The Competitive Advantage

tag: customer experience

March 10, 2015

Do you have a mobile-friendly website? Let’s hope so!

Internet viewing trends

As regular readers of this column know, every Saturday morning, I go to the same local coffee shop to spend a couple of hours working “on” my business… not just “in” it. I do some writing, review email and social media metrics, plan out the upcoming week and record the past week’s Google Analytics.

Rarely do the Google Analytics surprise me… but this week they did. Of all the visitors to our website this past week, 24.8% of them came from a handheld device or tablet. That is, 1 in 4 visitors were not using a computer! It was the highest ever – up from an average of about 1 in 6 just the middle of last year – and the continuation of an ever-increasing trend.

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March 3, 2015

Best booth giveaway ever?

In last week’s post, I wrote about several things NOT to do in a booth when exhibiting. And one of those was giving away cheesy “merch.” I believe that things like pens, mini-frisbees and logo’d post-it notes just don’t deliver lot of value for the exhibitor.

However, I did see one exhibitor at the CASRO Digital Conference a couple of weeks ago with what may have been the best booth giveaway ever… and for a couple of reasons.

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November 18, 2014

Giving gifts to clients… is it good business?

alex2My son, Alex (see photo), is a senior finance major at the University of Tennessee. After interning this past summer in the wealth management division of a large bank, he stayed on and has been working there this semester. He’s been very fortunate that one of the senior executives there has taken him under his wing and been a good mentor to him.

Alex was home this weekend and we talked about his boss/mentor. A really interesting lesson that Alex took away from him was the regular giving of gifts by his boss to his clients… and not just at the holidays, but all year round.

That got me to thinking about our industry… Is gift-giving (outside of December) a common occurrence? Should it be? Does giving gifts help to build relationships? Or guarantee a client’s on-going patronage?

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July 16, 2014

C’mon, don’t be ordinary… dazzle me!

vince_lombardiMy kids got me a FitBit for Father’s Day… it’s a device you wear on your wrist that acts as a pedometer and comes with an app to track weight, diet, activity, etc. Pretty neat little item and a good reminder to stay active. Nice.

And if you achieve a certain level of activity – say, 10,000 steps in a day – it sends you a little ‘congratulations’ email. Again, nice.

But yesterday, I got an email telling me that my FitBit battery was getting low on power and needed to be recharged! What?! OK, it’s a small thing… but it’s also one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Somebody at FitBit was thinking – and in real-world terms, too. Yup… they dazzled me.

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July 9, 2014

To create a better customer experience… make it ‘easy’

SQUARE.com1We invoice all of our clients monthly… but recently took on a new client that wanted to pay with a credit card. No problem. I called the credit card processing company we had used in the past to make sure that we could accept AMEX, to go over the monthly amount and to let them know we’d be processing the card manually.

You would have thought I asked for nuclear missile launch codes! I was going to have to send in an exception request every month, talk to the “limits department” and so on. What a ridiculous pain-in-the-a**!

Coincidentally, I had coffee with my bookkeeper that same afternoon and told her the story. She suggested I look into – the company that provides that little device that merchants use to take credit cards with their iPhones, etc.

Holy cow! What a difference.

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June 11, 2014

Great business quotes #2 – on relationships

MM_602_MY_1107_1118.JPGYeah, I know… we all live in a web-of-all-things, socially-connected, technology-driven world. There’s no getting around it. But even with all those bits and bytes whirling around in the cloud, regardless of what we do for a living, we are still in the “people business.” And because people are the decision-makers and the key drivers of success, the following saying becomes even more relevant…

All things being equal… people do business with people they like. All things NOT being equal, people STILL do business with people they like.

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May 6, 2014

Get out from behind your desk!

dinner1As I write this, I’m flying home from several days in Southern California, after working with a couple of clients. In both cases, there were just a few people sitting around a table, collaborating and working toward a common goal.  We did some planning, talked strategy, bounced ideas off of each other and, in the end, left with To-Do’s for each of us as we move forward together.

But more importantly… we also shared a meal, laughed, talked about families and discussed summer vacations. It was real human-to-human interaction.

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March 26, 2014

Do you have a favorite client?

trust2I’ll bet you do.

But have you ever thought about WHY they’re your favorite client?

Interestingly, it’s almost never the size of the client.  Bigger isn’t always better.  And it isn’t always those clients that have the employees you connect with on a personal level – though that’s surely part of the equation.

More often, it’s defined by the ‘relationship’… and specifically, by the collaborative nature of it:

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