Here are some examples…
Look at Starbucks. Would you have ever thought that Starbucks would deliver coffee to your office because you didn’t have time to stop there on your way to work?
Do people really order meals from Taco Bell and pick them up on their way home?
Does checking in for your flight really add value? Do we really need to pre-check into a hotel to avoid long check-in delays.
Do people need to know what the temperature is at all times in my house so I can turn on the furnace or air conditioner while I am at work?
Well – The answer is, with hesitation, “yes”. Companies are looking for that one extra benefit that might put them ahead of their competitors.
My question is, “Is an “instant” mentality really a good model for our companies. Instead of “instant” I prefer “simple”.
Things could go wrong in a hurry…
All of these services sound great but are they sustainable? Is there more upside or downside? What if Starbucks spills my drink on the way into the office or gets my drink request wrong? (Not an easy fix)
Take steps to make things more simple, you will see a huge difference in client appreciation and happier clients.
Here are some examples of simple processes to try:
- Make your closest parking places available for visitors. Typically, companies have handicapped parking or parking for the CEO or upper management. But how often do you see close parking places designated only for visitors.
- Create shorter online forms that are accessible for mobile devices. Get rid of .pdf forms and excel spreadsheet forms. People do not mind entering information if the form is clean and simple.
- Make sure a “live voice” is the first voice a person hears when they dial your company phone number. You can really find out more through a dialogue with a client versus making a person go through a series of dialing actions which may/may not help the client and usually force the client to leave a message. (Very cumbersome process)
- Log all incoming phone calls. Always make sure you capture a person’s name and their phone number and write down the reason for the call. You would be surprised how many people only write down a phone number and forget why that particular client called.
- Make sure your company contact information: (company name, address, phone, hours of operation, email address) on all marketing materials: brochures, website, business cards, direct mail pieces. Make it easy for people to connect with you.
In this “now” society, be careful of implementing processes that may be hard to maintain long-term. Instead, look for simple ways to serve clients and if you do it properly, you will find that they do not take much effort to implement and once in place, they will continue to provide value.
photo credit: Lynn Friedman via photopin cc