I Make Promises For A Living

10/05/2004

Had an interesting conversation with my friend Rob Madonna about customer satisfaction and loyalty. Rob is responsible for all that stuff at Palisades Safety and Insurance Management Corp.

Did a bit of multi-tasking while we were talking about my favorite book on customer satisfaction and loyalty - Moments of Truth by Jan Carlzon. Should be required reading for everyone who touches the customer … which means everyone in your organization!

I surfed over to Palisades' site. Splash page greets you with the tag - The Nice New Jersey Car Insurance Company. Great positioning that has a retro feel to it. Must be the word nice. It's a word your aunt or grandma would use. But nice in a marketing tagline for an auto insurance company? Somehow it works for me.

That positioning was reinforced in a heartwarming letter from the company president, Gerry Wilson. Mr. Wilson tells a story of how he explained to his four-year old son what he did at work. "I told him that ‘I make promises for a living’. Then he asked me, “Do you keep the promises?” WoW... a 1-2 powerful punch!

However, before a company can keep its promises, it must first know what the customer wants promised. Back to my chat with Rob about customer satisfaction research. Here's what one smart researcher, Rob Madonna, had to say.

I believe the flaw in C-sat research is the focus on products and features rather than in understanding the factors that lead to consumers making decisions to buy or not buy products and services.

Customer Sat research does not go far enough. It often asks, "How can we improve our business?" The only truly intelligent response to this question has to be, "I don't know." What the customer does know are the factors that enter into their decision to buy or not buy a product or service. Identify those factors and monitor how well your product or service measures up. Then organizations will have something to help them understand how to drive future sales.

Speaking of keeping promises Eurotrash tells a story of how amazon.com went the extra mile to deliver a birthday present to her niece. Post also includes 2 amazon customer service secrets: (1) 800-201-7575 and (2) if you mail [email protected] you will reach Jeff Bezos' personal email. He won't check it but he has people who do and they will respond. And they did! Amazing!

Heard it from - Kottke

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