Archive for the ‘Loyalty’ Category
What gets measured, gets done – or so the saying goes. By measuring certain specific outcomes, an organization communicates and reinforces its performance objectives and business priorities.
However, sometimes there is a disconnect between what gets measured and managed and the organization’s overall strategic goals. This occurs when employees’ performance goals are not aligned with the company’s strategy.
How can business owners make sure employees are doing the right things to contribute to the organization’s success? Key performance indicators (KPIs) establish yardsticks for measuring performance at both the organizational and individual levels. KPIs are specific, quantifiable targets that are measurably aligned with the company’s stated goals and objectives.
Effective performance management involves setting individual KPIs for every team member. Whether done as part of a formal appraisal process or in a more informal manner, the goals must be clear, measurable and demonstrably aligned with the department’s goals, which in turn are aligned with the company’s overall strategy.
By setting relevant and effective goals for staff, ensuring that employees know what they need to accomplish in the present and in the future, and measuring their progress and performance, you ensure that employees are contributing directly to business goals.
Moreover, when employees’ KPIs are linked to strategic objectives with effective goal setting, their motivation, productivity and performance increase dramatically.
When an employee’s goals are defined in terms of an organizational KPI, it ensures what the employee is doing is aligned with the goals of the organization. This is the critical link between employee performance and organizational success.
If your small business doesn’t have a loyalty program or rewards system, perhaps you should consider the fact that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to get a current one to come back and do business with you again.
According to recent marketing research, almost 80% of people carry one or more loyalty cards. There are frequent-flier programs, frequent-buyer programs and frequent-dining coupons, as well as prize giveaways and charity donation schemes. They are all designed to get customers to spend more, shop more frequently, increase their purchases or refer other customers to the business.
Basically, there are four types of loyalty programs:
- Membership Programs: Customers get special pricing or other perks for joining a “club.” Read the rest of this entry »
Through a brand promise, a company commits to its customer a certain experience each and every time the customer interacts with that business. When a customer enters a bricks and mortar store and makes a purchase the experience is complete when the sales associate remembers to say “thank you, please come again” so shouldn’t the experience be the same if you make a purchase online?
Many online retailers and marketers make a big mistake in not leveraging this simple tool. The customer finds your website, takes the time to surf around reviewing your products and decides to make a purchase, sign up for a whitepaper or register for a seminar only to be met with a simple and unbranded default thank you page that doesn’t complete the entire customer experience.
After your customer makes a purchase or signs up for additional information, your thank you page is a great place to reassure your visitor that you did received their information or request, that the product, price and deliver is in order and what they should expect next from you. This could include information about shipping including links to track delivery or how to download whitepaper, or call in information for your seminar.
Your thank you page is also a great place to re-engage your customers by offering them additional products to add on to their orders or to entice them to return back to your website with a coupon for a future offer. Once the customer is already familiar with you enough to make a purchase, here is an opportunity to introduce them to another product they may be interested in at a compelling discount. This is a place to also inform your customers of upcoming specials, events or contests you might be offering and to provide them with a link so they can participate.
Similar to a bricks and mortar store, your thank you page is a great way to reinforce your brand. Depending upon what your brand promise or commitment is, you can use your thank you page for marketing messages, education and commitment to your customers. For example, if you sell widgets, you can include a “how to guide” to educate your customer on how to use the widget. Another example is to provide your customer with a free gift. Similar to the “Free gift with purchase” concept at a department store, you can immediately increase the perception of value by offering a free gift on your thank you page.
Your thank you page is just one of many ways your customers experience your company and should have the sole purpose of creating a lasting impression on your customers. Make it really special and make it support your brand. Too many companies put up a really great website, supply it with strong content and build in incentives for people to sign up, yet they use a very poor thank you page. This is a great opportunity to stand apart from your competition and leave a powerful impression on your customers.
©Kellie D’Andrea & Associates
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The word “integrity” is the most overused and misunderstood word in business. Many claim to have the upmost highest level of integrity when it comes to serving their customers, respecting their service partners and treatment of their employees but very few really know what the word means. By definition, integrity means “a steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code” so the question that comes to mind is whose moral or ethical code? Yours? Your parents? Society? Your religion? Your friends? The list could go on and on.
Having integrity is doing what you believe to be true and moral based upon the ethical code you have chosen to adopt in your life. All of the experiences you have had and all of the influences you have met, how you were raised and the religion you follow are all part of the composition of your ethical code. Integrity is the developed by making the right choices that support your ethical code consistently and without waiver. Integrity is something you have even when others are not looking.
Many successful people are successful because they have integrity. It is through integrity that you develop trusting relationships. And it is because of trusting relationships that good business is formed. Integrity is one of the easiest qualities to detect, or to detect the lack of in people you meet. Once you become familiar with a person’s actions and the choices they make, you will begin to anticipate their integrity level. When you act with integrity on a consistent basis, your actions become more predictable and your behaviors can be anticipated by others.
Integrity is one of the most sought after qualities by customers, business partners and employers so what can you do to ensure your actions are communicating a high level of integrity?
1. Know Your Beliefs
Understand what makes you tick. What beliefs do you hold as true and as right? Before you can act with integrity, you must first understand your limits and your beliefs and the actions that you would take when those beliefs are challenged.
2. Be Consistent to Your Beliefs
Integrity is about consistency and holding true to you not matter what the risk. It is about creating predictable behavior that not only you but others will begin to rely upon and depend. Don’t waiver in your actions and hold true to your beliefs each and every time.
3. Don’t Lie or Exaggerate
Integrity is about creating trust and lying is always associated with lack of integrity, even if you feel the lie is justified. When you are honest and true, your integrity will shine and draw others to you.
4. Stay True to Your Values
Sometimes we are easily influenced by others and our beliefs are challenged. We often find ourselves on the edge with a choice to go right or go left. To have integrity means to stay true to your values and your beliefs.
In order to succeed, you must not only have drive and ambition, but you must also act with integrity at all times. In the words of President Eisenhower “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionable integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army on in an office”.
Pickles are those special extra things you do to make people happy. It’s a special phone call you make to your customer or a handwritten thank you note That you include with every order. It is taking the time to walk the customer down the isle to find the item that they are looking for rather than pointing them in specific direction to the back of the store. It is offering them a special promotional item or even just calling them by their name. It is the art of finding out what your customers want and making sure they get it.
The Pickle Philosophy is the brainchild of Bob Farrell of Farrell Ice Cream Parlor fame.
He was a pioneer in the restaurant industry, having created one of the first national full service chain restaurants opening and managing over 150 locations before selling the chain to Marriott. It is Farrell’s belief that businesses are in the “people business” and that it is not what you sell that is important, it is how you take care of the people who buy your product. It is about figuring out what would make your customers happy and giving it to them. That’s the pickle.
It all started with a letter:
“Dear Mr. Farrell,
I’ve been coming to your restaurant for over three years. I always order a #2 hamburger and a chocolate shake. I always ask for an extra pickle and I always get one. Mind you, this has been going on once or twice a week for three years. I came into your restaurant the other day and I order my usual. I asked the young waitress for an extra pickle. I believe she was new because I hadn’t seen her before. She said, “Sir, I will sell you a side of pickles for $ 1.25.” I told her, “No, I just want the extra slice of pickle. I always ask for it and they always give it to me. Go ask your manager.”
She went away and came back after speaking to to the manager. The waitress looked me in the eye and said, “I’ll sell you a pickle for a nickel.” Mr. Farrel, I told her what to do with her pickle, hamburger and milkshake. I’m not coming back to your restaurant if that’s the way you’re going to run it.
Mr. Farrell was successful at responding to the customer, apologizing and asking him to come back and has taken this letter to create the war cry “Give ‘em the Pickle” so when something happens with a customer and you are not sure what to do? Give them the pickle. Do what you have to do to make things right.
This story applies to all businesses that want to put strategies into place that will keep the customers coming back. Focusing on providing excellent customer service at every touchpoint and building an organization whose employees are trained, motivated and informed about the company’s approach to customers will exceed the customers expectations with each and every opportunity.
So create an environment for your employees to excel at customer service by following the pickle philosophy:
•Service: Make serving others the number one priority of your business.
•Attitude: Choice a service-oriented attitude. How you think of your customers is how you will treat them.
•Consistency: Set high service standards and live them every day. Customers return because they had a positive expierence last time.
•Teamwork: Commit to teamwork. Find ways to make each other look good. In the end, everything ends up in front of the customer.
When you are in doubt on how you should handle a customer, remember “Give ‘em the Pickle”!
©Kellie D’Andrea & Associates
Want to use this article in your newsletter or web site? You can, just include this complete blurb with it: Kellie D’Andrea is the creator of the BLAST system and publishes “The Marketing Edge” a FREE award winning ezine for small business owners who want to gain the competitive edge with strategic marketing and branding techniques that actually work. Find out the 23 Common Mistakes Most Entrepreneurs make with a FREE report offered at www.KellieDandrea.com.