People-First Culture™: Why Some Teams Win Together and Others Don’t.

People-First Culture™: Build a business your employees and customers will admire.

Customer experience, employee engagement, company culture and leadership are all extremely important factors in building an admired company/brand. The People-First Culture™ is a combination of all of these factors to assist businesses on the going down the path of becoming that admired brand in the eyes of both their employees and their customers.

It is extremely important to make your employees just as happy as your customers. I’m in the business of making my employees cry…. good tears of course! You need to show them that you care, and once you show  your employees that you care, that you respect them and that you appreciate them, they will deliver an experience to your customers that they have never seen before!

This video was shot in one take without a script. It’s just a real talk. It’s everything I believe captured in a short(ish) message.
I highlight the following in the video:
  • My People-First Culture and 3P Strategy concept.
  • I share stories from companies and leaders you may not have heard of like The Beautiful People Company (nearly half their workforce is disabled), Howard Behar (a legendary leader) and Warby Parker (a million to a billion in a few short years).
  • A diagram to share with your company and team.
If you watch the video and like the message, please consider sharing it on social media and TAG someone you think needs to hear the message.

Breakfast-N-Jam Sessions

 

When you have a handful of employees it’s easy to remember people’s names and have a one-to-one relationship with your team, but as you get bigger, as your company starts to scale, in our case, me and my business partners have over 100 employees.

 

Having that one-to-one relationship becomes more difficult, unless you put forth the effort.

 

So, I’m introducing something that I call “Breakfast-N-Jam” sessions every Monday morning at 9am, I invite one team member to have breakfast with me, and I’m not trying to use this time to motivate them as an employee, I’m trying to get to know them as an individual.

 

Another outcome of the breakfast is I want them to share their goals with me, whether that’s with the company or without the company, if you’re going to be a great leader, you need to take your employees motivation, understand their goals, and it’s your responsibility to help them accomplish those goals with or without the company.

 

That is why I’m hosting “Breakfast-N-Jam” sessions on a weekly basis.

Interview Process: 7 Tips to Build a High Performing Team (2018)

 

Michel Falcon:

Hey everyone, I’m Michel Falcon, and in this video, I’m going to share the seven tips that I use to build better interview processes, to build high performing teams, increase employee engagement, and build a more profitable company.

Do you feel your interview process lacks structure? Have you been asking the same interview questions for years? And do you feel like you need to be properly trained on actually how to host these interviews? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this video is for you, because I’m going to teach you the type of process that I use in my businesses to build a high performing team and a profitable business.

When I started my career, I did not know how to interview at all. I asked the typical questions like, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” And, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I now know better. To build a high performing team, you must build a very regiment interview process so that you make great hires each and every time.

The seven step process has taken me years to refine, so I know it works. The steps are: a phone interview, predictive index, culture interview, skill set interview, assignment, decision, and offer.

The first step of the interview process is the phone interview, also known as the phone screen. I ask about five questions on this interview. But the main thing I’m listening for, is how does a candidate answer their phone? And what does their voice mail sound like?

If they can’t answer their own phone in a professional manner, or have a professional sounding voice mail, that gets my guard up. Because what is the likelihood that they are going to represent your brand well, if they can’t even represent themselves well as individuals. I’m also listening for how enthusiastic they sound to hear from you. The phone interview’s in place to filter candidates from the very beginning. Properly interviewing does take time and energy. But if you have a proper phone interview in place, that’s going to filter bad candidates out from the very beginning, and save you time.

The second step into my interview process is giving the candidates a predictive index assessment, also known as PI. PI is something that I swear by. It only takes the candidate about 10 minutes to complete, and it’s going to tell you what makes them tick, and what ticks them off in the workplace, and what really motivates them, and how you’re going to have to manage them. Don’t just take it from me, my friend Dev Basu is somebody that I put on Predictive Index as well, too, and he absolutely swears by it.

 

Dev Basu:

Hey, it’s Dev Basu from Powered By Search, and I wanted to say a few words about Predictive Index. It’s a tool that we’ve been using at our agency for the last six months or so. And man have things changed since using it. I’m not one of those people that loves guessing when going into a hire, and having somebody critical join my team. And since employing Predictive Index, frankly three things have changed.

Number one, how we recruit people, because now we have an idea of what their drives, needs, and behaviors are when they come into the organization. Number two, how our existing people like to work with each other. And so, are they more extroverted, or are they a bit less? Are they more patient, or less patient? And so on. Then finally, our clients. We’ve actually been sharing PI with them to understand a bit more about what’s the best way to work with this person, and give them exactly what they need. And I hope that that is something that every organization has access to. We use it very often in terms of Predictive Index. And I think that is one of the best investments that we’ve made in 2017 for us. We continue, and will be continuing to use it for the foreseeable future.

 

Michel Falcon:

I use it. Dev uses it. And I highly recommend you should explore the opportunity of using PI within your business, to build a high performing team. If you have any questions on PI, there’s a link below that you can visit to explore for yourself.

The third step of my interview process is the most important. I repeat: it’s the most important step of my seven step interview process. And that’s the culture interview. That is where you ask questions to understand is this individual going to fit within our company culture. The hardest part about hosting this interview is letting yourself be distracted by accolades that this candidate has earned, or their past success.

Yes, maybe they’re a great bartender, maybe they are fantastic car salesmen, or a real estate agent, or whatever the case is, but you have to understand in the culture interview, if they are going to fit within your company culture. Ask questions to really understand, are they going to fit within our core values, and play nice with other team members on our team. If you don’t believe that they will, and that’s going to be a judgment call on your behalf, then tell them that they cannot continue forward in the interview process.

The type of questions you should be asking during the culture interview are related to your core values. In my business, I have five core values. So, we ask two questions per core value in the culture interview. We do not ask any questions related to skill set, to understand if they can actually perform the job, because that’s not our focus. Our focus in the culture interview is strictly on whether this individual’s going to fit within the company culture, or not.

The hardest part that I see many entrepreneurs and business professionals struggle with in this step, is being enamored with the skill set. You have to ignore how good of a developer this person is, a sales person, or a marketer. Only focus on whether they’re going to fit within your company culture. This is a non negotiable, if you’re going to build a high performing team that aligns behind your company values.

The fourth step of the interview process is the skill set interview, which happens on a different day than the culture interview. During this interview you are asking questions to understand if this person can actually do the job that you’re recruiting for. I like to ask about a dozen questions to make sure that you keep the candidate on their toes, and giving you very solid answers.

The fifth step of the interview process is the assignment. It’s where you give them a small task that could take them anywhere between four and eight hours to complete. If you’re hiring a marketer, have them edit a three page document for grammar and diction. If you’re hiring a sales person, ask them how they would handle these five different sales scenarios. Heres’ a little tip, give it to them Friday afternoon, and ask them to have to delivered to you by Monday at noon. Why? Because you want to understand if these individuals are going to give up their weekend to work for your company.

You’d be surprised how many people will drop out of the interview process, which his very advantageous for you, because you know that if they’re not committed to their own career, what’s the likelihood that they’re going to be committed to their company? We’re almost at the finish line.

Step six, is the decision. If you have, which you should, multiple people in the interview process, get together and debate whether you should make the candidate an offer or not. If you have multiple candidates that you like, that’s an advantageous position to be in, but it can also be quite difficult, because you might have a couple people on Team A, and a couple people on Team B come together and decide who you are going to make an offer to.

Step seven, the finish line is when you make the candidate an offer. Do not simply just email them and say, “Hey, would like to work for our company. Here’s your offer.” Remember that this candidate just went through interview hell. Many different steps and processes and many hours. Make this a moment of celebration for your candidate, and get them really excited to join your company. My recommendation is to get a couple people on the phone, put the candidate on speaker phone, and congratulate them in a group setting. This will get the candidate super jacked up, super enthusiastic to join your company, and start delivering results on day one.

You may be thinking Michel that sounds long and exhausting. When it comes to your interviewing, you’re not trying to be efficient, you’re trying to be diligent. And that’s how you build a high performing team. You can’t rush the interview process. You can’t do things that haven’t worked for you in the past. So, I implore you, to have an open mind. I use this strategy each and every time when I start a new company, when I make any new hires, and it absolutely works.

It’s taken me years to refine, so you know that it works, and it’s not something that I’ve just created overnight. Equally as important, this interview process is difficult. To find high performers, to join your team, and contribute to the success of your company, you need to make it difficult to work for your company. Go out and refine your interview process to make it something like joining a private country club. Not everybody can get in, but when you’re in, you’re in.

There you have it, that’s my seven step interview process. It works for me, and I guarantee it will work for you too. If you have any questions, if you want more education, go to MichelFalcon.com, there’s a whole lot of videos for you, so that you can build a high performing team to grow your company. If you learned something by watching this video, stop what you’re doing, go over to YouTube, and click the subscribe button, so that you can automatically be made aware when I release my next video. In the comments section, let me know what step you think is going to provide you the most value to build a high performing team.

And if you want more education, head over to MichelFalcon.com. I have a lot of videos over there to help you build a stronger company by using company culture, customer experience, and employee engagement.

Thank you so much. See you next time.

Customer Experience Strategies: 5 Tips for Profit and Growth (2018)

 

In this video, I’m going to share five customer experience strategies, that will grow your profit, and help you build a successful company.

I know that these strategies work, because I use them within my business on a daily basis. My company does over eight figures a year in revenue, and has over 100 employees. I’ve also used these strategies when consulting for companies like McDonald’s, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Lexus.

Regardless of your industry, these strategies will work for you as well too. No matter how many employees, or how many customers you actually have.

These strategies aren’t going to be for beginners, so get ready to use them in your business, and get super strategic on how you apply them to start growing your business.

My name is Michel Falcon, and for nearly 10 years, I’ve been using customer experience strategies to grow successful companies.

Before we start trying to improve our customer experience, we all have to be on the same page of what it actually is. Customer experience is not customer service.

Customer service are actions. When you go to the grocery store, and purchase milk, bread, and bananas, the employee helping you pay is delivering customer service to you.

Customer experience is the design of the interactions that your customer experiences with your company from beginning to end. Again, before you try to improve your customer experience, everyone on your team must understand what it actually is.

A quote on customer experience that I absolute love, comes from Jeff Bezos, the CEO and Founder of Amazon. “Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient.”

If you’re a resilient company, then you have the opportunity to bounce back from some frustrations that you might be experiencing. Such as high customer turn over, and bad online or offline reviews.

These strategies are going to help you with all those things, so let’s get right into it.

The number one strategy that you have to have in your business, if you want to improve your customer experience, is that your leadership team must exemplify the type of customer experience that you want your employees to roll out to your customers.

In my business, we have a program called The Partner Shift, where every single business partner will work a full shift once per quarter, so that we can have a better understanding of the inner workings of our business, so that we can go back and build some systems and processes to improve the customer experience.

Steve Jobs has a perfect quote that aligns with this strategy. “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”

Leaders in companies, I challenge you, once a month or once a quarter, get into your business, and act like a front line employee. Work in your retail store. Take some calls in your call center. Respond to customers on social media, get in the trenches, learn what’s happening on a daily basis, and use that data to build better systems and processes, to build your customer experience.

The second strategy is developing premium customer experience training material. I told you earlier that I have advised and consulted for some of the biggest companies in the world. So, I’ve seen training programs, from small companies and multi-billion dollar organizations. And I can say, that I think every company has the opportunity to build better content.

Now, what does this content entail? You have to teach every single employee the difference between customer experience and customer service. You have to teach them about different customer personality types, and let them know what organic growth means.

These are just a few of many modules that should be included in your customer experience training program. Now everyone, regardless of their position, regardless of the tenure that they have with their company, should go through this training so that you have an aligned organization. For me, this is a non-negotiable. According to Gallup, “1 out of 3 employees say that uninspiring content is the barrier to their learning.”

My recommendation to all entrepreneurs and leader, is to audit your current training program. Do you feel that you’re providing premium content. If you do, how can you continuously refine it, to set your employees up for success. And don’t forget to make it inspiring, and entertaining.

For the third strategy, I want to introduce you to something that I call micro customer experiences, and are implemented with every single business that I own.

A Micro Customer Experience is a small, memorable and affordable gesture that you do for your customer, that resonates with them for years.

Let me give you a real world example of a micro customer experience. In one of my businesses, which is a restaurant, I had an employee named Yasmin have a conversation with one of the tables that she was serving. She learned that one of the guests was celebrating a pregnancy announcement.

Immediately after learning this, Yasmin went to her experienced coordinator who manages our micro customer experience program. She went across the street to a local pharmacy, and purchased a $25 gift certificate to Toys”R”Us. They put the Toys”R”Us gift certificate in the billfold when they presented the bill to the customer, to be able to create an experience that the customer’s never seen before.

To be able to have this happen within your business, you need a single point of accountability. You need a budget to be able to make this happen, but you have to give your employees the autonomy to actually bring it to surface, and deliver these experiences to your customers.

This is exactly what a micro customer experience is. It’s a small, memorable and affordable gesture that you do for your customers that they’re going to talk about with their friends, family members, and hopefully write a Facebook or Google review about.

I’m often asked, “How much should I budget?” Well, to give you an example, and it’s completely up to you, the business that I just described does $10 million a year in revenue, and our monthly budget for this program is only $250.00. Every single company on this planet can afford to make this program work.

Don’t just take it from me the entrepreneur, I want you to listen to Yasmin herself describe exactly why she loves the micro customer experience program.

Yasmin: I enjoy the program because it gives me an opportunity to get to know my guests, step out of my comfort zone, and do something to surprise them and make them happy.

The fourth strategy is increasing your customer intelligence by surveying your customer. Regardless of your industry, or the size of your company, every organization must be surveying their customers to gather customer insights, so that you can celebrate great customer service, and build operational improvement plans if you get bad reviews, and bad feedback.

Now, some of the pitfalls in surveying your customers is that your survey is too long, and you’re sending the survey to the customer at the wrong time. You must overcome these barriers to gather this intelligence to continuously improve your customer experience, to grow your profit, and grow admired organizations.

To successfully survey your customers, you must have a single point of accountability. An individual within your business managing the voice of the customer program. Now, if you’re a large organization, maybe there’s a few people managing this program. But, this team must report on the data on a weekly basis, and share this intelligence with people within the company that are able to influence change.

It’s up to those individuals to commit to building operational improvement plans to ensure that strategies and processes are being built within the company to increase customer loyalty.

You may be familiar with this legendary quote from Bill Gates where he says, “Your must unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning,” and that remains true today.

Go out, survey your customers, take the feedback, and build operational improvement plans to secure customer loyalty.

The fifth strategy that I use within my business to build a legendary customer experience is have a complaint resolution system. What this entails, is having a single point of accountability, or multiple people if you’re a big company, to ensure that every single customer complaint, across email, social media, phone, and all channels, is resolved within one business day maximum. This is going to help you manage your customer retention rates, and secure that customer loyalty that you want to influence your profit.

To be able to do this, your single point of accountability is going to need to report on the data that they’ve received to the same group that receive the customer survey results, so that they can build operational strategies to build the business. This single point of accountability needs a budget for reimbursements and discounts just in case you delivered poor service.

There you have it, those are the five strategies that I use within my business to improve my company’s customer experience, to influence profit and growth. If you learned something by watching this video, stop what you’re doing and click the Like button on my Facebook page, so that you can be made aware when I release my next video.

Visit michelfalcon.com to learn other systems and processes to improve your customer experience, increase your employee engagement, and build your company culture. And leave a comment below, and let me know what strategy you are looking forward to implementing within your business, and let me know how I can help you.

Thank you for watching. Have a great day.

5 Ways to Increase Your Net Promoter Score Response Rate

I take it that you clicked on this video because your company is using Net Promoter Score.

I’m also going to assume that you spent a considerable amount of time and resources building the program, launching it and then heard crickets after you sent the survey to your customers because your response rate was low?

I’m Michel Falcon and in this video, I’m going to share 5 ways to increase your response rates to 60% or greater.

Welcome to my YouTube channel where I teach you how to use customer experience and

employee engagement strategies to build your business.

Today I’m going to share how to increase your Net Promoter Score response rate to get even more customer data to better your business.

For those note familiar, Net Promoter Score is a customer survey system that companies like Apple, American Express and Proctor and Gamble use that asks two simple questions:

“On a scale from 0 – 10, where 10 is absolutely and 0 is absolutely not, how likely are you to recommend company ABC to friend or colleague?”

The second question is based on the score your received in the first question.

If you received a 0-8, customers that are known as your Detractors and Passives, the second question you’d ask is,

“What is it that company ABC would need to do to earn a higher recommendation?”

If the customer rated you a 9 or 10, also known as your Promoter customers, you’d ask,

“What is it that company ABC does well to earn your recommendation?”

I was first introduced to Net Promoter Score in 2008 when I was working for 1-800-GOT-JUNK? – a company that had a NPS of 84.

After learning about the system, I immediately bought two books on Net Promoter Score and started reading. The two books were:

  • The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth
  • And Answering the Ultimate Question: How Net Promoter Can Transform Your Business

After reading the books, speaking to other companies that use it and seeing first hand how it can operationally and profitably improve a business I was hooked.

I understand that there are many naysayers of Net Promoter Score and that’s fine. Like anything, the program is only as good as how well you understand and implement it within your business.

Throughout my career, I’ve helped dozens of companies, including my own, launch Net Promoter Score programs.

One of the main questions I receive when I speak at events on Net Promoter Score or customer experience is how to increase email survey response rates.

Most organizations receive a 5-20% response rate to their customer surveys. By using the five tactics that I share in this video, I have helped companies increase their response rates to over 60%.

The #1 recommendation to increase your email survey response rate is to evaluate your email subject line.

Let’s use Rogers Communications as an example. Rogers is Canada’s largest telecomm company and my service provider.

I like the company. But, I believe they could be doing a better job with their email subject line.

As of June 2017, their email subject line is “Your feedback is requested.”

These emails have swiftly made it to my trash folder because it doesn’t capture my attention. For me, the subject line doesn’t feel authentic or engage me to want to open the email and complete the survey.

A subject line that I prefer would read like this,

“How was your customer experience? Tell us in 2 minutes.”

The reason this email subject line works is because it asks an interesting question and it tells the customer how long it will take to complete the survey.

By asking this question you instill curiosity in the customer. The second part shows respect to their time rather than sending them down a rabbit hole.

I don’t recommend blindly changing your email subject lines. A/B test a few, evaluate the results for three months and then make an informed decision on which subject line will yield the greatest results.

The second tactic I use is similar to the first. However, with this approach, you want to evaluate the copy within the email.

Having your customer open the email is the first task. The next is equally as important to ensure they click through to the actual complete the survey.

Let’s use Airbnb as an example. Here’s a screenshot of an email they send to their customers.

It reads,

“Hi Customer,

Thank you for using Airbnb. We really appreciate you choosing Airbnb for your travel plans.

To help us improve, we’d like to ask you a few questions about your experience so far. It’ll only take 3 minutes, and your answers will help us make Airbnb even better for you and other guests.

Thanks. The Airbnb Team.

You’ll notice a few things:

  • There are only four sentences within the copy
  • Within the four sentences they:
  • Thank you for your patronage
  • Thank you for helping them improve
  • And outline how long the survey will take. In this case, only 3 minutes

This is masterful copying writing and I’m sure contributes to a high survey response rate.

Take a look at the body of your emails that you send to your customers requesting feedback. Is it short and to the point or long-winded and indirect? Also, does it read well or does it sound robotic?

The third tactic I use to increase email survey response rates is to genuinely ask yourself,

“Do I really need to be asking this many questions?”

The reason Net Promoter Score is so valuable is because it allows the customer to tell you directly what’s important to them rather than you force feeding them questions that might not be important to them.

My rule of thumb is to ask no more than five questions at a time. By doing so, you will stop customers from having survey fatigue.

Survey fatigue is when a customer accepts your proposal to complete a survey but doesn’t complete it because it’s too long.

Take a look at how many questions you’re asking your customers to complete and ask yourself if they are all necessary.

Step #4 is to provide your customers a visual tracker of where they are within the survey process.

Most software these days will provide a progress tracker like this one here. Notice how it clearly displays what step the customer is on within the survey. A tool as small as this will help increase your survey response rates because it helps guide the customer through the process.

Step #5 is to leverage your employees to plant a seed with your customers to expect to receive a survey in their inbox.

Whether you speak to your customers in-person, by phone, live chat, social media or another channel, leverage your team members to say something like this after they have served your customers,

“Mrs. Johnson, thank you for being a customer of company ABC. To continuously improve our customer experience we heavily rely on your feedback. Within 48 hours you’re going to receive an email survey. It will only take you two minutes to complete. Would you be able to allocate two minutes of your time to help us get better?”

The reason that this type of script works is because:

  • You’ve thanked the customer for their business
  • You’ve made it about them and their experience with your company
  • You’ve told them it will only take a short amount of their time
  • And you asked a question at the end to get their commitment

I’m not a huge fan of scripts. Instead, provide your team with a framework and key points to mention to the customer and let them develop their own communication.

It’s also important to remind the customer to check their spam folder.

Your employees are valuable assets when asking your customers to participate in your survey program. You’ll be surprised how much this can positively impact your response rate.

There you have it, my top 5 tactics to receive a 60% of greater customer survey response rate.

I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below and tell why or why you don’t like the Net Promoter Score. I’ve heard many reasons and want to hear what you think.

If you learned something by watching this video:

  • Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be alerted when I release my next video
  • Like this video
  • Share it with your friends and on social media
  • And Follow me on social media by searching my first and last name

Have a great day and I’ll see you next time!

How to Prevent an Employee From “Checking Out” After They’ve Resigned

One of the challenges of being an entrepreneur or leading a team is when you lose a key member of your team.

At first, you may feel a sense of anxiety or resentment. More over, you’re often faced with the employee “checking-out” and coasting after they have given their notice.

In this video, I share three ways to maintain employee engagement up until their last day with your company.

3 Ways to Collect Customer Data to Deliver a Better Customer Experience (Without Violating Privacy)

Companies of all sizes collect information on their customers. Whether it’s contact information or tracking buying behaviours, we are constantly collecting data purposely or indirectly.

Sometimes these intended motivations can be used harmfully to violate privacy. Take Uber’s “God View” as an example.

But, what about the companies who use their data collection to better their customer’s experience without harm?

Being an entrepreneur myself, I obsess over collecting what I call “customer intelligence” to use the information, when appropriate, to deliver an experience my customers have never seen before.

The three affordable ways I collect customer intelligence is for these three purposes:

  1. Continuously increase the value delivered to customers which increases loyalty.
  2. Empower my team members to have fun, overdeliver and challenge themselves.
  3. Build an admired brand.

Tactic #1: Create a Customer Advisory Board (CAB)

At Baro, my 16,000 sq.ft. restaurant and venue in Toronto, we have created a Customer Advisory Board; consider it a new-age focus group without executives peering behind a pane of glass.

A CAB is a mix of selected customers who volunteer their time to provide you feedback by way of having intimate conversations with them. These customers aren’t just your most loyal customers, I recommend inviting customers you have wronged in the pass to ensure you are given multiple perspectives.

The meetings take place monthly or quarterly and are round table conversations where your members share positive and negative feedback. I also recommend sharing new products or procedures to these guests. For example, if my restaurant has new food or bar menu items rolling out I would first share it with our CAB members to gather their feedback. If you’re a B2B company, you may want to share your new invoicing system and process with your customers. You should leave each meeting with more knowledge on the current state of your customer experience then before you started.

I don’t recommend monetarily compensating your CAB members with cash because you want to have your members genuinely want to be there to better your business. However, you can compensate them in other ways. What I do in my business is give our members exclusive access to events, allow them to try food and drinks before anyone else and, on occasion, give them gift cards. You’d be surprised how many of your guests would jump at the opportunity to work with you if you simply ask.

Outcome: CAB’s have provided me massive success in my career because it’s the intimate conversations we have during meetings that can’t be found in traditional customer surveys.

Tactic #2: Social Media Stalking (with Integrity)

Pardon the title of tactic number two but after all, isn’t following someone, whether it’s online or offline, a form of stalking?

Appoint someone in your business to search your customers online channels and funnel the information to the person responsible for managing the customer experience.

As an advisor to companies, I train their team to create a Single Point of Accountability (SPA) within the business (this person could do this full-time or part-time depending on the size of the business, affordability and bandwidth) to leverage information found online to create never-seen-before customer experiences.

If I managed a moving company and noticed that my customer, who I was helping move in a week (finding the information well in advance is imperative), constantly tweeted that he loved Canadian Ice Wine after a trip to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, what do you think I would arrive with in hand?

Now, this is where most companies go wrong. You can’t approach your customers with:

“Mrs. Anderson, I saw that you on Tuesday you tweeted that you liked Canadian Ice Wine. I picked you up a bottle to show you my appreciation.”

The approach must be more subtle to influence the positive experience. This is how I train my team and clients:

“Mrs. Anderson, I appreciate you giving us the opportunity to help you move to your new home. My team and I can’t wait to make this a hassle-free experience. Please accept this bottle of Canadian Ice Wine as a token of my appreciation.”

You can expect the following things to occur for your business by leveraging this customer intelligence:

  • Your customers will become loyal because no service provider has ever done this before.
  • Your customers will refer more business to you because of the experience.
  • Your employee’s morale will increase because your customers will be a pleasure to work with.

Outcome: These are the affordable things companies of all sizes must be doing to leverage their customer intelligence and deliver storytelling experiences to customers and guests.

Tactic #3: Leverage Your Employees (They Harness More Data Than You May Expect)

As an entrepreneur or business leader, your frontline employees may speak to more customers in one day than you might in a month, quarter or even a year.

After this has been acknowledge, it may propel you to create an Employee Advisory Board (EAB). Like the aforementioned CAB, the EAB is also a form of listening by way of in-person conversation. During these monthly conversations, ask your team members to share ways that they believe you can improve the customer experience. After all, they are the trusted team members who live within the systems and processes you have built – I guarantee a great customer loyalty strategy will come from this meeting.

After each meeting, it’s vitally important that you close the loop with your team members to ensure that you have followed up with their suggestions. Some of their ideas will be deployed while others may be too costly or not the right time. Either way, to continuously motivate your team to bring forth new processes, you must make them feel that their voices are not only being heard, but acted upon.

Tip: I don’t recommend inviting managers to these meetings. Why? Because they have already been labelled as leadership. You want to dig one layer deeper and grow your next layer of leadership. One thing I know very well is that customer-focused companies build massive companies. Take Airbnb, Amazon and Warby Parker as case studies.

Outcome: If you devote your company to becoming customer-obsessed you will grow which means you will need more leaders; EAB’s are a surefire way to collect customer intelligence to grow your business and develop leaders for the future.

Conclusion

Your CRM software is full of data whether it’s email addresses or the last time your customer purchased, but what else can it be used for? I recommend that you devote a section within each customer file and label it “customer intelligence.” It’s the area where you train your team members to record appropriate information about your customers to deliver an experience your customers have never seen before.

Do this and expect your customers to become more loyal which will help you sell more products and services.

To follow my entrepreneurial journey and learn more strategies like these, follow me on social media.

Click to follow: YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin | Instagram

3 Things You Must Have to Become a Great Place to Work

In this video, I’m going to outline the three things your business must have to be considered a great place to work.

Welcome to my YouTube channel where I teach you how to use customer experience and employee engagement strategies to build your business.

Today I’m talking about building great workplaces.

The reason everything I do is focused on customers and employees is because all companies, regardless of size or industry, are in the people business. It’s your people that you must leverage to build purposeful companies.

I was extremely fortunate to have worked at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, the world’s largest junk removal company, for nearly six years. When I joined the company they had been voted the best workplace in Canada two years in a row. Think about that for a moment. A medium sized business, in a non-traditional industry, voted the best workplace in the entire country of Canada!

What I learned at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and what we’re building at Baro, the 16,000 sqf, 100+ employee restaurant and venue that I’m a partner in, is what I’m going to share with you today.

If you go out and design systems and processes to be considered a great workplace the return on investment is that you will strengthen your company culture, increase employee retention and improve employee morale.

Company culture is something you’ve heard of before but culture isn’t bean bag chairs, beers on Fridays or unlimited vacations. A best-in-class workplace is an organization comprised of individuals with shared values, respect for each other and common goals.

The #1 thing I look for in great workplaces is how they reward team members who embody their core values.

#1: Rewarding Core Values

At Baro, our core values are: celebration, ownership, foresight, humility and integrity.

At Zappos, three of their ten core values are: Deliver WOW Through Service, embrace and drive change and create fun and a little weirdness.

Now, this is where most companies stumble, They create their core values and do very little with them. Your organization’s responsibility is to reward your team members who live and breath them each and every day.

You can recognize your top performers when hosting 360 reviews, weekly coaching sessions or through daily conversations. The reward doesn’t have to be monetary or incentive-based. It can be as simple as your CEO going out of her way to personally thanking the team member for driving the business forward.

Here’s a tip for rewarding and recognizing team members. Not all team members want to be rewarded publicly as it may make them feel uncomfortable being recognized in front of their peers. Thinking that all employees should be praised publicly was a mistake I made earlier on in my career. When onboarding a team member ask them if the prefer to be praise publicly or privately.

Being a great workplace means that you must align your entire organization behind the DNA of the company and, often, the DNA is made up of your core values. When you have a team member who is living your core values reward and celebrate their efforts.

#2: Create a Sounding Board

The second things I look for in a great workplace is if they have a sounding board.

The most underutilized tactic, the one that I use every time I build or advise a business is an Employee Advisory Board or an EAB.

An EAB is when one team member from every department is appointed to form a council that meets once per month. The only thing on the agenda is the current state of employee engagement and workplace morale.

The reasons I recommend EAB’s for all businesses is because:

  • Your frontlines team members are able to speak candidly with owners or senior management about the current state of the workplace.
  • It also allows different departments to come together to discuss employee engagement ideas that are generated from the ground floor.
  • And, most importantly, EAB’s hold the leadership team accountable to continuously refining and improving the workplace.

I don’t ever recommend inviting middle management to your EAB meetings for a few reasons.

  • #1 – Management already have their own regular meetings and
  • #2 – You always want to be growing your next layer of leadership

To become a great workplace, you must give your employees a voice and an opportunity to contribute to creating systems and processes to increase employee morale.

 #3: 1-on-1 Development Sessions

The third thing that will make you a great workplace are 1-on-1 development sessions.

Every manager within a business must sit down for a 1-on-1 weekly development session. The format I suggest is called Goal Setting & Review or GS&R’s.

A GS&R is a weekly, 60 minute meeting where a team member and manager meet to discuss the team members Top 3 quarterly or yearly goals. It’s imperative to discuss the tasks the team member is going to complete each week to achieve these goals.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you operate businesses in the hospitality industry like me. One of your team members primary goals might be to manage labour percentage. Managing labour percent is the primary goal and the weekly task to manage labour would be to hire another line cook to avoid going into overtime hours.

GS&R’s should follow these rules:

  • It’s participant-led. This means that the employee runs the majority of the meeting and the manager provides feedback and ensures the meetings stays the course.
  • You never cancel the meeting. The GS&R should be a recurring meeting on both the employee’s and manager’s weekly calendar.
  • And you give each other at least 24 hours to prepare for the meeting so the conversation is focused on goals, desired outcomes and tasks.

To be a great place to work your leadership and management team must continuously promote both micro and macro development of your employees. GS&R’s are a great way to promote micro development to achieve quarterly or yearly goals.

CLOSING

These are three things that build great workplaces.

I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below and tell me what other things must be considered to become a great place to work.

If you learned something by watching this video:

  • Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be alerted when I release my next tutorial-style video
  • Like this video
  • And Share it with your friends.

Have a great day and I’ll see you next time!