Last week we had the chance to speak with Shep Hyken, an expert in customer service and customer experience. During the podcast, we covered how, now more than ever before, the customer experience today will dictate the future of your company. Only by Exceeding Expectations can we hope to work with current and future clients again…and again.
Shep is clear, the customer experience cannot be just OK. Every customer interaction must be extraordinary, and, by amazing them, you will create brand trust and loyalty. What follows is a simple How To. It is simple, yet not necessarily easy. If you are ready to build a bigger and better brand than ever before, read on….
Get Connected, Stay Engaged
Whether we call ourselves media companies or not, we have to be somewhat versed in the intricacies of social selling in today’s attention economy. If you have not already done so, begin today to build a real strategy for messaging your company’s value across social networks, and incorporate your entire team in the process.
With physical distancing still a priority for many, we now have to connect through routine broadcasting of value – real value. Back before social platforms, this would often be referred to as “smiling and dialing”, or “dialing for dollars”. Today, while the phone may still be a big part of how you connect, platforms like LinkedIN make it possible to truly network in ways we were not able to before, casting a much broader net.
At a minimum, you should be getting out at least 3 posts per week, preferably as an article that truly helps the audience you are interested in attracting to your company. Do this across all social platforms with routine consistency – the magic is in the mix. By doing so, you will create a real following, build a relationship with those you truly want to work with, then be able to sell when the time is appropriate. It is all about delivering the right message, in the right way and at the right time…to the right people.
Some companies are still a bit afraid of social selling. You have to embrace the fact it is essential to building your brand, any brand, and you to train your entire team to do it well, then empower them to do so.
Sure, there are compliance issues, especially in medical sales. WE cannot make false claims, so part of the training will be to instruct your team, should they ever make a video describing your product, it must be approved. Better yet, give them the script, in advance. Make it a part of your strategy to do so.
Realize, today, social platforms do provide a great vehicle for connecting about business, not simply sharing your political views and favorite humorous memes. Just ensure you are providing real value to the audience, and do not always make it about your company. Some say the mix should be even as broad as 9:1 – nine posts that share relevant information and will make a positive impact on your clientele, and one post that is clear marketing of your solutions.
The is all about managing your brand reputation. Make it clear to the market you are here to help, and do it using written copy, engaging video, and even audio.
The real effort we should all be making, as companies and individuals, is to work in such a way the constituents of our effort come to know, like and trust us. The first two may be easy, yet building a level of trust where people have such confidence in you they will routinely turn to your business or you for counsel is the epitome of success.
While it may not be easy to earn trust, it is simple. All you have to do is meet commitments in a consistent and predictable manner and teach those you lead to do the same. It is also essential you are working to make a daily positive impact in the lives of those you serve. This is ownership – of the issues, of the solutions and of the value of the business. Shep talks about this as part of 5 steps to creating fans in his book, Cult of the Customer.
Satisfied is Dangerous
For Shep and his team, there is nothing scary about the word “cult.” Think about it. You find the word “cult” as the root of words you already know and use without worry – words like “culture” and “cultivate.”
“Cult” comes from the Latin word cultus, which originally meant “care or tending.” What Shep proposes is creating a corporate culture that is so focused on taking care of and tending to employees and customers that the culture itself creates Evangelists. Evangelists are special people who go out of their way to tell the world just how great you and your company are. They are exactly the kind of advocates you want your organization’s culture to create.
What you do need to be afraid of is satisfied customers. These are the clients that will eventually find someone or some company that WOWs them, so you have to be better than average ALL the time. The goal is to get everyone – employees and clientele alike – the always say something positive about your business.
There are many companies who have managed to build a culture that reaches this level; a culture rooted in a concept Shep refers to routinely as Amazement. In this book, he will tell you their stories, show you exactly how they made The Cult of the Customer happen, and show you how you can make it happen, too. This similar concept is covered in the book, The Leadership Pill, by Ken Blanchard. The idea is to become the employer of choice, the provider of choice and the investment of choice.
Soccer fans are a fanatical kind of loyal. The game itself, known as futbol by many, is all about touches. The more you and your team touch the ball, the better you become and the more control you exert over the game.
The same is true in business. To become that provider of choice, especially in noisy times like these, you must show to the world you exist to provide value and be a supportive partner by giving the appearance of being ever present. Today, you have to find alternative ways to do that.
In your social media campaigns, make it clear you care. Broadcast the fact you are here for them, both now an in the future. And, again, make sure what you provide is of real value with a healthy mix of marketing that ensures they turn to you when they do need help.
Become a Trusted Advisor
We all want to move up the measured scale from pure vendor to the level of trusted advisor, but how can we in times where it is so difficult to get in front of someone. We keep coming back to this one thing: be a real resource.
Be a beacon of knowledge. IN all you do, establish a higher level of expertise. Indicate to your current and future clients you have your finger on the pulse of their business and that you can quite possibly see around corners. Provide research you know others will find valuable, or share articles you know will resonate with those you work alongside.
Also, start to more deeply connect the dots across your network, and put people together who can support one another and even compound their efforts, and yours. The genuine effort should be to help them be more successful. The logical outcome is likely that you will be more successful, too.
Stand and Deliver
Fear and stress can be amplified in times like these. The personality of individuals and teams will also be amplified. You want to show the world your company culture is one that is stable, realistic and is preparing for the future.
The age-old question is also amplified in times like these: “Is the glass half full, or half empty”. Shep says the answer is, “YES!” We like to say that some days, we are simply happy to have a glass at all.
Especially in challenging times, yet also in the good, embrace and embody a perspective that is both positive and real. Be a beacon of hope, and empower your team to make strong commitments and deliver on them.
The best way to ensure you are leading well in times such as these is to maintain routine, open and honest connections and communication with everyone. Be genuinely connected, interested and involved in the success of others. Find ways to make their day, and, if it is in you, bring warm hearted humor that will show them you are in this with them.
Define Your Process
When people like Shep are called into your company, it is often because something in your process is broken. You have a bit of a hitch in your giddy-up. The economic engine isn’t firing on all cylinders.
Shep has an amazingly simple, customer focused formula for fixing this:
- Have a mantra. When we talk about deciding what to be, and then be it, as we often do, this is what we are describing. Shep’s team uses, “Always be Amazing”. The Ritz reminds their team they are “Ladies and Gentlemen Serving Ladies and Gentlemen”. Ours is, “Providing Top Talent for Peak Performance”.
- Communicate it. It is the essence of this article, really. Over and over, communicate your mantra then demonstrate it to others. By doing so, you will be front of mind.
- Train to it. The mantra, that is. It has to become engrained in all you do, and that starts with training. How will everyone really deliver on the promise to always be amazing?
- Model it. It is essential, as a leader or a follower, you show the world you understand and live the mantra of your team. Never waiver on this. That will compromise trust, and that will erode confidence.
- Defend it. Align everything you do, from social media to routine connections, with the mantra you have established. Make it a stronghold that can never be weakened.
- Celebrate it. When people live out the values you have established and model the ongoing training you give them, throw a party. Make recognition a part of the culture. Encourage your team by applauding loudly when they perform well. People will notice.
Be People Focused
This all starts and ends with realizing that, while the client comes first, and you must be better today than ever before, everything depends on the people we work with and the work they deliver. That is where Cerca Talent+ comes in….
At Cerca Talent+, we find ways to serve you by exercising the disciplined, daily practice of finding the very best possible talent with whom you can develop the kind of great reputation that will lead your company to Exceed Expectations. If you are an enterprise looking to expand your team with professionals who are focused on delivering work which they love and who embrace the power of Exceeding Expectations, please reach out to Scott Rivers at email@example.com.
Together, we will work with you to create a team that will be recognized as the premier performers in your space. We are here to help you become amazing and stay amazing.
And, if you have not already, please take the opportunity to connect with Shep on LinkedIn, and please let him know that you heard this on the Talent + Talks Podcast with Scott Rivers.
Links from The Podcast:
Shep’s LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shephyken/
Sheps Company: https://hyken.com/
About Shep Hyken: Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession.
Shep works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of Moments of Magic®, The Loyal Customer, The Cult of the Customer, The Amazement Revolution, Amaze Every Customer Every Time, Be Amazing or Go Home and The Convenience Revolution. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus™, a customer service training program which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset. (Now available as an online/web-based training program!)
CERCA Talent is a full-service Talent Firm with strategic focus in the areas of Life Sciences, Diagnostics, Genomics and Biotechnology.
Our clients choose to work with CERCA because of our deep understanding of the industries that we serve. They continue to work with us based on our knowledge and contacts which lead to amazing service to our clients. By working with the best clients, we are able to support them hiring the best talent in the industry.
Your host, Scott Rivers, is the Managing Director at Cerca Talent+, a Global Recruitment Solutions firm, where he directs the Diagnostics, Device and Genetics Talent Acquisition activities for the organization. Scott’s background as a recruiter, search firm owner and industry sales and marketing director, gives him an inequitable advantage in today’s talent market. Regarded as an expert in Talent Acquisition and Employment Technology, Scott has consulted some of the largest companies in the world on how best to implement talent acquisition strategies into daily practice.
Scott’s past experiences include senior sales and marketing roles at global organizations including Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson. His last industry position was the Global Director of Oncology Marketing at a Johnson & Johnson Company. There, he was responsible for all upstream and downstream marketing activities pertaining to the molecular oncology products of the organization.
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Helping clients acquire top talent for peak performance in the fields of Oncology, Genetics, Diagnostics and Life Sciences
The real effort we should all be making, as companies and individuals, is to work in such a way the beneficiaries of our performance come to know, like and trust us. The first two may be easy, yet building a level of trust where people have such confidence in you they will routinely turn to your business or you for counsel is the epitome of success. In our recent talk with Shep Hyken, we learn, while it may not be easy to earn trust, it is simple. All you have to do is meet commitments in a consistent and predictable manner and teach those you lead to do the same. It is also essential you are working to make a daily positive impact in the lives of those you serve. Now, more than ever before, the customer experience today will dictate the future of your company. Only by Exceeding Expectations can we hope to work with current and future clients again…and again. And the customer experience cannot be just OK. Every customer interaction must be extraordinary, and, by amazing them, you will create brand trust and loyalty. What follows is a simple How To. It is simple, yet not necessarily easy. If you are ready to build a bigger and better brand than ever before, read on….
Helping clients acquire top talent for peak performance in the fields of Oncology, Genetics, Diagnostics and Life Sciences
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