That wasn’t fun, was it?
The link in the It is fun at your workplace, isn’t it? lead article in your September newsletter for the July 2013 edition took you to the July 2015 edition. Sorry about that. The idea was that you would see the article I’ve reproduced below titled ‘Do your truck drivers have business cards?’
Do your truck drivers have business cards?
WA Salt provides salt for pool shops and food producers in sunny Perth and throughout Western Australia. Their Perth deliveries are made by three of their own truck drivers.
As happens in many organisations these drivers develop a close relationship with their clients, the pool shop owners, food producers and their staff. In fact, they often become advocates for their clients.
The difference at WA Salt is that this is acknowledged and respected by management. It’s one of the few organisations I know where the drivers have business cards.
Do your truck drivers have business cards? If not, why not?
Spelling out the Benefits – Part Three
In last month’s Spelling out the Benefits Part Two article, I gave examples of how to build a verbal bridge between the feature and the benefit. I also explained the importance of linking features to benefits to give them believability and said that just because something is categorised as a benefit don’t assume that the customer will be interested in hearing about it.
This month in two brief articles sprinkled throughout your newsletter, we will look at FABing and comparing products and next month we will focus on painting word pictures. You can access the combined Spelling out the Benefits Part Three article at Jurek’s Blog.
So far (in Parts One and Two) we have worked on translating features into benefits. Doing this answers the WIIFM question for the customer:
“What’s In It For Me?” – What’s it going to do for me? How will it make me look good, save me time, make me money?
To answer this question effectively you really need to spell out the benefit. And in Part One the ‘So what!’ test was introduced as a way of doing this.
Another way of spelling out the benefits is often called ‘FABing’. This involves splitting the process into Feature, Advantage and Benefit.
F for Feature – This is what the product has
A for Advantage – This is what the feature does
B for Benefit – This is how this feature will help you the customer
Feature: It’s made of wool;
Advantage: which means it will breathe easily;
Benefit: and will keep you warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
The Benefit, the intangible part, has been spelled out further by splitting it into an Advantage and a Benefit.
Improving your productivity – Top Tips
In his excellent newsletter, Peter Rowe of Profitune says that the information you are about the read is some of the best he has come across. The author is Justin Rosenstein, co-founder of Asana, team productivity software.
I’m always ready to listen to Peter’s advice, particularly on the topic of productivity. Read on, right to the end of the article because the last paragraph is as important as some of the earlier tips.
“Here are the tips that I've found essential to my creative output. Each tip relates to optimising one of three areas: your environment, your mind, and your process.
Turn off all distractions. The verdict is clear: "multitasking" makes people feel more productive, but research shows that it makes us less productive. The temptations of email are strong. But frequent interruptions make us dumber, and it takes much longer than expected to get back on task. So when it's time to focus:
Find your flow time. If your day is constantly interrupted by meetings, it's very difficult to get into flow, a state where you're really jamming and go deep on complex tasks.
- Set your phone to Do Not Disturb. On iPhone: swipe up from the very bottom of the phone, and then hit the Moon icon.
- Close all browser windows that aren't directly related to the task at hand.
- If part of your work is composing emails, get into a state where you can write them without seeing new ones come in. In Gmail, bookmark ‘a search that is filtered to show nothing’.
- Turn off email push notifications on your computer.
- Log out of chat.
To read more, and I recommend you do, click on Top Productivity Tips.
- Add 3-hour "meetings" to your calendar where you're the only attendee. Coworkers will schedule around these busy times, and you can get uninterrupted work done.
- If you can, get your whole company to agree to a day per week where there shall be no meetings. At Asana, we have ‘No-Meeting Wednesdays’.
- Track what times of the day work best for you for different activities. Do your hardest work during your "Superman time." Here's the process I used to determine that mine is from 10:00am-noon.
Simple solution to a delicate problem
Recently, I had the pleasure of presenting a series of Valuing Visitors workshops and seminars in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region at Exmouth, Carnarvon and Shark Bay.
While I didn’t take time out to swim with the whale sharks I did enjoy the awesome beauty of the coast and the can-do attitude of the people. And I saw a wonderful example of redesigning a menu to generate more revenue while keeping two groups of customers happy.
Two of the key customer types for the cafe/restaurant run by the Carnarvon Heritage Group at One Mile Jetty are parents with children and seniors. The restaurants’ aim is to make money to plough back into the restoration of the jetty so it needs the continued custom of both groups.
One delicate issue for them was that seniors would often want to order off the children’s menu, typically saving at least $4 per person for a small meal.
So, they redesigned the menu removing children’s meals. Now, whenever a guest is accompanied by children they are given a special children’s only menu for each child which doubles up as a colouring in sheet to keep the children occupied.
This pleases the parents, makes the selection process for children nice and simple and overcomes a delicate problem. When thought is given to redesigning the customer experience problems like this can often be overcome simply and effectively.
Dealing with dumb questions
One of the things I have fun with at the Valuing Visitors workshops is an exercise on things that customers say.
I get people into groups and ask them to come up with a list of:
a) Dumb questions customers ask
b) Dumb things that customers say
Often their faces light up and they can’t wait to share examples with one another. For example, from my recent trip to the Gascoyne:
“What time is the 4 o’clock bus?”
“How long is the one mile jetty?”
Then you will have an occasional person pull back from the discussion and say, “I don’t think there are dumb questions.”
At first they won’t be listened to, then gradually one or two others in the group will come round to the view that maybe they aren’t dumb statements or questions; it’s just that people are in an environment that to them is confusing. Or perhaps some customers just don’t know how to start a conversation, a bit like the nervous girl/guy on a first date.
That’s when I let them know that they’ve been set up. And that when our belief is, ‘There is no such thing as a dumb question from a customer’ we become far better ambassadors for our town, our region and the business we represent.
Let’s take the example of “What time is the 4 o’clock bus?”
As a lady from Exmouth Library said at one of the workshops, there is often another question behind the one they have asked. Instead of rolling our eyes or sighing and saying, “It’s at 4 o’clock”, patiently probe further with, “What makes you ask?” It may be that their real question is, “How long will it take to walk from where we are staying to the bus stop?”
And once they are relaxed and aren’t made to feel like a fool, they may build up the confidence to ask further questions giving you the chance to sell the benefits of spending time in your town.
Our intention should always be to make people feel better about themselves for having taken the time to speak with us.
Comparing two products
Every product has certain features and benefits. In helping customers come to a decision your job is to point out the appropriate benefits of the products they are considering.
A word of warning here –
Never run down one product or price to promote another. Instead point out the extra value of the alternative. Don’t say “This is better value than that because…” Your customers decide what is better value based on the benefits that matter to them.
This is the same for buying multiple copies compared to buying one.
The unit price may be considerably less for the bulk purchase but if you say “It’s a lot better value if you buy these in boxes of 20” the implication is that buying them singly is expensive. It isn’t if you don’t use many! Your role is to make sure the customer is aware of the options and point out the benefits of each. So you might say:
“If you use a lot of these you may find it more economical to purchase a box of 20. On the other hand if you don’t, they are very well priced at only $5.00 each.”
Are you being nicer?
It seems that being nicer works.
Dublin based budget airline Ryanair carried 10% more passengers in August 2015 than on the same month the previous year - which was a record year following the introduction of its ‘Always Getting Better’ campaign.
Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's controversial chief executive is quoted as saying, "If I'd known being nicer to customers was going to work so well, I'd have done it ages ago."
This contrasts with some of the flamboyant CEOs earlier decisions and quotes including:
“People say the customer is always right, but you know what – they’re not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so.”
“Nobody wants to sit beside a really fat bastard on board. We have been frankly astonished at the number of customers who don’t only want to tax fat people, but torture them.”
“One thing we have looked at is maybe putting a coin slot on the toilet door so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in the future. If someone wanted to pay £5 to go to the toilet I would carry them myself.”
What have you done for me lately?
Your customer is like a lover. When she (or he) asks the question, “What have you done for me lately?” you better have a good answer prepared.
It gets tougher.
Your customer will ask herself this question each time she feels neglected or compares you to the attention she is receiving from someone else. What reminders have you given that you are there for her? That you are the answer to her dreams?
Don’t Judge Too Quickly
To be effective our ability to assess a situation and make a judgement based on past experience is important. However, our brain can be lazy and jump to conclusions without first fully assessing the situation. This is beautifully illustrated in these Don’t judge too quickly commercials.
Unfortunately, our customers will also judge us in this way. So be vigilant for how things may appear from the customer’s point of view.
I discovered these wonderful YouTube examples via Winston Marsh’s fortnightly e-newsletter. Each edition he reviews a commercial like this. Well worth subscribing to.
Vote with your butt
While in the UK I was fascinated to see the environmental charity Hubbub using behavioural techniques in an experiment to reduce litter on London streets.
My attention was captured by this attempt to get smokers to vote who they think the best football (soccer) player in the world is out of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi by placing their cigarette butt in the bin.
A spokesperson for the charity said, “Our public polling discovered that a staggering 86% of people think littering is a disgusting habit yet only 15% of us would actually confront someone and tell them that.
“Taking pride of the areas we live and work helps to build better communities and save money.
“This is why from May to October we're trialling a new approach to tackling littering on Villiers Street, Westminster, using the latest thinking on behaviour change and awareness raising from around the world.”
Every week they are testing cigarette smokers with different questions.
The new cigarette butt boxes are not limited to football with questions also including matters surrounding Formula One, tennis and cricket.
Read more at vote with your butt.
"Something you know about your customer may be more important than anything you know about your product".
Harvey McKay author of ‘Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive’
"If every day you could get 1% more efficient, then by the end of the year you'd be 15 times as productive."
“You never see things the way they really are, only how they look to you. Other eyes have a different, and equally valid, perspective.”
My goal is to double the circulation of this newsletter within 12 months. To do this I need your help. If you find these ‘Terrific Tips’ a useful read, PLEASE do pass them on and suggest to your colleagues and friends that they subscribe at www.terrifictrading.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any friend of yours is welcome.