V. VALIDATE YOUR SOLUTIONS. Provide video testimonials of customers who recommend you and the value you provide to their company with your service or product. A. ALWAYS ASK: How are we doing? Can we do better? What do you like best? On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate us? Would you recommend us? L. LOSE A CUSTOMER IF YOU DON’T PROVIDE VALUE. Remind your team and reinforce this to them. Ask your customer, “On a scale of 1–10, how would you rate us? Would you refer and recommend us?” Remember, the answers “okay” and “fine” mean a neutral experience with your company. U. UNEXPECTED SURPRISE. This is my favorite element of value. What can you do to dazzle and delight your prospect or client? Two of my secrets: A great book or a thank-you card customized with a photo of them on the front. Check out the book “Giftology” by John Ruhlin or SendoutCards.com if you need more help. E. EXPECTATIONS MANAGED. Today’s added value is tomorrow’s expectation. If you give away trips or tickets, remember to make it special. Make it a one-time deal, or they will keep asking for more. Whether you’re plowing snow for your neighbor or offering a Go-Cup to your customers, your team needs to not only define value but also to understand how to deliver it. If you want three more examples of value, please email me at AskDaveTester.com and ask me for the three value stories. Also, make sure you are adding value to your employees. This is an easy one you can accomplish right away: Tell your employees thank you and say, “I appreciate you.”
If your customers don’t perceive value, they will leave you. As a reminder, 100 percent of your customers are on your competition’s hit list. In 2019, you need to find a way to add value. The picture in this month’s newsletter represents the best illustration of adding value I could think of: using a snow blower to plow my neighbor’s driveway in a snowstorm. Value: Is your customer, or even your prospect, better off after they meet with you — and not because they purchase your product or because you make a wonderful presentation? If you clear the driveway and don’t expect anything in return, that’s value. January 2019 presents a great opportunity for you to challenge your team to find ways to add value for clients and prospects. A friend of mine, Jim Zamzow, who owns a chain of lawn, garden, and pet stores, tells me that, even after having been in business since 1933, his biggest challenge is that every day someone else is building square footage or an online service designed to put him out of business.
This year, you have a fresh chance to build a wall around your clients that no one can penetrate. Add value! What are the little things that mean a lot? Remember, your customers and prospects don’t remember what you say, but they do remember how you made them feel. We have a customer care training called The Go-Cup. I borrowed the concept from my favorite lunchtime diner. The food is okay, but
How to add value to your clients and customers in 2019
Make 2019 your most valuable year ever! -Dave Tester
it’s the service that I remember: “Please” and “thank you” and “Dave, here’s your Go-Cup.” That proves my point, but what’s your version of a training that teaches your staff to add value? I encourage you to give it some thought. While you do that, let me show you our V.A.L.U.E. this month. Share it with your team and brainstorm!
‘The Score Takes Care of Itself’
Bill Walsh on What It Means to Be a Leader
The term “game changer” gets tossed around so much these days that it no longer seems to hold enough weight to describe a legendary coach like Bill Walsh. But how do you describe someone who quite literally changed the way football is played on the highest level? It takes incredible willpower to defy conventional wisdom and turn a struggling team into a powerhouse. In Walsh’s memoir on leadership, “The Score Takes Care of Itself,” he explores the philosophy that guided him through his coaching career and led him to success. Working with award-winning author Steve Jamison, the two distill Walsh’s decades of experience into a comprehensive guide that can be used by coaches and CEOs alike. One theme throughout the book is the idea that sound fundamentals trump instincts. As Walsh aptly puts it, “Hearing someone described as being able to ‘fly by the seat of his pants’ always suggests to me a leader who hasn’t prepared properly and whose pants may soon fall down.” For long-term success, you have to have a game plan. For Walsh, preparation for leadership begins by bracing yourself for the worst. A mantra repeated throughout the book is “expect defeat.” In business and in football, losses are just a fact of life; how you prepare for and respond to these crises will determine your team’s success. But the most valuable element of leadership in Walsh’s eyes is how you treat the members of your team. You need to have the courage to let them know you believe in them. Using simple but earnest positive reinforcement, this legendary coach turned the 49ers into an incredible team, and the benefits show. Segments of the book contain anecdotes and reflections from players such as Joe Montana and Randy Cross, whose deep admiration for their former leader speak volumes. “The Score Takes Care of Itself” was published posthumously. Walsh’s son, Craig, did much of the legwork to piece this definitive portrait together. What we are left with is a truly insightful read from one of the most innovative, inspiring minds in sports history. It will be a long time before a book like this comes around again.
“Thank you for accommodating our superintendent meeting on last-minute notice! It was an excellent training, and I received very good feedback from those involved! Your partnership is greatly appreciated!”
Michael Papac Executive Vice President Engineered Structures, Inc
Satisfied With Last Year’s Performance? Are You Sure You Should Be?
Calculate Customer Churn — And Learn How to Reduce It in 2019
You’re looking over last year’s numbers, feeling pretty satisfied about the results for 2018. Production increased and you have a lot to feel proud of overall. But what about those customers or subscribers who said goodbye to you in 2018? If you haven’t yet calculated
by the value of recurring business lost or as a percentage of recurring value lost. Choose the measurement that makes the most sense for your business. Why is this number so important? Think about it this way: Beyond representing how many customers flew the coop in 2018, churn represents an exponential loss of profit. Each year those lost clients don’t do business with you, you lose a year’s worth of potential revenue. By tracking customer churn throughout the year — ideally quarterly — in addition to end-of-year churn, you’ll begin to notice trends that you can address. Does the highest churn always happen in the third quarter? Did you sell more subscriptions in 2018 but lose more longtime customers in the course of chasing those leads? Noticing how these threads lead back to your losses is the first step in decreasing your churn rate. Of course, it’s impossible to calculate your customer churn if you haven’t been tracking and measuring it throughout the year. If you haven’t, you now have the opportunity to do so for the coming year. Add monitoring these numbers to your resolutions for 2019.
your end-of-year churn, you should feel a little less comfortable. Looking at that churn rate is key to your business’s success. Most business owners say that if they could change one thing about their business, it would be their customer churn rate. Retention is key to success because it almost always costs less to retain a client than it does to attract a new one. Increasing client retention and reducing churn in the coming year can only happen if you know what your churn rate was last year.
CALCULATING CHURN It’s not rocket science! One of the most straightforward ways to express yearly churn is to calculate it as a percentage of customers lost: Divide the number of customers you started with in 2018 by the number of customers you lost in 2018. Churn can also be measured
• 1 teaspoon vanilla • 1 bag colored marshmallows
• 1/2 cup butter • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1. Melt butter and chocolate chips together. Add vanilla and let cool. 2. Add in bag of marshmallows and stir until mixed. 3. Spoon mix onto wax paper in the shape of a log and roll log up in the paper. Refrigerate for 2 hours. 4. Cut into 1/3-inch slices and serve.
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The Philosophy of Bill Walsh
Why Acknowledging Customer Churn Is Key to Success in 2019
Are Your Business Goals Doomed to Fail?
Personal New Year’s Resolutions Aren’t the Only Ones That Fail
COMMUNICATION Negative external and internal relations are surefire goal-killers. Internally, the success of your company is dependent on the dynamics between team members, management, and leaders. Complacency and gossip tend to spread like wildfire and can cause a dip in productivity. External communication between partners and potential clients is very similar. Without clear expectations and mutual respect in relationships, your business will cease to scale. CUSTOMER SERVICE Clients need to feel valued to have a future with your business, and that’s rooted in every interaction. Customer service is a broad term that is often miscategorized. In truth, every role is based on customer service, but many people go about it wrong by taking on the attitude of “It’s not my job.” Lack of ownership and willingness to serve customers in every capacity will undermine any long-term objectives your company may have. The good news is that with proper execution of these three concepts, you can focus on attaining your goals, and in the process, achieve levels of success you previously thought impossible. Don’t let your objectives for the new year fall by the wayside. Achieve those goals by rooting your business in organization, communication, and customer service.
At the end of the year, entrepreneurs sit down to develop their goals for the new year. They craft specific objectives based on best practices they learned from other leaders, implementing S.M.A.R.T. goals or strategic plans to give their company a clear path to success. But every year, perfectly crafted benchmarks fall by the wayside and join weight loss on the scrap heap of New Year’s resolutions. Owners scratch their heads wondering why they didn’t reach their target,
not understanding the root cause of their failure. You can have the most carefully planned-out goals, but if you haven’t built a foundation on these three concepts, you’ll never achieve them. ORGANIZATION Nothing derails a goal faster than ineffective systems and processes. Procedures aren’t dynamic, so as your business changes, an audit of processes isn’t just useful; it’s necessary. But as your business must continue to improve its organization in order to adapt to change, so do your team members. At the root of every system is an employee, so without teaching basic principles of time management and prioritization, those systems are limited in their capacity and effectiveness.
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