BE DIFFERENT on the Phone, Online, and in the Home

Don’t make the mistake of being like everyone else. The mistake of providing average service for average customers at average prices. You need to be remarkable.

Sadly, though, most businesses are NOT remarkable.

On the Phone

Just yesterday, I called into an HVAC business (whose name I won’t mention), and the CSR answered the phone with the same tone of voice I would expect from someone who had just been woken up at 3 a.m.: “Our Heating and Cooling Company, how can I help you?”

That greeting… that terrible greeting set the tone. I wanted to get off the phone as quickly as possible.

On the Web

Last week, I went to the website of a different home service business. Excitement brewed within me when I noticed a chat widget in the bottom right corner! “Surely, they are going to help me FAST,” I thought.

Think again.

They required me to complete a form BEFORE I could start a conversation with their company. Do you think I filled out that form? NO.  

One of the great things about chat is that you can collect that kind of information in a more conversational way than impersonal forms.

In the Home

A couple of years ago on a Sunday my wife and I could smell gas in the air of our home. The smell obviously worried us, and since we had a gas furnace we decided to call a local HVAC contractor to come to take a look for us.

On the phone when I asked for a “ballpark price”, he told me we would pay if there was something that needed to be fixed. Neither my wife or I remember any mention of the dispatch fee.

He did his inspection and was generally very kind to us. No gas leaks were found and the contractor went on his way wishing us a happy Sunday! The whole issue turned out to be something with our neighbor’s motorcycle. We thought that was the end of it, and we were grateful for the help.

A couple days later, we received an invoice for $100. Flustered, my wife called the contractor who emphatically, and rudely, told her that’s what we owed him. He was insistent that he told us the fee before hand and that we better pay up. A good experience, ruined.

For the record, it wasn’t the price itself that bothered us. After all, it was a Sunday that we had him come out on, and I understood how the industry worked. The problem was that A) he didn’t mention the fee beforehand and B) when we called to challenge him on it, he treated us like he was a collections agency and were past due debtors.

The Opportunity for You

Here’s the best/worst part of the experiences I have described above: they are common. It’s truly not that difficult to be different than everyone else in this industry.

When a customer calls you on the phone, you have an opportunity to WOW them. To treat them with respect and kindness, and be excited to talk with them.

When a customer visits your website, the technology is available to help you talk with customers the way THEY want to talk. Whether by phone, by chat (without forms), by social media, or even by texting! It’s easier than ever to set up your business so that the experience you create online is different and better than everyone else.

When you visit a customer’s home, you have the opportunity to set the expectation before you arrive, exceed that expectation while you are there, and love and respect your customers at every point that comes after.

Be different than everyone else! In the end, it’s the least risky thing you can do. The riskiest thing you can do? Be like everyone else.

The company that gets closest to their customers wins.

David Cancel, CEO of Drift

Whether by phone, by chat, by social media, or even by texting – customers expect to be able to communicate with businesses how THEY want to communicate. PowerChats is a tool we created to help you do that. check it out at www.powerchats.com

www.powerchats.com

Your website is like an “empty storefront”

Think about this: what would you do if a customer suddenly walked into your showroom with no prior notice?  

If your answer isn’t something to the effect of “I would walk up to that customer immediately to greet them”, then that is another problem entirely.  My guess is that 99.9% of business owners would make a conscious effort to greet that customer as soon as possible!  

Now think about this: what is your website doing when a customer suddenly visits without prior notice?  If it’s like most websites, the answer is probably NOTHING.  

It’s sad, but true.  Most websites are, as David Cancel of Drift calls them, “empty storefronts.”  Lots of information, yes.  Discount coupons and service descriptions?  You bet.  Usually there is a phone number too.  And, of course, a lead capture form.  It probably sounds something like “give us your information and we’ll contact you LATER.”  

I’m going to be honest with you… if that is what your website is doing, you need to make a change NOW.  That’s like a customer walking into your showroom, casually looking around, and leaving without doing anything. 

Don’t worry though, it’s not your fault.  This is just how we’ve been doing business for the last decade or so.  But it’s no longer the best option.  

THE SOLUTION: automated web-chat.  

When we talk about robots or artificial intelligence, some people get scared.  They think that robots are going to replace us all and take our jobs.  

Don’t worry though! That’s not what’s going to happen.  In reality, artificial intelligence is just doing the tedious tasks that free us up to focus on more productive, human-to-human activities that have the most positive effect on your business. That’s why automated web-chat is what we see having the most positive, immediate, and sustainable impact on the home services industry when it comes to getting more leads.

At this point, I would be amiss not to mention the fact that we actually sell an automated web-chat tool called PowerChats.

Here’s how it works…

You install PowerChats on your website, and it instantly starts a conversation with every visitor.

Within seconds, that visitor becomes a lead that is emailed to your inbox. Since PowerChats is automated, it converts significantly more leads than live chat and standard web forms… and it does so FASTER.

This is what PowerChats looks like when it appears on your website.

PLUS… you get to track everything PowerChats does for your site.

Is it ok if we over-deliver?Track all your conversations, customer reviews left through PowerChats, and phone calls through your dashboard.

It‘s your own personal online assistant that collects leads 24/7, 365 days a year, and never asks for a raise.

What’s the difference between PowerChats and other automated web-chat services?

It’s simple: PowerChats was made specifically for the home services industry. The conversation flow is designed specifically to capture more leads for plumbing, HVAC, electrical, garage door, pest control, and all other home service businesses. It’s made for the B2C service business.

From empty storefront to lead-capturing machine

If you have a service business, and know that your website needs to be better at capturing leads, let’s talk.

Visit PowerChats.com and our automated web-chat will be there ready to have a conversation with you.

16 lessons from a $377 million entrepreneur

As a single mother of two children when she was just in her early 20’s, Amy Rees Anderson needed to figure out a way to support her family.  Entrepreneurship is the path she went down, and as a result, she has impacted millions of lives around the world.  

She founded “a cloud based health information exchange” company called Medi-Connect Global, and went on to lead over 2,000 employees before selling the company for $377 million.  Now, she is an angel investor and the founder of REES Capital.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because one of our team members got to see Amy speak, and walked away with 16 powerful lessons we wanted to share with you about building your business, building your tribe, and changing the world.  

  1. People may be the most important resource you have access to in your life – relationships, connections.  But you have to take care of those people and nurture those relationships.
  2. Just START.  Get up, do something!  What would I do if I was not afraid?  
  3. Pay attention to discontent – every complaint is an opportunity.
  4. It doesn’t matter what other people think!
  5. Why do we celebrate raising money?  Shouldn’t we be celebrating the difference that the product makes for the customer?  
  6. You have to learn how to accomplish great things withOUT spending a lot of money.  You need to BOOTSTRAP IT! Get your customers to fund your business.  “Hey, I made this.  What do you think?  Would you pay for it?”  
  7. The secret to a happy marriage: before asking for a favor, tell your spouse how painful is this going to be? how long is it going to take?  what do you need from me?  
  8. It’s ok not to “know it all”… your integrity is the most important thing   
  9. Foster creative energy!  Creativity can help you save a LOT of money.  
  10. Be real, and authentic.  Own who you really are, and people will rally around you.  
  11. You DID NOT FAIL if you learned something that will make you a better person in the future.  Everything will be okay in the end.  If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.    
  12. You’ve got to plan to be self reliant no matter what.  
  13. There is something that happens when we visualize the future we want that enables us to achieve it.  Don’t limit yourself to the picture in your mind, because God intends for your picture to be a masterpiece.  
  14. If you don’t learn how to delegate effectively, you will never grow your business.  
  15. When you get really big, communicating is your job.  You have to point people in the right direction.  
  16. Speak up – don’t apologize for acting important, because you are.  

You can view Amy’s full remarks by clicking HERE


Zac Garside is a marketing student at Utah State University, and the marketing manager at Power Selling Pros.

He loves big ideas… like, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make any noise?

What happens when we forget our WHY?

Why do you do what you do?

At the end of the day, this is the question that matters most of all. I see a lot of companies these days celebrating funding. “X Company Secures $96 Million in Series B Funding,” “Y Company Raises $150 Million at their IPO”…

Why is THAT what we are celebrating now? Why aren’t we celebrating the achievements of our customers? Why don’t the headlines read “Customers of X Company Have Higher Morale Than Ever Before” or “Y Company Helps 1 Millionth Customer Grow Their Business.”

Why are we celebrating the showers of money being given to companies instead of the contributions to the world given by companies? The question is why.

I think it’s because people are afraid and prideful. Afraid to be the one, the only one, who steps up and says “things should be different” because they might be wrong. Prideful because we want to “win”, and if funding is the game that everyone is playing, then I better win that game. At least that’s the story we tell ourselves.

Or maybe we just don’t know WHY ourselves. If we can’t even explain why it is we do what we do ourselves, then we just point to the most obvious thing: the money.

“We run a great, big company. Everyone loves us, and we have an amazing culture. There’s free food, ping pong, and a fat vacation bonus that everyone gets once a year. Our products are innovative, we serve half of the Fortune 500, and everything we touch turns to gold… I don’t really know WHY we do all this, WHY we exist, or WHY we get out of bed in the morning, but there’s sure a lot of money involved in it, so come along for the ride!”

You have to be able to explain WHY you do what you do, and inspire people to follow you using THAT. If you don’t, you risk the long term.

I’ll show you an example… an example we all typically revere and admire for their brilliance, relevance, and example of innovation: Apple.

Yes, folks. There are cracks showing in Apple. It’s happening slowly, don’t get me wrong. I am not insinuating that Apple will die tomorrow! All I’m saying is that iPhone sales are down, some investors are worried, and Apple’s market value dropped by $450 billion in January.

Remember the good old days when Apple ads focused on people who were different? The old ads with silhouettes dancing to the music in their iPods? The “I’m a Mac v. I’m a PC” commercials? Those efforts that personified the values, beliefs, and feelings that come with being an Apple user?

Today, there is hardly any sign of those messages from the tech giant. They focus on their colorful retina display, powerful performance features, the speed, their A12 bionic chip. The things that the people who once fell in love with Apple didn’t care that much about.

It’s the ones who care about WHY, who share their beliefs, and have the courage to do so that will succeed in the long run. They inspire people, and they help us feel something. And no matter how much people don’t want to admit, we are emotional, irrational creatures. We are moved by emotion, and we care about how we feel, not just what the “numbers” say.

So, next time you see a celebration of someone’s next funding round, or a company who talks all about their size and speed and greatness but nothing about what they believe or the change they seek to make in the world, I hope you’ll remember these words, and I hope you’ll ask WHY.

When you DO know your why, the next thing to clear on is HOW.  HOW will you serve more customers at a high level?  WE created PowerChats, a conversational customer experience tool for your website, to help you do that.  Check it out at powerchats.com, and schedule a live demo.  


 Zac Garside is the Marketing and e-Learning manager at Power Selling Pros.  He loves to inspire people, and loves a good bowl of mango sticky rice.

One Thing You Should Do to GROW in 2019

What is the one thing every business owner should do to make sure their business is profitable and growing in the new year?

Prioritize quality conversations with customers to improve the customer experience.  Home service businesses are in a unique position to interact with customers on a human-to-human level at every customer touch point.  On the phone, in the home, in follow-ups – we get to have conversations with our customers on a regular basis!  This is a privilege, but if executed poorly, conversations can severely damage a business’s reputation.

There are 3 important elements to consider when having conversations with your customers: timeliness, trustworthiness, and emotional connection.

Timeliness:

Can customers start a conversation with you when they want to start the conversation? Let’s face it… no one wants to be put on hold, and no one likes waiting to hear from your business “later.”  Sadly, however, this is the norm for most businesses.  When customers call, they are forced to sit on hold for extended periods of time, and when they fill out web forms they are told that you will contact them “later”.

Your business can have conversations with customers in a timelier manner by training CSRs to talk with customers more promptly, and to put customers on hold the right way (yes, there is a right way… but that’s an article for another day).  You can also utilize automated webchat services so that customers don’t have to fill out a form and wait… automated webchat helps businesses start the conversation the second a visitor lands on your website, and they convert a higher percentage of leads than forms do.

Trustworthiness:

Can a customer trust that you know what you are doing, and that you understand what they are experiencing?  Too many businesses assume that because the customer called you, they automatically trust you and are confident you can help.  WRONG.  Assume nothing!

Trust is earned, and it’s a feeling that comes from our behavior (how we talk to them) not their behavior (picking up the phone and dialing our number).  There are 2 simple things you can do to be more trustworthy in your conversations:

  1. Ask the customer questions like “tell me more” to invite them to explain their situation, and then rephrase what they say in your own words
  2. When the customer knows you understand, reassure them you can help with phrases like “we can definitely help you out”

Emotional connection:

Do customers feel a connection with you and your team?  As if you are good friends?

In addition to trust, an emotional connection can build relationships and a reputation of excellence like few other things in your business.  Show genuine empathy and respect for customers, appreciate their perspective, and make sure they know in your words and your tone that you are truly grateful they called.

The fact of the matter is this:

You are very similar to your competitors in many respects.  You sell lots of equipment from the same manufacturers that they buy from, you provide a similar quality of service from a technical standpoint, and you may even have a similar website.  You need a differentiator, and that differentiator is the customer experience you create in conversation with customers.

Focus on timeliness, trustworthiness, and emotional connection with your customers, and watch your revenue and reputation move up and to the right.

We mentioned automated web chat… and we also happen to offer that 🙂 PowerChats is a tool for service businesses to capture every lead that lands on their website and talk to customers how they want to talk.  Check it out and schedule a live demo!


Zac Garside is the Marketing Manager at Power Selling Pros.  He is obsessed with making things easier for people, and the Philadelphia Eagles… let’s not talk about that last part though for a few more months.

 

 

How to Provide Terrible Customer Service

THIS is the comprehensive guide on how to provide a terrible customer experience.  If your goal is to drive customers away, and inspire customers to only do business with one time, then this is for YOU.  Let’s get right to it…

To provide a terrible customer experience, it starts with attitude!

Remember, customers are extremely annoying.  They ask dumb questions, they constantly hassle you for a lower price, and they only care about themselves.  They deserve to have a bad experience.  Make sure to let them know with your tone of voice that you have WAY MORE IMPORTANT THINGS to be doing right.

Second, make sure they know how hard it’s going to be for you to help them.  I mean, really, this is going to be tough.  You’re going to have to find time in your schedule, send a technician out there to do an inspection, put all their information in the system… YEESH.  And even after all that, there is no guarantee they will proceed with the technician’s recommendations.  What a nightmare.

Make sure they know that. 

Third, assume you know what’s going on, and cut right to the chase.  When the customer tries to explain their situation, just move on and ask for their address.  After all, you’ve heard the same old story hundreds of times before… let’s just get to the part where they give you their address, you book the call, and hang up.

Fourth, empathy is for schmucks.  Seriously,  nobody wants you to show that you might actually care about their well-being.  All these people care about is saving money and getting their equipment fixed.  They’re savages, and we shouldn’t attempt to show any care or compassion.  Again, it’s just business.  Book the call, and move on.

Fifth, you need to be very clear about what you CANNOT DO.  If you can’t come today, let them know as soon as possible.  If what they are asking for is unreasonable, they should know that too.  Also, only do what they ask.  Don’t do anything more, and if you can, DEFINITELy do less.

Sixth, don’t ask what they want, tell them what you can do.  If they can’t be home for the time you have available to help, don’t even bother.  They should call and bother someone else.  You’re busy, and you have lots of other customers to take care of.  No need to bend over backwards for one measly customer.

Seventh, tell them how much you charge without giving any context.  If you charge $150 to come out, make sure they know that so we can be sure not to deal with any customers that have a problem with that.  Why would we want to do business with people who can’t afford that anyway?

Eighth and final, let them know who’s boss.  You make the rules, you set the conditions, not them.  If they have a problem with that or if they ask for more than what they deserve, don’t give it to them.  Let them know how you work, what this whole process is going to look like, and what the consequences are should they choose not to do business with you in the end.

Look, it’s pretty simple.  Customers are a hassle, and they should be treated as such.  They ask so many questions, they cause so many problems, and… they are ANNOYING.  Make sure they know how you feel.

The best part?  This is all super easy to do.  Give it a try and let me know how it goes.


 Zac Garside is the Marketing Manager for Power Selling Pros and the membership manager of Power Certification HQ.  When he is not working, he loves reading about marketing and why people do what they do.  He’s also passionate about the Philadelphia Eagles… but that is a tender subject this season.

Connect with Zac on LinkedIn.

Becoming Comfortable with Uncomfortable Conversations

Each Monday, PSP has a company-wide conference call. These meetings serve many purposes but learning from one another is one of the most important reasons to hold these meetings.

Not long ago, company President, Brigham Dickinson, said something that was particularly intriguing. He said, “Get comfortable with uncomfortable conversations”. My immediate reaction was, “What? Huh?”.

After some thought, I realized that in business, we frequently must have conversations that are uncomfortable because we are dealing with human beings. We are never going to agree all the times on every issue.

Add to that, when we employ others, we must lead the way to communicate clearly, set goals and guide others to work toward those goals. That doesn’t always happen.

A Tale of Two Employees

Years ago, I worked for a company that was having problems with a couple of people who struggled to work together amicably. In fact, there was so much acrimony between them that those of us who were privy to the situation, avoided dealing with either of them. How was the problem solved? Each of them had a different boss.

The two bosses got together, formed a solution and sat down with the individuals involved. Their solution? Quite genius, really. They were both told that they had 30 days to figure out a way to get along with each other. If they did not accomplish that, they would both be fired. Imagine THAT uncomfortable conversation.

On mixonion.com, Laura Comacho addresses how to become comfortable with uncomfortable conversations by following these steps:

  1. Before having the conversation, write down, specifically, what you want to accomplish with the conversation. Write down the goal.
  2. If you cannot relax, pretend that you are relaxed. Fake it ‘til you make it.
  3. Use contrasting in the conversation. This is what I want. This is what I don’t want.

 

Still sounds hard? Comacho also suggests that we accept that “you just need to do it”. Either it’s your job as an employer or as a friend. Perhaps you are the only person who CAN have this conversation. Accept that and do it.

Sometimes we worry so much about having to have an uncomfortable conversation that we procrastinate. Far too often, we assume the worst, that the talk won’t go well, that we will make things worse.

Perspective

Be open to see the situation from the other person’s point of view. Families can be especially challenging when we need to discuss something difficult. Heard a friend say that she and her brother were having a difficult time having an uncomfortable conversation after the death of their parents.

As they talked, her brother brought up a point that she had not considered before. She did not agree but she had a new understanding of where he stood. With this new understanding, they resolved the difference without harming the relationship.

It can also help to have those uncomfortable conversations away from the office. Starbucks, Einstein’s Bagels, Chik-fil-a, during non-peak hours, are all good places to have those conversations. Being away from the office can help both people in the conversation to relax and be more open and honest.

Knowing When to END the Conversation

In politics, we frequently see conversations that go on and on with no resolution or agreement. Knowing when to end the conversation is an essential step when embarking on uncomfortable conversations.

One of the ways to know it’s time to end it is when one party or the other becomes so emotional that they are no longer thinking straight. Emotions can get in the way and rescheduling for a better time can be a helpful tool.

Of course, there are some people for whom there is never a good time to have an uncomfortable conversation. Allow them to own their discomfort, their emotions, their frustration. You remain calm and rational, moving forward as best as possible.

Getting comfortable with uncomfortable conversations can be done when you know how to approach them.


Mary Burkett was born in Southern New Jersey, raised in Southern California, Mary Burkett is a graduate of the University of Utah.

Like many Americans, she has had more than one career, including being a Marketing Director in the shopping center industry, being a coach with Power Selling Pros and owning a Business and Personal Development coaching company.
She has six grown children, expects her 24th grandchild later this year, is active in her community, reads a lot, writes her own personal blog and works on special projects for Power Selling Pros.
Mary and her semi-retired husband live in Southern Utah.

The Power of Being Grateful

Gratitude is very powerful. Think about it. When you do something for someone else and they thank you, how do you feel? Not that being thanked is why you helped someone. You wanted to help. You expected nothing in return. But an expression of gratitude is important. It’s a bonus. An expression of gratitude is uplifting and inspires us, and others, to do more.

Your business begins and ends with customers. When customers know that they are sincerely appreciated, they are your customer forever.

On the web site, emazzanti.net, an article about gratitude in the work place was particularly enlightening: “Customers who feel appreciated are more likely to recommend your business to others, write positive reviews, buy from you again, and even pay more for your services down the road. Loyalty programs, notes or phone calls, customer appreciation events and customer spotlights are just a few ways you can show gratitude.”

With the Pattern for Excellence, the final step is Be Grateful. Before a customer gets off the phone, they must know that their call, their business, is appreciated, that your business is grateful to have been their first choice.

“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to earn your business”, “Thank you for letting us solve your problem today”, “Thank you for allowing us to serve you today” are all ways to express sincere gratitude to customers. You can come up with your own way of expressing gratitude.

Of course, it is not only words that are important.

Tone of voice is another powerful way we communicate sincere gratitude. Have you ever been on a call with someone who sounds like a robot? Nothing they say seems sincere. Ever heard someone have a flat tone of voice? Like they were not really there? In those circumstances, it’s pretty difficult to feel that you are genuinely appreciated.

Overcome the temptation to sound robotic by smiling when thanking customers. They cannot see your smile but they can hear it and by smiling when thanking them, they hear more than words. They hear sincerity.

A sincere “thank you” is THE most powerful way to close out a call with implications that last longer than one phone exchange.


Mary Burkett was born in Southern New Jersey, raised in Southern California, Mary Burkett is a graduate of the University of Utah.

Like many Americans, she has had more than one career, including being a Marketing Director in the shopping center industry, being a coach with Power Selling Pros and owning a Business and Personal Development coaching company.
She has six grown children, expects her 24th grandchild later this year, is active in her community, reads a lot, writes her own personal blog and works on special projects for Power Selling Pros.
Mary and her semi-retired husband live in Southern Utah.

A Lesson from Cold Stone in Customer Experience

I took my wife and son to Cold Stone ice cream last weekend.  We left with a satisfied stomach and a powerful lesson in customer experience.

I was craving their thick, creamy ice cream that night and all I wanted was a “love it” size ice cream.  What flavors, you ask?  Oreo creme filling mixed with chocolate cake batter… and some kit-kat mixed in there.  Don’t judge me.

My wife got an ice cream too, and we just planned to share a few bites with our 18-month old son.

The girl working behind the counter was bright and full of energy, and offered our son a sample of their special Blue Arctic Marshmallow flavor, something they are offering for a limited time (yes, it is the color blue, and yes, it tastes like pure sugar).  It was a nice gesture.

She scooped my ice cream, mixed in the kit-kat, and tossed the ice cream into the air!  Catching it in the cup! That was impressive!  And then, as I was paying, she brought us a mini cup of ice cream for our son, saying “this is on us.”

WOW.

She did it!  She created a WOW experience!  Let’s look at HOW she did that…

How She Created a WOW Experience

First, she was glowing with positive energy.  It made me feel comfortable talking to her.  Ever dealt with someone behind teh counter who you couldn’t wait to stop talking to?  Me too. But this was NOT one of those experiences.

Second, she gave more than we expected.  When she took the liberty of giving my son a sample, I was impressed.

Third, she gave EVEN MORE.  When she tossed my ice cream into the air and caught it, I was EVEN MORE impressed.

Finally, she gave EVEN MORE!!! She offered my son a free cup of ice cream all together, which showed she was paying attention when he devoured the sample he was given.  She knew he liked it, so, without asking, she gave more.  Freely. 

Do you think I gave her a tip?  Oh yeah.  A generous one too.

We can all learn something from the girl at Cold Stone that night.  When you make your customers feel comfortable with you, and you give more than they expect, amazing things can happen.  It’s moments like this that create customer loyalty.  It all goes to show how powerful it is when you focus in on customer experience over price or brand.

Hard to measure customer experience with dollars and cents?  In the short-term, yes.  In the long-term though, companies who make it about the customer experience always win.  


Zac Garside is the marketing and membership manager at Power Coaching.  Zac resides in Logan, UT with his wife and son and loves to talk about marketing, helping people find purpose, and the Philadelphia Eagles.  #FlyEaglesFly

 

Learn to Listen

If there is a topic that peaks your interested again and again, it’s probably because you know one of two things:

  1. You need to improve at that thing, or
  2. You need to spend more time helping other people with that thing

Listening is a good example.  The talks and videos and blogs about listening never stop coming out.  People never stop reading them either.  That’s probably because people need to be better at listening and help others listen better…

So, here is your challenge today: LISTEN.  And LISTEN ACTIVELY.

Next time someone tells you something, react and ask questions.  Engage in a conversation.  People will like you more for it, and interacting with you will be a better experience.

Millennials, Gen Z, and how they are changing customer service NOW

Over 35%.

That’s the percentage of homeowners that are millennials now.

People in business talk about millennials ALL. THE. TIME.  We often refer to them as the ones who confound us.  We consider them to be “unruly.”  We accuse them of being entitled.

If you used the internet last year, you probably saw the video of Simon Sinek talking about millennials in the workforce.  For the most part, we think he was spot on.

But, while most people are talking about millennials as the people working in our companies, less people are talking about millennials as the people our companies are serving.

Salesforce.com identified 6 ways that millennials are changing customer service.  They:

  1. Love self-service
  2. Want service fast
  3. Prefer text messaging over phone calls
  4. Are hyperconnected with all kinds of devices
  5. Value brand engagement on social media
  6. Demand personalization

You know what’s even crazier about all this?  While everyone is talking about and trying to adapt to serve millennials, there’s another generation that’s quietly sneaking up on us: Generation ZAnd I’m one of them!

Gen Z is “technically” anyone born from 1995 to 2005.  We’re the ones who were little kids during the aftermath of 9/11.

While people talk about how millennials and gen. Z are changing the future of business, I would argue that we have already changed the present!  It’s not just about what the future will look like, it’s about recognizing that the present has already changed and it’s right in front of us!

Let me give you an example of how we are shaping the way people do business…

1 Review, 100 Consequences

This was a post I put up on LinkedIn about 3 weeks ago:

“How important exactly is your customer experience?  

I just got this email from Google letting me know that a bad review I left a company that treated my wife and I, well… terribly… has been seen over 100 times by people.  Imagine if those 100 people actually decided to use another company because of my review? 

What if this is happening in your business!?? 

You need to create an experience that makes people say “WOW.”  Otherwise, you may have way more people than you like saying “whoa…” instead.”

 

SERIOUSLY… imagine if those 100 people chose NOT to do business with that company because of my little 15 word review.

Imagine if 100 people chose not to do business with you because of 1 review.  Ouch.

So, what’s the point of all this?

Well, for 1 thing, online reviews are powerful – but you already knew that.

For another, a 23 year old, generation Z-er, just potentially deterred 100 people away from a small business by simply sharing his experience.

It’s not just about preparing for the future, it’s about serving your customers NOW.  Yesterday on the phone I had the privilege of speaking with Brenda Barker at Barker and Sons Plumbing & Rooter, and she shared with me that over 50% of her customers are now millennials.

She is having to adapt her company’s service in every way from how they hire and train their employees to how they speak to customers.

Barker and Sons is investing in text, chat, and better email conversations to communicate with their customers in the ways they want to be communicated with.

Ask yourself… how do my customers want me to serve them NOW?  How do we need to adjust our service NOW?

You answer those questions NOW, and I’m confident you will be in a stronger position in the future.

Want some training on the perfect way to start your customer conversations?  We just launched a brand new online membership platform called Power Certification HQ.  When you sign up, you get instant access to all our mastery courses, webinars, and implementation tools to help you create a WOW experience for your customers.  Start your free 10-day trial of Power Certification HQ today!  


Zac Garside is the marketing and membership manager at Power Coaching.  Zac resides in Logan, UT with his wife and son and loves to talk about marketing, helping people find purpose, and the Philadelphia Eagles.  #FlyEaglesFly

Leaders v. Managers

Being a manager or a supervisor is pretty easy to do. Simply treat employees as chess pieces to be manipulated to get tasks done. Leadership, on the other hand, is very difficult. Mindtools.com defines leadership, “Leaders help themselves and others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organization; and it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring.”

How to “set direction, build an inspiring vision and create something new”? To begin, look at what has been written and said about leadership. By no means a comprehensive plan, here are some things to help you begin to change from a manager or supervisor and become a leader.

Hugh Nibley (1910-2005), who was a professor at Brigham Young University, described one important leadership quality, “The leader, for example, has a passion for equality. We think of great generals from David and Alexander on down, sharing their beans or maza with their men, calling them by their first names, marching along with them in the heat, sleeping on the ground, and first over the wall. A famous ode by a long-suffering Greek soldier, Archilochus, reminds us that the men in the ranks are not fooled for an instant by the executive type who thinks he is a leader.”

Managers, on the other hand, according to Nibley, do not care about equality. They do not see themselves as equal to everyone else. They spend their time managing people, treating people like chess pieces to be moved around, manipulated, at will. By contrast, leaders spend their time managing and meeting challenges, using their team to help them. That sometimes means stepping back and allowing their employees, their team members, to lead out. Leaders are “hard on the problem, soft on the people”, according to speaker Mark Matteson. Managers are so busy trying to manage people that they do not address problems. Leaders recognize that problems are more likely to be in processes than in people.

Last year, in the middle of summer 110-degree weather, our air conditioner stopped working. We had ceiling fans that were helpful but we needed the AC to work. The first two companies we called could not get to us for several days. The third company said that there would be someone there the next morning but they would try to get someone there sooner. Two hours later, the doorbell rang. The OWNER of the company was there to diagnose the problem. Our AC is on the roof. He climbed up there in the heat, came back down to tell us what was wrong and promised that he would have a technician there at 9:00 in the morning. Sharp. Why didn’t he fix it himself? All the technicians were out with the equipment vans. He had come to our house in his personal vehicle. AND he did not charge us for the service call. The technician was there the next morning at 9:00 on the dot and the AC was fixed in about 20 minutes! Service was excellent and the cost was half what we were expecting because the company was headed by a real leader.

Another attribute of the leader in business is one who hires the right people and ensures that they are in the right place. One owner realized that the person answering the phones was struggling with answering the phone, delivering messages and covering the customer service phones during lunch hours along with all the other things they were required to do. The owner, a real leader, didn’t want to fire this person. In the process of reviewing the employee’s resume, the owner realized that the employee not only had experience in bookkeeping, they were attending college at night and on-line to earn a degree in accounting. Rather than hire someone new, the owner moved the receptionist into the accounting department where they immediately made an impressive contribution and found someone else in the company better suited to answer the phones. The owner, much like a bus driver, had put the right person in the wrong seat on the bus. When they moved that person to the right seat, they, and the business, thrived. By concentrating on what was right for the individual, the owner found what was right for the company.

The leader goes the extra mile. They give their employees a WOW experience, just as they expect their customer service representatives and technicians to give customers a WOW experience. They are positive, confident, their enthusiasm is contagious, they listen, they care, they give of themselves, their time and their kindness, they add value to the employees’ experience and they express gratitude to their team members.

Business owners who lead are far more successful. Think Steve Jobs or Richard Branson, Thomas Edison or Abraham Lincoln. The world is in need of great leaders. YOU can be one of those great leaders the world so desperately needs.


Mary Burkett was born in Southern New Jersey, raised in Southern California, Mary Burkett is a graduate of the University of Utah.

Like many Americans, she has had more than one career, including being a Marketing Director in the shopping center industry, being a coach with Power Selling Pros and owning a Business and Personal Development coaching company.
She has six grown children, expects her 24th grandchild later this year, is active in her community, reads a lot, writes her own personal blog and works on special projects for Power Selling Pros.
Mary and her semi-retired husband live in Southern Utah.