I called a local restaurant today to find out about the starting time of a monthly promotion. Normally, when the phone gets answered I click '0' to be sent to a voice right a way, but today for some reason i took a listen, and here were my choices: (Phone System prompts are in bold)
1. For take out dial ext. ##
Standard, first choice, makes sense, certainly hours and times are up soon...
2. For a manager contact the hostess stand.
I don't really want to bother a manager for the location and times, they must be coming up soon...
3. For accounts payable please dial ###-###-####
HUH?! Accounts payable?!? All I want to know are the hours of the restaurant!!!
4. For human resources dial ext. ##
WAIT, I don't want a job, I just want to know where you are located!
5. For large parties, groups of 10 and special events within 3 days dial ext. ##
I don't even know where you are yet, how can i plan an event there....
6. For any other reservation further out than 3 days please dial ###-###-####
Setting aside the fact that I still have not gotten the hours or location, I HAVE TO DIAL ANOTHER NUMBER TO MAKE RESERVATIONS?!
7. To listen to these choices again please dial ##
ARGH! When are you open? What time do you close? Where are you?
8. -----(name) is open for lunch and dinner on the beautiful waters of...
In addition to all of this...no mention of the special event and no human interaction at this point.
When people call into your restaurant or business, does it feel like calling they're calling a credit card company or do they get a warm welcome that most people associate with a welcoming meal?
A lot of things can be automated in this world and there is a place for much of it, but taking the human touch out of the hospitality business will often take the customers away as well.
A lot of people in the industry of marketing and advertising spend a lot of time dreaming of the next "big campaign!" An angle, a gimmick, a icon to put their product or brand out into everyone's mind and everyone's word of mouth.
I am not a big 'cute animals on the internet' fan or even a 'cat blog' supporter, but let this youtube video remind everyone that EMOTIONS still drive a lot of popularity. Over 7 MILLION views of two otters holding hands...7 million views!?!
In the background you hear women, men and kids all commenting on the 'cuteness' - talk about a nice demographic spread.
Are your marketing efforts screaming at your consumers with flash and POW or are they connecting with their emotions and needs?
The car business is competitive and ruthless and though most dealerships talk about relationships, it is rare to find one that backs up its words with actions.
Monday we ordered a new car in a town 3 hours from here(no dealer here in PC.) This morning at 7AM our salesperson delivered it to us without a complaint or mention of payback. You read it right, he got up at 4AM in order to get the car here before we had to go to work. He dropped it off, signed some papers, got in our trade and headed back to Mobile for another appointment he had at noon.
Is your company or organization willing to make the metaphorical 6 hour trip to please your customer?
All the Paul Potts hype of the last few weeks was somewhat disturbing. Sure he was shy, sure he was older, but comments about the surprise of his ability seemed to be linked to his outward appearance.
It reminded me of a performer that I traveled with for years. Bo was unpolished by all definitions. Beard down to his chest, hair that had not seen a comb for years, drank too much, partied too much and told far too many stories - some fascinating and some almost unbelievable.
One such story centered around Bo's ability to play piano. In conversation, it came up several times how he was classically trained...he even added that while growing up he actually was teaching two beautiful twins how to play as well - needless to say everyone around him was a bit skeptical.
We ended up at a party together after about 4 years of traveling and upstairs there was piano. Everyone drank, some people smoked, and hours later the sounds of music starting filling the house. Slowly, one by one, the partyers all ceased their conversations, they gravitated upstairs where they saw Bo. He was seated, eyes closed, playing a piece by Chopin as if he belonged in Carnegie Hall. Girls were in tears and guys were in utter disbelief.
This homely cell phone salesman surely cannot sing opera!
Imagine if Apple decided those 'artsy, creative types' would never want a computer.
Next time you are meeting with your team, ask them who are your customers? Who aren't your customers and WHY? Are the observations valid or are they superficial reasons based on appearance or social assumptions?
Taking a few days away from reading and writing always leaves a large stack in my Google Reader. As i scan through them here are the ones from the past few days that are WELL WORTH the reading...enjoy!
[They are all strong and thought provoking, but I think #5 could start a video creativity revolution...combine it with tips from #2 and you might turn out to be the focus of a positive word of mouth like #4.)
1. Seth Godin once again takes on a complicated topic, strips away the extras and describes the varying forces that drive any particular business. As always with Seth, its an easy to understand, easy to relate to list of business types with GREAT examples. What drives your company? Is it a force that makes your customers feel confident and trusting?
2. Nedra from Spare Change shared information from her interview with Steven Starr(chairman of Revver.com). It is a MUST read for anyone that is considering or wanting to make better on-line video content. Its easy to read, easy to understand, and easily the best resource on getting the most out of your on-line video. I also love the Far Side cartoon in the article. Thanks for sharing Nedra, you once again give us a great way to make an impact on a little budget.
3. John at Duct Tape Marketing shares a video of Scott Ginsberg from 20/20 in regard to "luck." I had the opportunity to talk with Scott right after i started Cabernet Logic and he prompted me to think about a few important questions. We also talked about his idea of luck and lack there of...if you have not read his books, you will be ordering them after seeing this video.
4. Apparently next time you ask "Who Gets It?" you can add Marriott to the list. Thanks Andy for reminding us that while we are busy looking for everything that everyone does poorly, its nice to recognize that some people and companies are trying to get it right! By the way Andy, great writing, I did not think I needed another feed, but could not pass adding you to my reader, thanks for sharing.
5....AND THE WINNER as far as exciting opportunities....YouTube Re-mixes...Plaid brought this article to my attention all about the new service offered by YouTube...the opportunities are endless! Imagine remixing any videos from anyone around the globe into your own personal mashup on ANYTHING! (Read more about it here.)
This week's TED video presentation covers some of the newest - craziest - still photo software being developed. Its solid at the beginning, but around the 4 minute mark it will start blowing your mind...so the next time you are clicking pics of that famous landscape or building, you could be helping a young college student with his/her research as well....ENJOY!
If you did not hear(means you might be in a coma)...the Apple iphone is coming out this month - June 29th to be exact. Interestingly enough AT&T felt they would not get enough publicity out of that action this month, that they also released information about their new policy of "spying on their customer."
So the same company that has exclusivity to the soon to be legendary iPhone is now acting as 'Big Brother'...sort of like a 70's hippie leaving the Dead Tour to work for the DEA....these two actions just don't seem to fit together in the same sentence.
Apple's brand and iPhone excitement seems pretty impenetrable, BUT if AT&T is looking at what you download off the net, its only a matter of time until they listen to what you are saying over the air...(warning, bad pun coming up) maybe they will need to rename it the 'spiPhone.'
(Cord, thanks for a couple of great posts this week in which i tracked and commented, and congrats on the wedding news.)
Last night i posted about fear and adversity in reference to Seth Godin's thoughts on what it takes to be remarkable.
There are so many stories and lessons to be learned buried in this one video. Themes of underdog success, quiet humble perfection, even over-judgmental critics. I have to agree with Seth's comments in The Dip in that the judges, though acting pleasantly surprised, still laughed it off at times like it was a joke. Its a sad day in reality TV when the perfect performance warrants a snicker due to the fact they were
expecting HOPING for the ridiculous!
I just read this a few minutes ago, Seth Godin manages to once again define "remarkable" in such simplicity, such power - His Post on "That Moment" could be from a coach to an athlete, father to son, or agency to client...
...my old diving coach used to preach to our young divers, "Most significant accomplishments are as hard as they are great!"
FEAR...RISK...UNCERTAINTY....When most people cringe in the company of these words, LEADERS and CHAMPIONS face the adversity and see an opportunity to shine in success!