I was reminded by the CEO of Start Human recently that creating remarkable customer experiences is paramount to business success. I was delighted that her company is focused offers training and services which allow organizations to put the customer first.
Matching your actions and words. An important business value often overlooked when focusing on short term results. Laudable goal, but hard to realize unless you invest in people.
From acquisition, learning and development to experience. Our talent teams need to embody these concepts through their actions and words. If we as leaders don’t have the courage to request fast feedback and demonstrate active listening, we may find ourselves in a conundrum. Simply because the world now has multiple channels of interaction and networks that extend beyond what we ever imagined. Today we must invest in our front line staff.
Sanofi could benefit to embody these concepts. Their handling of the voluntary Avi-Q recall is being poorly communicated and managed.
Arnold Carbone shared his thought leadership with regards to his R&D experience with Ben and Jerry’s during a recent @AIGARenoTahoe event @theBasementReno which reminded me of the behaviors we must have in order to evolve as we develop products and services.
Mentoring, market research, business plan development, etc. are all critical milestones in our business lives; this talk reminded me that as an entrepreneur or product manager, we must constantly be re-inventing our approaches. It’s no longer about the solid channel strategies and programs, but actually the talent we hire and inspire. We must have talent that innovates with the letter R.
We must have people on our ‘team bus’ who understand the importance of knowing their audience yet can flex in VUCA world to listen, advocate, influence, engage and execute. These are no small tasks. I’ve found these individuals are comfortable to constantly learn, re-invent themselves, seek out fast feedback and incorporate it into their work styles and approaches. Additionally, they have high integrity and are quick to translate the key business objectives through their day to day actions. From the tactical activities such as influencing internal stakeholders or executive sponsors.
As I sat at the Old Post Office inside an art deco building in Reno, Nevada, I was reminded that whether your customer is a high tech executive or a scoop shop owner, we must invest in building skills which start with the letter R in our future leaders if we want to continue to have products such as Phish Food in our lives.
Resourceful, Relentless, Revolutionary Innovation, Resilience and Responsibility
This time of year people can get lost with wrapping gifts, buying new outfits or planning events.
I agree for many people, this time brings excitement and joy, but for others in need or without a voice, it can be a difficult, scary and lonely. Which is why I thought I’d share the story of teenagers in Reno, Nevada, rivaling, but in the good way.
Cyrus Moassessiand Kienan have been holding their annual food drive fundraiser for several years in Reno. They donate 100% of their proceeds to the Northern Nevada Food Bank. In fact, their mother, the grateful foodie told me she will go through twenty pounds of flour this year with all her baking.
Isabela and her sister Maya have been fostering kittens with Nevada Humane Society for a few years. They have seen how these little kittens through love and socialization get nursed back to health and placed quickly into loving homes. Yet the foster kitten program isn’t without its expenses, which is why Isabela wanted to give back. In fact, she created a slide show video on her blog to help document her experience and market the event.
Cyrus and Isabela both student leaders and supporters of the American Lung Association have been friends for years. They have grown up with both allergies and asthma, so they have witnessed how important nonprofits can be to families through their own struggles and advocacy. Perhaps this is why Isabela decided this year to hold her fundraiser at the same time as Cyrus and Kienan. Simply put, nothing like good ole rivalry like boys against the girls to raise the stakes, drive more passion and hopefully donations.
As a parent, there is nothing more satisfying than watching your children blessed with life give back to others while having fun. I thought it was noteworthy to call out these community heroes in order to highlight that rivalry can be fun, if put to good use.
I hope you join me and Caroline by supporting both these fundraisers. Better yet setup your own stand for another noble cause during this season of giving.
Expectations were in fact exceeded during a recent experience as a member of the MINI community.
The synchronous and asynchronous community experience were integrated. I could hardly believe it. I found a marketing organization, sales force and customer service ecosystem truly aligned. Now for someone like me, who is seeped in community. this is noteworthy. Why you ask? Because more than anything, MINI approaches the buyer’s journey through building high trust personalized relationships. What, trust you say? Yes, they approach the car buying discussion with full disclosure. They assess quickly asses your needs and personalizet he experience through actions and words. In fact, Barry Bell, my MINI motoring representative in Reno has 26 years’ experience and shared with me that he believes the car buying experience should be anything BUT complicated.
It becomes obvious that the workforce education, sales process, leadership training and post sales support are aligned. Yes, I love the Mini Owners Lounge. Not to mention their talent acquisition process. Yes, they hire down to earth people who sell a motoring experience.
From the threads the motoring representatives ‘sport’ to the dealer decor and throughout the web, it’s consistent, fabulous and fun. They create an experience whereby you can hang out online with likeminded individuals in the owners lounge so brag, swap pics or share stories. If you prefer the in person experience, ask your dealer or search online to find a local MINI motoring club. In fact, I’m smacking my lips as I enjoy my MINI chewing gum while I think about warm weather and cranking up the numbers on my top-o-meter. It’s a gauge that is all about fun. It keeps track of how many hours you have been ‘driving topless’. Taking my kids to school should be fun, right? So this is why MINI was the right choice for me. Hand gestures, the nice one’s are all about the MINI cult or click. You keep one thumb hooked under the steering wheel with the other four up to acknolwedge their MINI style and get the same acknolwedgement back. It is truly about ‘many’ smiles, warm hearts and camaraderie.
As a busy working woman, I appreciated how they infused the process with fun. They provided me with ‘many’ options which allowed me to customize my ride. In fact, if you build your car, they simulate the warehouse and virtually allow you to see your car while in production. You are able to lurk on the manufacturing process, which in and of it psychologically get you more attached to the car pre-delivery. In fact, you can track it with GPS on the container if needed and soon I imagine FOURSQUARE will allow you to stamp where your ‘vehicle’ is in route and allow others to join your in the brand experience. From the customer service agent that checks in pre-sale, to the delivery process, it’s integrated, it’s seamless and it’s FUN.
Simply said, if you want to be ‘transported somewhere’ – check out the MINI motoring experience for both the physical and emotional transportation.’’
Reno Tahoe USA has a brand riddled with controversy yet there is in fact ‘more to know’ about the Reno / Tahoe area than what pop culture enjoys poking fun at.
Instead of focusing on the why, I’m proposing we social brand ambassadors start discussing it openly through storytelling on the web. For example, we can use a twitter hash tag such #experiencetheadventure to aggregate experiences, stories, adventures and codes to serve as a real time focus group with real time social tools.
Why do it? You could bump your klout score or just enjoy the journey on a stream.
I believe we need to leverage our differences and similarities to drive brand transformation which will result in new revenue for the region while innovating.
This is just a very quick list. Countless numbers of organizations doing great work. However, we have more to do. We could invest in entrepreneurial thinking, alumni, and young leaders in different approaches than we currently are focused today. I digress.
Instead of focusing on the why the brand isn’t grounded in reality, I propose that as social brand ambassadors, we start to take the lead to help the region through using key hash tags to facilitate changing the perception. Through this approach, we can bring help promote job growth, economic stimulus and new possibilities all the while demonstrating new innovative social leadership.
Come on Reno Tahoe Adventurers, start to share the code #ExperiencetheAdventure. Nothing ventured anything gained, right?