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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What Will It Take to Cover Me?

The past few weeks, I've been schlepping around fabric stores since Cyndi wants to recover several pieces of furniture. This is unfamiliar territory for me, which usually means an opportunity to hunt for different takes on Brainzooming-related ideas.

One can imagine the most asked question in a fabric store is, "How much material is it going to take to reupholster __________?" With many ways to fill in the blank, store staff must spend a lot of time answering the question, especially since customers could likely struggle to accurately describe (from memory) items they're looking to recover.

That's where this photo shows such an innovative services marketing idea: a poster depicting 60 pieces of furniture with the approximate square yardage needed to recover them.

With the poster in place, the exchange on "How much material is it going to take to reupholster __________?" becomes a smile and a finger point to the nearest poster where a customer can find the item and the answer with much greater speed and certainty.

The poster creates higher performing customers which turns into time savings for customers and staff, which leads to better service and lower staffing costs. That's a strategic idea put into practice.

So what stumbling blocks to efficient customer-employee interaction exist in your business? What simple ideas might be lurking to address these issues as effectively as this poster does?
Spend a few minutes thinking about it and see what you can do to improve how you cover the situations you face. - Mike Brown

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AbhinavatST said...

Hmm...a poster like that is useful for brick-and-mortar but what do you suggest for a web app. company with a 30 day free trial?

Mike Brown said...

I don't know that there's one right answer to your question.

You have to identify contact points between customers and your business where there are opportunities to improve efficiency for customers and/or your business / employees. Service blueprinting is an approach that helps to do this:

The challenge then is to brainzoom what opportunities you have to help customers be more efficient at these points. There's likely things you can do in your market to help facilitate better customer performance.


AbhinavatST said...

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.