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The King has left the building

by mikemack on July 2, 2015

Elvis Presley is still regarded as the “King of Rock and Roll” and through his concert career it became a standard line from his show announcers to say that Elvis, aka “The King” has left the building. (Meaning, the show is over – go home…..he wasn’t coming back for an encore). It is still used to indicate that someone has made an exit or that something is complete.

If CUSTOMER = KING what does it mean when your customer leaves your building, or business? Does it mean that they left your business feeling happy, satisfied or fulfilled? Does it mean that something is complete? i.e. Remarkable Customer Satisfaction? Does is mean they left your business, and won’t be back for an encore? i.e. Another appearance.

A few months ago I had a customer service experience that was “less than stellar”. This business: “Less than Stellar Business Inc.” (I will change the name to protect he innocent 🙂 ) allowed me the opportunity to leave their business, and I must admit that I didn’t feel like a king. Ironically, I wasn’t even looking to be treated like a king….I simply wanted to receive “reasonable service for reasonable pay”, but alas, this didn’t happen. All aspects of the “almost” sales and service process were poor. I say “almost”, as they didn’t get my money. I left before things went too far. In other words, I decided to walk away and avoid further disappointment. Sadly, no one was running to the door to save my business.

Does Customer = King? In my opinion, if your business is looking to grow revenue, offer more products and services to your customer, gain more customers, then your “customer” must be king. While being a king is all about royalty, being a customer is all about loyalty!

How to treat your customer like a king?

Be Remarkable. (Give your customer something “great” to talk about)
Assess your moments of truth from your customer’s eyes. (eg. greetings, smiles, cleanliness of your business, etc.)

Determine the Lifetime Value of your customer. (i.e. Revenue/transactions; Transactions/year; Revenue/year; # of years that customer will be “your” customer; Customer lifetime value; Likelihood of “great” and remarkable service keeping your customer.

Determine the cost of poor service. (How many people will an “upset” customer tell others about your poor service?)

Assess your Service: Reliability (Consistency); Responsiveness (to requests & complaints); Speed (of everything your business does); Competence (skilled, trained and knowledgeable employees); Value (service to price ratio); Friendly (personable, smiling).

Determine what “behaviours” support “remarkable customer service for your business.

These simple tips may prevent “The King” aka “customer” from leaving your business.

Our business, X5 Management specializes in Improving Sales & Service for business. We offer comprehensive Business Consulting Services, Coaching Services and we have an extensive list of Training and Professional Development courses/workshops, specific to supporting businesses with Improving Sales & Customer Service.

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Do we service what we sell?

by mikemack on June 1, 2015

This is a very simple concept but many businesses struggle to consistently achieve it.

At X5 Management, we work with many customers who truly demonstrate how they value their customer and strive to create a “remarkable service” experience for their customers. What does “truly valuing service” really look like?

I was speaking with a business connection of mine and he commented that he purchased a very high-end vehicle. (I will keep the Brand of the vehicle out of this post)

His vehicle required warranty work. After the dealership did testing on the vehicle they determined that nothing was wrong. (The vehicle didn’t have the same problem that the client experienced a week or two before) While the vehicle was under full warranty, the dealership proceeded to charge him for their time. While the bill was only $400, the impact on their decision to do this with a $65,000 + vehicle could have significant impact on the customer’s next vehicle purchase.

In my observations, this happens way too often. The team members within a respective business lose connection with one another. While the Sales Rep. knows the client very well, no other member of the Service Dept. or any dealership department has any form of connection with the customer. This is often why we tend to call our Sales Rep. because “we had connection with them.”

The Sales Representative holds the customers hand every step of the way and promises that he will take care of everything if the customer ever has any problem, but “after sales” service can be a totally different story.

In your business, be mindful of what message you are conveying to your service team. (Everyone in your business must be “the service team”) Do you want this customer for the next 5 years, 10 years, or a lifetime? Simple actions to get all of your team thinking this way can make a big difference in the long run.

As I have learned and appreciated over my business career, when someone (a business) makes a promise and you have to honour the promise, acting on the promise needs to hurt. While I am not suggesting that you always waive fees or never charge a customer, sometimes the perception of what decisions you make, regardless of the size of the bill can have a significant long term impact with your customer and their relationship with your business.

When you Service what you Sell you are allowed to potentially sell again and again to the customer. Failing to service what you sell may prevent you from ever having an opportunity to sell to that same customer in the future. Is it worth it to your business?

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Everyone communicates, but do we connect?

by mikemack on May 1, 2015

As I have learned from leadership guru and best-selling author, John C. Maxwell “connecting is all about others”.

As Maxwell stated in his book: Everyone Communicates – Few Connect “When you are trying to connect with people, it’s not about you — it’s about them. If you want to connect with others, you have to get over yourself”.

How can you apply this in business? Whether it is trying to sell something to a prospective customer; servicing an existing customer; speaking to your team or an audience, there is a need for connection. Ask great questions, make your message about them and listen more!

This topic gains lots of focus in our business at X5 Management. Whether we are working with a sales team or business leaders, the opportunity to improve communication is ongoing. We support sales and service teams to “turn soft skills into hard assets”.

Communication SkillsEveryone has a unique style of communication, and while there are many communication profiles/assessments that are available in the marketplace, one particular tool that we have used for more than 9 years is: What’s My Communication Style, by HRDQ. This tool illustrates 4 styles: Direct, Spirited, Systematic or Considerate.

Direct people take charge of their lives. Spirited people are enthusiastic and friendly. Considerate people value warm, personal relationships. Systematic people are accurate and objective. If you can leverage your communication style strengths and be mindful of potential communication trouble spots you have a better chance of connecting with others.

“Connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them,” says Maxwell.

Three Questions People Are Asking About You, according to Maxwell.

1. Do you care for me?

2. Can you help me?

3. Can I trust you?

Everyone communicates, but do we connect?

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Caffeine for your Sales team

by mikemack on March 1, 2015

What is the fuel that drives your sales team? Did you ever ask them?

Perhaps it’s money, success, recognition, or satisfying their customers.

Whatever drives them, it is a big factor in their ongoing momentum. Best-selling author and speaker, Darren Hardy talks about “momentum” in his book, The Compound Effect. He likes to call it BIG MO. As Hardy suggests, “Big Mo is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful and enigmatic forces of success. You can’t see or feel Mo, but you know when you’ve got it.”

CaffeineLike a great cup of coffee, Big Mo can give you a buzz and energy that can drive you through the entire day, week, month, or quarter.

The key to Big Mo as I see it, is to never lift your foot off the pedal. When times are great for your sales team, have them understand why they are successful and key doing what is working. When times are tough and sales are slow reflect on what worked in the past and get back to the basics. They may have to kick start their momentum, especially if they aren’t moving.

Within our business at X5 Management we work many businesses and sales professionals and we have observed that some have BIG MO way more often than others. Why is that? Momentum in anything we do is all about habits, consistency, discipline and a genuine desire to accomplish something specific. (i.e. Sales goals, revenue targets, etc.) Think of a well conditioned athlete. They wouldn’t workout and exercise for a few days and then blow it on bad eating habits that negate everything that they have been working on, or stop working out.

“Some” sales professionals actually stop doing what has brought them success in the past! Sales momentum is much the same. Keep up with consistent habits that produce results, and minimize the habits and routines that don’t add value. These small, but potentially valuable habits will help with momentum.

“Commitment is doing the thing you said you were going to do, long after the mood you said it in has left you.” -Darren Hardy

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