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16.06.2013

How to wow your customers

Marilia Mag Wow

If you want to know how you can wow your customers, you must first understand what a wow is.

Let me start with an example. I was checking into a hotel in New Delhi, some time last year. I had stayed in that hotel five years ago. When I was at the guest desk, a gentleman approached me.

“Good evening Mr Sridhar. It is so nice to see you again after so many years.”

I could not recognise the man, nor could I remember him. He gave me his business card – the President of the Hotel.  I smiled, shook his hand and asked

“How are you? How is business?”

“You may not remember me sir, but I remember the workshop you conducted for one of our customers. I was managing that workshop from the hotel. So I got an opportunity to see you in action.I keep talking about it to my colleagues. Especially one idea you shared.”

“Oh! What was the idea?”

“It was on how to wow your customers. You said Wow = Experience/Expectation. You create a wow when you create an experience that far exceeds the customer’s expectation.”

“Amazing that you still remember it. Does that work for you?”

“Of course Sir. Every time. All my people are trained to far exceed expectations and wow their customers. We carry a wow pass book. One wow a day is mandatory. In the evening all the managers have a huddle and we share how we wowed our customers. Each manager has a wow meeting with his people: including the bell boy, the door man, the chef, the waiters in the restaurants, room service, laundry – every where.”

“Oh! Wow!”

“This has helped us a lot. Especially in retaining frequent business travellers.”

“I am delighted to hear about this. Has it brought you new business?”

“Yes indeed. Some really good corporate customers. It has also brought in very good conference business. All through word of mouth and referrals.”

“What exactly did you do? How did you put that idea into practice?”

“It was a massive exercise Sir. Every department manager created a list with his team. What satisfies the customers, what bugs the customers. We first focused on fixing the bugs. Then we focused on the satisfiers. We realised that our customers were satisfied because we met their expectations. I remembered the example you quoted. You open the hot water tap, you get hot water. You open the cold water tap, you get cold water. We just fulfil customer expectations. They are merely satisfied. That won’t help us”

“So what did you do?”

“We listed all customer contact points, and identified opportunities to far exceed customer expectations. We focused on that. All of us try as much as we can. For instance, I know that you are quite surprised that I remembered you, your name etc. You merely expected an efficient check in, so that you go to your room fast. We can’t make it faster beyond a point. So we said we will look for an idea outside the checking process. That is when I hit upon this idea of recognising the customer.”

“Superb.”

“Here we are sir. This is your room. Call me anytime you need something. Even if I am not there one of my people will look after you. They all know that you gave us the wow idea!”

 

 

 

16.06.2013

Dream idea comes true – an iPhone app to get new ideas

iphone

This is a story of my dream idea coming true – creating an iPhone app to help people get ideas on the move.

For the last 20 years I have been helping people get out of habitual ways of thinking and look at new ways to solve problems,  seize opportunities.  I have conducted more than 500 creative problem solving workshops, to help managers solve real life business problems.

I also created a tool kit to help people get new ideas. People use the tool kit in the workshops.  They take it home or to their office and keep it carefully. Unfortunately, they never find it when they want to use it.

When do they want to use it most?

When they are traveling. When stuck in a traffic jam. When  in a long flight. Or  in the airport because their flight is delayed. When a meeting was canceled and they had nothing better to do.  Have just finished a meeting and are keen to explore new possibilities. When bored with cliches, tried and tested routine ideas, predictable solutions. When  looking for something fresh, new, imaginative, surprising – something to wow people. Anytime, anywhere

Whenever I enquired about how often they used the toolkit, “How if I wish I could carry it anywhere and use it” was something they told me often. That is when I began to dream about creating something handy, easy to carry, simple to use, and something which fits into people’s current lifestyle.

Then I saw people listening to music, play games, watch movies, play sudoku, solve cross words, maintain calendars, send emails, messages, pictures –  all on a mobile. They carried the mobile every where. Except perhaps to the swimming pool.

And then the penny dropped.

“What if I created something, that people can use in a mobile?” My dream idea was born. And it soon  became an obsession.

I worked with some incredibly talented people from a branding & design company called Landor and an app development company called Arkanea. An extra-ordinary experience for a 64 year old man working with smart young people. They taught me so many new things. Amazing, how I much I learnt from them.

TickleMeThink is my dream idea come true.

A simple, easy to use app that will help people get new ideas to solve problems, seize opportunities and crack challenges. It could be about marketing, design, manufacturing, writing, selling, customer service whatever. No matter what your problem is, TickleMeThink could help you get ideas you may not have thought of.

In my view the best part of the app is that it is ‘insanely simple’ – inspired by Steve Jobs. We knocked out all the desirable features and retained what is essential. All of us learnt how to be customer focused all the time.

TickleMeThink makes the thinking process simple and enjoyable. So that you can get new ideas to make a difference to whatever you do. Anytime, anywhere.

If you have an iPhone, iPad, iPodTouch – just give TickleMeThink a try. Now matter what you do, if you are passionate about thinking differently and doing things better – rest assured, TickleMeThink is on your side.