Archive for March, 2009
Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
Today I’ve been thinking a lot about recalibrating the approach to customer interactions.
The day started off with a meeting with a client about a potential project. Our discussion explored how this very successful company can develop more business from current customers, especially in these tough times where it is harder to find new customers.
As we talked, it became clear that the best answers lie not in more lucrative promotions, better offers or a new loyalty program. It’s much more fundamental than that. Interacting with customers during this time of economic uncertainty and turmoil requires, more than ever, an approach based on the customer interaction principles that have obsessed me for years.
- It’s not about customer service. It’s about the relationship-building encounter. Customer service is not what you strive for; it has become basic hygiene. (Yes, some companies still don’t brush their teeth.) The goal of every interaction between a person in your company and a customer is to make sure that the relationship with the customer is better at the end of the interaction than it was at the beginning.
- Stop shouting already! People hear Brand Harmony. This is the worst time to dial up the brute-force marketing techniques, trying to out-shout, out-promote and out-sizzle your competition. The world is way too noisy and your customers are way too scrutinizing. Interact with customers in a way that matches how they form impressions of you: By creating a strong sense of Brand Harmony that communicates a clear, compelling, comprehensive story.
How much better would your business be if your organization, with the talent of virtuosos, adhered to these principles?
Sunday, March 29th, 2009
Don’t you just hate it when people take 723% longer to say something in a meeting than is necessary? They start their update with a rambling description of the main idea, throw in sub-points, try to weave in tangents but only create verbal knots, repeat themselves, repeat themselves again, lead up to a seeming denouement, repeat themselves again, stall with a verbal ellipsis, repeat one of the points yet another time, resist the final puncutation, add in another thought, finally dribbling off as everyone in the room catches themselves daydreaming about what must have entered their BlackBerry’s during this screed.
Thursday, March 26th, 2009
1. You did it last year.
2. Your competitors are doing it.
3. You think “getting the word out” is the answer to all of your problems.
Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
Today’s newsletter, sent this morning to those of you who subscribe, focuses on recalibrating your brand story.
Here’s the idea, in a nutshell: Everything about your customers is different than before – what they care about, what they think about, how they make decisions, how much money they have to spend, even who they are.
If your customers are so different, isn’t it time to recalibrate your brand story to make sure they care about it?
Please comment below! And, if you’d like to subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter, or to this blog, look to the right.
(Here’s my post today on tompeters.com, also on recalibrating your brand story.)
Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
This is how one guy decided to promote his construction company.
Do you wash your hands before or after you pick up the card?
Friday, March 20th, 2009
A friend was leafing through the pages of my book We yesterday, stopping on page 90 to comment on this sentence:
“No matter what the interaction is, it is always possible to make it less formulaic and scripted.”
I don’t care how many times the hotel clerk has checked people in, I don’t care how many times the doctor has described a condition, I don’t care how many times you have been a certain type of situation, it is possible – and necessary – to make the person you interact with feel that this is a unique, fresh, unscripted encounter that you have prepared just for her, as if it were the first time you have done it.
Be aware today of freshness. Notice if people are replaying used scripts as they talk to you, notice if you are doing the same. Notice how easy it is for you to discern if someone is formulaic and scripted, think of how easy it must be for others to know when you are.
Be fresh! (For this kind of freshness, you won’t get slapped.)
Thursday, March 12th, 2009
I’ve started publishing a six-part series on tompeters.com, focusing on my Six Recalibration Questions:
- Where is the latent profit in your business, and how can you rethink how you generate results?
- How can your current customers help you unleash that latent profit?
- How can you unleash latent profit with new customers?
- Is your brand strategy right for the times, i.e., what do you want customers to think about you?
- Are you communicating optimally at all customer touchpoints?
- How clear and compelling is your internal brand?
If you approach each of these questions, with a “spirit of recalibration,” you will greatly improve your chances of thriving during this economic mayhem.
Here are links to parts 1, 2 and 3 of my series on tompeters.com. I’ll update when new posts are published over the next few weeks.
tompeters.com Recalibration series, part 1
tompeters.com Recalibration series, part 2
tompeters.com Recalibration series, part 3
Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
Today’s newsletter, Recalibration, suggests that you “Stop Tweaking and Start Recalibrating.”
Don’t hunker down! Make real changes, in a world that is really different.
Please share your comments below.
"When Steve Yastrow writes, I pay close attention"
- Tom Peters
"I had to buy two copies. The first one is so dog-eared and underlined I couldn't read it any longer."
- Seth Godin
Steve is the author of Brand Harmony
and the newly published We:
The Ideal Customer Relationship
. Learn more and order direct from our Products
page, or from Amazon
About Steve Yastrow and Yastrow & Company
In addition to writing, I spend most of my work time helping companies unleash their potential by creating better connections with their customers. This happens through my speaking events and through Yastrow & Company consulting engagements, where my team and I help companies figure out who they intend to be in the future, and then engage the entire company in creating that future through strong "We" customer relationships.
Before starting Yastrow & Company in the mid-90s I was vice-president of resort marketing for Hyatt Hotels. My experiences in the hotel business showed me clearly that most marketing doesn’t happen in the marketing department. Customers are paying attention to all interactions with a company, not just the promises made in traditional "marketing communications."
For more information, see our About page.