Can You Eat Your Cake and Have It Too?

consistencyI visited a couple of restaurants in the last week and was not particularly happy with the service. These are places I have been to before. I had a particularly difficult time getting a server’s attention in both of these visits. Off and on in the past I had good service and/or good food but was not as impressed as I had been before. It made me less likely to eat there again.

Ask yourselves, how do companies produce customer loyalty if there is not a consistent basis on which the customers are treated well? At these visits I wasn’t able to have good service and good food. That made me less likely to be a loyal customer.

Ucsdnutritionlink.org says the average consumer dines at a restaurant 4-5 times a week. Think about how many of those consumers could be loyal if every visit was spectacular. Unfortunately not every time is a good experience.

If you were a customer of your own company, think of this, wouldn’t you like to be treated like a valued customer every visit, every time? Wouldn’t you like to eat your cake and have it too?

My Big Bang Theory

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On the 4th of July, family and friends gather around our great nation to view local firework spectaculars. If all goes according to plan, viewers will get to enjoy the eye popping, jaw dropping, explosions light up the night sky for a solid 10-20 minutes. Unfortunately for the people in San Diego, they got their entire show in 15 seconds (Click link to see video).

Now, some people might say they got the most “bang for their buck” (though the show was free and open to the public I’m sure), and they got to witness something extremely rare. While others feel that they got tricked, and wasted their time. Now remembering 2012 as “The Summer of Bummer”.

Now my question is; what are you doing to avoid making your customers feel like they just got a 30 minute firework show in 15 seconds? Obviously, you want to lure them in with something new and shiny to get their attention. But if you spend all your effort and fire off your big guns right away, what’s saying that your customer won’t feel like they were cheated and not feeling the love? How do you balance or prioritize your initial ‘bang’ and also keep them engaged for longer than 15 seconds? Customers want to feel cared for, past the point of purchase antics that they experience every day.

Especially in major purchases, savvy customers will pay just as much (if not more) for their experience after the sale. Weather that is a warranty, bonus points, or just a good rapport with the salesperson, people seek out not just the best deals, but the best experience.

If your business includes pleasing the customers, keep in mind to not light all your fireworks off at once. Give the customer an awesome show so they will make sure they won’t be anywhere else when the 4th of July rolls around next summer.

Is a Visit to Your Service Bay like Pulling Teeth for Your Customers?

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I’ll admit it. I fear bringing my vehicle in for service as much as visiting the dentist. I recently brought my car in for service, and for some reason, it reminded me of a routine dental check-up. Bear with me on this analogy.

Just like you want your teeth to stay white and strong, you want your car to run in tip-top shape. However, when the time finally comes to go back in for a check-up, you curl up in the fetal position, and softly cry (That’s what I do, at least, you may just cringe in fear).

Isn’t there something wrong with this? Do you want your customers dreading their next visit to your service department?

I was not looking forward to bringing my vehicle in for service, but was pleasantly surprised when it was over. Happy enough to say, boldly, that I will go back and service my vehicle with that specific department again. Let me tell you why:

As a customer, I love being in the know. If my dentist pulled out a drill without warning me what was going on, I’d be a little terrified. I feel better when I’m taken through a process, and the same thing goes for service visits.

The technician tasked with my car said I could call and see where he was on my car anytime during the process, and I took advantage of that a few times. It was nice to know what was going on with my car, and how much longer it’d be in for.

Friendliness was also a key factor in my experience. My dentist’s receptionist knows I love hockey, and we discussed the playoffs at length before my check-up. Just like at the dentist, the technicians looked genuinely happy to see me, and I felt comfortable when discussing the service. It made me feel better dropping the car off there. This was my first service with them, but it felt like I was a regular there to them.

There were no surprises in my bill, either. If your dentist forgot to mention they pulled a tooth and charged you for it, how would you feel? The same goes for service. Everything the service department did to my vehicle was visible on the service order, and there were no surprises.

Are you providing your customers with friendly service, along with details on the process at hand? If you are, chances are your customers won’t treat their next service visit like a root canal.

People Don’t Pass…On Passion

Throughout life, everyone has a wide range of jobs, interests, extracurricular etc… that they go through. Experience, maturity, growth, and development are all words described as someone gains their life story. Those same words are often used to a person who is excelling at any particular task. But what separates people who are “good” at what they do, or people who have “talent”, from the ones that make you say “Wow!”? Passion.

Now in some professions, passion is more easily seen and communicated. Like in professional sports, you can see it on the field or court. That excitement takes over an athlete’s emotions at times and leads to great achievements and success. That raw emotion, true belief, and dedication to their work makes professional athletes like Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky so popular and successful. But why should it be any different in any other industry?

It shouldn’t, the same rings true off the field in the business world. You will see industry leaders simply radiate with passion, furthering themselves from their competition. True passion cannot be hidden, nor should it be. A genuine showing of passion for your work echoes a balanced combination of dedication, enlightenment, and desire to know more. When passion is revealed to your customers, it can really make a difference in their experience. A customer will be more willing to trust someone who shows that they personally believe in their business, almost as if you are doing your customer a favor.

Customers and clients these days are so informed, and so smart, that they can smell when someone is faking their words. Customers are savvy enough to figure out whether Product X is really worth their time and money. That is where passion is a differentiator. The goal for business should not be to hire people who are good pretenders or actors, but find people who are excited to come to work, excited about the company, and excited about how they are positively affecting others.

Finding your passion is not something that happens in a month, day, or a year. Some passions are innate, and some are grown with time. The key is to find aspects of the business or product that drive satisfaction both the employee and the customer. A common trait in highly successful people is their pride and passion for their work. It is apparent that their enthusiasm spreads throughout the company and in through the customers, or else they would not be as highly regarded as they are.

So my question is, what is your passion at work? What gets you excited? How would your customer or client answer the question? Customer’s won’t pass on something that beams passion, they will pass on that passion to others.

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Things I Learned About Loyalty From Spinal Tap

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One of my favorite movies of all time is “Spinal Tap”.  It’s a classic.  People remember it, even though it was filmed 20 years ago.  Lines are quoted, songs are hummed, and people have parties dedicated to it.  I can quote nearly every line of the movie.   Not a great movie, by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s one of the most beloved films of all time.

Turns out, you can learn a bunch about Customer Loyalty from the movie.  I’m not kidding, check it out:

  1. There’s a fine line between stupid and clever.
    Don’t be afraid to try new things in your loyalty program.  New promotions, different types of bonus point awards, and referral bonuses may be just the trick.  You don’t know what’s really stupid and what’s clever until you try it out, so go for it.
  2. An 18 inch Stonehenge monument tends to understate the hugeness of the overall presentation.
    This was a disaster for the band.  Don’t undersell your loyalty program in the store.  Make sure it’s big and prominent; otherwise you could end up looking pretty silly.  Successful loyalty programs become part of their brand identity – it’s who they are.  If you look at Amazon Prime or World Perks, it’s plastered all over their website.  It’s who they are.
  3. If you keep folding the sandwich, the bread keeps breaking!
    If something isn’t working, try something new.  Don’t keep trying the same thing over and over again hoping for the different results.  Einstein called that insanity.
  4. While David and Nigel are like fire and ice, Derek feels his role is sort of in the middle, kind of like lukewarm water.
    Derek was also the least popular member of the band, because his glory was drowned out by the bigger members of the band.  Fans screamed for David and Nigel, because they pushed it to the limit.  Don’t be drowned out by your competition.  Be the first to market – do it big, do it first, do it best.
  5. And of course, their amps go to eleven.
    Nigel didn’t mess around.  When all the other guys were maxed out on their sound, he found a way to give it that little “push off the cliff”.  Don’t be stuck with nowhere else to go.  Think out of the box and add another notch to your arsenal.   When Marti suggested that Nigel just make the 10 louder, Nigel didn’t understand why Marti didn’t recognize the genius of his plan.  Find your great differentiator, your unfair competitive advantage.  Find that thing that makes your competitors say, “I wish I had thought of that!”   Go to eleven.

re:member group provides loyalty marketing solution that produce results.  We may not bring screaming women to your doorsteps, but our loyalty products have shown results on average a $17 ROI and measureable customer retention.  At the very least, you’ll have one thing in common with one of the toughest bands of all time:  Adoring fans.

Social Media : What is going to happen next?

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According to Kiumarse Zamanian in his blog about “The 5 Keys to Great Marketing in 2012”, “Marketing as Mobilization: In a world of Twitter, Facebook, Google + and other social platforms, marketing will increasingly resemble political campaigns with Brands mobilizing and incentivizing their advocates to market to their friends and communities. They will also staff up to quickly address and limit the impact of negative streams of publicity such as complaints before they hurt the brand. The emphasis will be on marketing in real time, providing clear value and recognizing that what people say about a brand is more important than what a brand says about itself. Engaging the “peoples network” will be as, if not more critical than leveraging television, retail and other media networks. To do this many companies will recognize that the key challenge is not to develop a Facebook presence but update the corporate communications, legal and marketing infrastructure of their organizations and those of their partners.” (http://www.responsys.com/blogs/nsm/loyalty-marketing/)
After reading this I started to drift off and wonder what the future may hold for social media and marketing. Given the first things that really pop into mind are things like Twitter or Facebook. We all know these are the leaders in social media these days – and they are still going very strong. I doubt that we will see a great decline in the use of either of these online mega-apps anytime soon. But like Facebook, something eventually will come along that will blow Facebook out of the water. It really is just a matter of time.
Immediately I realize that the only way anything will be able to surpass what Facebook or Twitter offers us now is how our social media needs are being delivered to us. I also recently discovered the wonderful “Project Glass” by Google. It really makes me think that something like this will inevitably take over. If you’ve watched the intro video showing how this wonderful product is planned to work – it will be even a bigger hit than Facebook was – or even the iPhone / Android. Check out this link on youtube if you haven’t watched this video yet. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c6W4CCU9M4)
So what will happen next? Will we see a connection between the mega-apps and Project Glass? Will there be other apps that will come along that will figure out a way to mix everything together – making it seem like we don’t need those kind of apps anymore to organize our social media needs? Will Facebook and Twitter fade away someday? Is it something that some of us will look back at in 10, 25, or even 50 years and laugh about? Inventions like Project Glass really are going to pathe the way to the new social media future and I couldn’t be more excited. So keep your eyes and ears open – but considering where things are headed – it really looks like you won’t have to do that anymore.

re:member group Loyalty Marketing Solutions announces two promotions in key positions

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For Further Information Contact:

Nate Sieveking / 952-224-8003
Nate@remembergroup.com

re:member group Loyalty Marketing Solutions announces two promotions in key positions

MINNEAPOLIS (April 30, 2012) – Nate Sieveking, former Vice President of Marketing, is now President of re:member group. He joined re:member group in 2004 and has 8 years loyalty marketing experience and 11 years of management experience. Nate has been key in implementing new technologies that has re:member group leading the way in the industry. As President, Nate brings new vision to re:member group.
“This promotion of Nate Sieveking to President is well-deserved. His 8-year track record has shown his tremendous value to our organization,” Said Randy McPherson, CEO of re:member group. “ Nate is responsible for many of the technologies and strategies that differentiates re:member from our competitors in the industry.”

Tim Clemens, former Communications Director, is now Vice President of Operations. He joined re:member group in 2008 and has over 12 years of management experience. Tim has been integral in managing projects, developing new products, and creating communications plans. As Vice President of Operations, he will focus on executing company operations as a whole.

“The promotion of Tim Clemens to Vice President of Operations is also well deserved. Tim has been with us for 4 years and has shown he has a passion for project management, service to our clients, and positivity in the workplace,” McPherson explained. “This really is the ideal position for him.”

2012 shows to be the most prosperous year for re:member group yet. OpenRoad Auto Group of Canada, Rusty Wallace Auto Group, as well as 4 other companies have already signed on for re:member group’s services this year. These companies join the likes of Walser Automotive Group, Mathews Inc., &
Capstone Publishers as leaders in customer loyalty, thanks to technologies and products built and run by re:member group.

“I’ve never been more excited about the future of re:member group as I am right now,” Said McPherson. “In my decades of experience, I’ve never seen a team more ideally positioned to grow a company than this one. These guys bring passion and thoughtfulness to their work like no others.”

About re:member group
re:member group is an industry leader in helping organizations increase their customer frequency and spend. Clients who utilize re:member group’s loyalty platform see as high as a $17 ROI. Simply put, loyal customers visit more, spend more, give great feedback, and recommend companies to their friends and family. re:member group is a team of passionate marketers who use a combination of technology, service, metrics, and targeted marketing to increase customer loyalty within organizations.
For more information, call 866-414-CLUB, email sales@remembergroup.com visit www.remembergroup.com or follow on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/remembergroup and on twitter at @remembergroup.

Are You Taking Facebook Too Seriously?

 

I like Facebook. It’s a nice place to check up on my friends, and see what’s going on that day. I also check Twitter occasionally. Social Media is a great way to share pictures and news pertinent to me, but there’s one thing I don’t go on these sites for, and that’s to be sold on something.

I recently read a blog post on Hanafin Loyalty’s website, titled ‘An Open Letter to Millennials’ (you can find that blog post here), where the author asks Millennial consumers how they prefer to be contacted about products. My answer to him? I don’t. At least not over social media outlets.

I know I might be burned at the stake for my opinions on social media advertising, but this post interested me. I am a big fan of traditional advertising, and the primary reason for that is because it isn’t as intrusive as new media.

One part of that blog that caught me was when the author asked about connecting with Millennial consumers over a text message. That left a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t much like the thought of a company having my phone number and texting me news from their company, or the latest and greatest product. This feels like an invasion of privacy to me, similar to telemarketer calls during dinner. I love being connected to the world, but I want it on my terms.

By now businesses should know not to constantly bombard their followers with product offerings, and instead provide information relevant to consumers. I love companies that show their human side, providing trivia in status updates to get consumers interacting, but many companies still see social media as an extra marketing ‘weapon’.
Maybe I’m being too old-fashioned, but I’ll take a 30-second spot about a new car over a status update on it any day.

This was more of a rant, but I do have a question: Are you using Facebook more to connect with your fans, or sell to them?

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Will Michaelson

Sales Associate

Re:member group

Phone: 952.224.8002

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