Chasing shadows shutterstock_20612I answered the following client question with a No.

Client: “Hey Steven, we’d like to have you speak at our conference about how our managers can build a magical service experience”.

You’ve heard the saying, one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure?

It’s the same with service. You know it. You know all customers are not the same. You also know that all staff are not the same. Yet, companies crave for a service recipe that satisfies everyone. It does not and cannot work.

Some people like to be served quickly without interaction, others need to build a personal relationship. One blanket training package cannot satisfy both people.

You don’t have to be generic

Here’s how to solve it. And we’ll start at the deep end.

  1. Strategy means you cannot serve everyone (although that would be cool if you could).
  2. Your brand automatically attracts some people but not others. But who?
  3. Marketing will give you some demographic, psychographic or something else important “ic”, but that data falls short.
  4. Traditional marketing data doesn’t acknowledge “why” people buy.
  5. People buy based on emotion (despite thinking they are rational).
  6. Those emotions are driven by the sub-conscious (do you know why someone prefers either BMW or Mercedes?).
  7. Classify customers into sub-conscious buying groups (we use 9 groups).
  8. Find out which groups of people are the most dominant in your brand.
  9. Find commonalities of how the most common groups prefer to be served.
  10. Now you can start designing your service offering – but how? and how does this affect the team.
  11. Train staff on how your dominant “core” customers want to be served. (e.g. Fast, slow, relationship, novelty, product features, social proof, price, etc). This is the crux. Focusing on how your core customers want to be served will NOT satisfy your non-core customers – but that’s the point. Strategic contrast.
  12. Then make staff aware of their own style – some will be the same as the core customers, but most will be different.
  13. Now some teamwork magic happens. When each team member is aware of their own sub-conscious biases, and those of their co-workers, they quickly start accepting everyone’s uniqueness. They recognise that the quiet broody guy in the corner has just as much to offer as the jack-rabbit jumping around trying to help people.So now we’ve moved from generic step-by-step processes which helps no-one, to a way of focusing on on the core customers and building teamwork.

You don’t have budget?

What if you can’t do the whole thing? Here’s how to step it up from minimal budget.

And here’s how I answered my client who had the same question.

Start at the end.

I suggested we do a conference talk to their store managers, but weave in the personality profiling.

  1. The store managers complete a 3 minute online workbook which will unwittingly categorise them into one of the 9 sub-conscious personality types.
  2. At the conference, we seat them in tables matching those groups – and watch how well the similar people on the table get on with each other.
  3. Have fun with interviewing some people on each table to highlight the differences between the groups.
  4. Relate each of those 9 types to their own staff.
  5. Use some quick tools to identify the types of customers so ‘some’ can be wowed.Taking it a step further, I’ve suggested to the client that they do the same personality profiler on the front-line staff, and we give tools to the managers and staff to understand the personality profiles. (This is a massive step in building teamwork and I’ve never ever seen something more impactful and long-lasting).​Question everyone

Yes it takes time and money, but here’s the point. Having awesome spectacular magical sales and service just can’t happen with generic wasteful training programs. Question your training managers. If you’re a training manager, question your marketing people. If you’re a CEO, question yourself and your direction. I’m not saying any of these people are wrong, just giving you a context to ask the right questions.

But what about these awesome service companies that are renowned for their service? Surely they didn’t do all this? They did, but some do it unintentionally. That’s a topic for another day.

If you have zero budget, my next post will give you a cheats way of categorising customers for free.