A Spot-On Example Of Extending Advertising Into Customer Experience by Chick-fil-A

This story was originally published on Forbes:

This is the story of a renegade cow. Nearly two decades ago, paintbrush in mouth, a cow painted three words on a billboard… EAT MOR CHIKIN. It was an instant success.

Created by Dallas-based The Richards GroupEat Mor Chikin was introduced in 1995 as merely a three-dimensional outdoor advertising execution.  The campaign was so well received that The Richards Group and Chick-fil-A turned the billboard concept into an integrated campaign. Early extensions included  in-store point-of-purchase materials and a radio commercial. Two years later in 1997 the cows would make their TV debut. The following year an annual calendar was created. All mediums were leveraged. Rising to new heights in 2008, the cows covertly painted their first water tower. The Cows were not only popular, they were like-able. In 2011, their Facebook page was created and they now boast over 750,000 fans.

I’m a fan of the cows, yet I feel that traditional advertising (no matter how cute) tends to fall short because it only caters to the eyes and the ears. Great brands find ways to extend advertising to create experiences that reach their hearts of their customers. One extension of the Cows campaign creates an engaging experience. Enter Cow Appreciation Day every July. This year Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country celebrated the 10th anniversary of the chain-wide event honoring their beloved Cows.

Credit: chick-fil-a.com

According to Chick-fil-A, more than 900,000 cow-dressed customers hoofed out to Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide for Cow Appreciation Day last year. The chain now boasts a fully dedicated website for the event and expects to host more than one million cow-clad guests. They’ve provided incentives for fans. Dress partially as a cow and you receive a free entree. Dress head to toe and you receive an entire free combo meal.

Chick-fil-A has a nicknames for customers who dress up. They are called “raving fans.” Of the seven to 10 million people eating at its restaurant each week, this is a rabid subset, about 10 to 15 percent of its total audience. They typically visit Chick-fil-A four or more times each month.Chick-fil-A also captures stories of customers on their website. This story called “Year of the Cows” comes from mskripsky:

For the past six years, my friends and I have celebrated Cow Appreciation Day at our local Chick-fil-A. Although we’ve been getting older through the years, it has never stopped us from having a memorable night. We gather at my house, dress up like a cow, take a ton of silly pictures and head to Chick-fil-A.

Each year we have about 10 friends or so line up in a conga line and chant “moo moo moo moo moo” as we enter the restaurant. Of course every employee and customer just stares at us, but it’s nice to see everyone smile and some even join in. The best part is seeing the store managers face gleaming and saying that was the highlight of his night.

This year will be our last year together, as all of us have gotten married are going to med school or are moving away. However, we are still hoping our legacy of Cow Appreciation Day will carry on.

I love how Chick-fil-A celebrates it customers and encourages them to be creative. Need help to create your own costume? No problem, Chick-fil-A provides a starter kit of ideas and resources.

Fun events at Chick-fil-A are a staple for the brand. Daddy-Daughter Date Nights are an annual event. Not to leave Mom’s out, just last year the restaurant created a medieval-themed event called Mother-Son Date Knight.“One of Chick-fil-A’s goals is to promote community connections and enrich the lives of everyone we come in contact with,” says Erik Amick, a Chick-fil-A franchise operator. Even infants are given consideration. This is perhaps my favorite little extra at my localChick-fil-A in Cary, NC. It’s tiny cups of Cheerios for customers in training.

Photo Credit: Stan Phelps

Does your brand create opportunities to connect with consumers? Are you creating a legacy experience like Cow Appreciation Day?

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – The Phelps family got into the act this year. Jenn did an awesome job on the costumes:

jenn and james chickfila cow appreciation day

The Two Most Vital Elements in Marketing and Sales

[The following post is an excerpt from Chapter 5 of the book, What’s Your Golden Goldfish]

Golden Goldfish BookIn our evolution as humans, we were forced to develop skills integral to our survival. One of which was the ability to make snap judgments about our surroundings with a high degree of speed and accuracy. As we walked out of the “cave” our senses went immediately into survival mode. We judged everyone and everything we encountered on two basic criteria:

  1. Are they a threat?
  2. Their ability to carry out that threat?

This basic truth is at the heart of the work of Chris Malone and Susan T. Fiske. {Endnote 24} Their research, built upon work done by Dr. Bogdan Wojciszke, has shown that over 80% of our judgments as based on these two factors. It boils down to our perception of 1. warmth and 2. competence. These perceptions don’t just apply to people. We also apply the same standards to products and companies. We automatically perceive and judge their behaviors on a subconscious level. Brands are people too. According to their book The Human Brand, we are in the midst of a Relationship Renaissance.

The Human BrandFrom the Local Village to Mass Market to Global Village…

The mass market is a relatively new phenomenon. Merely 150 years ago we consumed almost everything made from people we know. The reputation of a merchant was as precious as gold. If a small business wronged you, everyone in the local village would quickly know about it. Merchants faced public censure, potential ruin and even losing a limb. As a result, businesses worked hard to establish trust and earn repeat business.

But then the mass market emerged. Almost everything we consumed was made by a faceless, far-off company. The voice of the customer waned. We were powerless to expose or punish brands that acted badly. Outside of lodging a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or writing consumer advocates like Ralph Nader, we were handcuffed.

Enter Digital, Social and Mobile. The internet has changed the game. In the words of author Chris Malone,

For the first time in history, the entire world is wired in a way that is consistent with the way evolution has wired us to think and behave.” {Endnote 25}

Social has flattened the earth. Each consumer has the opportunity to share their experiences with millions of others. It has caused a huge ripple effect in the global village.

Instant Karma

Brands beware. Feedback is now instantaneous. John Lennon famously called this Instant Karma,

“Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna look you right in the face
Better get yourself together darlin’
Join the human race”

Need an example to drive this home? Look no further than the story of Panera and Brandon Cook. {Endnote 26}

panera-purple-goldfishThe Human Brand shares the touching tale of a Panera store manager who used good judgment to help the dying grandmother of a customer. The story involves Panera going above and beyond to make a special batch of clam chowder. The manager was thoughtful to provide a small package of cookies thrown in complimentary for good measure. Touched by the effort, it inspired the customer to share the encounter socially. In less than four weeks, a single Facebook post by Brandon Cook garnered 800,000+ likes, nearly 36,000 comments and scores of national media attention. Why? Because Panera empowered its employees to demonstrate warmth and competence by doing the little extra.

Consumers want to be heard. Social accountability is back and its here to stay. Consumers expect to have relationships with their brands. Companies must forge genuine relationships with customers. We now expect relational accountability from the companies and brands we support. Consumers will view the actions (or inaction) of brands based on warmth and competence. And warmth is absolutely key.

The idea of warmth and competence is not just theory. It draws from original research spanning 10 separate studies. Once you start to view every action through the lens of warmth and competence, you will:

  • rethink your approach to loyalty programs
  • rethink how you prioritize people vs. profits
  • rethink ever doing a “daily deal” like Groupon or LivingSocial
  • rethink the cost of new customer acquisition vs. upselling current customers
  • rethink how important is to make the first step in demonstrating warmth and competence
  • rethink how leadership can become the literal “face” of your brand
  • rethink how you handle a crisis

Malone and Fiske spent three years studying more than 45 major companies. The research has confirmed that warmth perceptions and communal relationships are the dominant drivers of customer loyalty. What’s a brand to do? The authors posit in a BusinessWeek.com article, {Endnote 27}

Lasting prosperity requires a fundamental shift in business priorities, a shift in which individual customer relationships are every bit as important as short-term profit. Our success as humans has always depended on the cooperation and loyalty of others, and in that regard, our capacity to express warmth and competence ranks among our most precious assets. Therefore, keeping the best interests of others in balance with our own is simply a form of highly enlightened self-interest.

Companies need to find ways to leverage individual customer and employee relationships by doing a tangible extra. Actions speaks louder than words.

CASE STUDY – DOUBLETREE HOTELS 

Doubletree Chocolate Chip CookieMy family recently stayed at a Doubletree Hotel in Richmond. It was part of a family vacation to Virginia. I’m a big fan of the hotel because of their chocolate chip cookie. It epitomizes the signature extra and the idea of being REMARK-able.

I can distinctly remember my first stay at a Doubletree like it was yesterday. It was April 1996 in Atlanta, GA when the love affair began. After numerous delays on a rainy day we finally reached the Hotel. It was one of my first business trips. Tired and hungry I checked into the Doubletree. In addition to receiving my room key I was a given an individually wrapped bit of warmth and goodness. Inside my bag was a chocolate chip cookie. And not just an ordinary chocolate chip cookie, it was warm, large and packed with oozy chocolate chips. A smile came across my face. I was smitten.

As much as I love the cookie, I pale in comparison to Jeff Hayzlett. The former CMO of Kodak and best-selling author of The Mirror Test & Running the Gauntlet loves them so much, Jeff dreams of the Doubletree cookie when he stays at other hotels.

Doubletree’s motto is “The Little Things Mean Everything.” A recent commercial highlighted the cookie as one of “the little things our hotel team members do every day to create a rewarding experience for our hotel guests.

The Origin

In the 1980’s, most hotels offered treats like chocolate chip cookies to VIP customers. Doubletree believed all customers are VIP’s and thus they started handing them out to every customer in 1987. Fast forward to 2014, Doubletree by Hilton gives away roughly 60,000 chocolate chip cookies per day across the world. Since starting the program, they’ve given away over 300 million cookies.

Why a Cookie?

Doubletree offers an explanation right on the brown paper bag the cookie comes in. “Why a cookie?” the headline asks. “Cookies are warm, personal and inviting, much like our hotels and the staff here that serves you.” Warm is key here and a signature feature of the Doubletree cookie.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Some may argue that a mere chocolate chip cookie is empty and meaningless gesture.  It’s not meaningless, especially when that little extra is a signature first impression.  I subscribe to the philosophy that Malcolm Gladwell offered in The Tipping Point,

The little things can make the biggest difference.”  

Doubletree understands the chocolate chip cookie is not just a cookie, it’s a warm welcome and a stunningly competent first impression.

Bio: Stan Phelps is the founder of 9 INCH marketing, a consultancy that helps brands obtain customers that are four times as valuable as ordinary customers through the Goldfish Rule. He’s the author of the Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and the Golden Goldfish. He works with senior leaders to focus on meaningful differentiation to win the hearts of both employees and customers. Driven by client objectives and inspired by bold vision, Stan creates custom keynotes, workshops, and programs that are memorable and on brand, inspiring businesses to become REMARK-able by design.

Golden Goldfish Excerpt – Retention vs Acquisition

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming book, What’s Your Golden Goldfish? (available on Amazon May 1st):

Golden Goldfish Book

Chapter 2

RETENTION VS. ACQUISITION

“The search for meaningful differentiation

is central to the marketing effort. If marketing is

about anything, it is about achieving customer

getting distinction by differentiating

what you do and how you do it.

All else is derivative of that and only that.”

– Theodore Levitt, Harvard Business School

Question: Do you focus on the funnel or fix the leaky bucket?

retention versus acquisition

Answer: Focus on the Leaky Bucket

Retention is Fast Becoming the New Acquisition

Satisfaction drives loyalty.  More importantly, it drives retention.  The key to a healthy bottom line is the ability to keep your best customers and employees.

According to the recent book Outside In by Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine, {Endnote 13} retaining customers drives revenue in three critical ways:

  1. Incremental sales from current customers.
  2. Retained sales as a result of lower churn.
  3. New sales driven by word of mouth (referrals).

Can small improvements in retention make a big difference?  Absolutely. According to Gartner Group, {Endnote 14} “A mere 5% improvement in retention can increase profitability by upwards of 25% to 125%.”

The Revolving Door Effect 

Too much focus in business is on acquisition.  The vast majority of spending is focused on getting prospects through the door and converting them to customers.  Little attention is paid to their retention.  For most companies this door represents a revolving door.

Let’s use the insurance category to illustrate the point.  The average insurance company maintains a retention rate of 80%.  USAA, a leader in customer experience, retains customers at a rate of 97% {Endnote 15}. Christine Moorman, the T. Austin Finch Professor of Business Administration at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, demonstrates how this plays out over a three-year time frame.

The results are eye opening.

meng-blend-image-1-300x277

Companies with 80% retention will have to replace over 50% of their customers every three years.  Comparatively USAA only needs to replace less than 9% of its customer base over a similar three-year period. 

Retention of the Vital Few

Based on the Pareto’s Law, {Endnote 16} for the vast majority of companies, 80% of profitability is driven by 20 percent of customers.  These customers are your key accounts. Retaining these customers should be your top priority.

Let’s start exploring how companies utilize the concept of the Golden Goldfish to retain these vital few. Little extras that drive loyalty and referrals.

Golden Goldfish Book Excerpt – Pareto and a Pea

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming book, What’s Your Golden Goldfish? (available on Amazon May 1st):

golden goldfish cover

Chapter 1

THE GOLDFISH AND THE PEA

“The law of the vital few and the trivial many.” 

– Joseph Juran

The setting is Paris 1848. A boy is born of an exiled noble Genoese family. His father, Raffaele was an Italian civil engineer who had fled Italy like other Italian nationalists. His mother, Marie was French. Enthusiastic about the German revolution that year, Raffaele and Marie named their son Fritz Wilfried.

Fritz would become Vilfredo Federico upon his family’s move back to Italy at age 10. He would grow up to become an engineer, sociologist, economist, political scientist and philosopher. During his life he would make several important contributions to economics, particularly in the study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals’ choices.

His legacy as an economist was profound. Vilfredo’s books look more like modern economics than most other texts of that day: tables of statistics from across the world and ages, rows of integral signs and equations, intricate charts and graphs. {Endnote 2} Partly because of his work, the field of economics evolved from a branch of moral philosophy, as practiced by Adam Smith, into a data intensive field. Vilfredo is credited with helping to develop the field of microeconomics and was also the first to discover that income follows a distribution.

vilfredo paretoBut just over a century ago Vilfredo would stumble across an idea that would change the course of history. This revelation would come from a simple observation in his vegetable garden. Vilfredo noticed something peculiar about his pea pods. This insight turned into action. He decided to pluck all of the pods off the plant. He opened each and made an interesting discovery. Vilfredo found that 80% of his peas came from a mere 20% of his pods. This intrigued the 59 year-old Italian economist.

Soon he was applying this ratio to other socioeconomic scenarios. You may now recognize his last name. His full name was Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto {Endnote 3} and his most famous finding was that 20% of the people in Italy owned 80% of the land.

Pareto’s discovery and contribution was largely unheralded until two decades after his death. During World War II, social scientist Joseph Moses Juran uncovered his work while streamlining shipment processes for the Lend-Lease Administration in Washington, D.C. Juran was the first to coin the phrases, “Pareto’s Law of Unequal Distribution” and the “80/20 rule.”

Pretty soon Juran was applying the rule to a number of scenarios. Here are a few of his findings:

  1. 80 percent of the World’s GDP is controlled by 20 percent of the people
  2. 80 percent of the complaints come from 20 percent of the customers
  3. 80 percent of a company’s sales come from 20 percent of the products

The Vital Few

Juran’s most important application came within the field of quality control. He noticed that the majority of defects came from a small percentage of the total causes. Juran famously referred to Pareto’s principle as, The law of the vital few and the trivial many.

Juran pioneered the quality movement. His work is credited with spawning the six sigma and lean manufacturing philosophies. It was Juran that traveled to Japan in the 1950’s, giving a number of lectures that were responsible for igniting the Japanese quality manufacturing movement.

According to The Economist, {Endnote 4} since Juran’s original research, “Everyone from Xerox to the IDC and even the United Nations have tested Pareto’s Law, and found that within a tolerance of 5%, the 80/20 rule works just fine across a range of cause and effect scenarios.”

The 80/20 rule was recently popularized by Tim Ferriss’ book, The Four-Hour Work Week. {Endnote 5}  Ferriss suggests “firing” the 80% of customers who only bring in 20% of overall sales. His rationale is that it gives you more free time and allows you to focus on your most profitable customers.

Of all the applications of Pareto’s law, here’s three of the most important in the context of the Golden Goldfish,

  1. 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers
  2. 80% of a company’s sales are made by 20% of its sales staff
  3. 80% of new business comes from 20% of your existing customer base

Are all customers and employees created equal?

When talking about how to invest our time and resources in the fields of customer experience and employee engagement, the answer should be clear. In the spirit of Juran and Pareto, we should be focusing on the vital few. My first two books, Purple Goldfish {Endnote 6} and Green Goldfish {Endnote 7}, explored the “little extras” you do for all customers and employees. The underlying premise is that you standardize these programs across your entire workforce and customer base. While these efforts are important for establishing differentiation and improving overall culture, they are probably not the most efficient use of resources.

Multipliers and Superconsumers

For the majority of businesses, 80% of profitability will be generated by 20% of customers. These folks are your “vital few.”  Similarly, not all employees are created equal. 80% of the value generated in a business typically comes from 20% of employees.

In the book, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, {Endnote 8} Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown showcase how great leaders (multipliers) get more from their employees. These multipliers stretch the abilities of their team to achieve results that exceed expectations. The opposite of a multiplier is a diminisher. Diminishers focus on themselves and drain the intelligence out of others.

Doubling down: You want Multipliers

In the words of author Liz Wiseman,

“Multipliers don’t just get a little more from their people, they get vastly more. When we asked people how much of their capability, their ideas, their energy diminishers got from them versus multipliers, we found that diminishers on average got 48 percent of people’s brainpower. Multipliers on average got 97 percent. So you can actually double the brainpower of your organization for free. You don’t need additional resources to potentially get twice the capability out of the staff you already have.”

The same concept that applies to leadership can be applied to customer experience as well as employee engagement.

Let’s look at the five disciplines of Multipliers through the lens of the golden goldfish:

1. The Talent Magnet – Are you creating an environment that’s conducive to retaining your top customers and employees?

2. The Liberator – Do you bring intensity to your work that keeps top customers and employees on top of their game?

3. The Challenger – Are you finding creative ways to stretch the capabilities of your top customers and employees?

4. The Debate Maker – Are you speaking last? Finding ways to engage top employees and customers into decision-making and product development processes.

5. The Investor – Are you allowing top customers and employees the opportunity to own key segments of a program or initiative?

Advocacy Works

According to Rob Fuggetta in the book, Brand Advocates, “92% of people trust recommendations from friends and colleagues. {Endnote 9} Yet, only about 30% trust online advertisements.” He admittedly may be a little biased. Fuggetta’s company Zuberance offers a software solution that helps brands leverage recommendations from their advocates. Nevertheless, based on NPS research, over 50% of consumers indicate that they are highly likely to recommend companies they do business with or a product they’ve purchased. You need to ask, “How are we leveraging our enthused customers?” 

CASE STUDY – METHOD HOME

Show More Love

True advocacy is not for sale. But you can do the little extra by showing more love to your best customers.

For example, Method {Endnote 10}, a leader in organic home cleaning products, is leveraging advocacy with its most passionate customers. It has created a group of 5,000 consumers it calls cheerleaders.

To qualify as a cheerleader, these customers have done something extraordinary to share their love for Method. Things like writing a poem or creating a photograph. One cheerleader Nathan Aaron has even created a blog called Method Lust – One Man’s Surpressed Lust for All Things Method Home {Endnote 11}. Over a five-year period, Aaron penned almost a 1,000 articles about Method. Nathan isn’t paid by Method, although he sometimes receives new products, notes from the team, and even an invite to dinner when the Method team is in town.

Enter Superconsumers

All customers are not created equal. In a recent article in HBR {Endnote 12}, Eddie Yoon, Steve Carlotti, and Dennis Moore discuss why its important to distinguish what they call “superconsumers” from other segments of buyers. More than just heavy users,

Superconsumers are defined by both economics and attitude: They are a subset of heavy users who are highly engaged with a category and a brand. They are especially interested in innovative uses for the product and in new variations on it. They aren’t particularly price sensitive. Superconsumers tend to have more occasions and “jobs” for a product. Think about hot dogs: While many consumers view them primarily as a food for backyard barbecues, superconsumers see them as an ideal fast meal or an after-school snack.

CASE STUDY – VELVEETA

Leveraging Pareto’s Law, we know that 80% of profitability is generated by 20% of customers. Yoon, Carlotti and Moore bring this to life with the example of Kraft Velveeta cheese. The top 10% of Velveeta buyers account for over 50% profit. Kraft focused on this key segment of 2.4 million superconsumers. The results are anything but cheesy. New product spin-offs totaling over $100 million in additional sales has been game changing. It has shifted a paradigm for Kraft. According to marketing director Greg Gallagher,

“The previous thinking was that the quickest, easiest path to growth was to identify light users or lapsed users. But when we talked to superconsumers, we learned that in fact they wanted to use Velveeta more—they were starving for it.” 

TAKEAWAY: All customers and employees are not created equal. Do more for your best ones. In the words of Yoon, Carlotti and Moore, “Show the love to those that love you the most.”

The Bullseye

These employees and customers are your vital few. You don’t treat everyone the same, you treat everyone fairly.

employees first customer second top last

Imagine a round target like on an archery range. The outer ring is employees, the middle ring is customers and the bulls-eye is top customers / employees. Start on the outside and work your way into the center.

Are you willing to achieve more by doing less? Ready to count your peas? Let’s find out what’s your Golden Goldfish.

April Fools Day edition of the EXTRA EXTRA newsletter

APRIL FOOLS DAY EDITION
Greetings on the first Tuesday of April. It’s April Fools Day everyone.
What’s the origin of this Day of Pranks? It’s unclear according to the Museum of Hoaxes, but its generally accepted that…
  1. the celebration is most likely a rite of spring
  2. it was well established by the mid-16th century
Over 500 years of pranks. I can’t decide my favorite of all-time. It’s probably a toss-up between the Taco Liberty Bell and the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest (see picture above). For the rest of the top 100 pranks click here.
As for my personal favorite, it’s a simple gag that involves an empty plastic water bottle. When no one is looking, simply slip the empty bottle behind the back of your neck with one hand. Complain of a kink in your neck. Take your other hand and grab your chin. Mimic cracking your neck while you squeeze the plastic water bottle. Need a tutorial? Here’s aYouTube video that demonstrates the prank.
Anyhow, happy spring…
Enjoy the Newsletter!

FEATURED POST:
Future of Marketing: A Little Less Campaign and a Little More Action

This is taken from a post in Forbes.com. It’s my first article as a contributor:

Each year the fall rolls around. Summer tans have faded. Marketing planning begins. Here’s the sequence: Agencies get briefed, ideas are presented, concepts get developed, creative gets shot, media gets bought, ads run, results get measured, and (maybe) awards get submitted. Celebratory dinner with the requisite toasts and back slapping. Fall rolls around again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This is traditional marketing. A phenomenon that Seth Godin labels the TV-industrial complex. The only problem is that it doesn’t work as well as it used to. Or in some cases it doesn’t work at all.

Who’s to blame for the campaign based mentality? Is it the brand or is it the agency? Who is going to break the cycle of TITWWADI (This Is The Way We Always Do It)? When is this Einsteinian version of insanity going to stop? It’s hard to blame the agency. You can’t expect them to change if their entire business model is predicated on not doing so. Perhaps it’s up to brands to break the cycle.

Are there companies willing to change? Maybe the Price is right. In a recent Forbes interview the CMO of CVS Rob Price describes how they are making the shift:

“We’ve gone through a real transition. In the seven years I’ve been here, we’ve moved from being more of an Advertising and Promotions department to really being an Insights to Action function.. That changes your focus substantially. But of course we still do the advertising, marketing and promotional accountability, that’s our functional expertise… We’ve reduced degree of traditional advertising that we’ve done. Because we’ve found, and maybe it stems from our advertising roots. Advertising is about frequency and reach. Well, we have 35 million people coming into stores every week. Tens of millions with our mail-order pharmacy and  with our prescription benefit management. So if you monetized, if you put into traditional advertising terms, all of those are exposures or impressions. The media in our operating environment is thousands of stores, hundreds of thousands of people, serving millions of customers, creating billions of interactions. It’s very large numbers and we’ve decided to harness the energy of the marketing team in collaboration with IT, Store Operations and Digital.”

Read the full post (including lessons from Steinway and Elvis) by clicking here

COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU IN APRIL
This month I’ll be speaking in Sydney, Calgary, Greenville and Virginia Beach.
April 7 – Customer 360 Keynote (Sydney)
April 16 – Alberta Motor Association Keynote / Workshop (Calgary)
April 23 – East Carolina University Keynote (Greenville,NC)
April 29 – Liberty Tax Webinar (Virginia Beach)
I’m heading to OZ this week for the Customer360 Symposium. I’ll be giving the opening keynote on thePsychology of the Customer Journey. The event takes place just outside of Sydney in the majestic Hunter Valley.
GOLDEN GOLDFISH
We’re exactly one month away from the launch of the last book in the Goldfish trilogy:
On May 1st, What’s Your Golden Goldfish will examine the “little extras” for your Top 20% of customers and employees. The concept is based on Pareto’s Law. The law of “the vital few and the trivial many.”
In order to promote the launch of the new book, I’ve put together a special offer:
  • Buy 30 copies – You will receive a 30-minute presentation via Skype or Google Hangout.
  • Buy 50 copies – You will receive a one-hour webinar.
  • Buy 100 copies – You will receive a keynote or two-hour workshop. (travel not included)
  • Buy 200 copies – You will receive a keynote and a two-hour workshop. (domestic travel included)
The content for the webinar, keynote or workshop is optional. You can choose PURPLE

(cx/ differentiation / retention), GREEN (employee engagement / culture), or GOLD.
Let me know which option you are interested in. Call me at +1.919.360.4702 or e-mail me atstan@9inchmarketing.com
Here’s an example of a recent keynote:
Speaking Demo - Stan Phelps

 

TODAY’S LAGNIAPPE (a little something extra thrown in for good measure)
Although I’m not a huge fan of campaigns, this may be one of the best integrated ones I’ve seen in awhile. It’s called, “Do It For Denmark” by Spies Travel.  Check out the two-minute video below or my full post on this clever effort:
Do It For Denmark!
Do It For Denmark!

SpringHill Suites by Marriott puts an unexpected spin on driving loyalty for its best customers

A Golden Moment

OK, here’s the situation. Imagine you are checking in at your hotel. Let’s call it SpringHill Suites by Marriott. The front desk notices that you are an elite member of their rewards program. They thank you for your patronage and then say,

“We appreciate your business and would like to give you an opportunity to win some additional points for your stay with us.”

All of a sudden they bring out a customized Wheel of Fortune game and ask you to “Spin It to Win It.”

Springhill Suites Spin to Win Wheel

This was the story shared with me by my former colleague at Synergy Events Keith Green. It’s a nice example of a Golden Goldfish. A little something extra you offer to your Top 20% of customers. Marriott Elite Members get that unexpected fun experience of spinning to win.

Everyone Gets a Spin

The spin wheel has shown up in the past. #910 in the Purple Goldfish Project was taken from an experience at Reynolds Farms:
reynolds farms
Started in 1959, Reynolds Farms Nursery and Country Garden Center is based in Norwalk, CT. At Reynolds you’ll find ideas for every lawn and garden challenge plus décor.
Separated by less than a kilometer, Reynolds is miles apart from the Home Depot in the realm of customer experience.  Before walking into the nursery, me and my two young boys encountered a goldfish pond. One of the associates came out and asked Thomas and James if they’d like to feed the fish.  While the boys were feeding the fish, the staff helped me locate what I needed.  Upon checking out I noticed a “spin to win” wheel. The staff informed me that every purchase at Reynolds is entitled to a spin. They were gracious enough to allow both of the boys to have a spin.  We went 0 for 2 unfortunately, but the staff offered the boys each a lollipop. The Phelps’ family left with smiles on our faces.

Spinning it and Paying it Forward

Chick-fil-A also uses the spin-to-win wheel. The restaurant bring it out to help fundraising for local schools. The give back a percentage of sales for school sponsored days. The wheel is run by volunteers from the school and its a nice way to draw attention to the cause. Each spin costs $1.00. All proceeds go to the school and Chick-fil-A hands out gift cards for free food and drinks. Everyone is a winner.
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Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Let’s go back 25 years ago for an interesting handful of spins on the Wheel of Fortune:

EXTRA, EXTRA March Newsletter – The Mardi Gras Edition

MARDI GRAS EDITION

Greetings on Fat Tuesday. That’s the literal translation of “Mardi Gras.” Today caps the celebrations in New Orleans, the final day of revelry before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
At midnight tonight the bars close and the police will clear out the French Quarter. Another year of Mardi Gras will be in the books.
  
The colors in my trilogy are a direct reference to the official colors of Mardi Gras. The three colors were selected in 1892. Purple  stands for justice, Green for faith, and Gold for power.

FEATURED POST:

Disney offers its best customers a little extra magic

On designated days, one of the Walt Disney World theme parks opens an hour early and two hours later. These times are called Disney’s extra magic hours. The added golden goldfish is for Disney Resort guests only.

Extra Magic Hours with Disney Characters
Extra Magic Hours with Disney Characters

Here’s a park guest interacting with Disney characters during an extra magic hour >>>

These resort guests are Disney’s best customers. They spend all their time on the property. Not only do they spend considerably more, but they stay longer and come back more often. The extra magic hours is just one of a handful of extra Disney benefits of staying on property:

  1. Skip the hassle of baggage claim! Resort Guests enjoy complimentary transportation for them and their bags between Orlando International Airport and the Disney Resort hotels, then back again at the end of their vacation.
  2. Stay close to the action. Resort guests can leverage complimentary transportation like monorails, ferryboats and motorcoaches.  As well as complimentary Theme Park parking for guests who are driving.
  3. Many shopping purchases can be delivered straight to the guests Disney Resort hotel so that you don’t miss a minute of fun!
  4. Guests have the option of having meals and snacks included with their vacation package.
  5. A variety of hotel options with extras. Hotels where you can splash down a pool slide to hotels where you can watch a movie under the stars…even hotels with Disney Character Dining.

TAKEAWAY: Disney says these little extras help guests stay close to the “heart of the magic.” How can you create special touches like Disney does? How are you making the experience memorable for your best customers? What’s Your Golden Goldfish?

COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU IN MARCH

I’ll be making stops this month in Atlanta, Chicago and San Diego.
March 6 – NC State / Alpha Kappa Psi (Raleigh)
March 9 / 10 – MENG Board Meeting (Chicago)
March 12 – FENG (Raleigh)
March 18 to 20 – Next Gen CX Conference (San Diego)
March 19 – MENG San Diego Keynote (La Jolla)
March 27 – TECNA CEO Retreat (Durham)
One event I’m looking forward to is Next Gen Customer Experience in San Diego. Launched in 2011, Next Gen brings together senior level customer experience executives across all industries to discuss the latest CX strategies across all channels and touch points. I’ll be moderating a panel on NPS on 3/20 at the event.

B2B Examples

Without exception, every time I speak about the Purple Goldfish I’m asked, “So – what if I work in B2B. How does it translate?”
The same principles apply. Here is a slideshare with some of the best B2B examples:

 

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here’s a fun recap of the Oscars. Straight from the Triangle, it’s from the same folks who brought you “My Christmas Jammies“:

Oscars with the Holderness Family - #dayaftervideo
Oscars with the Holderness Family – #dayaftervideo

Are you leveraging your key customers and employees as multipliers?

A Simple Truth

Not all customers and are created equal. For the majority of businesses, 80% of profitability will be generated by 20% of customers. These folks are the “vital few” of your customers. Similarly, not all employees are created equal. 80% of the value generated typically comes from 20% of employees.

Multipliers BookA similar idea was driven home in a book called Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown. The book speaks to leadership and how great leaders get more from their employees. Essentially it showcases how these multipliers stretch the abilities of their team to achieve results that exceed expectations. The opposite of a multiplier is a diminisher. Diminishers focus on themselves and drain the intelligence out of others.

Doubling down: You want Multipliers

In the words of author Liz Wiseman,

“Multipliers don’t just get a little more from their people, they get vastly more. When we asked people how much of their capability, their ideas, their energy diminishers got from them versus multipliers, we found that diminishers on average got 48 percent of people’s brainpower. Multipliers on average got 97 percent. So you can actually double the brainpower of your organization for free. You don’t need additional resources to potentially get twice the capability out of the staff you already have.”

The same concept that apply to leadership can be applied to customer experience as well as employee engagement. Let’s look at the five disciplines of Multipliers:

Credit: Leadership Now

Credit: Leadership Now

1. The Talent Magnet – Are you creating an environment that’s conducive to retaining your top customers and employees?

2. The Liberator – Do you bring intensity to your work that keeps top customers and employees on top of their game?

3. The Challenger – Are you finding creative ways to stretch the capabilities of your top customers and employees?

4. The Debate Maker – Are you speaking last? Finding ways to engage top employees and customers into decision-making and product development processes?

5. The Investor – Are you allowing top customers and employees the opportunity to own key segments of a program or initiative?

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Sometimes in life, you just have to double down. Here’s a money clip from the 1996 classic Swingers with Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau:

 

Disney offers its best customers a little extra magic

Disney Extra Magic HoursOn designated days, one of the Walt Disney World theme parks opens an hour early and two hours later [No evening magic hours at the Animal Kingdom]. These times are called Disney’s extra magic hours. The added golden goldfish is for Disney Resort guests only and includes guests staying at the Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Hotels and the Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort.

Here’s a park guest interacting with Disney characters during an extra magic hour:

These resort guests are Disney’s best customers. They spend all their time on the property. Not only do they spend considerably more, but they stay longer and come back more often. The extra magic hours is just one of a handful of extra Disney benefits of staying on property:

  1. disney baggageSkip the hassle of baggage claim! Guests enjoy complimentary transportation for them and their bags between Orlando International Airport and the Disney Resort hotels, then back again at the end of their vacation.
  2. Stay close to the action. Resort guests can leverage complimentary transportation like monorails, ferryboats and motorcoaches.  As well as complimentary Theme Park parking for guests who are driving.
  3. Package-Pickup-CompressedMany shopping purchases can be delivered straight to the guests Disney Resort hotel so that you don’t miss a minute of fun!
  4. Guests have the option of having meals and snacks included with their vacation package.
  5. ftwildernessoutdoormovieA variety of hotel options with extras. Hotels where you can splash down a pool slide to hotels where you can watch a movie under the stars…even hotels with Disney Character Dining.

TAKEAWAY: Disney says these little extras help guests stay close to the “heart of the magic.” How can you create special touches like Disney does? How are you making the experience memorable for your best customers? What’s Your Golden Goldfish?

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here’s a montage of the Phelps family visiting three years ago. Great experience at the character breakfast for Thomas’ fifth birthday:

Who Gets Treated Better? Employees, Customers or Your Top 20% of Both?

This was originally posted on Salesformics:

Who Gets Treated Better?

110131_BB_STARBUCKSLOGO.jpg.CROP.original-originalMicah Solomon recently wrote about Starbucks in Forbes.com. He shared a conversation he had with an employee in Seattle. The employee asked Micah,

“Do you think Starbucks takes better care of its employees, or of its customers?”

Micah didn’t have an answer for him. And, as it turned out, this was the point. The employee added,

“I’ve worked here a long time, and I’ve thought about it for a while. And I just don’t know. I think Starbucks cares about, and takes care of, both groups. I think it’s equal.”

This is truly an aspirational goal, “When its a toss up as to who is treated better?” But for the majority of companies, it comes down to prioritization. Where do you focus your time and resources first? Based on my research, here is the ideal progression:

purple green and golden goldfish1. Employees (Green)
2. Customers (Purple)
3. Top 20% of customers / employees (Gold)

Start With Employees

Take care of your employees first. You can’t have happy enthused customers without happy engaged employees. There is a great book by the CEO of HCL Technologies on this premise. It’s called, Employees First, Customers Second. Another one on culture is by the founder of Patagonia Yvon Chouinard called, Let My People Go Surfing. Your actions need to demonstrate your commitment to your employees. Case in point: ING Direct used to fire thousands of customers each month, especially when they abused employees or made unreasonable demands on them.

Then Customers

How can you do the little things to add value and make things easier for your customers? Here are some top B2B examples from companies such as FedEx, Disney and Wufoo:

And Top 20% Last

The last in the progression is your top customers and top employees. Twenty percent of your customers will account for 80 percent of your profitability. I recently wrote about this on Switch & Shift in a post entitled, All Customers and Employees are Not Created Equal. These employees and customers are your vital few. The idea is that you don’t treat everyone the same, you treat everyone fairly.

employees first customer second top last

Imagine a round target like on an archery range. The outer ring is employees, the middle ring is customers and the bullseye is top customers / employees. Start on the outside and work your way into the center.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure)Here is Howard Schultz talking about the Starbucks brand at the London Business Forum. Great quote in here, “You can’t exceed the expectations of your customer as an enterprise… unless you exceed the expectations of your employees first.”