Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ownership Exercise - Deal With the Customer

We are continuing the ownership theme.

I asked the team to come up with an idea that showcases ownership in a real life work scenario that could be presented. The idea - how to deal with a customer.

So Pavan played the role of a customer. He called and asked Akshay (who played the role of a sales person) that he would like a good discount deal for a haircut and a trim. The sales person listened to him and suggested the best deal at 15% off. The customer then asked if he could get a better discount. The salesperson was unsure.
The customer said he would get more business if he was offered more discount. The salesman then called his office manager Sharmila and asked her to check if the vendor would give a bigger discount if four people turned up.

The vendor agreed.

The customer showed up alone at the shop. The vendor refused to give the discount because only one person had turned up at the shop. The customer called the sales guy. He called the team and found out. The team told the customer that they could give him an extra discount only if four people land up at the same time.

In all the to and fro, the customer was lost. His basic need of a hair cut and trim was lost. More variables came into the play and the focus shifted.

We decided that it had gone wrong.

After a bit of reorientation, we did the role play again.

This time the salesperson was clearer with what he wanted to give. But this time the customer changed his needs. He wanted a different vendor. The salesperson tried to sell him his favorite vendor. Then the customer wavered a bit and hung in mid air. Luckily the salesperson closed in and said he would close the deal. The customer then asked when the shop was open. Then he asked if should make an appointment. Then  he asked how to download the coupon. The salesperson said he would help him with all the above. He asked the customer if he wanted any other products. The customer put the phone down.

We asked the customer if it was a Wow experience for him. He said it was not.

We discussed what could have been done to make it a Wow experience for the customer without giving him extra discounts or cash back. How could the salesperson have taken more ownership and closed the sale with whatever was available with him to make it a Wow experience?

We decided that the approach to the customer should be one of genuine concern - to satisfy customer needs. The salesman should have no doubt in suggesting the right fit for customer requirements. He should make it easy for the customer to make the decision and help him through the entire process.

1) First listen to his requirements. (Could have found where he normally had his haircut and what the budget was.)
2) Suggest options after understanding the customer needs (help customer decide)
3) Once main issues are handled add value by adding more information to support the decision and proceed to closing the sale
4) Make it easy for customer to comply with the process. i.e. offer information about when the customer can avail the offer, help get an appointment, download and forward coupon, be on call for further assistance, give information that would help support the decision, send reminders through sms about the appointment ...all this information and the small throw ins will make the customer feel special. It is not about the 15% but of the total value that can be packed into the experience from what we have.

If the experience has been a great one with two or three unexpected pain points sorted out, and decision making process helped with, the customer will surely become a repeat customer and bring in many more customers. He will believe that the salesperson has his back.

End story - help customers make the best decision and then provide all the service that can be offered even before he asks for it, so he becomes a WOW customer.

Ownership is not about providing freebies -it is about using existing resources to add value to the experience. 

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