The New Game Of Telephone!

It has never been more important than now to have a very well planned and executed Customer Loyalty Program. Customer Loyalty has always been important because we naturally want to share our stories and experiences with one another… it goes back to that fundamental desire for us to be known by others.

We have more and more ways to communicate and share our stories with others. It is no longer a select few people who have a voice beyond just their family and friends… now the whole world has access to our stories in many cases.

I am “relatively new” to the social media space over the last five years and I personally have:

  • 565 friends on Facebook
  • 600+ Connections on LinkedIn
  • 184 followers on Twitter
  • … and a couple of hundred subscribers on each of my two blogs

That is nearly 1800 “quantifiable” people who I have access to hear my stories about the good and bad experiences I am having with products, services, and companies… but anyone can read my tweets and read my blogs so it is actually much larger than that!

So, in a world that is more and more interconnected we never know who we are making loyal or disloyal. The lowly system administrator (so says the former technical geek) may also be a very successful social media guru and have over a million people they can reach with their stories. If you are not creating a place for EVERYONE to share broadly about why they are loyal or disloyal to your company…you are running a high risk of missing a vital opportunity to turn around those disloyal customers.

Loyalty study objectives should be:

  • Give every single customer a voice
  • Measure loyalty (statistical and anecdotal)
  • Find out what things to improve/change to increase customer loyalty (continuous improvement)
  • Leverage extremely loyal customers (references, etc)
  • Turn experiences around for disloyal customers

Customer Loyalty… It’s More Than Statistics!

I was recently having a conversation with some of my industry friends about Customer Loyalty and a growing trend of compromise we are seeing in the industry. Customer Loyalty Programs are still “fairly new” in the marketplace and therefore the adoption rates continue to increase rapidly, however the early adopter stage has long passed and now we are starting to see some compromises being introduced into some of these programs.

The trend we have been noticing and others have seen as well Is what I like to call “Statistical Sanitization”. This is where for various reasons programs start to be slanted in a way that the statistics tell the story that you want them to tell, rather than analyzing the statistics and then developing the story… the truth! When you start to segment, departmentalize, and distribute only the data you are most interested in… it can become borderline gaming the system.

Customer Loyalty Program are only holistic if they have the following characteristics:
1) The invitation to participate is 100% inclusive of your entire customer base
2) The survey is detailed and tells you what your customers REALLY think
3) It allows you enough deep dive information to drive continuous improvements in your business
4) It acts like an early warning system and allows you to identify brush fires before they become forest fires
5) It includes closed loop follow-up conversations directly with your customers
6) Although It is very important to be able to segment, departmentalize, and distribute the data… you need to start with the entire sample first.

A few goals I always have in Customer Loyalty Programs:
1) You need a single customer loyalty metric. (NPS, OSAT, Index, etc)
2) You need to understand how each product and functional area effects your Company Loyalty
a. You need actionable feedback/data that correlates to loyalty for each product you have and each functional areas of your business
3) The goal is to drive continuous improvement actions at all levels of your business
4) Continuous Improvements should be tracked and positively influence the Company Loyalty over time

The “Magic Bullet” Survey Methodology…

I was recently talking to some of my loyalty industry colleagues about different methodologies and metrics that we use to quantify customer loyalty. There were many different approaches, opinions, and thoughts on the matter of course, but there were 2 universal beliefs among all of us:

1) There is NO “Magic Bullet Survey Methodology”
2) Taking “real” actions based upon the data is most important

Let me expound a bit…

Yes there are some methodologies that are better than others because they are more statistically accurate and/or they are easy to communicate with those who are going to consume and put into action the data… but in the end there is no magic bullet methodology.

Let’s take the Net Promoter Score(NPS) methodology for instance. I “like” NPS because it is easy to understand, measure, and communicate to a broad audience.. people easily get and understand what it is.. but NPS is not “the way, the truth, and the life” either. The score is like a fuel gauge… it is something you should obviously reference to see what the gauge says, but don’t fixate on it either… because you will lose track of the road and crash!

The most important function of a loyalty survey is your ability to take strategic and tactical actions based upon the data and drive real change in your organization. If you are not able to take real actions and deliver real change… why even bother doing a survey… just do a marketing campaign instead!

Net Promoter, NPS, and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld.

Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster – Product Review Video

Product Features

  • Fully Viewable Roasting Process via Tempered Glass Drum
  • Large Capacity 300 Gram Roasting Chamber
  • Fully Adjustable Time and Temperature During the Roast
  • Impressively Quite Operation
  • Extremely Simple Operation for Beginning to Advanced Coffee Roaster

More Information:

innovative design. The Gene Roaster allows more flexibility to control the roast while having a greater visual advantage with its tempered glass drum design. The roaster’s drum has an innovative vortex twisting motion that allows the beans to tumble evenly while hot air circulates around them. Large capacity chamber allow roasting batches as large as 300grams to as small as 50grams. Since the key to producing the perfect roast is having more control over the variables. Two knobs on the front of the unit can be adjusted for time and temperature. A manual cool button allows you to stop the roasting process at any point you feel the coffee is ready. While some of the better roasting machines allow you to program your roast; once the roasting process begins, the flexibility to make changes are limited, if any. The Gene Cafe Roaster has added this feature so that you can make unlimited changes in the temperature and/or time settings before and during the roast. (Since not all beans roast the same- this is a great feature – we love that!) The cool cycle takes place in the drum. When the eternal temps reach 140 F, the drum stops and alerts the roaster with an auditable beep. The unit’s operation is impressively quiet. It may take a few roasts to discern from the pops in the roasting stages from the beans hitting the glass as they tumble. In addition to the illustrated owner’s manual, a 1 year warranty is included with the roaster. Additional parts include an attachable chaff collector which sits on the side, a chamber support which holds the chamber when not in use, and cup to measure for beans. Never leave a roaster unattended when roasting coffee.

 

Loyalty Fortune Cookie #004

“Puppies and Customers both thrive off the same thing… Undivided Attention!”
~ Chris Antonelli | Fantasticfailures.com

 

Thank you to Jennifer Combs @JCPhotography for inspiration!

Loyalty Fortune Cookie #003

“Dis-Loyalty is like a distant lightning strike… you might not see what it is impacting”
~ Chris Antonelli | Fantasticfailures.com

Loyalty Fortune Cookie #002

“Running a survey without a program, is like riding a rollercoaster without a seatbelt!” 
~ Chris Antonelli | Fantasticfailures.com

Loyalty Fortune Cookie #001

Loyalty Fortune Cookie #001
“Failures are  inevitable, but the recovery is a choice.”  ~ Chris Antonelli | Fantasticfailures.com

Steve Jobs Legacy – Great products and people win customer loyalty!

Sadly, Steve Jobs lost his battle with cancer yesterday, October 5, 2011

A long long time ago I was fortunate enough to get my first “high tech” job with a small software company called Aladdin Systems who were the makers of StuffIt for the Macintosh. My job was to provide customer service and front line technical support to our customers. I loved this job, working with customers, and working with the MAC… but eventually I left that company and started working in the PC market because frankly there were a lot more jobs available in those days in the PC market.

Many years passed before I used another Apple product, but I always remained an Apple fan… then one year Apple came out with the iPod, which gave me an alternate way to consume Apple products. I really liked my iPod a lot and used it daily, but then Apple came out with the iPhone which I believe revolutionized the way we use technology today. I had been using a Blackberry before the iPhone came out and liked it enough, but when I first started using the iPhone it was WORLDS above anything I had ever used before and still is today… I was an immediate promoter.

When I heard the news about Steve passing away it made me think about how he had impacted our world and what his legacy would be. It also made me reflect on how he impacted my life and the numerous times I had spoken about Apple’s Net Promoter Score being one of the bars for success because it was at iconic levels like Harley Davidson. I believe Steve jobs greatest legacy goes well beyond the products and something much more fundamental. He knew it took both great products and great people to win customer loyalty and he knew this strategy was a differentiator because this posture is rare in business today… hopefully more and more companies will get back to these fundamentals and follow the example of Steve Jobs.

#ThankYouSteve

Follow-up – Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa… sprints to the finish!

I recently posted a blog post about Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa where I explained how I was disappointed with my experience and their efforts to recover my loyalty… this follow-up blog is about how they “sprinted to the finish” to 100% recover my loyalty.

When I wrote the blog entry about Teton Mountain Lodge I decided I would forward it to their General Manager. I looked up his email address and forwarded it to him thinking I probably would not hear back. The next morning when I checked my email I was surprised to see a personal response from the General Manager and was even more surprised about what he said. Here is his email to me:

——————————————
Dear Mr. Antonelli,

Thank you for sharing your blog. I can see clearly that we missed the boat in dealing with your complaint. While we pride ourselves on friendliness and care in dealing with complaints, in this case, that wasn’t quite enough. Sadly, coming close doesn’t help you when we don’t reach the finish line.

I am grateful that you took the opportunity to give us another chance with your survey and disappointed in ourselves that we let the second chance slip away as well. I am further grateful that you reached out to me directly with what I see as a third chance. I hope that by sending me the link to your blog, you presented not only with a ‘teachable moment’ (which we are using to full advantage) but also with a final opportunity to recover your future business and recommendation.

In light of both the initial complaint and our incomplete attempts as resolution, I would be pleased if you would accept my offer of a refund of two nights room and tax charges.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your feedback. As I wrote above, we pride ourselves on resolving problems, but when we think we know what will make a situation right, it is easy to forget to ask our customer what they think will make it right. Rest assured, even if it is too late to recover your business, we will use your encounter to learn and do better for our future customers.

Warm regards,
Tyler Barker
General Manager
Teton Mountain Lodge

——————————————

… all I can say is WOW… this is exactly the type of response I was looking for and I responded to him with the below email:
——————————————
Dear Mr. Barker,

Thank you for the quick reply to my email. I was pleasantly surprised to get a personal reply from you and appreciate you taking the time to do so. This type of response goes a long way and demonstrates that you and your team are very serious about building customer loyalty… something I do not take lightly!

I am very encouraged to hear that you view this as a “teachable moment’… this is a lost posture in the service industry today and further proves that you “get it”. I am also pleased to except your offer for a refund of two nights room and tax charges… this offer was above an beyond my expectations and negated any doubt I had about your company.

I talked this over with my wife and we both agree that you have indeed recovered our business for our next trip and are grateful that we have obviously found a company who is willing to make things right when things unexpectedly go awry. My entire bog is about taking potential loyalty failures and turning them into gold “fantastic failures” … you have done that and I can hardly wait to post an update about how amazingly you did it.

Much Appreciation,
Chris Antonelli

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So there you have it… My entire Blog is about “Fantastic Failures”… it is about turning potentially damaging experiences into positive, loyalty building “golden” opportunities. I am now looking forward to my next stay at Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa knowing they do not take customer loyalty lightly… and I have just a little bit more faith that there are still service professionals that take pride in the service they provide.