Tom

  • I can’t believe I never joined this group earlier! After all, when it comes to businesses my favorite part to manage and talk about is how we make customers comfortable and happy when they shop with us 🙂 That’s what keeps them coming back after all!

  • I believe we are entering a business environment where the business itself is more heavily reliant upon its personal branding than the offering itself. A common case-in-point is that businesses are currently being scrutinized the instant that a customer sees their presence, whether it is physical or digital. The first impression, after all, is…[Read more]

    • Let’s not discount how well a business operates though! Can’t judge a book by it’s cover after all 😉 Yep, we see people making more decisions from the get go than before, but still lots of people who try to test the services before making a choice you know 😀

  • Dean posted an update in the group Group logo of Relationship Centricity Relationship Centricity 3 years, 7 months ago

    A long time ago I had a run-in with an old employer of mine. It’s a small bank in a suburban town in Wisconsin. They aren’t very big, and when I left the town they didn’t seem like they were doing too great. This was all before the recession, so I thought they were wiped out when the markets crashed. I went back home over the weekend and saw the…[Read more]

    • I’d say they probably had some pretty dedicated customers who were loyal to them. Small places like that can save a ton by cutting stuff and not having to pay for big expenses like insurance or anything like that. So small businesses have the advantage when it comes to cutting costs and only using the bare minimum on a daily basis.

    • Well, that’s quite a surprise to hear a small business stuck around through the recession. They must be doing well now if they survived! But that’s how it works, the strong will make it through and they’ll be there to get all the customers that are left behind when everyone else closes 😉

  • I have recently had several conversations with my peers discussing an item that is a fledgling trend in food: deconstruction. The concept is simple – meals are divided into their primary components and allowed to share space on the plate – but has a profound impact upon the senses and the patron. Individually each item can be enjoyed and savored…[Read more]

    • That makes no sense at all. The point of packages are to encourage customers to spend more money and drive revenue. Separating them makes it easier for customers to avoid additional costs and fees. What would happen if instead of getting a suite of services for X amount, they are getting a single product for half the cost? They would obviously be…[Read more]

      • While I agree that package programs will typically have a higher price tag and bring in steady revenue, it also has the potential to alienate those who only want one or two parts of the package. You have to consider that those on the fence will be much more willing to adopt new services if they are able to select only what they actually want to…[Read more]

        • The risk there doesn’t make it better. You can get some people who want to pick their services, but lose the increased sales from bigger packages. What business would risk their secure sales for the chance, just the chance, at more customers? It bankrupts companies and that’s why they fail to grow. Ideas like this just make things worse

          • As I replied to Ray Andrew’s comment, this is a system that works best for those with smaller markets and loyal followers. The present users will see this as a boon that can save money, but more importantly new consumers will have the opportunity to adopt the program and become new sources of revenue, albeit at much smaller profit margins.

    • To add to the conversation, I have seen this type of business model adopted by places such as restaurants and service providers (think of cable services). In both cases, I have found that it is a very hit-or-miss type of approach for the businesses involved. For the restaurants, you can clearly see that they are making much more money by being…[Read more]

      • I believe that the companies that will adopt this model will be aiming to undercut the stronger competition. Most businesses using this model seem to be niche markets who are fighting for each individual customer or sale, so it makes sense that their revenue is not as dependent upon the greater sum of available consumers purchasing their goods.…[Read more]

    • But how is that any different than regular food? I’m not understanding it too well. You just took food and gave them the chance to order separate items and options. For businesses, I don’t see how you can make more money by letting them purchase stuff in smaller batches.

      • Essentially, you are allowing the customer to experience each of the pieces individually rather than together. While it is the same parts, the end result is that you are able to thoroughly enjoy each component and identify which are unnecessary or off-putting. For businesses, I would say that this is the opportunity to allow customers to choose…[Read more]

  • Ever realize how theme parks make such great environments? You spend money just to be there like it’s an exclusive club. I think banks can do the same and make it feel like you really are a part of something special, like by net worth or income maybe. You can make the bank nicer with artwork and furniture to make it seem upscale. Maybe that can…[Read more]

    • I believe that this works because theme parks play on the concept of selling an experience and activities that go along with it. On the other hand, banks and financial institutions sell products and services directly associated with their trade – money. These are things that are maintained over long periods of time, and thus cannot necessarily be…[Read more]

      • Obviously I replied to the wrong post, but anyways, I don’t really think that it’s worth the investment. It’s a big charge just to make things a little nicer and maybe bring in new people. Personally, I wouldn’t see it as worth the expense or risk of implementation.

        • There are always situations where it may be more expensive to actually implement a new concept. However, if you can weigh out the costs and benefits then you can evaluate whether or not it is worth the risk. In this case, I agree that there is quite a bit on the line in terms of money that probably would not be worth it in most cases. I still…[Read more]

    • While I do agree that this is a novel way to attract customers, I must concur with James and point out that this is a strategy that has a great deal of upfront investment that may not generate a sufficient return. Physical presence for a business, while an important representation of the culture and face of the company, is an aspect of traditional…[Read more]

      • So are you saying that it wouldn’t ever work for businesses to grow by making their stores more attractive? I was thinking it would be the same as a regular remodel.

        • There is potential that this will have a positive impact upon the business, but that impact is marginal compared to other methods that can be used. For the banking industry, it may be more worthwhile to invest in talent, personnel, and services. However, a traditional remodel can be effective, it just may have limited success.

    • Great idea, and while we’re at it we might as well hand them free products and services as well. Really, who would spend all that money to build up a nice bank when your customers don’t even come in the doors? The issue isn’t making the place nicer so that people come in – it’s about giving them a reason for them to be there in the first place. If…[Read more]

      • Same as what I said above, I don’t get how it wouldn’t work. People would go see places that are new or interesting because it will catch their eye. I was thinking it would be the same sort of deal and people would come to the bank looking to see what’s new, then being sold on new products.

  • I really am liking how a lot of companies are changing things up. We had some consulting company come in to evaluate how our business is running and they were really focusing on making things better for the customer. They redid the layout of the store and everything. But is this something that is going to be done over and over again across all…[Read more]

    • I do not believe that this is a phase of business that can be so easily commoditized for the simple fact that it is a change that is vastly expensive in terms of both money and human resources. It is difficult to overhaul a business to be more relationship centric, so many companies will opt to avoid this option of improving operations. There will…[Read more]

    • Money is king when it comes to businesses, If it’s something expensive we’re sure to see people drop it in favor of keeping money in the bank. I know I would. So yeah, if you make the investment you’ll get some returns and you won’t have everyone changing over all at once. Some people will, some people won’t. It’s up to the business owner and…[Read more]

    • I am not sure that many companies would invest in reestablishing their culture and workforce in a more relationship centric fashion. For mature companies, overhauling their operations so such an extent would probably be more detrimental overall despite the long term benefits. Dramatic changes would involve a lot of reassessment of value and worth…[Read more]

    • Well of course it’s gonna be a problem. You think that companies are gonna ignore what is going to make them money? My advice – save your money and stay the course like a sensible business owner. You’ll make all that money the rest of them are losing while they try to “innovate”

  • I have to say that I have had a recent experience with a rental car company that was surprising to say the least. Many companies interject saying that they prioritize the customer and the experience that they create for them. Additionally, most will state that they aim to establish a relationship with their customers, yet simply regulate that duty…[Read more]

    • You are right in saying that the issue is the lack of followthrough on behalf of the company. Many are content to simply train their employees and trust that the job is being done appropriately. What must occur is consistent monitoring of the matter and improvement of the process. Rather that simply training, companies need to employ a system…[Read more]

    • So how do we do that? Have someone dedicated to making sure it all flows smoothly like you want? It sounds really expensive and doesn’t sound like something a business should do if they have lots of branches to watch over

      • Proper training is key to ensuring a smooth and consistent form of service. While you will have breakdowns, the best way to standardize the process is to provide consistent, effective training that will stick with the employees. It is more expensive and it does take time, but it does produce results.

    • I don’t think you’ll get perfection. That’s just the way it is. You train people, you leave, you come back and see them cutting corners. It happens. I’d say that if you train them and get them to at least do it a good chunk of the time then it all pays off. Just make sure to check up every once in a while to make sure it’s going the way you want.

    • People screw up. I don’t see why you think this is something new or a real problem. People are lazy, they screw up, they slack off and cut corners. Normal business issues that we can’t really get rid of. Deal with it because we won’t see it go away anytime soon.

  • This just in! Hot off the presses! Senteo just pumped out a feature on this article: http://themetapicture.com/people-kept-complaining-this-restaurant-sucked-look-what-they-found-out/

    So I was reading it and thinking. Wow, I do this! Do you guys do this too? I bet you do! So I’m thinking, is there a way to change up how employees communicate with…[Read more]

    • And how do you expect a business to even try to fix this? Take away customer phones? We just need to get more people working and quicker turnaround time for everything. It’s not rocket science people.

      • The issue is that businesses cannot compete for attention with the customer. If customers are already distracted once they enter the building, it is more difficult to please them. This is a case where the issue is with the customer not using the products and services offered immediately, leading to their dissatisfaction. I don’t think this is…[Read more]

    • I don’t really feel so sure that that’s a good way to change up a restaurant. I like to eat in peace unless I need something. Then I’ll ask for the waiter and tell them what I need. Basically, I want be served but not hassled. It’s just for eating after all, not like I expect a show

      • Hey, who said that you won’t have your privacy? We’re just thinking of ways to make it better for the customer 🙂 if that means less talk and more action, then I would be all for it! Communication isn’t just vocal, but also through action as well. A smile, simple gestures, all sorts of things can make it better and more of an experience 😀 Think…[Read more]

    • I do believe that restaurants fall outside the realm of a standard business. Their operations, while customer centric, emphasize products as heavily as their service. Essentially, they are a hybrid between the two, and it is difficult for them to specialize in one or the other to such an extent that they will be known solely for it. As I see it,…[Read more]

  • So what would be a good experiential environment? Like, what would be an example of one? I want to have an idea of a model to follow if I try to come up with new ideas.

    • This is not one that I believe you will be able to gain a great deal of insight from, but I recently was at Six Flags and was pleasantly surprised by how well they were able to create this experience of being in a different themed area. In particular, I am speaking of Camp Snoopy. In addition to the rides (in this case, their services), they…[Read more]

      • You know, it doesn’t really make that much sense for the banking industry but I get the idea with what you’re talking about. In the end, we just want to immerse the customer and them to feel like they are actually part of the world we make. So, banking is profession, amusement park is childish.

        • That is the main goal. We want to be able to create a situation where we become immersed in the environment. This allows us to fully enjoy and feel what it is that we are experiencing. Rather than engaging a single sense, we are unconsciously feeling every single aspect of our environment.

    • An environment that I fondly remember is reminiscent of a museum – constantly changing but consistently flawless in presentation. There was a real estate office that I used when I purchased my first home that captured the idea of an experiential customer environment. It was similar to an Ikea in the way that their areas were furnished, but these…[Read more]

  • I typically do not have a great deal of praise for company cultures, for most are simply lacking in terms of emphasizing a customer experience mentality. However, I have noticed that many smaller operations, in this most recent case a local gym in my city, tend to practice a much more relationship centric method of doing things. In my most recent…[Read more]

    • Gyms are a great source of inspiration in my opinion, especially in terms of creating culture or innovation. I had said that my gym offered these “scenario” classes where they put you in different situations, such as a river rescue or obstacle course. I saw that as a new experience outside the standard gym routine. I didn’t see anything like you…[Read more]

    • So how does this apply to banks? I can’t see where you can cross over the ideas. It’s not like a bank will ask everyone how they want to bank since everyone will have a different opinion.

    • My belly may be evidence to show that I haven’t been to the gym in a while, but I really like this idea. 🙂 To answer our good friend Deano, it’s about getting people into spending time and working with the bank. They got people at the gym to stay and talk about what they want, so they wanna come back since they want to see their ideas come to…[Read more]

    • See, this is where I think it makes sense. There are people actually there to do things, so why not make it something they can be connected to? People are attached to money, sure, but they aren’t going out of their way to make it something special. No one wants to go to deal with their money because it is stressful. So I’m not sure how this goes…[Read more]

  • Michael Ruckman and Profile picture of ScottScott are now friends 5 years ago

  • Dean posted an update in the group Group logo of Experiential Innovation Experiential Innovation 5 years ago

    So it’s been a long time but what are some companies that do have experiential innovation? It looks like no one is doing anything different right now to me.

    • James replied 5 years ago

      I think the same thing sometimes. I don’t really practice it all that much at work. It’s not like we have a lot to do with it anyways. Sure I keep my clients happy and make sure they’re comfortable with what I advise, but nothing too different than what everyone else is doing. Doesn’t seem like this is a big thing for me.

    • Large corporations are usually the most visible of all businesses, and it is much more difficult to implement a new form of experiential innovation in that setting than in a smaller business. Often times you will see them field test new ideas in small offices. I believe this is why we are not seeing sweeping changes in the industry. Then again,…[Read more]

    • Because it isn’t different. How can you expect people to believe the fads about all of this. Look, you need to get that whats really happening is that we meet expectations and people walk away happy. It isn’t some big scheme to get people to experience new things. We just give them what they want and they come on back.

    • I believe that we are doing things differently, just it is on a very gradual progression so we are not seeing the sort of dynamic innovation that has come in the past. Everything has been moving so quickly with the new technology and trends, but now that things are beginning to settle we are seeing less change and more businesses simply adapting…[Read more]

    • Deano! Have you heard a company called Nike? Big ol swoosh? Of course you have! 😛 Now they may not do it everywhere, but in the biggest stores they’ve got some seriously innovative stuff. We’re talking treadmills, virtual driving ranges, football ladders. The whole nine years so you can try out your gear before you buy it. If that isn’t…[Read more]

  • ThumbnailLast week, Apple announced that it had agreed to acquire Beats Music and Beats Electronics for $3 billion. I thought to myself, “Why is it that a company known for its computers, iPod, and iPhone would be willing […]

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