Memorable (blog-worthy) Service

It’s easy to turn to blogging to complain about this-or-that customer experience that went wrong – but we should also be careful to note the good stuff that happens day by day. Such as:

  1.  That drive through teller at my local Bank of America who greeted me on Monday, even through 2 layers of glass and from a distance, with a friendly smile and warm greeting. I drove out not only with a deposit of money made, but a deposit of kindness making my day better.
  2. Paul, the guy behind the counter at Saltwater Farm Vineyards (highly recommended, btw) in Stonington CT, who greeted my wife and me with a warm handshake and easy banter as we tasted their wines and got the fascinating backstory of this relatively new vineyard headquartered in a converted airplane hangar. And, yes, we bought a case.
  3. Tanya, a customer service rep from Enterprise in Orlando, who tracked down the pair of prescription sunglasses that I’d left in a rental car there and made sure they were sent back to me.

And then there’s this great story from Drew McLellan’s blog today about CustomInk.com. Look at the free WOM advertising they get just by doing customer service right.

Want to learn more about customer service? I’d recommend reading Becky Carroll’s new book titled, The Hidden Power of Your Customers. Well, not just reading. Doing!

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A Peek Inside a Brand Therapy Session, with M&Ms

What happens when I get together with a client for a Brand Therapy session?

(def: Brand Therapy – concentrated brainstorm to clarify a company or individual’s core professional DNA and message)

Let’s illustrate with a bowl full of M&Ms:

We start with your mind and my plan. You have a ton of information in your brain; a whole bunch of data about what you do, what you really want to do, your customers, competitors, strategies, goals, history…and, because it’s yours, you may have difficulty seeing it all objectively. A lot of it is in fragments. My plan is to draw it out and bring a whole new level of clarity. So…

The first step is a directed mind dump. I ask a bunch of questions, some of which may seem random at the time (but aren’t). My goal in this initial stage is to get all the raw material into the light of day – do a dump of the candy bowl and begin to see the landscape. It’s fun, it’s messy, and while I can’t yet do a Vulcan mind meld, within a couple of hours I can generally help you get the M&M’s out on the table. One or two early epiphanies may occur at this stage. We’re getting to core truths here with focused questions about your identity and message. Then…

The next step is to begin to put the pieces in order. Sorting through the various fragments of thought and information, we start to see how these pieces fit into an optimal business direction. At this stage, we’re defining the unique – finding the key differentiator(s) that will mark your strategy and your message. More epiphanies occur here. This stage is both exhilarating and exhausting. Finally…

We boil it down together to your Core Four. This is the creative wordsmithing stage, where your message takes final shape. This is very challenging and rewarding work – you will walk out with distilled summary statements that encapsulate your identity and message in the smallest number of words. The end result – you now have the foundational document upon which your business direction and message is based. All in about a day’s time. How cool is that?

One recent session with a client started in the afternoon, then finished with a session the next morning. Turns out that was a great format – it gave a mental break and allowed ideas to percolate more casually over dinner. A night’s sleep also brought new perspective and some fresh energy to the final stages.

For lack of a better term, Personal Brand Therapy (for an individual) takes a similar approach, with slightly different end deliverables, in about half the time. To appreciate the epiphanies that can occur for both companies and individuals, read the many comments on this post.

Contact me (steve at connectionagent dot com) if you or your clients need a Brand Therapy session. Bonus: through my vast Connection Agent network, I can help you find the providers that you’ll need to carry out your business and marketing plans, through targeted and trusted referrals. Because my goal is not just to connect you with your identity and message. It’s also to connect you with the other people who can help make your business fly!

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Recently on Connection Agent:

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Subscribe to the Connection Agent blog via Reader (RSS) | via e-mail

Twitter: @ConnectionAgent | @swoodruff

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