Operational Excellence tip: The Role of Imperfection

This short video discusses how imperfection can actually help your organization retain customers better and grow with them.

Mistakes and issues are going to happen. We’d like to avoid them, but we can’t always do that. How do you deal with those issues when you arise? Are you able to turn customer issues into revenue opportunities?

Rogers quarterly profit goes down

Rogers announced that it’s profit for the last quarter went down as a result of lower audiences for the NHL hockey games it shows and because it lost more customers than it was expecting.

New regulations allow cell phone customers to get out of the ridiculous three-year contracts we all signed to get good deals on our phones. As a result, Rogers was forced to spend more money this quarter on customer retention efforts. Anyone who has dealt with Rogers customer service would not be surprised to hear that Rogers retention efforts needed improvement.

If Rogers had improved its’ customer service and retention efforts years ago like it should have, it would not be losing profits and customers now. I touched on this back in 2013 and in 2012. But nobody wanted to listen back then.

If anyone at Rogers is listening now, here’s what I would suggest:

  • Don’t subsidize new customers through your current customers. It should not be cheaper for someone off the street to get a new phone over someone who has been a loyal customer for years and spent thousands of dollars with you.
  • Adopt one view of the customer. I realize you offer a lot of different services, but no customer likes receiving multiple calls from the same company asking about different services that they already have.
  • Be more proactive in finding ways for customers to save money. This will create loyalty. Every time I call, I am given suggestions to reduce my monthly bill, which is great. It would be even better if someone called me proactively to give me those suggestions.
  • Offer concierge service to your best customers. No one should have to wait 15 minutes to get an issue resolved. Especially a customer who has been with you for more than 10 years and likely spent almost $100,000 with you.

Take them or leave them, but these are the ideas I have for you. I only suggest them to help you make more money next quarter.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – March 30, 2015
Organizations need to change the way they operate if they want to continue to be successful. The way organizations engage with customers is different. The way customers buy products and services is different. The way employees choose where they want to work is different. The way companies innovate is different.
If you want to maximize performance and profitability, you need to make these mindset changes:
  • You can’t focus on customer satisfaction, you need to focus on customer retention. Happy customers only matter if they keep buying from you.
  • You can’t focus on cost cutting, you need to focus on growth. Controlling costs makes sense, but having a strategy that relies on cutting costs to be competitive will not allow you to survive for very long.
  • You can’t focus on elimination of waste and standardization, you need to focus on innovation. You need to create new ways of operating that accomplish your objectives faster and more effectively and you need to become a master of adopting and applying those ideas across your organization.
  • You can’t focus on productivity, you need to focus on performance. Every employee needs to contribute to help the organization make progress.
  • You should spend less time on strategy development and more time on execution. Most initiatives fail at the execution stage. It might be the right thing to do, but if executed poorly, you don’t get the results you expected.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of speed. But you need to know when to speed up and when to slow down. You need to optimize speed.

Changing the mindset of organization is not easy, but it’s necessary. Start by preaching excellence not perfection. Reward people for trying new ways to improve performance, even if they fail. Look at new ways to measure success.

But most importantly, you need to first acknowledge that your mindset needs to change. Then you can begin to identify the best opportunities to improve performance.

Looking for more insights?
Each Wednesday I will be posting a short video tip to help organizations improve operational excellence. Click here and here to watch my first videos.
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Andrew Miller
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

Operational Excellence tip: Customer Retention

Do you know the four key factors in maximizing customer retention? What are the other six factors that matter? And if you know them, how well are you leveraging them?

This short videos identifies the four key factors in maximizing customer retention.

If you are interested in taking my free customer retention assessment, click here.

The Power of Habit

For those who have not read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, I suggest you go out and get it. It might just change the way you look at your customers and your employees.

In a recent post, I identified habit as one of the key factors in maximizing customer retention. Duhigg’s book shows us why that factor is so important. He provides examples of how to change your habits, but also how to market to your customers and get them to change their habits (and use your products). Here are a few of my favourite quotes from the book:

“Consumers need some kind of a signal that a product is working.”

“People’s buying habits are more likely to change when they go through a major life event.”

“For an idea to grow beyond a community, it must become self-propelling.”

Changing the habits of your customers allows you to attract new customers and maximize retention with the ones you already have.

What customer habits are you focused on changing?