I spent today with an online “entertainment” company, preaching the importance of customer love.
(Online entertainment is a euphemism, of course. But it’s not what you think, I promise.)
This organisation follows the triedand tested model of getting their leads to become prospects in return for a freebie. They then convert some of those prospects into paying customers.
It’s a lucrative business. A couple of percentage points of improvement on those front-end touch points – lead-to-prospect conversion or prospect-to-client conversion – has an exponential impact on revenue.
I was working with the customer service team, putting a “welcoming committee” in place that personally greets new users on the phone.
The aim of these calls is to get a deposit.
The process is about making them feel happy to do just that.
Here’s what we came up with:
I used to go out with a girl from West Cork in the bucolic south of Ireland.
They speak thick and fast down there. The first time I went to visit her family she had to translate for me.
Which was embarrassing.
But not as embarrassing as the first time I met her mother.
Most days I walk a couple of miles.
It’s easy to do here in Malta – we’ve got oodles of seaside promenade and the weather makes it workable.
Each day I walk past pigeons: hundreds of them.
We don’t have seagulls (I’ve gone off seagulls since I saw one cannibalising another in Barcelona.)
The pigeons are part of the scenery.
I’d probably notice if they were gone, but while they’re still here they blend into the background: an intrinsic but easy-to-ignore part of the scenery.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a canary (or a budgerigar, or parrot: ornithology’s not my strong point.)
Anyway, there was this bird with really bright plumage and a cocky gait, strutting his (or her: I’ve never sexed a budgie) stuff.
Here in the UK (I’m in London as I type this) we’re traditionally bad at asking for the things we want.
Instead, we’ll politely enquire whether something may or may not be available.
We’ll top and tail that question with an apology, like this:
“I’m terribly sorry, but I don’t suppose you’d have any milk lying about?”
“No? Oh well I”m really very sorry to have bothered you.”
It’s also rare that we’ll attempt to order something off menu, just because we’d be putting our waiter in an inconvenient situation.
And we suffer. We enjoy suffering. We LOVE to suffer.
“How’s your meal?” asks the server.
“Mmm! DELICIOUS!” we say as we attempt to not gag on the piece of moldy gristle between our teeth.
I occasionally forget that I wrote a rather brilliant book about personal development.
The latest 5 star review says it’s a “disappointing and genuine piece of high quality crap”.
It’s weird, because I’m the LAST person you should go to for advice on self-improvement.
I’m lazy, prone to introspection, enjoy the occasional cigarette and drink more than is good for me but less than I’d like.
How To Get A Grip was a direct result of needing a good kick in the teeth, and not finding anybody to do it.
So I kicked myself in the teeth.
ANYWAY … that’s a precursor to saying that this email is about the mindset of running your business, and particularly the part that requires that things get done.
At our workshop here in Philly, we’ve got a couple of people who haven’t pulled through on the plans they made 90 days ago.