Except for rare circumstances there is no prize for being the most efficient, best service, or most admired stakes.
Each organisation has its own strategy.
A high touch, high price industry player should not compare to a low cost automated player.
A local council in one part of the city could have different priorities to another.
Elon Musk doesn’t compare his manufacturing costs to Volvo. How can he compare engine production costs when his cars lack a petrol engine?
Apple? Jobs? Enough has been written about them.
Your competitor won an award? So? We judge awards with criteria set by someone not even in the industry.
I see this all the time in mystery shopping and customer surveys. Measure your own strategy, not someone else’s.
When to benchmark
Now a twist. If you want to a comparison, do so according to “your” strategy.
If you want to attract high end high touch customers with genius service reps, then test how you are doing against your own criteria. Then mystery shop the competitors to see if anyone is implementing your strategy better (and thus attracting your target market).
Why a staff member should collect information even if they can’t do anything about it
I closed a bank account today, and the reason I had to close it IS relevant.
I closed it because my bank, Greater Bank does not have Apple Pay as part of their Visa card offering.
I am now wallet free, digital license, apple pay, phone key, electric car driving child of the internet age. I don’t want to carry one single card, so I decided to ditch this last dinosaur by opening an account with another bank.
The staff member who closed my account could not have been more helpful. But she didn’t ask me why I was closing my account.
Now sure she couldn’t do anything about it but she could’ve done two things. Firstly, she could have asked me why I was closing my account, and second, she could offer to leave the account with a zero balance and no fees until such time as the function I was seeking would be available (which it will eventually).
Now another bank has got my transactions, and our banking does tend to follow our transactions. So they’ll probably end up getting the whole of my company’s banking.
Collect information from customers, even if you can’t do anything about it.
When you get on a plane (remember that?) you expect a safety briefing, the expected timing of the trolley cart, and precise announcements. It’s just the way it works.
The same with hotels and AirBnB’s. You expect the bathroom to have tissues and soap.
Here’s the anatomy of a private review of an AirBnB in the Southern Highlands of NSW Australia. I’ve avoided personal preferences, and none of these things were enough to detract from the 10/10 review. The place was (and is) amazing.
This is one of the best AirBnB’s I’ve stayed at, yet it too had room to improve.
First impressions were awesome
Fantastic communication with the owner over a few days. Instructions were clear, and they even suggested a shortcut which is better than Google maps.
The place itself is stunning, private, and gives a wow factor when you walk in.
They even had a detailed compendium highlighting the hidden treasures of the apartment.
But the devil is in the details
It was pouring rain and windy when I checked in. Rain exposes things.
A soaked front door mat – most of us respect other people’s property but I couldn’t avoid bringing wet shoes into the studio apartment. Another doormat inside the door would fix that.
The back door had no doormat. Again, wet shoes were dragged into the apartment.
The back door had no awning over the nice french doors, so there was no space between inside and outside.
Very well equipped but no salad tongs.
No table mats – we didn’t want to mark the table with hot plates.
Squeaky. Enough said.
Complicated taps – took a while to work out how to get hot water.
Fireplace – yes it had one and it was pre-loaded (nice touch) but it didn’t have instructions on how to control airflow.
The stove exhaust fan just recirculated the air back into the apartment, without external exhaust.
Am I being picky?
There is always room for improvement. If elite athletes keep refining their game, so can a 10/10 AirBnB.
The point is that we can also improve and I’d always suggest an independent set of eyes to make things better.
Retailers are trying to do the right thing by providing hand sanitiser stations. But consumers seem oblivious.
Only 17% of people in the COVID-19 world are sanitising.
We’ll be releasing more details of our 2,521 observations in the coming week. Brands (Australian) observed were Bunnings, Coles, Chemist Warehouse, Kmart, and Officeworks. The brands are trying to do the right thing. But consumers are not.
We also look at whether staff were directing traffic to sanitise, what effect that has, and the effect of herd mentality (not in the immunisation sense).
Let those who have not sinned cast the first stone.
June 12, 2020 /
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