A story about GOOD customer service (for once…)

My Dreamland Radio co-host and I do a boatload of interviews.  Given that, we have become pretty picky about the equipment we use.  Sound quality is paramount, ease of use is critical (we’re both sales and marketing guys after all) and guest comfort is a huge deal.

So we decided to test a new type of headset/mics.  Our local Guitar Center has provided a good bit of advice and help over the years, so of course we bought them from there.  Successful test!  The next logical step was to get two more pairs so we would have a compete matching set.

That’s where the problem happened.

We ordered two, got billed for two, paid for two, the packing list said two, but we only got one.  Ugh…..  Yours truly got stuck with calling customer service to attempt to straighten it all out.

That’s when “delighted customer syndrome” kicked in.

Karen Pilliod, CFO of Advanced Control Solutions wearing the new headset

Kenny answers the phone on the third ring on a Saturday morning.  I explain the situation.  His next comment floored me.  “Well, we’ll just need to get that fixed right away.”  We’ll just need to get that fixed right away?  Really?

Less than five minutes later I had:

  • Approval from two levels of supervisors
  • An order number
  • An invoice for $0.00
  • A professional apology for my time and trouble
  • Another apology that the shipment wouldn’t arrive until Tuesday (since their next UPS pickup wasn’t till Monday)

Thanks, Guitar Center and kudos to you!  Everybody should buy their stuff from you guys.

Learning a thing or two about my own area of “expertise”

Every time I begin think I really have a handle on this whole sales and marketing thing, somebody comes along and makes me realize I still have lots to learn.  Actually, that’s what makes my work with Dreamland Radio so challenging and interesting.

My cohort Todd & I recently interviewed Eric Marjoram, owner of Marjoram Creative  on Business-To-Technology radio.  His approach to understanding a new client’s marketing and branding needs is simultaneously simple and deeply thought-provoking:

  • Who are you?
  • Who is your audience?
  • Do they think you are who you say you are?

The lessons went on from there…  Eric’s one guy well worth listening to!



Business-To-Technology Radio is sponsored by AML Communications.

Business Talk Radio. It Sells!!!

I hope this doesn’t come across as tooting my own horn too much, but it’s just too cool a story to not share.  And, oh by the way, it’s a great example of deploying a content marketing strategy…

My Dreamland Radio partner, Todd Schnick and I recently interviewed the CEO and a technical support specialist from Medical Electronic Attachment and National Electronic Attachment on Community Service Radio.  As I listened to the recording, it struck me that we had created a complexly rich and compelling piece of content that both illustrates effective business strategies and sells/markets the services of multiple organizations.  The business strategies:

  • A “Serve Your Community” corporate culture is good for business (MEA-NEA has a 99% customer retention rate!!!)
  • A business talk radio show captures not only great content, but the spirit of and enthusiasm behind that content (Ya’ gotta’ listen to really get what I mean.)

The beneficiaries of the sales/marketing messages:

  1. Medical Electronic Attachment
  2. National Electronic Attachment
  3. Business Technology News Hour
  4. The Proven Method
  5. The Love Tour
  6. Florida Disney Childrens’ Hospital
  7. Alliance for Children Everywhere
  8. Georgia Symphony Orchestra
  9. The YPS Group
  10. Intrepid
  11. Dreamland Interactive

Are you kidding me?  Eleven different organizations get positive exposure and SEO bumps from a single interview???

And just to put icing on the cake…  Listen to the short clip below.  Will Williams, the tech support guy, was hoping he could snag a six-month leave of absence to give his musical talents to a humanitarian cause.  Lindy Benton, the CEO, made it happen on the spot!  And Schnick and I scored tickets to the first show!

Will Williams goes on tour!

Death Of A Business Model (Yours too?)

Being in the railroad business made most railroads blind to the transportation business.  They missed the opportunities to gobble up market share nabbed by trucks and airplanes.  Most railroads are gone.  Easy to articulate the strategies they coulda’ woulda’ shoulda’ implemented.

Bethlehem Steel was in the steel business.  A realization they were in the durable materials business, might have saved them.  They’re gone too.  Their coulda’ woulda’ shoulda’ strategies are not quite as obvious, but it doesn’t take too much effort to conjure up several.

Borders was in the brick and mortar book-selling business.  Soon to be gone forever.  What business coulda’ woulda’ shoulda’ they been in?  Education?  Leisure?  E-commerce?  Gathering place for intellectual discussion and/or coffee and quiet reflection?  What strategies coulda’ woulda’ shoulda’ they implemented?  Certainly not selling dead, processed trees with ink blots in a 140 character, electronic world.

“What business are you in?”  Peter Drucker’s famous question is as relevant and important as ever.  (ironically,  AT&T and its recognition of being in the services business was his “poster child” example.  Ma Bell had her “good old days” as well.)

Think you’re immune to devasting, company-killing innovation from some unexpected quarter?  Think it’s easy to see it coming?  Think again…

“Work with those ready to be worked with.”

“Work with those ready to be worked with.”  Pretty simple advice.  Pretty sound too.  Especially when it comes to embracing new techniques, technologies and tactics for selling more faster.  Or selling anything for that matter.

As usual, I came by this powerfully pithy insight from contact with someone way smarter than me.  This time it was Bert DuMars, VP of e-Business and Interactive Marketing for Newell-Rubbermaid.  His insight really whacked me right upside the head.   Since I sell and facilitate Sales Process Engineering for a living, I often ask if virtually any sales organization can benefit from The YPS Group’s Sales Process Engineering methodology.  Well, by gosh, the answer is, “Yes. ”  But…

  1. Do some sales executives reject the concept immediately?  Yes.
  2. Do some sales executives sort of “get” and accept the concepts?  Yes.
  3. Do some sales executives say, “Wow!  This is exactly the sort of thinking we need to embrace?”  Yes.

Well, duh…  Which group deserves my focus?

Of course they all do, but how?  Group 1 should be assigned to my e-Rep.  Maybe someday they’ll come around.  Group 2 should also be assigned to my e-Rep.  In addition I’ll invite them to be on one of my radio shows as a guest (among other things.)  That way they’ll experience a little piece of an e-Rep’s selling power, and maybe move a step or two closer “SPE-ness.”

Group 3 is the target for my primary, personal focus.  Oh, they get the e-Rep treatment too of course, but they also have the “pleasure” of hearing from yours truly directly and regularly.  They get the full TY sales charm!

Bert’s dealing with the 40 different brands under the Newell Rubbermaid banner.  He’s helping to bring them, at their own pace, into the wonderful world of digital sales and marketing.  That’s exactly what I (and you!) need to be doing with our prospects.  Meet ‘em where they are.  Accept and embrace why they’re there.  Help ‘em take the next baby step.  NOT the full blown whatever of what we’re selling.

Listen to the full interview.