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26.Mar, 2017 0

Continuous Improvement For Customers

I was recently invited to be part of a Patient and Family Advisory Team (PFAT) at the medical clinic associated with my hospital. With my passion for looking at businesses and processes from a customer’s perspective–something that eludes so very many organizations–I like the fit and the opportunity to add value. There’s also an opportunity to interact with the senior leadership team at the hospital. Both executives liked my tag line: “Making the complex simple.” They both said (paraphrasing), “Boy, do we need that!” Will this PFAT team move the needle in a substantial way? Probably not. But, we can…

26.Feb, 2017 0

Race Horse Or Plow Horse?

Is your company more like a plow horse or a race horse? A plow horse is a plodder that can never generate great speed. It can work all day at its own pace and accomplish much that the owner alone could not accomplish without the plow horse. Conversely, a race horse has considerable speed. It is optimally used for short spurts of a mile or a mile and a half and then must rest for days between races. A race horse is a sprinter; a plow horse is a marathoner. The plow horse can’t become a race horse nor can…

29.Oct, 2016 0

8.8 Billion Reasons Why On-Time Delivery Is Important

According to the Seattle Times, Qatar Airways announced on October 7th a firm order from Boeing for 30 787-9 Dreamliners and 10 777-300ERs widebody jets and an additional letter of intent to order a further 60 single-aisle 737 MAX 8s. The total order would be worth about $8.8 billion at discounted prices. This announcement came as no big surprise to me. Qatar Airways has been signaling its displeasure with the Airbus order execution for some time now. I had read this was reaching a boiling point and it finally happened. Here’s a statement from Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker…

2.Oct, 2016 0

Meeting Customer Expectations

“We’ll get back to you tomorrow.” They don’t. “We’ll confirm an appointment within 24 hours.” They don’t. “I’ll share your feedback with management and get back to you in 7 days.” They don’t. “Our review process takes 30 days.” It doesn’t. 30 days later, “Our review process takes 60 days.” Really? Do organizations think their customers aren’t listening? Do they not realize that a poor customer experience undermines customer loyalty? No one is accountable for failing to meeting expectations their own organizations set. It’s just part of business. Delighting customers isn’t that difficult. Do what you say you are going…

18.Sep, 2016 2

5,300 Employees Go Rogue

Yes, my friends…you read that right. 5,300 employees at Wells Fargo Bank had to be terminated for going rogue and signing up over 1.5 million customers for credit cards and other accounts that customers had not requested. “Going rogue?” That would have to be the case given no managers or senior leaders were aware of or held accountable for this. It’s the most profound example of “going rogue” I’ve ever witnessed. The top executive in charge is going to retire with a package of $125,000,000. Nice work if you can get it! Wells Fargo was fined $185 million which amounts…

7.Aug, 2016 0

What A Warranty Is And Isn’t

Not all problems raised on social media are what they appear to be. I read a Twitter thread between an entrepreneur and a customer service organization about a warranty issue this weekend. The entrepreneur is furious: her computer is down and she can’t afford any downtime to get the problem resolved. While she wants to blame the manufacturer, she needs to look more closely at her own business practices. I see several problems here: “Warranty” means that if something goes wrong, the customer will not be charged for the repair or replacement of the product. That replacement needs to be…

15.May, 2016 1

Some Air Travellers Are Nuts

If you want some interesting travel stories, read the Twitter feeds of the major U.S. airlines. It seems some of our fellow citizens expect perfection in commercial air travel. Here are some examples of recent Tweets with my response: “My mother’s flight is delayed 4 hours and she’s now missed her daughter’s college graduation.” I don’t know about you, but, unless you’re flying private, if you booked your travel so close the graduation time, you blew it. “My checked bag is missing. I don’t have my money, my keys, my prescription medications and my grandmother’s heirloom jewelry is in that…

1.May, 2016 0

Connecting With Your Audience

A candidate for U.S. president tripped up this week trying to connect with Indiana voters when he called out a “basketball ring” instead of a “basketball hoop,” something his audience knew all too well was a big mistake. Instead of creating connection and affinity, he created the opposite. This week’s “Thank God It’s Monday” isn’t about this specific mistake. It’s about the idea that if you use incorrect language in attempting to connect with your audience, you look disconnected and inauthentic. If you are introducing a new concept, you need to help your audience grasp the new concept clearly. Should…

24.Apr, 2016 0

Moving The Needle

Are you moving the needle? Are you putting your toe in the water when you really need to dive in head first? Are you engaged in incrementalism to the point that your efforts largely go unnoticed? Are you changing the trajectory of your business and your marketplace? Are you excited? Is your team excited? Are your customers excited? Steve Jobs moved the needle. He was uncompromising about getting what he needed to be the standout in his marketplace for his customers. He didn’t settle for “good enough.” And, neither should you irrespective of the industry you are in. Thought for…

17.Apr, 2016 0

No Bathrooms For Customers?

I recently stopped by my bank to make a deposit. At the end of the transaction, the teller asked “is anything else?” I asked where the restroom was. He said, “We don’t have a restroom for customers. Starbucks next door has one.” I shook my head over this response. The same thing happened this week at a restaurant. I was instructed to use the restroom at any one of the neighboring businesses. Really? I’m not happy with the responses and suspect neighboring businesses would not be happy either. I’m not comfortable that some other business should provide bathroom facilities for…