Tag Archives: loyalty

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connection economy

Connection Economy and the Implications of Scarcity

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Labeling our economic conditions sets the stage for how we’ll choose to communicate, sell, and serve. Many refer to our most recent economic climate as a service economy and others, as a connection economy.

From my experiences I see relevance for both labels, and honestly, the two have a few similarities.

Both should spark deeper thinking about how you will service your customer. They should invite deeper thought about what problems customers and clients will pay you to solve and how you’ll build relationships.

When Scarcity Is Rare

Many individuals and businesses use the principle of scarcity to drive sales. Even your career may incorporate some of this philosophy.

The best question may be, “In a connection economy is there less room for strategies based around scarcity?” Perhaps it is one of the best reasons to think differently about your sales and services approach.

Scarcity may exist in consultative sales, the value of experts, and hot new trends. Does the connection economy suggest additional considerations?

Nearly everything that you could once only seek to buy in a small radius around where you live, has changed. Now products (or services) once considered rare are available across a much larger platform. Not new, but sometimes forgotten.

What matters more? The answer is easy, your connections.

Connection Economy

Connections matter because they have reliability and authenticity built into them. They discount the concept of the pressure sell, the do it or die, or the one-sided win.

In service and in sales, it is harder today to get forgiveness. Much easier is the path to move on.

Some suggest loyalty is gone. Yet with so many choices loyalty secures a position as scarce. The value of connections matters more, not less.

Loyalty means promises made, are kept. If you’re going to sell on scarcity make it about the value of your relationship.

Intuitive commerce exists in connections.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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loyal customers

Who Are Your Loyal Customers?

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The importance of both internal and external customers should never be taken for granted. Often people quickly connect with the atmosphere of working with external customers but miss the emotional connection internally. Who are the loyal customers and how do we know?

Internal Customer Loyalty

Every organization has a responsibility internally. People are serving other people, other departments, and in one way or another, the sales or production effort. There are customer connections. Internal service is so important because the internal culture is always reflected, in one way or another, in the external brand.

Loyalty in an organization is often measured through the employee turnover metric. Those who stay are loyal. Those who stay have a good internal customer relationship.

Seems logical, except that many believe that they are not staying by choice, they believe they stay because it is a requirement. Requirements to earn a living, feed a family, pay bills, and survive.

External Customer Loyalty

External customers may have a different agenda. It may be easier for them to exit a relationship. There may be many competitive choices and options. In some cases, but certainly not all, they may not feel so trapped. They feel more freedom to choose.

When their automobile is not reliable, they may choose a different brand. If their athletic footwear is uncomfortable or short lived, next time they’ll try a different brand.

It is true for nearly any consumer purchase. Business-to-business is sometimes a little messier, but still doable.

Loyal Customers

So what are the indicators of loyal customers? Certainly sticking around and repetitive purchases are a good indicator. Lifetime value is an important measurement or metric. What else may be important?

Have you considered that a customer who offers feedback, even the feedback that sounds critical or like a criticism is sign of customer loyalty? Maybe you haven’t thought of it this way, but with so many choices, why bother with feedback?

People who have choices, but choose to stay are loyal for some reason. Offering feedback, even feedback that is critical may be a sign that they want to stay, but they also want to help strengthen the reasons why they stay.

Often people with nothing to say, really don’t care, they don’t mind, they’ll just go.

Feedback or criticism is often viewed as a customer about to exit. Instead, it may be a good customer who wants to stay and help you build it.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Customer Service Dance Appreciative Strategies

Customer Service Dance Might Work

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Have you ever asked someone, “Who is the customer?” Your best answer may be, “Everyone!” Is the customer service dance appropriate for your business?

It seems ironic or a good example of karma. If you forget about your customers, they’ll likely forget about you.

Dancing with your customers is not about fast moves, quick diversions, or peddling snake oil.

Just like with real dancing you won’t go far with two left feet. You’ll have to get out there and make something happen. Even if you feel the rhythm but your body just moves weirdly.

Customer Service Dance

The best customer service of all might happen when you allow dancing. The customer service dance might be the ultimate form of feedback. The best of the best in the customer experience. It all happens because you’re doing it together.

Businesses that get this right have customer engagement like few others. They’re inviting customers to participate. Customers try product, test examples, work with prototypes, debug software, and co-create everything that happens. In the end, the customer wins.

This model of customer service doesn’t promise perfect, it promises an on-going effort to improve. Information is free flowing and engagement means loyalty. This valued customer couldn’t possibly do better elsewhere because they’re building it along with you.

When more people join in the experience it doesn’t get worse, it gets even better. No one needs a special invitation and it catches on. It’s a viral experience. It’s a club, a membership, or an entire culture.

Forgotten Customers

Most businesses would tell you that they are doing this, but few actually do. It’s not so much that they lack effort or desire. It’s mostly because they’ve forgotten who the customer is.

They’re either dancing alone or standing on the side watching others have all the fun.

Best Dancers

Who are the best dancers?

Harley Davidson, Dollar Shave Club, and Amazon, your secret is out.

Thanks for the dance.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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culture of loyalty

Creating a Culture of Loyalty and Flow

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Have you ever experienced a culture that simply flows? Some organizational cultures might feel like they are really about the drama. In others the turnover is so high that it might be hard to determine the culture. How do you create a culture of loyalty and flow?

The difference for many successful organizational cultures certainly has something to do with the people. Often the emphasis is with on-boarding practices. Finding, hiring, and retaining the right people.

Certainly on-boarding plays a significant role but when you strive for a diverse and well respected organization the culture might be more about flow. Perhaps it should be more about pull and less about push.

Pushing for Loyalty

Some organizational cultures have more of a push atmosphere. People are hired based on their resume and an interview. Most of the focus is on knowledge, skills, and abilities. Secondarily there is interest in attitude, work ethic, and fit.

Once they’ve joined the organization the push begins. Certainly their job performance matters but now there is pressure for fit. Some of the pressure might feel picky, petty, and leave employees wondering why.

Push is often connected with the authoritarian approach, an atmosphere of dictators, and a network of underground social cliques.

Employees are pushed towards say this, do that, and make sure you get it right each time. There is a lot of concern about the words that are used, appearances, and the image that is created.

The feeling might be, “I don’t care about you. I care about what you get done.” The focus is on throughput and the employees are tools.

This is in sharp contrast with, “You’re important in this. Let’s focus on what we can accomplish.”

Culture of Loyalty

Having an organizational culture that pulls people into it seems to be much more effective. Attraction, being drawn in, it makes a difference.

It is a culture about actions, results, and the focus is on products or services. Instead of a theme about what to say or how to act and who isn’t complying, it is a theme about the customer experience and lasting relationships.

Social interactions are caring, natural, and flowing. The focus is on doing what matters for the business and for the customer. Because of this intense focus there is less room for drama, fewer rules are violated, and policies serve more as guidelines.

It Flows

In a culture of loyalty and flow ideas are valued and opinions matter. There is much more interest in participating. There is respect. Employees are engaged.

For this culture outsiders want in and insiders want to stay.

Every organizational culture will need guidelines, policies, and rules.

Some will need to enforce them, others will just flow.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Employee Loyalty and the Search for Retention

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The organization you work for probably cares about employee loyalty. When you agree with the work, accept the compensation, and start the job there is an expected commitment, right?

employee loyalty appreciative strategies

Loyalty is important for most people. It is important for businesses with their employees as well as with their clients and customers. The trouble spot for loyalty is that not everyone agrees on the definition.

Many people suggest that they are very committed and loyal, but what that really means is that they feel loyal until a better opportunity presents itself. In this case, one might believe there is loyalty. Another might suggest that there is none.

A different definition might suggest that loyalty is earned. Doors that might exist are ignored, or never considered. It might have something to do with the integrity of your word but it might also have much to do with mutual respect.

Employee Loyalty

Employers believe that they make an investment in their employees. Many of them do, quite substantially at times.

These employers understand that doors might open, but they really aren’t worried about someone exiting. Not because other opportunities don’t exist, but because the employer to employee relationship is well respected and it has been earned.

They aren’t worried about blocking an exit. They are more worried about somebody who wants to leave staying. In this environment loyalty is self-managed or self-regulated. It comes naturally.

The Other Type

There is another type of employer. This employer wants to get the job accomplished with as little cost as possible, and who doesn’t? But there must be a balance.

The CFO, Controller, or CPA love the management of the numbers, but the best of those also recognize the value of the people. The trouble occurs when the culture of managing costs outweigh the respect of the human relationships.

This type of employer might attempt to (metaphorically) block doors and lock people in. Relationships are viewed as expendable and short-term. Loyalty is (attempted to be) forced by management.

Search for Retention

In the search for retention sometimes the right words are chosen, but the conversation is not compelling.

It’s not compelling because what is shown is different from what is told. The often unspoken message becomes, I don’t care about you. The result is a feeling of, you don’t care about me, and so I don’t care about you.

Retention shouldn’t have to be created by rules, fear, and blocked doors. This isn’t loyalty, it’s not respect.

Employee loyalty and respect happen when the door is there, but no one is interested in what’s behind it.

An occasional glance might occur, and to some extent people will come and go.

You might discover that you are happy about that.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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3 Myths That Drive Millennials Crazy

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Millennials aren’t alone; misunderstandings, disagreements, and stereotyping are problematic for nearly every workforce generation. Unfortunately the millennials seem to be the target of more bad press when compared with traditionals, boomers, gen x’ers, and even the emerging generation 9/11 population.

045578751-frustrated-woman-trying-read-d

My workplace discussions with most millennials, including those that I’ve coached, have some common themes or myths that quite frankly, drive millennials crazy.

Here are three that make the list:

  1. Expect Different Treatment. Traditionals, boomers, and generation x all seem to believe that millennials expect to be treated differently. What all workplace generations have in common is that they all want respect. Millennials don’t believe it is about different treatment but it is about the commonality of respect.
  2. Not Loyal. Loyalty is a two-way street at least that is what most millennials will tell you. It seems too often that businesses prejudge millennials as being stepping stone employees; those who are only interested in using the job as a stepping stone. Lack of commitment by the organization then leads to turnover of all generations, but especially the vibrant millennial population.
  3. All About Money. Due in part to the uncertain world millennials have faced during their lifetime some are strong believers in get it while you can. The other side of the millennial population perhaps doesn’t feel as much need since some of them are still attending college, living with parents, or with small groups of friends. In other cases, even those who have left the nest may have portions of their expenses still being paid by their parents. Much of this group is just as interested in compressed work schedules and “comp time” as they are paycheck dollars. In certain sectors they are often known to turn down overtime opportunities for more leisure time. 

Of course, all of these characteristics are not representative of every person in the millennial generation. There are many variables that should be considered. Including which end of the millennial age continuum they are on, geographic location, and rural versus urban living.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker, and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect. Reach him through his website at http://DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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