Amazing! Customer Relationships are Like Marriage

by Colin Shaw on November 23, 2017

Organizations love to talk about building relationships with customers. The trouble is, most of the time it feels like they’re just paying lip service to the idea.

Was Wells Fargo “building relationships” when it opened all those unauthorized accounts? What about the car dealership that forces you to haggle over price to the point where you don’t even want a new car anymore? These are not the kinds of relationships I want to be a part of!

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Colin ShawAmazing! Customer Relationships are Like Marriage

Customers Have Life Cycles. Guess What? So Do Employees! Here’s Why That’s So Important

by Michael Lowenstein on November 22, 2017

Michael Lowenstein, Ph.D., CMC Thought Leadership Principal, Beyond Philosophy

For some time, it has been understood that, when purchasing a product or service, consumers are essentially ‘hiring’ a supplier to get a job done. The same can be said of employees. They can hire desired employers, and if things don’t turn out as expected, employees can ‘fire’ their employer, sometimes quietly, sometimes noisily, departing..

Clayton Christensen, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, has identified this trend in his book, Competing Against Luck. As he notes, the new employee has accepted the job, but he or she has also accepted, or hired, the company. The goal is to make career and life, i.e. experiential, progress, so making the right decision at the outset is extremely important. As explained by Christensen, this is considerably more than title and salary, which are just the very basic functional components of the job. It must include both emotional and social components of value, more nuanced elements of the job experience which are of at least equal importance to the employee.

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Michael LowensteinCustomers Have Life Cycles. Guess What? So Do Employees! Here’s Why That’s So Important

Make It Happen! Keep Your Holiday Shoppers Coming Back

by Colin Shaw on November 21, 2017

It’s mid-November, and that means retailers’ annual holiday promotions are reaching a fever pitch.

Discount department store Kohl’s will kick off Black Friday at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. It plans to encourage spending by offering deep discounts and making it easier for shoppers to see how much they’ll save. Sears, Kmart, Best Buy and Amazon have all also launched aggressive price-cutting campaigns.

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Colin ShawMake It Happen! Keep Your Holiday Shoppers Coming Back

Make This Change – Your Business Depends On It!

by Colin Shaw on November 16, 2017

I have led hundreds of successful Customer Experience (CX) program successes. I have also led a couple that failed. What’s the difference between the successes and the failures? A few things, but one of the most significant is the way an organization’s culture is centered. Organizations fail to improve their CX when they lack customer-centricity.

Customer-centricity requires you to put the Customer at the center of everything you do. This concept is difficult for many organizations. They are focused on sales or margins or operational efficiency, and, to be fair, these areas are crucial to any business. However, putting the customer at the center of everything you do doesn’t have to conflict with sales, margins or operational efficiency. In fact, customer-centricity will result in improvements to these areas.

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Colin ShawMake This Change – Your Business Depends On It!

Flying High and Well-Grounded: How Virgin and Southwest Practice Airline Employee Ambassadorship

by Michael Lowenstein on November 14, 2017

Michael Lowenstein, Ph.D., CMC Thought Leadership Principal, Beyond Philosophy

Richard Branson and Herb Kelleher never studied HR theory or staff management principles. That said, they’ve proven to be pretty good at it. Both understand (in the case of Sir Richard at Virgin Group) and understood (in the case of Herb Kelleher at Southwest Airlines) the value of putting people and customers first, HR practice second.

As my colleague Colin Shaw has written about Branson and Virgin, with respect to the company providing a year of fully paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child: “…Virgin values their people and their emotional state while working there.” In the same post, Colin acknowledged the value of employee ambassadorship and the direct connection between employee experience and customer experience. He also noted that few companies successfully meld value optimization approaches for both groups of stakeholders: “Despite much evidence that points to the link, many organizations continue to keep the two areas separate in their efforts. However, the separate area strategy is not the direct path to success for either.”

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Michael LowensteinFlying High and Well-Grounded: How Virgin and Southwest Practice Airline Employee Ambassadorship

Revealed! The Business Skill Most People Don’t Have

by Colin Shaw on November 14, 2017

After my wife Lorraine and I ordered dinner in a restaurant the other night, I decided to have a glass of wine. Now, where was our waiter?

I looked around and realized I didn’t have a clue what he looked like. So I asked Lorraine. “Do you see our waiter?” She craned her neck and then shrugged.

It seems neither of us could remember the face of the fellow who had, just moments before, told us about the night’s specials in great detail. And as it turns out, we’re not alone.

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Colin ShawRevealed! The Business Skill Most People Don’t Have