Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What does Southwest Airlines have that I don't?

T. Scott Gross was a speaker at ISBN last week.  He wrote a book called Positively Outrageous Service.  Somehow someone at Southwest Airlines read it and ordered 10,000 copies for their people!

I love Southwest.  I still remember many of the safety instructions they give before a flight takes off.  Things like, "There are 50 ways to leave your lover, but only 6 ways to exit the plane in an emergency."  "If you are sitting next to a child or someone acting like a child, please put your oxygen mask on first, then assist them."

Classic.

If you want a fun speaker, hire Scott.  If you want to get inspired, read his book! 

Positively Outrageous Service is:
  • Random/Outrageous
  • Out of bounds for the circumstances
  • Customer is highly involved
  • Creates compelling, positive word of mouth
He told a great story about the founder of Romano's Macaroni Grill.  In their first restaurant one day, the own put a note in each guest's folder... instead of the actual bill.  On that letter, the founder wrote, "Thanks for your support of Romano's.  We appreciate you.  Today, your bill is on us."

It was completely random.  They chose one night early in their history.  No one expected to get a free meal.  The customer was HIGHLY involved.  And I promise, those guests that day talked about that for years to come.  Romano's has gone on to great success.  And they have NEVER repeated that trick again!

What can you do to have clients talking to others about your business after they leave?  A friend of mine owns an orthopedic company.  With every order, they gave their clients a tin of danish cookies.  Everyone wanted to buy from them, not for their prices, it was for their cookies!

There is a restaurant in town called Wolf Creek.  If the server knows it is a guest's first visit, they offer them a free dessert.  It really builds the word of mouth!

At Mirabella, we give new salons that carry our brand a success box.  This is not advertised.  But a week after they open with us, we ship them out this box full of goodies to help them be more successful.  We used to advertise it.  But we took it off the menu and just surprise the clients now.

What do you do?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Take the time to think...

Have you ever gotten stuck?  You feel like you are not making progress on something.  Whenever I get in that spot, I take out a blank piece of paper and write something on the top to focus my thoughts.  Then I write 1 through 20 down the left side of the page. 

Then I begin. 

Quickly, I can usually come up with a couple of easy answers to the question I am trying to answer.  To get to 20, which is the requirement takes time and focus and THINKING.  This is a great exercise if you have 30 minutes of uninterrupted time.   But it is hard to do if you are in a place with lots of interruptions.

Things to make my wife happy...
  1. Call her during the day
  2. Rub her feet
  3. Leave a note in her car telling her I love her
  4. Take a walk with her
  5. Plan a day away, mini vacation
  6. Play tennis together
  7. Do a chore she hates for her like getting gas
  8. Call her parents for no reason
  9. Take her out to dinner, especially when its been a difficult day
  10. Listen to her day, be interested
  11. Go on a date
  12. Plan some family time, family activity
  13. Bring her chocolate
  14. Take the chocolate to work!
  15. Clean up the after the dog, outside...
  16. Write notes before I leave on a trip to give her while I'm gone
  17. Go skiing
  18. Being in Michigan on the sand dunes
  19. Snuggling on the coach
  20. Telling her she looks nice (she knows I mean it because I will tell her if something DOESN'T look nice)
You know what they say, happy wife... happy life!

That was an easy one, but you get the idea...
So peaceful on top of the sand dunes!

Friday, May 3, 2013

You don't get what you expect!

While we were doing our staff meeting to follow up from a initiate we had begun, the team reported on what they had learned from the previous meeting.

Each person had some homework.

One of the assignments was to do daily cycle counts on a few specific items.

They noted that the counts were off with mascara 3 days in a row. When we delved deeper we noticed that this mascara was also being used in a kit that had been adjusted, but the timing was wrong, causing the errors.

In that previous staff meeting we had discussed timing issues and how to solve them.

But we all realized quickly that we discussed this issue and I expected that we had SOLVED the issue.  However, I realized that you don't get what you EXPECT, you get what you INSPECT!

If I had left the discussion and didn't follow up, we would still be having the issue.  But since we went back and investigated in detail, we learned that we did not have a procedure that we were actually following.

We do now!  Well, I will let you know next week... when I INSPECT again!!!