Articles with Strategy Implementation

Ten Lessons About Service

After twenty five years in the world of customer care, I have come to the conclusion that getting it right doesn't take too much. Here are ten lessons that you can start with.

The Big Gorilla Sits Wherever He Wants To… Or Maybe Not

Large businesses can make a big difference to society at large - but the way they treat customers leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, service is often appalling. They can learn a lot from smaller companies

To Use Customer Loyalty Programmes - or Not

Customer Loyalty Programmes usually create more problems that they solve, and are often seen as a silver bullet to solve problems with marketing or service. This is not always a good strategy

Turning Ducks into Eagles

We all know that the best customer service has little to do with systems, processes, loyalty programmes and similar unless you first get your staff on board. The biggest challenge facing you is how you get every person in your company both able and willing to take care of customers. The job of all managers is to turn ordinary people in customer champions – in spite of the fact that dealing with customers is often very hard.

Twelve Lessons from 25 Years

What are the most critical things that companies need to do to attract and keep their customers? In this article you will find a summary of the twelve most important strategic actions your business needs to take to become more customer-driven.

Twelve Quick Ways to Build Customer Loyalty – a Key Account Management Approach

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of ways to build customer loyalty. Here we look at it from the viewpoint of a typical key account management approach, and look at the lessons from the way a typical KAM would interact with customers.

Value Innovation and Blue Ocean Strategy

In a world where everything we buy just seems the same, some companies have used innovation to give their customers amazing experiences – and create long-term loyalty. This article discusses how W Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne recommend you approach the topic of value innovation.

What the Heck Were They Thinking?

Companies of do really dumb things that just don't make sense at all. They lose deals because of this, and also risk losing their customers forever.

When Customers Go on the Warpath

What happens when a customer complaint explodes and is reported in both the traditional and social media? Companies need to react, or they will pay a heavy price.

When Rules MUST Be Broken

Rules and bureaucracy are sometimes necessary for the smooth running of your business - but they are incredibly dangerous when they lead to unhappy customers and bad experiences.

Where is Your Next Whack-on-the-Side-of-the-Head Going to Come From?

With "shadow banking" now responsible for 25% of the whole financial services industry activity, short-sighted executives did not see that customer frustration would move them to seek other alternatives. But is this also happening in your industry?

Why Is It So Overcrowded in Some Stores?

Managers sometimes don't understand how important is the look and feel of the physical environment of their businesses. In this article we take a look at the problem of using customer space to pack stuff that should be in your warehouse

Why I’ll Probably Never Drive a BMW

BMW makes beautiful cars - but not everyone wants to drive one. The perceptions of what a brand represents - and how inclusive it is - can seriously influence buying behaviour.

Why you need to work as hard to keep your customers, as you did to get them

When a business opens its door for the first time, its main focus is getting customers. But what is equally important, and often neglected, is developing a strategy to keep clients.

Why Youth Day Should Be Celebrated

Youth Day is celebrated in South Africa every year on 16 June, but now it's also time for business to celebrate what young people bring to their organisations. If they don't, they may find themselves competing with these start-ups.

Your Customers Are Ready – But Are You?

Your customers have probably already made 60% of the buying decision before they contact you. How can you be sure that they buy from your company rather than one of your rivals? In this article we share four tips how to succeed in prospecting for new business.

Your Customers Are Ready. Are You?

Most customers today have done their homework before inviting suppliers to do business. They not only know exactly what they want, but also how much they want to pay, who else supplies the same, and researched your business. Are you ready?


With only a couple of weeks to go until Christmas, shoppers are starting to feel a bit stressed by the insane nightmare of mass advertising, crowded shopping malls, overstretched banks, and businesses that never seem prepared enough. As a retailer or store-owner it’s one of the busiest times of the year and a hugely important period that provides the perfect opportunity to give your customers memorable shopping experiences that make their lives easier and spread Christmas cheer. Here are a few little service treats that you can include to get your store ready and get your customer service team into gear to spread some love – just for the sake of it!

2016: Year of the Consumer Snitch

Never waste a good crisis… this advice to business leaders was bandied about during the global financial meltdown and subsequent recession. Well, another crisis is on the way and winners and losers across our economy will be determined by whoever seizes or wastes the opportunity.

30 Reasons Why You Must Delight Your Customers

Have you ever been uncertain about whether customer care is worth it? In this short article we list 30 good reasons why it is such a good idea to take care of customers. In this section you will also find a whitepaper called "The ROI of Customer Management" which gives a comprehensive and research-based argument that taking care of customers is worth it.

82 Ways to Add Value for Customers

Adding value for customers - continuously, and innovatively - is essential for creating customer loyalty, but it doesn't have to cost you a lot. Here is a (longish) summary of all 82 ideas

A Nation of Thugby* Enthusiasts

South Africans - like many other nationalities - are brought up to fight for everything, to defend everything aggressively, to never surrender. That's great if you are fighting a war, but not so good for customer care.

Advertising is Not Dead - Yet. But it is on Life Support

Companies persist in wasting money and time doing advertising, promotions and sales using methods that have become obviously useless, and it now worse with internet and smartphones. What is the alternative?

Advertising is the Price You Pay for Being Unremarkable

Jeff Bezos made this quotation in his report to shareholders in 2009, and it is more true today than ever before. Why don't companies use the power of referrals and recommendations to keep customers loyal? versus the World

No-one will argue that has changed the way customers buy things forever, and in a very positive way for customers. But what can traditional retailers like Exclusive Books do to prevent a total meltdown for their business? In thei article we look at the alternative choices for traditional retailers, but there are lessons for all businesses too.

Another Way to Rip Off Your Customers

In times like these, companies look for whatever advantages they can in order to remain profitable. But it's a bad strategy to steal from your customers.

Are We Customer Driven?

Is your company customer-driven? In this article we identify the most important characteristics of a company that manages its customers properly.

Back to the Floor, Boss

"Undercover Boss" is a reality-TV programme where executives from large companies go out in disguise to work with their employees in the front lines. Are there lessons for managers here?

Blinded by Company Loyalty

Previously successful companies often suffer from complacency and denial, and this leads to serious problems for the business. How can this be avoided?

Breaking the Rules

Entrepreneurs know what they need to do to succeed - and a lot has got to do with the way they treat customers. They are unfettered by "the rules," and indeed relish the thought of doing something innovative

C.R.M. Can Be Really Magical – When It Works

Companies spend fortunes on expensive CRM systems, but more often they are used to save money rather than make the lives of customers better. Here's how to make sure it pays off.

Practical Tips on Customer care

There is a growing trend towards customer self-service in business today, and it's usually introduced to save the company money on operational costs. But will your customers hate it as much as they hate call centres?

Diamonds May Be Forever - But That's Not What YOU Sell

Most managers believe that they need to differentiate their brand by offering something that is unique and distinct, but unless you get the basics incredibly right, no amount of "fancy" stuff will keep customers loyal.

Don't Forget to Chase the Small Spenders Too

There simply aren't enough Highly profitable customers to go around, and yet most firms place a large emphasis on chasing and rewarding these. Isn't it time to take care of the small customers too?

Don't Just Chase the Big Spenders

The large number of small customers are often denigrated and ignored in favour of the large and profitable customers in most businesses. Yet the "long tail" of smaller customers are also valuable, and you ignore them at your peril.

Don’t Burden your Customers with Your Problems

When faced with challenges that make life difficult, many companies insist on making this their customers' problem, and burdening them with additional difficulties and inconvenience. Reduce your customers effort by making it easier, not more difficult, to do business with you.

Elections … The Customer Satisfaction Survey With a Kick

The ultimate customer loyalty survey occurs when we vote for our next government. Just as in commerce, it's not always rational, but at least we get a chance to vote if we are unhappy with the supplier - the political party in power.

How Do You Keep the Excitement Going?

Whenever a company embarks on a process to create a culture that delights customers and creates loyalty, we usually recognise four very distinct phases in the process: Awareness, evangelical, frustration, and performance.

How Hard Can It Be?

Some businesses seem to go out their way to make things hard for customers, causing endless frustration for customers - and their staff. How hard can it be to identify and analyse the "dumb things" that your company does, and implement projects to remove these permanently?

How to save your business from difficult customers

Unhappy customers often show poor courtesy, rudeness and bad behaviour when they are unhappy. Some of the “lesser” bad behaviours include cheap shots, cynicism, and sarcasm, but can also include exaggeration, scepticism, unreasonableness, demanding behaviour, impatience, and some mild swearing and insults. Even though we may not like their behaviour, we need them more than they need us. So what actions can you take when you have a difficult customer?

If you think customers were fussy in 2013...

If you think customers were fussy in 2013, wait until you see what's coming in 2014! In this article we look at 6 trends that you will need to respond to in 2014.

Is 2015 Going to be About Many Black Fridays?

Where are businesses going in 2015 in creating loyal customers? In this article we look at 15 irreversible trends that you must respond to - or fail.

Is It Time to Dump the Idea of "Internal Customers"?

Many organisations seem to spend a lot of time and resources taking care of employees and "internal customers." But is enough spent to make sure that real customers with real money are taken care of?

Less Victims and More Heroes Needed

All companies can learn lessons from the way in which hotels deal with their customers. Some are very positive lessons, but some come out of really awful experiences.

Lessons from Sushi Bars, Magicians and SwansWhere Has My Simple, Uncomplicated Life Gone?

Life for most customers has become very complicated as companies have grown bigger and bigger. But some businesses have decided to reduce customer effort and hassles to a minimum. How can you do that in your business?

Lobster Was Once a Prison Food!

It's always amazing how customers perceptions of value influence their purchases. You can influence these in a very powerful way.

Loyalty? Don't Make Me laugh

True customer loyalty is enduring, and there is an emotional bond between your customers and your business. If you have to bribe or incentivise them to buy from you, that doesn't count.

Marketing Lessons from a Cretan Wedding

Weddings can be incredibly expensive events, but people don't seen to mind paying a lot of money for the event. But that is changing, and the world of marketing is doing the same.

No, You CAN'T Have It All

In today's turbulent times, many companies are cutting back on quality and service. If customers think that prices don't show the same decrease, you will get into trouble.

One-Stop Shopping in All Businesses?

In a world where customers' lives have become very complicated, some businesses take the trouble to create convenience and simplicity for their customers. Here we share some examples... and dream about some more possibilities.

Practical Tips on Customer care

There are probably thousands of things that you can do to get staff motivated about delighting their customers. Here are a few examples of what you can do to prevent complacency and boredom.

Romance Your Customers

Most businesses insist on using the "spray and pray" approach to marketing, which is the equivalent of marching up to all the women in a single's bar and proposing marriage. Those days are over, and it's time to learn the new rules of engagement.

Rugby on Saturday Is Just Not Enough

Managers sometimes really have to rack their brains to come up with new ideas to add value for their customers - and keep them loyal. In fact, there are at least 82 ways to do this.

Sometimes Self-Service is the Best Service

The world of customers seems to have become awfully complicated, but there are lots of ways in which you can reduce their effort and simplify their lives.

Stop Trespassing on My Real Estate

Companies today are looking for any way to promote mass advertising, and they are using the internet to do so. They are making more enemies than friends by pushing unsolicited and unwelcome adverts everywhere.