No holiday Spirit Airlines – Spirit Airlines, the lowest-rated Customer satisfaction airline in the US, is at it again. For the second year in a row, Spirit Airlines is playing scrooge by adding an extra fee to its baggage fee for checked luggage on flights departing during the holidays. Frontier Airlines-the Denver-based carrier that’s been following the fee-heavy tactics laid out by Spirit-recently hiked checked and carry-on baggage fees by an extra $5 to $10 for flights scheduled anytime between Thanksgiving week and just after New Year’s, as well as peak travel periods in 2016. Florida Senator Bill Nelson urged Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and other U.S. carriers to put aside any plans to increase checked-bag fees during the peak holiday travel time. “These increased surcharges fly in the face of declining fuel costs and appear focused on increasing profitability on the backs of American families,” Nelson wrote. “If your company does plan to impose holiday surcharges, I request that you rescind those plans immediately.”
Hard to make price irrelevant after you made it relevant – Once your Customers are used to receiving discounts, it’s really hard to wean them off. Just ask JCPenney and Jos A Bank. JCPenney is still trying to recover from a nationwide failed experiment in misunderstanding one’s own Customer base. Jos. A. Bank is finding their attempt to change the habits of their shoppers isn’t going so well: sales are way down. For years Customers have been trained to come in and stock up on suits only when there’s a buy one, get three free sale. Not that those sales have ended, traffic is down and same store sales dropped 14.6%. Parent company, Men’s Wearhouse CEO Doug Ewert, explained they have no choice to change direction, “Despite these results, we continue to believe that transitioning away from the unsustainable promotional strategy we inherited from Jos. A. Bank and accelerating our new promotional strategy is the right thing to do for the long-term success of the Jos. A. Bank business.”
Your story needs a villain, victim and hero – Every great movie and story has them: a villain, a victim and a hero. I read a really good article titled, For Better Presentations, Start with a Villain that talks about exactly that. Obviously as a presenter, this would interest me. However, this concept can and should be applied to all our roles as leaders trying to inspire employees, Customers, and vendors around our vision. Let’s use The Customer Service Revolution as an example:
- The Villain can be anyone from the discounters in your industry who are providing crappy service; online retailers, eroding Customer loyalty; to low service aptitude making your product or service just another commodity.
- The Victim is your Customer who is treated indifferently, as a transaction everywhere s/he goes, getting little or no empathy and compassion.
- The Hero is the methodology you are introducing and your employees who embrace The Customer Service Revolution and create a radical overthrow of conventional business mentality designed to change what employees and Customers experience. This shift produces a culture that permeates into people’s personal lives, at home and in the community, which in turn provides the business with higher sales, morale, and brand loyalty, thus making price irrelevant!
Vote for Summit breakout topics – We are putting the finishing touches on our 2016 Secret Service Summit lineup and just about have all our main stage speakers set. We are now working on finalizing the breakout speakers. Before we do that, we want to know what you want, what topics interest you. Please vote for one of the topics listed below or feel free to offer one that isn’t listed:
- Social Media online reputation management
- Measuring Customer Satisfaction
- Service Recovery
- Building Client Relationships (B2B)
- Customer Experience Training techniques for new employees
- Customer Relationship Management Software
Are you Magnetic? Joe Calloway has done it again with his new book, Magnetic ~ The Art of Attracting Business. Calloway has also authored Becoming a Category of One and Indispensable. Do you see a theme here? I had a few minutes the other night to start to read Magnetic and a few minutes turned into a few hours of being educated and entertained. Some of my key takeaways were:
- Magnetic means that the Customers come to you. Customers are drawn to you.
- Figure out what the three things you want your Customers to say about you and work backwards. What type of experience do you have to create to get them to say that about your business?
- Brands that create an emotional connection get three times more referrals than other brands
- Every business needs to know what the three things they must get right every time with every Customer.