Mining Your Existing
Let me start with a preface.
Those companies that REALLY want to earn my money... those are the
companies I want to work with, those that go up and beyond. My mother use
to call it, "The extra mile." These are the companies that stick out in
your mind for something different that they did.
Below I list 3 examples of Memorable Service... however, memories aren't
ALL good. I've listed some examples that can be learned from... 1 isn't so
great, 1 is kinda neat, 1 is 50/50.
A few different examples...
1- I called Dell recently to order a new server for my company. Well, let
me back up. I placed an order over the internet and there was an issue
with the order, so I called Dell to figure it out. Initially, I felt like
the call went well. A rep got me pointed in the right direction... but,
then... round and round and round. I got stuck in one of those never
ending menus that you can never get out of. Finally I must have hit the
"WRONG" key because another rep gets on the line... then asks me the exact
same questions as before... and attempts to direct me to the same menu
MAN... Finally I told the gal... just 3 way me... please. I got to a SALES
person this time and (to digress briefly) come to find out that my account
with Dell had been flagged as some... "Corporate Gold Special Potato Chip
with Chocolate Syrup" account. WOOHOO! Um... guess what? That means I have
an assigned sales rep. Only 1 person in the whole entire world is allowed
to sell me Dell stuff. Um... the guy was sick that day... and I needed my
server... NO MATTER WHAT I DID... this sales rep gal would NOT sell me a
server. I think Michael Dell would be interested in hearing that I was
unable to give them my money... anyway... I'm a tad bit more sneaky than
that. So I call back and set up a new account under a different DBA and
order my server anyway. *sigh* needless to say, I wasn't happy with Dell
2- I called to order Pizza and the OWNER picks up the phone and man could
I hear over the phone he was cheerful... so, I chit chatted with him about
business (was a big car show in town and he was swamped)... but even under
the pressure he was cheery and you could hear it. He told me it would be
about an hour... and no big deal I was suppressing the wife and kids...
so, an hour was fine with me. But then it's an hour and 30 and the kids
start to get hungry... so I call the place... "Oh it's on its way..."
2 hours 15 min and I call again... "Oh she couldn't find your house."
Now... in today's age... when everyone in the world carries cell phones...
why couldn't someone have called me when they were 2 min from my home to
ask for the final directions... I ended up making home made pizza for the
kids that night myself... but it was kinda... I don't know... the lack of
follow-through that really ate at me that day. Granted they were busy and
some amount of leniency was needed. I still think it crossed the line.
3- I love it when someone goes the extra mile. On the Carnival Fantasy
Cruise liner they do something extra fun. Those keeping your cabin will
fold the wash cloths into little animals on your pillow. For me... I just
picked it up and tossed it aside after glancing at it... but, my wife will
remember that to this day... rants about it to the kids.
I'll always remember that Dell assigns you 1 sales rep when you meet some
high level corporate requirements which in reality only limit my ability
to run my business.
I'll always remember that that Pizza guy was so cheerful... and next time
to give a lot more land marks so they can find my house.
I'll always remember the funny towel animals on the Cruise she and I took.
In addition on a side note, one of the things I dislike the most... is
waiting on hold.... forever listening to advertisements or terrible music
or never ending menus... I really just want to talk to a human being. I
talk to a lot of companies and particularly I notice how bad they want my
business by their phone system and attitude when I call. I think you've
all been in situations... and I am sure this has brought back some
interesting experiences for some.
Additionally, I want to share with you something I do in my business. No,
I'm not making a advertisement. It's something I have found useful and I
want to share.
I ALWAYS answer my phone when you call. Well... 99.9% between 9am and 9pm.
I have done away with a receptionist and answer my own calls for many
reasons... mostly because I want to talk to my clients directly.
However, what I wanted to share with you 2 things that in practice has
really paid off.
First, I'll put whoever I have on hold (briefly) and will take the
incoming call. I really do not want my clients getting a Voice Mail box...
I want to answer... tell them I am on the other line, that they are
important to me, and that I will call them back as soon as I can.
I always make sure to tell my clients as I am working with them that I
will periodically interrupt our conversation to take the other line. This
guarantees that if it is ever them calling... I will be sure not to miss
their call. I've found that 95% of my clients really appreciate this.
On the flip side, I have a few clients who think that's what VM was made
for. *chuckle* and while they appreciate the fact that 99.9% of the time
they got a hold of me... they don't see the flip side value when we are
discussing their project at length and I interrupt them for an incoming
I'm sure there are a zillion thoughts on this... and I've about heard them
all over the years. However, on whole my clients just love the fact that I
answer my phones almost every time they call.
Second, I spend a great deal of time with perspective clients establishing
a relationship. When I first started doing this about 6 years ago many
would ask me why I spent so much time with them... I would simple reply
because I want to take care of you and make sure you are headed in the
In a recent Introduction made by the CEO of a company I was the Key Note
speaker for their national convention... he recalled the first few times
he called me. He mentioned that while he was busy writing everything I was
saying... he also wondered in the back of his mind how I made any money,
because as he recalled at that point in time he purchased an MLM software
solution from another company. He went on to say, that in our conversation
I gave him more respect, more time, and more help than anyone had given
him to that point.
Two years later he called me again. This time his company was established
and growing nicely (you likely all know the company). He needed a
marketing system with email follow-up for his distributors, and he never
forgot our conversation. He asked me about our WebTech2K solution. We have
since developed a relationship with this company in providing a solid
marketing system for them and a lead source that has generated my company
tens of thousands of dollars... headed to the hundreds of thousands.
The interesting thing is some times clients never call back, but the ones
that do are customers for life.
Both of these I think boil down to 1 thing. Relationships!
I want my clients to know that they are PERSONALLY important to me, that
the success of their company is something I take seriously and have a
sincere interest in.
The internet has become a very cold place. Using the internet as a tool to
develop relationships is (I believe) the key to my success. Huge lists are
nice... 100K, 1M, 10M faceless names getting my ad is one thing...
100-1K-10K people who know I care about them personally is something FAR
We often times look so hard at the #'s we forget that there are real
people that those number represent. I truly believe in putting
relationships back into marketing.
Good Luck on your