Jeanne Bliss tweeted me to thank me for writing about her book. And as we got to talking, she provided me with a link to the first chapter of her book, just for you:
Chapter 1: Your Decisions Reveal: Who You Are and What You Value! It’s very generous of Jeanne to provide me a link. The chapter starts with a quote from Walt Disney:“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
Companies that are loved by their customers make decisions differently than other companies.
The common denominator, according to Jeanne, is that these companies bring consciousness and humanity to the decisions they make. When you make decisions that respect and honor your customers, your customers will grow your business by word of mouth. They will tell their friends, who will they their friends, who will tell their friends…
Remember that Breck Shampoo commercial back in the ’60s that used this as their tagline?
The most important thing a company can do is to form an army of cheerleaders and publicists urging their friends, neighbors, colleagues and strangers to get behind your company.
Have we ever seen this in action? Sure we have… Land’s End for instance. That’s where Jeanne started her customer experience career. The founder of Land’s End, Gary Comer, described Jeanne’s job as: nurturing the “conscience” of the company through the decisions they made as they grew. And they experienced 20-30% grow per year. Their stand? Long-term growth was dependent on retaining their strong emotional connection with customers.
At that time, the stories customers told about Land’s End, revealed their values. They drove not only customers to the company, but also an engaged and loyal employee base. Land’ End need over 200 employee volunteers to answer all the, “I love you, Land’s End!” mail they received each month.
And have we seen this lately? Yes, at Zappos.com When Tony and Alfred started Aappos.com they didn’t have money for large advertising or marketing programs. They made the conscious decision that the way they would build and grow their business was to provide such great service, interactions and experiences, that they tell their friends, who will they their friends, who will tell their friends…
And 2009, Amazon.com bought Zappos.com for over $922 Million. That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it.
And its not that these types of companies are perfect. It’s not that every single interaction is perfect. What is so is that they have a huge reserve of gratitude from their customers, that if and when a mistake is made, that customers are willing to be more forgiving. Especially when that tender, loving care is how they deal with the mistake or issue.
As Jeanne would say, “The decision is yours.”