The iPhone can sync with your calendar, contacts, email, car, wife, and thoughts to help make you a happier worker. After all, we all know that more productivity makes us happier. That sounded tongue in cheek, but really it wasn't. When I check off my "to do" list throughout the day it makes me feel good. I actually get a little buzz from accomplishing more than I expected.
We are programmed to accomplish by our parents. As children we were rewarded with praise when we picked up our toys. Even when we drew an ugly stick figure it made them smile which made us feel great.
Apple Gets It
Apple understands that we want beautiful design and things that actually help us be more productive. It worked for the car industry. Who buys a car that's ugly, but gets great gas mileage? Ok, a few of us do, but most of us want beauty combined with functionality.
Happy Employees and Their Customers
If you are in the service industry you may not be able to give customers beautiful things that they can hold in their hands, but you can give them something that tugs on their heart strings. A beautiful interaction.
I called one of my web hosting providers this past weekend. I wanted to cancel a blog that I haven't updated in six months. I was greeted with a gruff and annoyed operator who sounded like I had interrupted him in mid stream. He did a fine job, canceled my hosting and even sent me a confirmation email like I asked, but still left a bad taste in my mouth.
The funny thing is that in other situations I've been treated much more kindness and I never even received my confirmation email, yet I still felt better about the kind employee's response to my inquiry even though they didn't do everything I asked because I felt appreciated.
The equation looks like this:
Friendly Operator - Poor Execution = Still a Happy Customer
Why do I fall for friendly and nice when good execution should win out? It's because of acceptance. I feel accepted by the friendly person. The gruff guy on the other end of the phone made me feel like crap.
Happy Employees Make for Happy Customers
Make your employees happy, teach them to treat each customer as if they are Angelina Jolie (or substitute any star that gets wonderful service wherever they go) and you can make mistakes and still make the customer feel good. I'm not advocating making mistakes. It just helps, especially when going for repeat business. The most important thing at the end of the transaction is how the customer feels. Does the customer feel like he won or lost?
When I opened the box to my last iPod I won the transaction lottery. It was all mine, to put as many songs, videos, and audio books on it as I wanted. It was shiny, sleek, and made me feel as if every dollar I parted with was worth it. Create that "Apple" feeling within your customers and they'll allow you to make mistakes.
Have you had a similar experience and if so - which company and what happened? Or do you disagree? You would rather have great service from a grumpy employee. Let us know in the comment section.
* After I wrote this post an article in my local paper Apple manages to overcome bad buzz from iPhone glitches came out. It shows that loyalty to a good experience always wins.
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- Cajole Yourself into a Good Mood Before Work
- Great Managers Care About Their Employees
- Mini Sabbaticals Should Be Mandatory
Image courtesy of powerbooktrance