The frustration gap

Service Experience Gap

Why do most call centre’s seem out of touch?

Is it the robotic voices that ask you to reveal your personal details out loud on public transport?

Could it be when they pretend to check with their supervisor before coming back with ‘no, we can’t do that’?

Or is it when we are transferred to 5 different departments before someone can help?

The gap

One overlooked reason why our customers become so frustrated with our service is how we structure our teams.

The people tasked with delivering and improving what we offer (marketing) are completely separate from the team that helps support that offer (customer service). In fact, they’re not only separated on the organisational chart, but often by countries and time zones too.

As a marketer, the best thing you can do to truly understand your user’s experience is not to spend time on social media listening, send out surveys or cold call customers – it’s to spend one day in your support centre.

Suddenly, you will see the frustration gap. You’ll see why quality support staff are essential to any business and why so many businesses fail.

You’ll see where potential customers drop out, why carts are abandoned and how a 1-step process can morph into 20.

The positive: we can fix it.

What are you doing to close the gap?

Pick your own career

This post originally appeared on medium.com.

There’s a trend emerging in the dialogue of my generation of recent graduates and it’s terribly depressing. It consists of blaming previous generations and taking zero personal responsibility.

We blame the system for educating more and more people and, by extension, a greater supply of graduates for a limited number of jobs.

We complain that debt and recruiters conspire to make our lives hell.While these things may be true, they are muttered while playing video games, eating burgers and doing absolutely nothing to change the situation.

An alternative.

Quietly, without fuss, a group of young people are doing something completely different and succeeding.

I’m talking about everyday 20-somethings who, despite the system, actually get jobs. With or without qualifications they manage to overcome the conspiracies and land incredible jobs in amazing organisations.

How?

They ignore the excuses and take control of their careers. They develop skills that are in demand, quickly and cheaply. They test ideas, interview techniques, applications, networks and through pure perseverance they succeed.Continue reading “Pick your own career”

Generalising

See what I did there?

It’s true, though. Most of the time, most of the people will act the way we expect.

However most of the time we aren’t trying to get most of the people to do what we want. (to change their thinking, perceptions, behaviours)

We usually target very specific segments, commonly referred to as niche’s. They’re the kendo club, the amateur cartoonist or karaoke restaurant enthusiasts.

Most of the time, those people are weird. Different to the norm.

Generalisations are useful, but let’s keep in mind who we’re really trying to connect with.

Ideas that change the world

Occasionally the small decisions we make can have a big impact. Round It Up America are making an impact.

The idea is simple. What if every time we bought something online or instore we rounded up the nearest dollar and the difference was donated to charity?

roundupforcharity

Customers get a daily dose of philanthropy plus the benefit of not budgeting for a 3.68 purchase. And charities benefit from the combined goodwill of thousands of consumers.

The little ideas, scaled to the world, can change the world. 20 cents here and there can become $10,000 very quickly.

What little thing can you do to improve the world today?

Don’t miss a post. Sign up to the mailing list.

Tools of the trade: finding your expertise

Tools

Study engineering, be an engineer forever. Right?

Not anymore. Your expertise now depends on how quickly you can learn new skills, not necessarily how well you can perform skills that are no longer relevant.

Need to know how to make videos? You can learn in a few days online by studying great videos and working how they did it.

Need to learn how to develop a website? You can learn that online too, now, for free.

A language? Learn Spanish on your phone while commuting to work.

Defining yourself as a master of X is dangerous. Not because you won’t get hired or that you aren’t good at it, it’s because in the new economy we need you to be able to change.

To be invincible in our workplaces we need to be flexible, doing things that are needed now, not last month.

“I don’t do that” is a phrase of the past.

Don’t miss a post. Sign up to the mailing list.

Photo: Trizek

A sale is the beginning, not the end.

finishYou chase, advertise, pitch and door-knock. Then, finally, the customers start coming in.

We celebrate, set the next sales target and repeat.

But wait, what about those new customers? Did they get what they wanted? Did they buy something else? Do you have their contact details? What was their experience like?

We forget that it’s so much easier to retain customers who are already inclined to buy from us (based on past behaviour).

Instead, we search for the new, unconquered land of more. More targets + more ads = profit. Right?

We can’t afford to treat a transaction as the finish line. It’s only the beginning.

Marketers must cast off the Indiana Jones mentality and focus on delighting the customers they worked so hard to persuade.

Looking for more sales isn’t bad, but your previous customers are important too.

Don’t miss a post. Sign up to the mailing list.

Legacy

It feels overly dramatic to be thinking about a legacy, especially for someone who is only 5 years into a professional career.

The importance of thinking about my long term impact is already very apparent. This week I heard a well-respected man in his 70’s reflect on his career, achievements and lessons learned.

Did he speak about his salary? Stationary? Technology? Office politics? Of course not.

He spoke of the people he met, worked with and lead with passion and determination.

His stories were vibrant, diverse and entertaining. He’d made mistakes and achieved much more than he ever thought was possible.

When I look back on my career I want to be able to tell similar stories, laugh at my mistakes and be remembered for more than a title.

The greatest part of work is that you get to do it with other people everyday and in the end no one remembers their salary.

Defensive

Defense

At work and in life we have a choice. We can see our colleagues, our family or strangers as threats to be avoided. They could hurt us, steal from us or take our jobs.

Or, we can choose trust. To build partnerships. To share our work and to grow together.

It only takes one painful experience to make us recoil, but the opportunities that positivity brings is endless.

Don’t miss a post. Sign up to the mailing list.

Growth Hacker Marketing Tools

The Growth Hacker Marketing movement is gaining momentum. ‘Growth Hacking’ isn’t the easy way to reach your customers, because that doesn’t exist.

It’s the recognition that the most successful new startups don’t rely on big media and advertising budgets to reach their customers. Instead, they target precisely the right segment.

Communities of people who naturally look our for a type of product you offer.

Then, using digital channels, they:
  • create buzz and scarcity (e.g. invite only for the launch of gmail)
  • optimise the customer experience
  • constantly improve their product
  • use customer feedback to grow

This slideshare includes some of the tools we can all use to optimise our marketing. I hope you find it valuable.

My recommended reading list includes a book on Growth Hacking by Ryan Holiday. It’s a great read.

Have new posts sent to your inbox. Sign up.

Too busy

Too busy

“I work long hours.”

“I’m so busy, you know how it is.”

It can mean 2 things.

They’re a hard worker. Their proud of their work and they need to put in extra time to achieve the quality they set for themselves.

They’re inefficient and easily distracted by various inboxes and impulse tasks. In an attempt to hide it, they work longer, hoping that by doing more people won’t notice they’re achieving less.

Too often I’m the latter. Which one are you?

Have new posts sent to your inbox. Sign Up.

Tribes have changed

Tribes have changes

As cavemen (and women) we stuck together. Or tribe was our family and without one you didn’t have protection, food or connection.

Now our tribes are our passions. It’s the stand up board riders, banjo players, local tennis club and yoga class.

If you can align your business with a tribe and connect with that community on a personal level (not selling to them) you can totally change the way your fans think about you. If you contribute to the tribe, you’re one of them.

You can earn trust by being authentic. By being human. Where’s your tribe?

Join my tribe: Subscribe.