Beloved companies enable people to decide and act, always in alignment with doing the right thing. They build organizations with energy and spirit that draws customers to them. We naturally gravitate to companies with whom we connect in a human and sincere manner. Five decisions set companies apart, revealing who they are and what they value.
The intent behind Gary Comer’s decision to build the health club was to give back to the people who had become the face and personality of Lands’ End. His action proved we mattered. We had achieved something much greater than putting turtlenecks on the backs of millions. With each shipment, with each call we took, with each box we packed, a bit of who we were also went out the door. We made decisions by simply treating customers how we wanted to be treated. That struck a chord with customers.
Annual planning is perhaps one of the greatest missed opportunities regarding customers. Everyone’s budgets and plans get cobbled together. We miss the opportunity to strategically forge ahead on key things that would have an impact for customers.
Are you capitalizing on annual planning? Do you utilize data, customer feedback and real time outcomes to manage customers as assets?
Customer Loyalty Decision “Decide to Believe” – CustomInk decided to put uncensored customer reviews on their Web sites home page. They fearlessly listen to customers and that feedback fuels their growth.
Can Your Frontline Rescue Customers? L.L. Bean’s guarantee puts power in the hands of their front line. It gives them freedom to think on their feet and offer options without putting the customer on hold or checking with a manager.
The best leaders in my life asked more questions than they gave answers. Too often we jump to prescribing. We feel we know what customers want. We believe we know the answers. But the real difference between an “everyday” company and a “beloved” company is how they answer questions. How they make decisions. It’s the intent and motivation that guides decision making that separates these companies from the rest.
What selfless acts tell your customers and employees about what matters to you on a personal level? Because CustomInk personally reviews every single order, they know what events their products are being printed for. The company saw so many shirts being created for charities that they decided to become personally invested in these causes…
Do You Confess to Customers When Something Happens?
Netflix, the DVD-by-mail subscription service, let all customers know that they were experiencing a technology glitch holding up requested DVD shipments. They didn’t wait for customers to notice. They were proactive in admitting the error, apologizing for it, and making up for it.
Because they communicated directly with customers, their decision and actions are fueling their growth. Ninety-three percent of existing subscribers say they “talk up” how great Netflix is to everyone they know.
Umpqua Bank is part Internet café, part community center, and part bank. The coffee’s good and it’s not a bad place to sit and read a book.” By shedding old industry practices and warming up and humanizing the experience of banking, Umpqua draws customers to them.
How you are delivering peace of mind (in the form of a guarantee) to your customers? Most guarantees put the monkey on the customer’s back to manage a countdown clock on product happiness. Zane’s Cycles threw out the clock and decided to guarantee the happiness of the customer relationship.