Honor Your Customers: How to Build a Respect Delivery Machine

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In this week’s Daily Dose video, I share an excerpt from a keynote I presented recently that focuses on the lessons of my most recent book, Would You Do That To Your Mother

The following is a lightly edited transcript of the video below.


What we know is: when we make it hard to do business with us, it costs a lot of money. You’ve probably seen the Siegel + Gale study, which says we’re leaving a collective $86 billion on the table when we don’t take care of customers’ lives. That’s a staggering figure.



Honor Customers’ Time

One of the things that’s most important about building what I call a “respect delivery machine” is: honoring customers’ time.

Why do dry cleaners close at 5:00? We build our time and our operations based on convenience for us, the business.

Let me know if this sounds familiar: “I’ve had breakfast, lunch, and a snack, and the cable guy is still not here. I got a call from him about an hour ago that he’s on his way. No clue what that means.”

Would you do that to your mother? Do you relate?

Let’s talk about Amazon Prime, which just about all of us have used at one point or another. Amazon Prime has two key metrics. Unlike many of our dashboards which have 3-point type, so we can cram more and more into our dashboards, they simply have two metrics that their customers care about—number 1—Do you have what I want and need? And—number 2—will you get it to me when I need it?

When we make customers’ time our priority, the frantic texting and the dialing and the calling and the tweeting doesn’t start. Their shoulders relax.

Your customers will remember you for the service you deliver, not the effort it takes to get it from you. So do you honor customers’ time and their clock?

[For more on this topic, click here to watch a previous episode of “Daily Dose…of Reality.”]

Get to Know Your Customers

Would you make your mom keep reintroducing herself to you? Of course you wouldn’t. But around the world, in every interaction we have as customers, we have to keep telling companies who we are, who we talked to last, why we’re so important to them, our value. Can you relate?

That’s why I’m so enamored with Stitch Fix and the story of what they’ve done to build “you know me” as their growth engine. Think of them as Netflix for clothes.

Their services suggests outfits for their customers; they come up with a box of five things to send you. And to start, they take an interest in getting to know you and your life.

  1. You fill out a form. It’s interesting; the form is not about clothes, but how you live your life.
  2. They ask you to send in your Pinterest pins. So now they’re starting to build a dossier.
  3. They apply AI, so they’re now starting to understand by groups of customers who are similar to you. What are some things that you might like?

But here’s where the magic comes in: They have over four thousand stylists who also not only look at all this information, but continuously improve each box that they send to you by watching what you send back, by conversing with you, and by getting your information.

My girlfriend Mindy was going through breast cancer and she told her stylist, “I need some loose clothes to go through my chemotherapy.” Of course she got a box of comfy, loose clothes, but she also got a bouquet with a personal note.



Here’s what’s interesting: Many organizations get customer growth through recommendations. Netflix grows through its word of mouth. Amazon, about 30% of what they sell comes from recommendations. Where other companies don’t know your life, it is how and why these brands grow.

So do your customers feel that you know them? That you really know them?

Because what’s the first thing you say to a company when they keep asking you to give your information back? “Don’t you know how much I’m worth to you?”

[For more on this topic, be sure to watch my previous episode of “Daily Dose…of Reality”, by clicking here.]

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