Tag Archives: Challenge

Keep Staff Connected to Enhance Customer Experience

Matt Rolfe in his November 27, 2014 blog “Five tips for effective employee engagement surveys” states some startling statistics… 60 – 100 percent of staffers leave voluntarily on an annual basis. That affects guest experience, social media ratings and profit.

In the hospitality and retail industries most of your staff work in some capacity directly with customers. One of the key members of your staff is your manager; through his/her leadership staff will gel into a cohesive team focused on providing great service or not. Your business success depends on good-to-great leadership otherwise a large percentage of your staff will leave. A business is a team effort so your supportive guidance along with your manager‘s is critical.

Rolfe further states that replacing a staff member costs a business one to three times the staff member’s annual salary.

Over the course of a year that could turn a lot of potential profits into ashes!

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Based on his own experiences, Rolfe has found staff quit most often because there is a problem with managers, not necessarily with the business. He recommends an employee engagement survey as a performance indicator. Visit www.restaurantcentral.ca/employeeengagementsurveys.aspx for his five tips for effective surveys.

All businesses are in the business of relationship building both with their customers and their staff. A survey is an excellent tool but if you can’t see yourself monitoring performance through a formal survey, perhaps these suggestions will be some help until you can put a survey in place.

To enhance customer experiences and reduce staff turnover, it is important to give public and peer recognition to your staff.

  • Saying a verbal thank-you after a notable effort means a lot to a staff member who wants to be part of your team.

  • Seeking staff input through staff meetings and putting some of their suggestions into action is another form of relationship building.

  • Being in integrity and building impartial leadership creates a safe environment for open communications.

  • Formal recognition milestones also play an uplifting role in staff engagement.

  • Making the team environment a lighthearted place to work improves performance.

  • Putting heart-felt, handwritten ‘Thank you Team’ notices on the bulletin board communicates appreciation.

  • Implementing friendly competition events with fun rewards within your business fosters team building as well as sponsoring teams for local community sports events.

  • Encouraging staff volunteer efforts for local community non-profit organizations is an avenue for compassion for others.

  • Set aside two 15 minute sessions each week, to confidentially talk face-to-face with two different staff members. Let all your staff know the purpose of the talks is to make their workplace a more satisfying and stimulating environment. Remember these confidential sessions are sacred! Honor your staff by making time for them. To focus the conversation, have a list of 2-3 discussion topics to start with.

  • When a staff member chooses to leaves, have a policy for an end-of-employment interview to thank them for being part of the team, find out what they liked best and least, suggestions for improvements and wishing the best for them in their new position. Make sure all employees know about this interview and what to expect when their employment is finished.

Creating an effective, open form of communication keeps your staff connected to enhance customer experiences. All businesses are in the business of relationship building.

How does PFS help with this process? In our surveys that get sent out one of the questions asked is about the person (employee) that served them. If you assign employee to have their own id in the program it tracks the customers they served. So even if the customer forgets the name of the server our program helps remember.

Here’s to YOUR Success!

Peter

Customer Loyalty Programs Don’t Work: Part Two

(Remember to charge the battery!)

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What happens to your cell phone, laptop, iPad or other electronic devices when the battery is dead? Not Much! Like your device, a Customer Loyalty program needs to be charged too.

You can have the best Customer Loyalty program out there but if you don’t know how to best use it, how powerful is it? In the beginning, there are two things to keep in mind.

  1. You have to be clear about the results you want your loyalty program to create. What are your goals?
  2. Create a checklist of what to look for in a program. It is critical that it fits your business. When you decide a loyalty program is the future for your business, learn how to use it and run full out with it.

A loyalty program does nothing until you take the actions to implement it (charging its battery).

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  • Invite people to enter their contact information into the program’s database so you can keep in touch with them.
  • Decide what incentives you will give to your customers and how often? The incentives have to be something your customers value; it must answer their W.I.I.F.M. (what’s in it for me) question.
  • Train your staff to actively promote the program. Face-to-face invitations get the best results. Your program needs to be promoted as an advantage to your customers…to show that you care about them…you appreciate them…because customers are your bread and butter.
  • Provide incentives for your staff to promote your new loyalty program. They have W.I.I.F.M. questions too. Most of them will be dealing directly with your customers; you want your best image put forward. Make it fun for everyone.
  • Most importantly, devote time every day/week in the beginning to become familiar with how to operate your program. It will save you time and eliminate frustration.

Click here at plentyfullservices.com for a checklist of what to look for in a loyalty program. PlentyFULLServices is designed for business owners who want a flood of customers coming through their doors and a simple, effective way to extend customer satisfaction.

Here’s to Your Success,

Peter

Customer Loyalty Programs Don’t Work: Part One

(A tool to gather dust or customers?)

A Customer Loyalty program is like buying a new car. It won’t go unless you get into the car, turn on the ignition and put it into gear. It is only a tool. Leave it on the shelf…it’s an expense. Put it to good use and it will draw in a surge of customers through your doors.newspaper_bw3

A Customer Loyalty program is quite different than an ad in the paper. Although both require a compelling incentive to create an emotional tug for someone to act on your offer, their deliveries are like night and day. With newspapers, people have to see the ad which means they have to pick up the correct paper and look through it. Where’s your ad? How big do you have to make it? What section is best for the most exposure? How many competitor’s ads will be nearby? Your marketing expertise is tested. With a Customer Loyalty program, an offer is delivered to a person’s inbox or phone. Simply decide on a subject line.
People are conditioned to the sound of their cell phone. They always check to see who’s calling or messaging. Both their visual and auditory senses are stimulated. A printed ad can only stimulate visually. Today’s savvy business owners need to tap into the world of sight and sound to grab the attention of their customers…Customer Loyalty programs meet this need.

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Click here at plentyfullservices.com for a checklist of what to look for in a loyalty program. Plenty FULL Services is designed for business owners who want a flood of customers coming through their doors and a simple, effective way to extend customer satisfaction.
Here’s to Your Success,

Peter

Circle, Squiggle, Triangle and Square Customers Part II

In my blog, ‘Loyalty is a Circle, Squiggle, Triangle or Square’, I briefly explained the personality types from a shopper’s perspective. Personality types also can be used for more effective communication and relationship building in other areas of a business’ life.

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Visit www.ConniePodesta.com for an explanation of personality shapes assessment.

For marketing purposes, the four personality types can be reduced to two groups: the ‘Circles and Squiggles’ or the ‘Triangles and Squares’. Continue reading

Loyalty is a Circle, Squiggle, Triangle or Square

The Way to Build Customer Relationships Part One.

Customers are tired of Loyalty Points programs that make it too difficult to use, too confusing to understand or take too long to earn a reward. Also, they want rewards that have enough value to make it worthwhile to participate.
But rewards alone will not keep a customer loyal. Loyalty programs are about relationships…the communication connection between the customer and the staff or management personnel. Continue reading

No one to answer the phone?

No one to answer the phone… = frustrated customer, frustrated owner

Have you ever phoned a business and heard endless ringing or a busy signal every time?

In today’s world of instant everything we expect something to happen when we dial a phone number, especially when it is a business phone. At the very least, we expect a voice mail although our preference always is a person.

So why is the phone not answered, especially when it is your business? When your business is closed during after hours or special holidays, there should be an answering machine with a polite welcome message. But when your business is open… what then?

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Continue reading

The Golden Rule of Customer Loyalty

The Golden Rule of Customer Loyalty

‘Always provide the quality of product the customer expects with the best possible service for every sale.’

crowd_peopleIf your claim to fame is to provide the lowest price, then you provide the lowest price. If your claim to fame is quality then provide the best in the market. Whether all your products are just a few pennies or thousands of dollars, providing top notch service is the standard to gain and keep the loyalty of your customers.

What is customer loyalty? It is the kindness of a consumer to choose to purchase items from your business over and over again. The consumer is looking to fulfill a need or want. The way I see it, there are two main underlying emotions for customers. First is the emotion to purchase items for the best quality for the lowest price. They want the feeling of a great deal which is the joy of shopping. Second is the emotion of self-esteem. ‘I will look great in this!’

It is important for you to know which customer emotion(s) your business is targeting as a goal. Once you identify your goal(s), then everything you do as a business must be directed towards those goal(s). The more clarity you have, the more focussed your marketing can be.

So if you have focussed marketing, customers ought to flood your doors. Right? Wrong! Customers will try your products/services once to see if it meets the hype of your advertising. If they like it, there’s a better chance they’ll come back in the future.

If you want customer loyalty, follow the Golden Rule and go one more step…appreciate your customers and consistently let them know it.

Customer loyalty means a consumer will return to your business again and again because they feel they get the best service and product. Price is no longer their only criteria. They are prepared to pay slightly higher prices because the intangibles you offer at your business is worth the price difference. When consumers develop a loyalty to your business they have a sense of security…you will look after their best interests. Having ample loyal paying customers returning over and over again keeps you in business.

What would your business look like if you could consistently let your customers know you appreciate them?

Having a host of paying customers returning over and over again is what Plenty FULL Services helps you do consistently. If you want to find out more, take some time and visit plentyfullservices.com or if you want to know if we are a match for your business call us! If the line is busy please leave a message with a good time to call you back.

May your doors be flooded with Loyal Customers!

 

and by the way in case I have not told my loyal customers…

thank-you

Here’s to YOUR Success!

Peter

Keeping Customers Coming Back Part Two

Keeping Customers Coming Back

Part Two

Introducing customer retention ideas to the 21st century is here. You can keep bringing customers through your door by…Working_computer_Program_IMG_0803

  1. Hire a company to build an app to keep in contact with your customers by sending offers directly to them. The up side is… you own your customer list and can target your messages to your customers. The down side is… it is costly, time consuming and requires constant updating.
  2. Use the services of a customer contact company to send out messages and then set up an in-house system to track the customers who come back to spend with you. The up side is… contacting your customers is automatic and your customer list grows. The down side is… It is time consuming to set up an in-house system to monitor customer activity. As your customer lists builds up, your service fees go up. Also if you choose to leave the service, you are responsible for exporting the list. If exporting is not your thing, another choice is to have a duplicate list at your business which you keep up-to-date on a weekly basis. It does take time so consider this option carefully.
  3. Use the services of a Customer Appreciation Program which make it easy for your customers to take part in your offers. Make sure which program options you want. Some services have a sliding fee… program costs are based on the number of transactions or growing numbers of customers. Ask about reporting capabilities, whether an automated survey is available or mobile friendly options. You may want to know the length of the contract too. The ease of monitoring your results vs the cost of the program in time and money will determine the best value. If you like, add Plenty FULL Services (www.plentyfullservices.com) to your list of vendors.

If you keep doing what you’re presently doing, you will get the same results. Remember, consumers want to be rewarded for spending their money. Savvy marketing not only is critical to keep customers coming through your doors, but critical in saving you time, effort and money. Contacting individual consumers automatically is the wave of the future.

If you had a simple way to bring in more customers regularly, what would you change in your business?

Until next time…

Peter

Prevention is Better Than Apologizing

Have you ever promised a customer that you can deliver a product and then discovered it is no longer available? Getting back right away, apologizing and suggesting alternative sources is good customer relations which pays back in the long run; but, what if this is a recurring problem? Finding the root cause of the problem is crucial. Some causes may include overextending yourself or your staff. Perhaps it is difficult to delegate projects out to your team. It may simply be miscalculating the amount of time projects require or maybe communicating with your customers takes more hours than you have in a day.
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If the problem occurs repeatedly, your business creditability comes into question. Having the reputation of being slow or producing unreliable results turns customers away. Continue reading

Time flies…can you keep up?

Do you ever get the feeling time flies by faster and faster? Well I do…here it is June and I said the launch of PFS’ new program was to happen in March. So what was I doing while time was flying?

Chinook_Entrepreneur_Challenge

In March, Community Futures East Parkland and other areas hosted a competition called the Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge. When I looked at what they were offering and the review I could get for my business plan, I thought it was too good to pass on so I became a participant. Wow! If you live in any of the Community Futures regions in Alberta and can partake in this training, I HIGHLY recommend it. Continue reading