Customer experience drives franchise out of business

November 26, 2012

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: customer experience

The Friday before Thanksgiving, the Carl’s Jr. fast food burger emporium across the street from my office closed for business. There is nothing sadder than a business closing and the jobs lost, particularly at this time of year. Why did this happen?

  • The staff could barely speak English. Sure, they could take an order, but, most could not greet you properly, handle a conversation about special food preparation requirements, etc.
  • A cook soon became a front counter order taker whether they were prepared for or well-suited for this position or not.
  • A customer was treated with indifference.
  • You could see the fear in their eyes of many of the staff dealing with a non-Spanish speaking customer.
  • The manager hired people just like him–there was no diversity in one of the most diverse employment areas you can imagine.
  • The food was haphazardly and inconsistently prepared, e.g., the french fries were often lukewarm, a burger often had a huge clump of lettuce crammed between the meat and the top bun, etc.

Across the parking lot, the McDonald’s thrives. Carl’s Jr. has the potential for much better food than McDonald’s yet this location struggled for years. It’s no wonder they closed given the customer experience they delivered. Corporate seemingly didn’t understand what they needed to do to make this location succeed.

Is your company delivering the customer experience that ensures it and you will thrive?

Thought for the week:

“A successful man is one who can lay a foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” – David Brinkley

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What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

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Scaling Business for Configurable Products and Services

November 12, 2012

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: configurable products and services

If your company offers configurable products or services that are complicated to sell, you will lose out on sales opportunities and, ultimately, undermine growth if you don’t have an appropriate guided selling solution.

Too many companies view selling inefficiencies as a “cost of doing business” and fail to address this need before the company hits the wall. The issue boils down to being able to efficiently configure, price and quote based on a customer’s unique requirements using configurator tools provided. If it’s too hard, too complex, or takes a disproportionate amount of selling time, your sales team and channel will not invest the time and energy.

How do you know here are storm clouds on the horizon? Subject-matter experts are required to hand-hold sales, dealers and/or customers through the configure-price-quote process. You rely on people rather than an appropriate tools. Your current process isn’t scalable and won’t perform as the business grows.

If your company is acquired by a company, the acquiring company and its channel partners may quickly turn-off to selling your product undermining the growth potential and value for both companies if you haven’t provided an appropriate guided selling solution. Remember, in a large, diverse company, your value proposition is but a few line items of a larger company’s offerings. You compete for mind share. If you make it easy, you win. If it’s hard, you lose.

If you are experiencing these challenges, isn’t it time you invested in correcting this so you, your dealers and sales people can thrive?

Thought for the week:

“This Veterans Day (November 11th), let’s thank all those who have served our nation in uniform and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.” – U.S. Senator John McCain

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What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Leadership and Hurricane Sandy

November 5, 2012

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: leadership

After the devastation of Hurricane Sandy this past week, we witnessed great collaboration between President Obama and Governor Christie. It was a sight to behold given the U.S.’s toxic, highly-polarized climate between these political archrivals.

In corporations, we often see polarized behavior undermining progress towards specific business outcomes. Effective leaders break down polarized behavior and get people focused on the objective at hand.

The focus must be on agreeing to clear objectives and, then, focusing on what needs to be done to address the objectives. Too often, conflicts persist and fester over whether an objective is appropriate. At some point (preferably earlier rather than later), the appropriateness issue must be put to bed.

In President Obama and Governor Christie, I observed two leaders adopt a laser-like focus solving the urgent and important problems of Americans in great distress. Neither man had to give up his soul to accomplish this. Both set aside today’s partisan issues for another day.

Has the relief effort been flawless? Certainly not. Given the population density, this disaster has been an order-of-magnitude or more challenging than what we might expect for a comparable storm in a less densely-populated area.

If there are polarized issues in your organization, can you find a path to get beyond the polarization so you and your organization can thrive? If President Obama and Governor Christie can do it, we all ought to be able to do it–even without the national stage.

Thought for the week:

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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