How Customer Experience Impacts Relationships In Your Business: Part 2

How Customer Experience Impacts Relationships In Your Business: Part 2

Last week, I told a story about my friend’s experience with a credit union. He had opened up a few accounts at a credit union and did not have a very informative or particularly “great” experience.  In fact, it was unsettling.  If you missed it, you can read part 1 here.

If you can’t wait to see what happened next, let’s dive in…

About a week later, my friend went to a different branch of his new credit union.  He went there to see if a different account manager could help answer questions the first left unanswered, and give him more information about their bank.  Basically, he was giving them a second chance to improve the initial experience he had at the first branch.

When he came home, his wife who told him to leave the bank, was eager to know what happened.

He said to his wife, “I told the account manager I had opened up a checking account, a savings account and an investment account last week.  When I got home, I realized I had a lot of questions because the account manager that set me up didn’t really explain a lot.  I would like to learn more about your bank, what it offers and why I should work with a credit union instead of a regular bank.”

“The account manager looked at me in shock”, he explained to his wife. “The person who opened your accounts didn’t give you a folder of information?”

“No.”

“No folder? Backseat organizer for your car? No coffee mug?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Do you know who opened up your accounts for you?”

“No, and I wish she gave me her business card so I could tell you!”

“She didn’t even give you a business card? Here, let me make this right for you.”

The account manager walked away and soon came back with a folder that contained information about his new credit union, information about his accounts, a backseat organizer for his car and TWO coffee mugs.  One for him and one for his wife.

She then proceeded to answer all the questions he had.

I have shared this story with you because customer experiences are everything!

Whether an experience happens at the beginning of the customer life-cycle or in the middle, they have the ability to make or break a relationship between you and your clients.

The experience my friend went through – either time – could have ruined the relationship between him and the credit union, before it even started.  Most people I know would not give the credit union a second chance like my friend did.

The second time, he was provided all the information he needed, plus he received a few gifts for him and his wife.

What made him stay?  Was it the second account manager’s personality?  Was it her professionalism?

Maybe.

Could it have been the gifts?

Perhaps.

If I could bet on it, I would say it was a combination of both. This is because the way you treat your clients and what you give to them to remember the experience they had help create experiences for people.

My friend did tell me that he could break a coffee mug, lose one, give them away or even throw them away, but, he would still remember the experience he had that day, whenever he saw or thought about his coffee mug.

In this case, the gifts reinforced the newfound experience with the credit union.

The moral of this story is when you interact with clients – current, and even potential clients – make it count!

Make sure your employees know how to make it count and what it takes to make it count.

Finally, remember the experience people receive is how they will view your company, what they will tell others and what they will remember about your company.

How Customer Experience Impacts Relationships In Your Business: Part 1

How Customer Experience Impacts Relationships In Your Business: Part 1

A friend of mine, who had never had an account at a credit union before, decided he wanted to be a part of a credit union.  He did some research and headed over to his local credit union so he could switch banks.  He also thought it would be wise to open up an investment account as well.

Now, he didn’t know much about this credit union (or any credit union for that matter), only what he had read online.  He also didn’t know what it meant to be a part of a credit union.  But, he decided not to worry because the person he spoke with at the branch would fill in the blanks for him.

When he returned from the credit union, his wife asked him to see the information the bank gave to him.  She also asked if the account manager was able to answer all of his questions.

“You know what?  The person I spoke with didn’t give me information about their bank.  Hm? What was her name? I don’t have her card. And you know what, I don’t even know my account number!”

As he told his wife about his experience, it dawned on him that the account manager he spoke with at the branch simply went through the motions of opening up his accounts, had him sign the paperwork, and left him with more unanswered questions than he went in there with!

His wife was a little uneasy about it.  She said it was a little off putting that the account manager failed to provide information about their bank and the accounts her husband had opened.  Her husband didn’t even come back with a folder of information, a business card, nothing!

She told my friend he should go right back there, take his money and his investment accounts out of the bank and go to another bank.

While he thought his wife was right about that, he did something that not many people I know would do.  He decided to give the credit union a second chance!  He told his wife that he would go talk to someone at a different branch and if his questions were not answered, he would do what she said and switch banks, again.

Now, most people I know would not give the credit union a second chance.  Would you, after having a not so informative and not so pleasant experience?

What made my friend go to another branch? Perhaps he did not want to go through the hassle of closing a bank account and going somewhere else. Maybe he believed another branch would give him a different experience?

But, if you think about it, how does my friend know if his future experiences will be better?  He doesn’t.

I agree with his wife.  If it were me, I would go straight back there, close my account and find a bank that would take care of me and be on my team for the long haul.  Nothing about the above experience screams “I want to continue to do business with you!”.

A week later, my friend went to a different branch to give them an opportunity to salvage the relationship. To have a (hopefully) better experience.

Next week, I will give you the inside scoop on what my friend went through the second time around!

In the meantime, what are your thoughts?  What do you think happened? Would you continue to to business with a company if they treated you like a transaction?

The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 Has Been Announced!

The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 Has Been Announced!

Each year, the authority on all things related to color, the Pantone Color Institute, forecasts and decides on a color for the year.  Known as the “color of the year”, this color is chosen to represent not only design and fashion trends, but also the theme of each year.

Although it may not seem like choosing a color for the year is a big deal, the decision is a very serious matter.  In fact, once the color of the year is chosen by Pantone, the color name is placed in a sealed envelope and delivered to their partners who have to sign a confidentiality agreement so the name cannot be released until Pantone says “it’s time”.

After last year’s emerald green color, “Greenery”, that was supposed to reflect fresh and new beginnings, Pantone decided to choose a color that “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future”, said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

This color is: Ultra Violet. A purple color with a bluish tint, this color was chosen to represent an uplifting message of hope and visionary thinking.

According to Pantone.com, “Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

What do you think? Do you think this year’s Ultra Violet is representative to the year ahead?

Self Care is the New Health Care: How to Start!

Self Care is the New Health Care: How to Start!

I wake up.  I look at my phone and I check my emails – oh look there is a text message from my friend Alexis.

Wait a minute…can someone tell me why she is texting me at 7 am?

Oh well, I guess I will respond and reminisce about the days when it was rude to call someone before 9 am or even after 9 pm.

But wait, does that only apply to phone calls?  Is it not considered rude because she sent me a text?

No, that’s not it.  Someone called me last night at 11:00!  Don’t people sleep?!

Sadly, these days we are constantly connected.  With cell phones, social media, email – you name it – we are always expected to be “on”. These expectations tell us we “should” be answering our phones at 11:00 pm and we “need” to answer that text or email right away.

But what about what’s going on with my life?  Don’t I have other things going on without having more expectations and obligations of getting back to someone right away right when they need me?

But what about the 10 million other things I have going on in my life?  Don’t I have other things going on without having more expectations and obligations of getting back to someone right away right when they need me?

While an “always on” lifestyle isn’t ideal, it is becoming our way of life.

I’m not saying we should adapt to it.  No, not at all!  It’s too stressful.

I’m saying we need to start creating our own boundaries instead of being sucked into the way the world is growing in this fast-paced-never-turned-off world of ours!

One of the main reasons I believe we need to take a few steps back when the world is going 100 steps forward is because of stress.

We all know what it is and at some point in our lives, we all have experienced it.  It can happen at anytime, anywhere. Usually, it happens when we are overloaded with pressures that can come from our day to day lives, family, work and other responsibilities.

Not to mention, we want (and sometimes feel like we need) to get it all done right now! Heck, you might be stressed right now thinking about it!

Don’t get me wrong, stress can be good for you. It’s constant stress that is not. It can do a lot of harm to our bodies when we don’t do anything to remove the stress out of our lives.

When ignored, it can compromise our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. When it becomes a chronic condition, it can contribute to a variety of physical and mental health problems like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and anxiety.

Needless to say, nothing good comes from long-term stress! So, how do you find time to manage it?

It’s not like our life and our careers are going to start demanding less of us! Our to-do lists are never-ending. There’s always going to be more stuff to do than there is time in a day, and everything always takes 2-5x longer than we think.

Now, factor in the impromptu emails, texts, status updates and phone calls and I don’t know why we don’t have 48 hours in a day!

This brings me back to the boundaries I was talking about. We need to start thinking of our lives as a marathon. We need to be conscious of our time and know that we can’t get it ALL done in one hour, one day, one week or month.  We have to pick and choose what we allow into our lives!

Basically, in our life marathon, sometimes we have to run as fast as we can – and it’s exhausting – but other times, we should stop and think, and take the time to take care of ourselves.

A great way to start is to begin practicing self care. Why?  Not only it’s the new health-care, it can reduce our stress levels significantly when we start to become mindful about how we go about our days to manage our stress because staying stressed is what causes damage to our overall well-being.

In this busy life, self care should be your number one priority because it is the best care, for you.  When you take care of yourself and put yourself first – you become more successful and less stressed because you are bettering your life and the lives of those around you.

Self care looks like anything you LOVE to do for yourself that is not work-related! You can go on a walk, you can read a book, you can take a nap.  You get the idea.

The best tip I can give you is to make it simple.  For example, you can create a short morning routine that will set your day up for success and less stress.

Your morning ritual can include looking outside before looking at your phone (that way you won’t feel obligated to text so-and-so back!), stretching, reading, eating a balanced meal and drinking lots of water.

Not a morning person?  Create a nighttime routine that can serve you just as well.  All you need is to create a custom self care routine in your life.

The important thing is to start practicing self care.

I will leave you with this: it is the small little changes that make a difference and you need to give yourself a break because breaks now are better than breakdowns later.

How To Make Hard Business Decisions, Easy

How To Make Hard Business Decisions, Easy

I hope you had a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving weekend full of great food and time spent with friends, family and loved ones!

This past weekend, my husband and I not only spent time with family, we decided to do something different and play a board game.  As I was searching for a game, I stumbled upon an old book I had as a child: “Zobmondo” : The Outrageous Book of Bizarre Choices” by Randy Horn.  For those of you not familiar with the book, it is basically full of “Would you rather…” questions.

Questions like, “Would you rather cut 1/4 acre of grass with your teeth, OR, lick up a 15-foot-by-15-foot rain puddle?”

And, (one more relevant after this weekend) “Would you rather, after three days without eating, have a sumptuous Thanksgiving meal placed in front of you and wine $5000 by waiting 16 hours to eat it, OR, just dig in?”

While we ended up playing Monopoly, I couldn’t help but thinking about all the times I would read through “Zobmondo” with my friends and all the laughs we would have reading each other the questions and “forcing” each other to make a choice between the two.  Some of those questions are hard!

My little trip down memory lane reminded me that business owners have to make hard decisions all the time (personally, I know I have to make at least one hard choice every day).

Sometimes, it’s easy to make business decisions because “it’s a no brainer” or because “this makes sense”.  Then there are the other times when you come across a business decision you just can’t seem to make.  Maybe you are afraid you are making the wrong choice or you don’t think you have enough information to make the right choice?

What do you do in this instance?  How do you make it easy to make hard business decisions?  Well, like the “would you rather” questions found in the book of “Zobmondo” – you need to “force” yourself to make a choice (and yes, you do have to make a choice, or you risk not moving your business forward).

I know, I know, it’s hard making hard decisions! But, the good news is either decision you make is the right decision. The reason is because you are taking a step forward.  If it ends up being the “right” decision, great!  If it ends up being the “wrong” decision, that’s great too because you will be able to learn from that decision and move on.

The point is, you need to stop procrastinating and simply make a choice because that’s how you figure out whether you need to continue, pivot or adjust as you move forward in your business.

One last thing, if you are a business owner who needs help making hard decisions or encouragement when it’s time to make those hard decisions, join Maximizer Connection, our free Facebook supportive community of like-minded business owners who can relate to the things we face as entrepreneurs on a day to day basis. See you over there.

Our New Small Business Owner Community is Here!

Our New Small Business Owner Community is Here!

Recently, Antina launched our Facebook “community” for small business owners trying to learn how to navigate through this crazy thing we call entrepreneurship and make it out profitable, called Maximizer Connection!

maximizer-connection-facebook-header

Once you join our community of like-minded business owners, you will be able to collaborate and mastermind with others who are looking to grow their business by learning how to maximizing marketing, sales profits, time, events, results, strategies, and well…maximize their business and create bigger brands. (While receiving and accepting support from the group at the same time).

So, if you are…

  • A Business Owner
  • An Entrepreneur
  • A Leader
  • Kind and Respectful to Others
  • Mission-Driven
  • An Action-Taker

You definitely want to check us out!

Why did we start this group?

  • Because owning a business is tough and sometimes lonely – especially when you are trying to maximize your business in every way in order to grow strong.
  • Because when you join a community that supports and uplifts you, it makes the journey that much easier knowing you are not alone.
  • Because we have your back and we will maximize our businesses together!

If this speaks to you, this space was made for you and you will love it!

You can join our group by going to www.maximizerconnection.com

See you there!