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Small Is the Gate and Narrow the Pathway to Creating Advocates

Being in business is just about creating and selling stuff. Delivering services. Right?

Wrong. It is about creating advocates for your business. There is a pathway to creating advocates. It is narrow and uncrowded.

Would you like to know what it is?

The best way to show you is with a Chart, a grid.

It looks like this:

The vertical axis is what you do – your outcomes. A law firm provides legal services. A restaurant? Meals. Clothing store? Clothes. You get the idea.

The question going up the chart is – did I ‘not meet’, ‘meet’, or exceed my customers’ expectations?

You go to a restaurant. Your meal was either crappy (not met), good (met), or just like mom’s cooking (exceeded).

Now look at the horizontal axis. It is called “Process”.

It is not how you do what you do (that is operations). It is how you deliver what you do.

Everyone knows you can get a great meal, and lousy service. It can be lousy in any number of ways.

A grumpy, rude, indifferent, or distracted server for example.

The “process” part is the people part. Did the business show they cared for you?

The Colors Are the Clue

Look carefully at the Chart above. The colors are a clue. There are 3 red boxes, 2 green, 2 purple, 1 brownish, and 1 blue.

Let me unpack it for you.

The Color Brown

The bottom corner – in our restaurant example – means the food is bad, AND the service was horrible. You are gone. And, likely you will tell a lot of people. Way more than when it is great.

The Color Purple

Look at the 2 purple boxes next. In the bottom, middle box the food is bad, but the server was friendly.  (Expectations not met, satisfied with the service). In the middle, left box the food is good, and the service is horrid. (Expectations met, dissatisfied with process).

What do you do?

You are searching. You want a better restaurant to go to. Perhaps you are not gone – just yet – but actively looking!

The Color Red

Three boxes are red. Bottom right red box – you are dazzled with service; food is really awful. In top left red box – the food was terrific (better than expected), but the server was rude.

Middle red box – everything is good. Not great. Good. Food is good. Service was good. You are satisfied. Just not running home to share with your friends and family about the place.

As the business owner of this restaurant, are you secure?

No. You are “at risk”. Those customers could leave you. They will leave you when something better comes along.

The Green Boxes

There are two possibilities here. Either the food was amazing, and the service good. Or, the service was dazzling, and the food was good, not great.

You are safer here indeed. Because you have something all businesses long for.

Check it out below.

You have loyal customers.

So, what is wrong with that? Isn’t that enough. Sure. It is good. But is that what you really want? Because there is one piece missing. One secret ingredient.

Remember what I said at the beginning?  The road is narrow and the gateway is small.

This leads us to the last box….

The Blue Box

The blue box is where your advocates live.

In this lonely top corner box, you have been blown away with the meal AND the service dazzled you.

And here is the lesson. The one thing advocates do (something even loyal customers do not do) is this:

  • They cannot stop talking about your business

They are a walking, talking billboard for your company. They rave about you to friends and family and on social media. Stories are shared about you – good stories. They smile telling their friends about their experience. They gush a bit.

Here is the challenge (for all of us in business). Not how we get there. We may be able to pull that off – occasionally.

It is how do we stay there. How do we embed that dazzling experience with outstanding products/services into the DNA of our systems?

Thanks for reading….

PS – the above distinction applies as much – actually more – during a pandemic