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I had just got to my car rental at the Dallas Airport and the moment I turned my ignition on, the message said “Service B Exceeded by 5100 mi”. Hmm. That did not sound good. I was not sure if I should drive the car for the next four days. I walked over to the rental car service person and made him aware of the problem. His reaction was “Just press enter and the message will go away!” Amazing, the message did go away. But did the problem go away? For the next four days, every time I started the car, the message was back, and I hurried to press enter to make the message go away. Every time I wondered if I should still drive the car and questioned my judgment in listening to the rental car service person to veto the car manufacturer’s warning. Needless to say, I was relieved to...

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I was back at Floyd’s for a haircut with my favorite stylist Dawn. (Click here to read how she became my favorite stylist). This was my first return visit and I was a little apprehensive if it will be as magical as the first visit.  Dawn greeted me the moment I enter the shop. As we walked to her “hair-cut station” she asked me about my life and the moment the I sat on the chair, she was in business mode. “The last time we did a number 2 on the sides and finger length on top, all blended in. How did your family like your haircut?” I was amazed that she remembered the exact cut I had and that my haircut was dinner table discussion for my family.  I asked her how she remembered all those details. She told me she makes it a point to remember every detail about every client...

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I was at Floyd’s Barbershop for a haircut. My stylist Dawn greeted me and during the haircut I learned that she has worked with the company for 11 years. I asked “What do you like about working here? Dawn: “Every day when I come to work, I get a chance to make people in Denver Colorado BEAUTIFUL.” I was not sure what she meant and wanted to know more, “Make Denver Beautiful?” Dawn: “Yes, every person leaves my chair FEELING CONFIDENT AND BEAUTIFUL.” Wow. I realized how lucky I was to get a haircut from Dawn. She was not just cutting my hair. She had a vision of what I would feel when I left which gave her a clear purpose; something most business service providers do not have. Just like Starbucks offers more than just a coffee, it offers a well-deserved break experience and Disney is not just theme park, it also leaves guests with...

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Too many brands only celebrate exceptional customer service. That means the rest of the time, service is simply ordinary. Instead, brands should define their standards based on what every customer gets every time and celebrate the percentage of times they deliver that standard. This way they are setting expectations with their customers and the more consistent they become, the more customers will see the consistency as their competitive differentiation. Here are a few areas to consider: Make it easy for team members: Brands today often fall in love with loyalty programs and offer different levels of service to different levels of loyalty customers. This makes it difficult for team members. Why not treat every customer as a super loyal customer thereby creating more loyal customers, and team members can offer consistent service to everyone. Channel consistency: Customers today interact with a brand or access a brand through different media or third parties. The customers do not...

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Your brand spends a lot on researching your customers and have created clear profiles of customer segments. You know what the segment members do when they are not visiting you and their choice of media. You know WHO they are and WHAT they do. But do you know: WHY they do what they do? Your guests individually? The answer to both questions is in a big trend that is sweeping the world; Focus on individuality resulting in need for customization. Brands must really learn about their customers, as the desire for individuality is driving the need for personalized products, services, and experiences. A great example of this is Coke’s "Share a Coke" campaign where Coke introduced bottles that had popular millennial first names. Coke then evolved to semi-personal labels beyond first names, like “better half”, then adding last names and finally, names of famous vacation spots. This was Coke’s way of inviting more people...

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