bruto de $100 en la primera transacción. Si ganan $100 cada mes durante cinco años ganan $6,000. Cuanto más larga sea la relación, mejor será el retorno de la inversión (es abreviado a menudo como ROI).

El patrimonio del cliente es el total de los valores de por vida de todos sus clientes actuales y futuros. Es la suma total de todo el valor que jamás se dará cuenta de los clientes. Los clientes crean todo el valor. El patrimonio de los clientes es el mismo que el valor de “Negocio En Marcha” de su negocio.

Valor de un Negocio = Patrimonio del Cliente + (Activos – Pasivos)

Compradores Transaccionales Versus Compradores Relacionales

Cada persona tiene un modo transaccional y un modo relacional de hacer compras. Los compradores transaccionales son aquellos cuyo mayor temor es pagar demasiado por algo. Les encanta la experiencia de compra. Van a comprar muchas empresas y sitios en busca de gangas.

No son leales a ninguna marca o negocio, buscan sólo el mejor precio.

El miedo más grande de los compradores relacionales es comprar la cosa incorrecta. Ellos ven las compras como parte del costo de la compra.

Buscan ayuda de expertos y pagan una prima por la guía de confianza. Confían en las relaciones, con marcas y personas, para ayudarles a tomar decisiones.

Cada persona tiene un modo transaccional y un modo relacional de hacer compras. Así que no se sorprenda cuando se vea en ambas descripciones. Usted es extremadamente transaccional en ciertas categorías de productos y servicios. Usted también es totalmente relacional en otros. En cualquier momento dado y en cualquier categoría dada, aproximadamente la mitad de todos los compradores estarán en modo transaccional. La otra mitad estará en modo relacional.

Los compradores en modo transaccional irán de compras por todas partes. Les encanta negociar. Las empresas a menudo concluyen, equivocadamente, que la mayoría de los compradores están en modo transaccional, porque son mucho más visibles y vocales. Pero en verdad, más compras son realizadas en silencio por los clientes en el modo relacional.

Esta equivocación es una de la las fallas que más dañan al emprendedor.

El Costo De Adquisición Del Cliente Depende De La Retención Del Cliente

Las empresas tienen un 60- 70% de probabilidad de vender a un cliente existente. La probabilidad de vender a un nuevo cliente potencial es sólo de 5-20%. – de acuerdo al libro Marketing Metrics: The Manager’s Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance,,

Tenga en cuenta los datos públicos de Amazon. Las visitas de los clientes de Amazon Prime (ellos que pagan una suscripción anual por el privilegio de ser miembros  se convierten en ventas el 74% del tiempo. Gastan 300-500% más que los miembros no pri- meros. Aproximadamente el 60% de los hogares norteamericanos son miembros de Prime de Amazon.

¿Puede ver el impacto que el enfoque en la retención puede tener sobre los costos de adquisición?

Enfoque En La Experiencia Del Cliente Para El Crecimiento Sostenible

El estudio de Rockefeller Corporation encontró que el 68% de los clientes se van porque creen que las empresas no se preocupan por ellos.

Bain & Company encuestó a 362 empresas. Encontraron que el 80% cree que entregan una “experiencia superior” a los clientes. Cuando le preguntaron a los clientes, informan que sólo el 8% están realmente entregando. Bain & Co. llamo a este resultado la “brecha de entrega”. ¡Yo lo llamamos trágico!

Ahora fíjese en este dato bien conocido: que los líderes de la experiencia del cliente superan las valoraciones del mercado de acciones de los rezagados de la experiencia del cliente:

Cuando se trata de crecimiento, la experiencia del cliente claramente importa!

Ahora, yo quiero ser generosos y darles a los 80% de los ejecutivos el beneficio de la duda. Ellos realmente creen que sus empresas están centradas en el cliente Nadie discute cuando explicamos los cuatro pilares del crecimiento de Amazon.

Estos son los cuatro principios unificadores de Amazon:

UNO. Centricidad en el cliente.
DOS. Optimización Constante.
TRES. Cultura de Innovación.
CUATRO. Agilidad Corporativa.

¿Qué es lo que impide en el camino? Piense en lo siguiente como los cuatro principios disunificantes.

UNO. Un enfoque organizacional: los impide centrarse en el cliente. Los equipos internos se centran en el “rendimiento” de su propio equipo, no en la realidad del cliente

DOS. La aversión al riesgo: mantener el status quo, los impide de la optimización continua. La gente no percibe su proceso como roto y no ven el beneficio de optimización.

TRES. Un enfoque en los competidores – observan a los líderes de su industria – es lo que les impide tener una cultura de innovación. Las empresas se ven en relación con los competidores, pero no en relación con las lagunas en las expectativas de los clientes

CUATRO. La imputabilidad errónea -la necesidad de culpar a alguien- los mantiene fuera de la agilidad corporativa. Los equipos internos cumplen o exceden sus puntos de referencia internos, pero esos datos no reflejan la realidad del cliente

Las Intenciones Son Importantes, Pero Las Acciones Hablan Más Que Las Palabras

Nos juzgamos por nuestras intenciones, pero los clientes nos juzgan por nuestras acciones. Juzgarte por sus intenciones no es un peligro entre amigos. Un amigo conoce su corazón. Pero es un peligro muy real en los negocios. ¿Qué sucede cuando un posible cliente hace contacto con su empresa? ¿Conoce a su mejor empleado en el mejor día de ese empleado? Por supuesto no. Reúnen a un empleado promedio en promedio

O peor aún, se encuentran con un empleado por debajo del promedio en un día por debajo del promedio. Y entonces usted está confundido por esas críticas negativas.

Triste, ¿no? Sus intenciones, motivaciones y compromisos personales nunca llegaron a la fiesta.

En Resumen: Usted Tiene Un Negocio En Crecimiento. Pero Podría Crecer Más Rápidamente.

Usted necesita conocer mejor a sus clientes. Reconocer que los clientes tienen sus expectativas establecidas por las empresas ni siquiera en su categoría de negocio.

Como líder, hay muchas demandas en usted. Es difícil priorizar y mantener un enfoque a largo plazo cuando lo urgente interrumpe lo importante.

En lugar de centrarse sólo en el crecimiento de las ventas, los competidores, la tecnología o todos los cambios en su mercado, nos gustaría ayudarle a centrarse en las cosas que no cambiarán. Usted puede construir un crecimiento sostenible y saludable si se centra en las prioridades de sus clientes. Por favor creame. Si usted entrega una gran experiencia, mantiene un margen razonable, y permanece enfocado en sus prioridades entonces el crecimiento es inevitable.

En mis próximos artículos voy a hacerle un seguimiento de cómo uno se enfoca en el cliente y los fundamentales que los impacta.

Mientras tanto, por favor, lea Triunfar como Amazon: Hasta un puesto de limonada puede lograrlo. Hay muchos ejemplos de los cuales puede aprender. También siéntase libre de contactarnos si tiene alguna pregunta.

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Scaling Growth. A Gift To An Entrepreneur

 
I met you last week, at a conference. I decided to write this for you. You’re not alone. It’s not only you who will benefit. My gift to you is a top-to-bottom analysis of how growth is misunderstood. It’s not a generic gift. Most of us can tell the difference between a gift that meets an obligation and a carefully thought out gift that was meant especially for you.
 
Business Growth 101
Marketing and sales are responsible for customer acquisition but not customer experience. They persuade prospective customers to buy products and/or services. This is where most companies focus on growing their business. It’s a mistake.
 
The Cost of Acquisition (CAC) is critical. Add all the costs spent on acquiring customers. Then divide by the number of customers acquired in that period. For example, if ABC Company spent $100,000 on marketing in a year and acquired 1,000 customers their CAC is $100.
 
Gross Margin is the percentage of profit that remains after paying costs. If gross margin is 40% and ABC Company’s average sale is $500 their gross profit is $200,000. It costs them $100,000 to generate $200,000 in new sales.
 
Every responsible business owner and executive worries about CAC and Gross Margin.
 
Peter F. Drucker wrote, “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”
 
Creating a new customer is fundamental. It’s sexy.
 
And keeping a customer is also fundamental. It’s not sexy.
 
Customer retention, keeping a customer, gets less attention. The actions companies take to reduce the number of customer defections aren’t celebrated.
 
Customer lifetime value (LTV) predicts the profits of the future relationship with a customer. Customer retention directly affects lifetime values. If ABC Company spends $100 to attract a new customer it makes a $100 in gross profit on the first transaction. If they make $100 every month for five years they make $6,000. The longer the relationship continues the better the Return On Investment (ROI).
 
Customer equity is the total of lifetime values of all your current and future customers. It’s the sum total of all the value you’ll ever realize from customers. Customers create all value. Customer Equity is the same as the “going concern” value of your business.
Value of a Business = Customer Equity + (Assets – Liabilities)
 
Transactional vs. Relational Buyers
 
Every person has a transactional mode and a relational mode of shopping. Transactional buyers are those whose greatest fear is paying too much for something. They love the shopping experience. They will shop many companies and sites in search of bargains.
 
They aren’t loyal to any brand or business, they seek only the best price.
 
Relational Buyers’ greatest fear is buying the wrong thing. They see shopping as part of the cost of the purchase.
 
They seek out expert help and pay a premium for trusted guidance. They rely on relationships, with brands and people, to help them make choices.
 
Every person has a transactional mode and a relational mode of shopping. So don’t be surprised when you see yourself in both descriptions. You are extremely transactional in certain product and service categories. You’re also wholly relational in others. At any given time and in any given category, about one-half of all shoppers will be in transactional mode. The other half will be in relational mode.
 
Shoppers in transactional mode will shop everywhere. They love to negotiate. Businesses often conclude that most shoppers are in transactional mode, because they are so much more visible and vocal. But in truth, more purchases are quietly made by customers in relational mode.
 
Customer Acquisition Cost is dependent on Customer Retention
 
Businesses have a 60 – 70% chance of selling to an existing customer. The probability of selling to a new prospective customer is only 5% to 20%. – Marketing Metrics: The Manager’s Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance,
 
Consider that Amazon Prime customer visits convert to sales 74% of the time. They spend 3-5x more than non-Prime members. Approximately 60% of North American households are Amazon Prime members.
 
Can you see the impact that focusing on retention can have on acquisition costs?
 
Focus On Customer Experience For Sustainable Growth
 
The Rockefeller Corporation study found that 68% of customers leave because they believe that companies don’t care about them.
Bain & Company surveyed 362 firms. They found that 80% believe that they deliver a “superior experience” to customers. When they asked customers, they report that only 8% are really delivering.Bain & Co. calls that the “delivery gap”. We call that tragic!
 
 Now take a look at this:
 
When it comes to growth, customer experience clearly matters!
 
Now, let’s be generous and give that 80% of executives the benefit of the doubt. They genuinely believe that their companies are customer-centric Nobody ever argues when we explain the Four Pillars Of Amazon’s Growth.
These are Amazon’s four unifying principles.:
1. Customer Centricity,
2. Continuous Optimization,
3. a Culture of Innovation and
4. Corporate Agility.

What Gets In The Way? Think of the following as the four disunifying principles.

  1. An Organizational Focus–  keeps them from Customer Centricity. Internal teams are focused on their own team’s “performance”, not the customer’s reality
  2. Risk aversion—maintaining the Status Quo— keeps them from Continuous Optimization. People don’t  perceive their process as broken
  3. A Competitor Focus—watching the industry leaders—keeps them from having a Culture of Innovation. Companies see themselves relative to competitors but not relative to the gaps in customer expectations
  4. Misplaced Accountability—the need to place blame—keeps them from Corporate Agility. Internal teams meet or exceed their internal benchmarks but that data doesn’t reflect the customer’s’ reality
Intentions Matter, But Actions Speak Louder Than Words
We judge ourselves by our intentions, but customers judge us by our actions. Judging yourself by your intentions isn’t a danger among friends. A friend knows your heart. But it’s a very real danger in business. What happens when a prospective customer makes contact with your company? Do they meet your best employee on that employee’s best day? Of course not. They meet an average employee on an average
Or worse, they meet a below-average employee on a below-average day. And then you are confused by those negative reviews.
 
Sad, isn’t it? Your intentions and motivations and personal commitments never quite made it to the party.

You have a growing business. But it could grow more quickly.

You need to know your customers better. Recognize that customers have their expectations set by companies not even in your category.

As a leader, there are a lot of demands on you. It’s hard to prioritize and maintain a long-term focus when the urgent disrupts the important.

Instead of focusing on only on growing sales,  competitors, technology or all the changes in your marketplace we’d like to help you focus on the things that won’t change. You can build healthy sustainable growth if you focus on your customers’ priorities. Please believe me. If you deliver a great experience, maintain a reasonable margin, stay focused on your priorities then growth is inevitable.

Please read Be Like Amazon: Even A Lemonade Stand Can Do It. There are many examples you can learn from.  Also feel free to reach out if you have any questions,

 
 
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A Disturbance In The Force Of Customer Centricity #CX #CRO #GROWTH

The sales team is having a hissy fit. They proclaim we’re 11% ahead of goal and we’re in the slow season!  Why are you making life more difficult for the sales team? This change project is unrealistic! None of our competitors do better than us!  It’s not broken, why fix it?

There’s a disturbance in The Force.

Ten seconds into our call I hear that Chuck, our client who owns a thriving $28 million business, is shaken up. We’ve been working together for almost three years. It’s not the first time we’ve met resistance to what the organization calls The Customer Rules Initiative.

In almost three years we’ve rolled out eleven important changes and dozens of small improvements. The Customer Rules Initiative has helped our client grow beyond their expectations.

Chuck is second guessing his twelfth change. The pushback on this change project is almost as hard as the first project where we decided to put all the information a customer needed on the website. The sales team was in open rebellion. They couldn’t imagine why anyone would call if we answered all their questions online. They were wrong then, they’re wrong now. Being wrong is human, acknowledging it and pushing beyond it is hard.

How Do You Stay On Track?

My job is to remind Chuck why the Customer Rules Initiative matters. First I listen. I listen for about half an hour. This has the desired calming effect.

I remind him of his favorite quote: “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton

Chuck is listening, that’s good. The problem is real. We have to fix it.

Chuck is committed to what we teach as The Four Pillars of Amazon’s Success:

  1. Customer Centricity
  2. Continuous Optimization
  3. Culture of Innovation
  4. Corporate Agility

If you’re a growing company it’s hard to argue with any of them. Intuitively every business owner knows they need all four pillars, they are unifying principles.

Funny thing is that Chuck was the first client we drew the flywheel for. We published that flywheel in Be Like Amazon: Even A Lemonade Stand Can Do It

Chuck’s the guy that pointed out that The Force that propels this flywheel is Customer Centricity. The gap between customer expectations and customer reality is what needs to inform change.

The Force = Customer Centricity = Caring about the customer’s perspective

What Caused The Disturbance In The Force?

After almost three years of continuous improvements, why don’t they just trust us? If it were only that simple.

We came up with the twelfth change the first month we engaged. We’ve been putting off taking action on it since then.

A few months ago while visiting with Chuck and his senior executives at an offsite retreat we needed to print out several documents. The hotel couldn’t accommodate us. Bryan, my business partner, ordered a printer using Amazon’s Prime Now. Less than an hour later we were printing.

Bryan decided to point at the elephant in the room. We can get a printer here in an under an hour, why exactly can’t the sales team always respond to an inquiry within two business days? What do your customers expect?

Sales Team Response Time

In our first draft of our Buyer Legend, the narrative originally read that the customer was delighted because sales team responded in four minutes. That draft was abandoned. Two business days was substituted. They didn’t know their actual response time but anecdotally we estimated it averaged 2-4 days. We didn’t win this battle but we did insist on compliance with updating Salesforce. We now know that they respond to 87% of leads within two days. Of course, there are automated emails that are intended to follow up.

Yet, customers are human. Humans want what they want now. Not later, not even in five minutes. We want it now!

A New Goal –  5 Minute Response Time

After a long discussion, we agreed to tackle the twelfth change. We agreed that customer expectations could be unrealistic but we could meet that challenge. It helped that this time we had internal data to back us up. Leads that were reached by phone the same day closed a little over 3x the leads that took more than a day to respond to. Leads are expensive! We also reminded them of The Lead Response Management Study by Professor Oldroyd, a Faculty Fellow at MIT.

The new buyer legend says: “John (the prospective customer) is delighted because the inquiry was responded to immediately. John says “if they respond that quickly to an inquiry I bet they do that for customers too.”

Let’s examine why this change makes sense based on the unifying principles of Amazon’s Four Pillars Of Success:

  1. Customer Centricity – immediate response is what the customer wants and expects
  2. Continuous Optimization – be better today than yesterday is always the way towards our new goal
  3. Culture of Innovation – find solutions and embrace change to improve customer experience
  4. Corporate Agility – work to become more nimble and react to changing customer expectations

The Sales Team Rebels

This change is what the sales team was up in arms about. They missed the part where the sales coordinator, a new position, made the call answered a few questions, asked a few questions to qualify the prospective customer and scheduled a follow up with a sales person.

What we had was a failure to communicate. Chuck assumed the sales team reread the Buyer Legend carefully. The did not. Crisis averted.

Publishing a new Buyer Legend means employees scan quickly for changes. There are always minor changes highlighted but major ones are deliberately not. That is supposed to encourage careful reading.

Disturbance In The Force A Post Mortem

There are four forces that pull against the unifying principles of Amazon’s Four Pillars of Success:

  1. Organizational Focus
  2. Maintaining Status Quo
  3. Competitor Focus
  4. Misplaced Accountability

We could call them disunifying principles.

Let’s examine how they almost derailed the twelfth change:

  1. Organizational Focus – the sales team metrics were focused on their own team’s “performance”, not the customer
  2. Maintaining Status Quo – the sales team didn’t perceive their process as broken
  3. Competitor Focus – the sales team saw themselves relative to competitors but not relative to the  gap in customer expectations
  4. Misplaced Accountability – the sales team was exceeding sales goals, an internal benchmark, but that data didn’t reflect the customer’s reality

Happily Ever After?

The sales team was asked to reread the Buyer Legend and some minor edits were made and agreed upon. The twelfth change is underway and initial results are positive. We’re nowhere near the 5-minute goal but our motto is #BeBetterToday. Nearly every lead is having a conversation within the same day as their inquiry. The hero of a Buyer Legend is always the customer. Chuck is unshaken in his faith that when he takes the customer’s perspective things work out well in the long term.

Do you have faith in The Force?

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Bryan Eisenberg Tells Shep Hyken The Secrets of Amazon’s Success [audio]

How can your business be more like Amazon?

Shep Hyken interviews Bryan Eisenberg co-author of the book, Be Like Amazon: Even a Lemonade Stand Can Do It.

First Up:

Shep Hyken’s opening comments focus on how any company can improve their customer service, by thinking about how they can become more convenient for their customers. The reason that Amazon has become so successful is that they have developed a way to create customer convenience. Shep gives an example of how, in areas where Amazon offers two-hour delivery, a product could arrive at your home faster than the time it would take you to drive to the mall to purchase it.

Featured Interview:

Shep begins the interview by asking Bryan Eisenberg about the four secret ingredients to making a great presentation, which are:
1. Provide entertainment – tell a story.
2. Present a Big Idea.
3. Give the “How to’s.”
4. Give the audience or the reader the hope that they, too, can do it.

Bryan continues his “rule of four” by telling you exactly how you “can do it,” by discussing the four unifying principles of how to successfully run your business:

1. You must be customer-centric.
2. You must have a culture of innovation.
3. You must be agile. Execute, test and fail quickly, so you can keep learning.
4. You must continually optimize by shaving costs and adding value.

Top Takeaways:

• Don’t “water the soup.” Putting a little water in the soup may give you more soup, but it takes away from the great taste. It’s not smart to do things that produce an immediate profit if what you are doing isn’t in the best interest of the customer.
• Don’t think short term. An example Bryan gives is when Starbucks payment system went down, they gave away the coffee. Most coffee shops would have shut down until they could take payment for their coffee. But, not Starbucks. They knew the cost of free coffee was better than losing customers – and it showed how committed Starbucks is to taking care of their customers.

About:
Bryan Eisenberg is the co-founder of BuyerLegends. He is the co-author of the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today and New York Times bestselling books “Call to Action”, “Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?”, “Always Be Testing” and “Buyer Legends.”. Bryan is also a professional marketing keynote speaker.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, best-selling author and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

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Plan A Customer Journey That Is Channel Agnostic

Micheal E. Gerber asked 50+ experts, “What’s your best tip for growing/scaling your business?” You can read Bryan Eisenberg’s contribution below:

You can read Bryan Eisenberg’s contribution below:

Plan A Customer Journey That Is Channel Agnostic

Charlatans are endemic to all forms of marketing but they are especially attracted to digital. I’d like them to go away but there is always somebody willing to buy what they are selling.

ALL business is becoming digital!

Connected customers engage in many ways (foreseen and unforeseen) with brands in and out of stores, offices, call centers, social media, catalogs and websites.

Those customers don’t care what channel they interact with or what department gets the credit. Customers think of every interaction with a brand as THE brand experience.

Then they happily share the best and worst of those experiences. Wonder why customer experience isn’t what most CEOs focus on for differentiation?

Customer satisfaction and customer experience appear not to have budged at all.

According to Bain & Company, 80% of surveyed companies claimed to be delivering a superior customer experience, but only 8% of those companies had customers that agreed with them. What a dangerous blind spot!

That leaves an awful lot of companies actively disappointing customers while smugly congratulating themselves on their “superior customer experience.” Couldn’t be you, right?

Most companies don’t have a map. They haven’t mapped out the customer journey, either in terms of what it is now, or what it ideally ought to be. And without that map, they can’t plot the data to determine what’s actually happening — or what they ought to do about it.

Jeff Bezos said it best “If you’re customer-focused, you’re always waking up wondering, how can we make that customer say, wow?

We want to impress our customers — we want them to say, wow. That kind of divine discontent comes from observing customers and noticing that things can always be better.”

Why do so few companies bother to plan and then validate the buyer journey with accountable metrics?

Is it inertia?

“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work” – Thomas A. Edison

Or perhaps it is…

“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.”  – Andy Grove

There is some hard work on your business involved. There is the careful navigation of people’s territories, channels, and silos, There is the inherent career risk that comes with greater accountability.

There is also a great opportunity. Plan a great experience, deliver a great experience and then improve on it. That is a challenge all businesses face. Some will live up to that challenge and most won’t.

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You can read more about planning customer journies in Be Like Amazon: Even A Lemonade Stand Can Do It

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After our workshops, we work with only a few select clients. Your business must be committed to the Four Pillars (as described in Be Like Amazon) on a long-term basis .

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