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03Feb Andy’s 3D iDeas February 3rD!

We’re relaunching Andy’s 3D iDeas today! They’re now going to be a ‘monthly thing’ and will be out on the 3rD of each month (3rD! Can you see what we did there?).

What have we got in this month’s episode? iDeas from an Nathan Sawaya a truly inspirational artist; Huel, a fast growing 3D Business and news from The Institute Of Customer Service that creates big opportunities for customer focused businesses.

As ever, all you need to do is click on the icon below to listen.

iDea #1: The Art Of The Brick!

This is an insight into the amazing Dramatically and Demonstrably Different artist who creates brilliant artwork out of Lego! We went to visit his The Art Of The Brick exhibition at the Great Warehouse in Manchester which I highly recommend!

Here’s a link to my lessons in learning from this inspirational artist and…

Here’s a link to the exhibition in Manchester – Get along there and have a look for yourself!


iDea #2: 3D Demonstrated: Huel!

Huel is a fast growing business that is taking a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different approach.

You can find out more about them Here On Their Website.


iDea #3: Go Great Or Go Cheap!

News from the Institute Of Customer Service says that while some focus completely on price, it’s only 14% of them – that’s a big opportunity!

You can find out how to maximise that opportunity here.

 


 

If you never want to miss another 3D iDeas and want to hear other past episodes or want to sign up for a little reminder when they’re out, just…

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03Feb Nathan Sawaya – A Dramatically And Demonstrably Different Artist!

I went to see and amazing art exhibition yesterday and it really was a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different customer experience! The Art Of The Brick in Manchester is a celebration of the brilliant artist Nathan Sawaya who creates absolutely stunning artwork and it’s all made out of ……. Lego!

Nathan gave up his job as a corporate lawyer after he realised that he wasn’t fulfilling his potential or maximising his passion and creativity.  So, he packed it all in to create some truly amazing pieces of art!

As well as the amazing creations, what particularly struck me was his willingness to give up his career to focus on the things that he loved, was passionate about and where he could make an impact!

So, no, I’m not suggesting that you give everything up and start playing with bricks, but how much of your time is spent doing things that….

  • YOU LOVE AND ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT?
  • YOU ARE GOOD AT?
  • MAKE AN IMPACT?

How much time do your people doing these things too?

If you want some stimulation, some inspiration and some eye opening Dramatically and Demonstrably Different creativity, get yourself to the Art Of The Brick exhibition at The Great Northern Warehouse in Manchester.

Here are just a few of the photographs that I took yesterday – not sure that they do him full justice, so the best thing to do is get along and have a look for yourself!

          

 

And here’s one more (Guess what? No, this one wasn’t done by Nathan!)

Here’s a link to Nathan’s website and…

Here’s a video that tells you a bit more about him…

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29Jan Go Great Or Go Cheap! Making Great Customer Experiences Work For You!

Customer satisfaction levels in the UK have had the longest period of decline since records started in 2oo8. That’s according to a recent report by the The Institute of Customer Service who say that the UK Customer Service Index (UKCSI) is at its lowest in 5 years. 

Overall customer service satisfaction level across all brands was at 76.9, the lowest since July 2015. Despite its score dropping by 0.9 points year-on-year, John Lewis top the table with a customer satisfaction score of 85.6  They are followed by First Direct, Next, Nationwide and Amazon. It’s clear that customer expectations continue to rise and there is ever more pressure on businesses… like yours!

How can you deal with this? Well, you have two basic options: Go For Great Service Or Go Cheap!

Going Cheap….

Interestingly, at the bottom end of the league table when it comes to customer service is supermarket chain Lidl. They are the lowest scoring food retailer for customer satisfaction but they actually saw sales rise last year by 9.2%! So they give poor customer service but they out perform others. How come? Well, yes, their sales have been undoubtedly been boosted by store openings, refurbishments and vouchers, but the key driver is cheap prices – Only Aldi has higher satisfaction when it comes to price. They have clearly got their overall proposition and experience spot on and they meet the needs of their customers by doing that.

However, lots of businesses can’t (and shouldn’t) compete on ‘price’ alone and there are clearly opportunities for businesses that want to avoid that… The ICS survey suggests many customers want better service and are willing to pay for it.

  • 25.9% of customers prefer excellent service, even if it means paying more.
  • 59.9% of customers want a balance of price and service.
  • Only 14.2% of customers prefer no frills, low cost service

Yes, that’s over a quarter of customers saying they are willing to pay more for excellent service – that’s A BIG OPPORTUNITY!

How can you take advantage of that? Here are 3 ideas to consider to:

Going Great….

iDea #1: Choose ‘Em Or Lose ‘Em!

3D Businesses focus on the customers they want to work with. They identify who their ‘best’ customers are and that can often mean those that are less price focused. It can typically be those who do things like focus on ‘value’ not price, those who consciously look for long term relationships, focus on quality, those that pay on time, or maybe even those that pay! Spend some time analysing your customers and their buying patterns. Who are your ‘best’ customers? Identify them, profile them and find more of them! Go on…. Find those customers, and consider getting rid of those customers that are only bothered about price – at least, reduce your reliance on them.


iDea #2: Be Easy To Buy From!

Finding ways to improve the customer experience is a something that 3D Businesses do consistently. A key way of differentiating themselves from their competitors is making the whole thing simpler and easier for the customer – it’s all about ‘convenience’!

That can be anything from answering the phones promptly (and the person answering it knows what they’re talking about!), improving processes to eliminate time wasting processes and ‘speed things up’ through to sophisticated AI technology that creates automated personalised responses. (Check out how Tottenham Hostspur do it here with beer!)

So, have a look at your business and identify how easy you are to buy from and deal with along the whole customer journey.  Why not ‘Stand In Your Own Queues’ and see what it’s like to be a customer of your business and identify how and where you could improve the customer experience by making things easier for your customers. You can download our FREE ‘Stand In Your Own Queues’ toolkit to help you do that simply by clicking on the image.


iDea #3: ‘Delight’ Your Customers!

When some people hear the phrase ‘Customer Delight’ for the first time I sometimes see them grimace and with a look of despair say ‘Oh no, he’s been to Disneyland for his holidays – it’s going to be one of those seminars!’ So, first of all, let me state what this is not about! It is not ‘Have a nice day!’, ‘Missing you already!’ or ‘Buy One, Get 10 Free!’, – obviously, it’s got to make commercial sense (hey, even Lidl don’t give things away for free!)! It’s not a gimmick, and it’s certainly not a ‘one off’!  In truly customer focused businesses, ‘customer ‘delight’ is part of the culture and make-up of the business. It’s the way we do things around here!

So, what exactly is ‘Customer Delight’? Well, my definition is.. ‘Surprising customers with the level of service you provide’ and let me just emphasise, it’s surprising them in a positive way! It’s about ‘exceeding their expectations’, and the scary thing is that in many industries, that can simply means delivering things ‘on time, on budget and in a courteous and friendly way’!  We believe that there are 6 ingredients of ‘Customer Delight’:

  • It produces a wow reaction!
  • It appears spontaneous or unexpected!
  • It’s the personal touch!
  • It makes the customer feel valued!
  • It’s genuine… and…
  • It creates a ‘talking point’!

Work out what this means for your customers and find ways to ‘empower your people to respond to, and ‘delight’ customers. Give them the help, support and encouragement to do it, and reward and recognise those who do.

For a more in-depth insight of Customer Delight, click on the image to download my free e-book Customer Delight As Competitive Advantage – 44 pages and over 60 ideas to help you make this stuff work in your business.


So, as customer expectations get higher, your challenge is to work out which way you’re going… you can Go Great or Go Cheap, but remember, if your competing on price, there’s only one way to get better… and that’s even cheaper!

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13Dec Christmas Cards – An Opportunity To Demonstrate Your Dramatic Difference And ‘Delight’ Your Customers!

They say that Christmas is a time for giving, so I thought I’d give you my thoughts on Christmas cards and differentiation. A ‘personalised’ note can be a great opportunity to show your customers that you care, that you are thinking about them and a chance to Demonstrate your Difference. Unfortunately, so many businesses miss out on that opportunity.

First of all, let’s look at our 3D Model. It hopefully shows how you are seen by customers, prospects and influencers in the marketplace. Basically, your business can be seen as -1D: ‘Worse Than’ (in the areas that customers say are important), 0D: ‘Same As’ (no differentiation) all the way through to 3D – BeingDramatically and Demonstrably Different – It’s about doing things your competitors aren’t doing, or can’t do!

Here’s what it looks like……

 

Let’s look at applying this to Christmas cards. Here are some of the things I’ve seen this Christmas….

-1DThe Bland Email… 

“XXXX wishes you all a Merry Christmas”.…. err, that’s it!

 

What they think it says: “We value you as a customer”

How customers could see it: “We’re ticking boxes here, and you’re just one of many”


0(As Bad As): The Branded Email… 

“XXXX wishes you all a Merry Christmas” plus ‘standard’ Photoshop image with Santa / a reindeer / holly / Christmas pudding (insert where appropriate)

 

What they think it says: “We REALLY value you as a customer”

How customers could see it: “We’re still ticking boxes here, and you’re one of many…. but we did give it a bit of thought, honest”

0(As Bad As): Photocopied Signatures… 

The Card With The Photocopied Signatures Of People You’ve Never Heard Of…..

 

What they think it says: “Happy Christmas from all the team”

How customers could see it: “Who ARE these people?”

 


0(As Good As): We’re Not Sending Cards… 

The ‘We’re Not Sending A Card’ Email…. “But We Are Donating To Charity” 

 

What they think it says: “We’re a caring company, honest”

How customers could see it: “If that’s the case, why not do both?”

The ‘We’re Not Sending A Card’ Email…. “We’re thinking of the environment” 

What they think it says: “We’re environmentally friendly, honest”

How customers could see it: “Clever – good excuse!”


1(Better Than): Branded, Animated Emails… 

The ‘Funny’ Email Showing Your Team…. 

 

What they think it says: “We’re breaking the pattern and being different”

How customers could see it: “It’s good, but I have seen it before with someone else’s face on it”

 


2(Dramatically Different): Branded, Animated Personalised Emails… 

The ‘Funny’ Email With A Personalised Message To The Individual 

 

What they think it says: “We’ve done this for you”

How customers could see it: “That’s great – thank you”


3(Dramatically and Demonstrably Different): A Personalised Handwritten Card In The Post… 

The Card With A Personalised Hand Written Message Signed By People You Know 

 

What they think it says: “Happy Christmas – we value you as a customer”

How customers could see it: “Happy Christmas – you really do value me as a customer…. you took the time and effort to demonstrate that – thank you….. That’s lovely, I’ve not had many of those this Christmas… I’m ‘delighted’…..You clearly care for me as an individual…. Why haven’t others done that?” 

Don’t write off the old fashioned ways – it’s a great way to create ‘Customer Delight’. Yes, it takes time, it takes effort and it costs money, but in a world where we are being bombarded with emails, tweets, posts, texts, a handwritten card is Dramatically and Demonstrably Different – surely your customers (or even your ‘key’ customers’) are worth that?

So, what are you going to do to Demonstrate you care about your customers this Christmas?

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14Nov Be Easy To Buy From – I’ll Drink To That!

Finding ways to improve the customer experience is a something that 3D Businesses do consistently. A key way of differentiating themselves from their competitors is making the whole thing simpler and easier for the customer – it’s all about ‘convenience’!

That can be anything from answering the phones promptly (and the person answering it knows what they’re talking about!), improving processes to eliminate time wasting processes and ‘speed things up’ through to sophisticated AI technology that creates automated personalised responses.

I came across a great innovative example last weekend of ‘Being Easy To Buy From’…. and it involved drinking beer at a football match!

I went to watch the mighty Sheffield United (5th in The Premier League!) play Spurs at their very impressive new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last weekend.  To make things easier for their 62,000 customers they have clearly designed things to run smoother on match day, and this was evident from the arriving at the ground with easy to use urinals on the streets outside the ground! They were definitely convenient ‘conveniences’!

Once we were in the ground, I was expecting usual pain of buying drinks at a football match which is is often a stressful experience – long queues with lots of people trying to get a pint in a relatively short time period all at once. Spurs had a wonderful device that took that pain away and sped things up massively – my pint pots were filled from the bottom….. very quickly! I ordered my beers and the bar tender simply put the empty glasses on a base and through the wonder of magnets, fluid mechanics and innovative technology, they filled up!

Just watch the video below to see them in action:

They have definitely ‘raised the bar’ – Quick, easy, convenient and completely Dramatically and Demonstrably Different‘!

Some questions for you….

  • How easy are you to buy from and deal with?
  • Where could you improve the customer experience by making things easier for your customers?
  • Why not ‘Stand In Your Own Queues’ and see how you measure up?

You can download our FREE ‘Stand In Your Own Queues’ toolkit simply by CLICKING HERE.

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07Oct Andy’s 3D Thoughts 7th October

Customer Delight from Pret A Manger and Employee Delight from Martek Marine are just 2 of the 3D iDeas in this week’s 3D Thoughts. There’s also news of a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different approach to improving your customer experience when flying with Japan Airlines.   

All you need to do is just click on the image to listen and then DO SOMETHING… it’s all in around 3 minutes! 

Links: 


If you never want to miss another 3D Thoughts and want to hear other past episodes or want to sign up for a little reminder when they’re out, just CLICK HERE

Alternatively, if you want to get all ‘modern’ and never miss one again then click on the icon to…

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