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Terrific Tips from Jurek Leon

Eva Pettifor . 31 Mar 2017 . Comments
Terrific Tips from Jurek Leon

Jurek Leon’s Terrific Tips e-newsletter that is packed with anecdotes, ideas and examples on service excellence, customer focused selling, motivation and marketing.

As a speaker, trainer and retail consultant Jurek Leon provides entertaining, energising seminars and workshops are filled with practical tips, ideas and down-to-earth examples on word-of-mouth marketing, motivation, customer focused selling and designing and managing the customer experience.

The June / July edition is filled with more great advice and tips including positive signage, sticklers for standards and the trouble tree.

Sign up for your monthly dose of Jurek style inspiration

Welcome to the March 2017 edition of ‘Terrific Tips’ delivered to your desktop free each month.

Customer surveys and whether they are useful have been regular topics of conversation with clients in recent weeks. As a result, I’ve updated and included an article from 2012 on the hidden benefits of customer surveys. I hope you find the points as useful as they have.

I read between 12 and 20 e-newsletters and blog posts each week. That’s between 48 and 80 per month. Yet, consistently I only comment on 4 or 5 in this newsletter. This month it’s a cracker from Donald Cooper.

Slow down to get more done

Following last month’s article on slowing down to go further, I’ve had a few discussions with overworked and often overwhelmed business owners and managers striving to get even more done. This prompted me to look out and share this wonderful advice from Rollo May:

“When we know the way we should be going we are steady on the path. But the moment we get lost, we run.

“We run thinking that if we cover as much ground as possible we can find the right patch to walk on. We run thinking that because our heart aches, our knees wobble, and because generally we are suffering that we are doing something right (the right path must be filled with hardship right?)

“It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.

“It makes more sense to walk slower and use our eyes and brains in those moments.

“But oh us humans, us tragic marathon running humans, how we never do what’s good for us.”

I wouldn’t go as far as to say we never do what’s good for us, but Rollo May makes some good points, doesn’t he?

Put off or delighted with the customer experience?

This excellent article by Donald Cooper appeared in his blog in early January under the title ‘Doing the math of customer service’.

Not only does this case study show the importance of ‘doing the math’, it also highlights:

  • Being clear about your key customer types and what matters to them
  • Being aware that it isn’t just about your product, in this case opera or ballet, it’s about the customer experience
  • Mapping the customer journey and identifying all the touchpoints
  • Design or redesigning the customer experience so that your customer’s view you and your product in the best possible light

Read and reread this case study then go through the same process within your own organisation it will have you looking at things through fresh eyes. Now, over to Donald Cooper...

Canadian case study on the customer experience

Whoever designed the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto simply didn’t take the time to understand their customers…or they suck at math. This 10 year old performance venue is built specifically for opera and ballet…but not for peeing.

At intermission the other night, the line-up for both the men’s and ladies restrooms stretched clear across the lower lobby. I didn’t check the ladies washroom, but here’s the inside scoop on the ‘Gents’ – 5 urinals for an 850 seat theatre. Somebody didn’t think it through. Here’s the math, as I see it. Pay attention, there is a business point here.

  • Number of seats in the theatre…850
  • Estimated ratio of males to females at any given performance is 40% males = 340 males
  • Estimated percent of older adult males (remember, it’s an Opera and Ballet venue, so there’s a preponderance of ‘older’ males) who will need to use the washroom = 75%, or 255 males who need to pee
  • Assuming it takes men one minute to pee, this means 255 minutes of total peeing time is required
  • Number of urinals in the main washroom of this 850 seat theatre = 5
  • To accommodate 255 ‘peeing minutes’ with only 5 urinals would require an intermission of 51 minutes
  • But the time available to pee during a standard 20-minute intermission, allowing 5 minutes to get from your seat to the lobby and back to your seat, is 15 minutes

So, if anyone had done the simple ‘customer service’ math, they’d have known that 20 urinals are actually required…not 5. This is not even a near miss. How can architects and engineers be this bad at math…or do they just not care?

I know financial advisors who promise every client that they’ll give them 12 to 14 hours a year of analysis, planning and face time…and they have 370 clients. Do the math; this is 4,810 hours a year. If they bust their behind, the most time they could have for client-focused work is about 2,000 hours.

So, here’s the business point…have you done the customer service math in your business? Do you have the phone lines, the staff, the cash desks, the shipping bays, the production capacity, the hours in the day, the ‘whatever is required’ to keep your service promise and delight your target customers?

Staff recognition

I’m not a great fan of formal Employee of the Month programs as they can become a popularity contest and fall by the wayside. This can leave a bad taste and lead to demotivation of the team, the opposite of the boss’s intention.

One business I’ve been working with lately has a peer recognition system which seems to be working well. Each team member has the opportunity to nominate their ‘First Choice’ and their ‘Second Choice’, then to fill in the reason for each nomination. This encourages staff to notice what others are doing and thus encourages internal customer service and teamwork.

Actually, my favourite approach to Employee of the Month is to have a mirror next to the staff entrance or even in the staff loo with a large sign above it saying ‘Employee of the Month’.

Why I made so much money

“My success in Dick Smith electronics and Australian Geographic was just to go around the world and copy the best, pinch the best ideas from everyone I could see … I noticed that each company I went to – I’d go to England, Canada, America – had different ideas, so I took the best of them, and that’s why I made so much money.”

Australian entrepreneur, Dick Smith on why you should adopt and adapt from the best.

A hidden benefit of customer surveys

I’ve held discussions with four different clients wishing to ‘pick my brains’ on issues relating to gathering feedback.

Here are five of the key reasons I shared on why actively seeking customer feedback works with a focus on the hidden benefits arising from the fifth of these points.

  1. Taking the time to ask customers shows that you don’t take their business for granted. If you act on their suggestions it demonstrates that you really do value their opinion.
  2. Positive responses give you the opportunity to ask permission to use their comments as testimonials. If they say you do a great job, this is far more believable than if you say it.
  3. Negative comments are the schoolbooks from which we learn. They give us a chance to improve. They also alert us to unexpected customer perceptions and provide an opportunity to test whether other customers share their views. We can then work on influencing these perceptions.
  4. The act of asking a question rather than purely giving information engages a different part of the brain and gets customers more actively thinking about the potential benefits of being your customer.
  5. Customer surveys can be used to cement in the customer’s subconscious that dealing with you makes sense – this is the psychological principle of consistency.

Let’s explore the last point in the next article because it’s one you may not yet have thought through and used to your advantage.

Tactics to ensure regular customers remember why they choose to do business with you

In his groundbreaking book ‘Influence Science and Practice’ Dr Robert Cialdini outlines his 6 principles of persuasion. One of these is ‘Consistency’.

He quotes some great examples including where a university’s research team surveyed residents of a suburb on community issues. One of the questions was to ask them what they would say if approached by the American Cancer Society to spend three hours collecting money on their behalf. Not wanting to sound uncharitable most people said, “Yes” (easy to say when there is no ‘cost’). When the American Cancer Society called people who had said “Yes” a couple of weeks later and asked for their help in collecting in their neighbourhood the response rate was in excess of 700% higher than in neighbouring suburbs where the initial survey hadn’t been carried out.

The same survey strategy has been used in the US (where voting isn’t compulsory) to encourage people to vote. By asking citizens to predict whether they would vote on election day, researchers have been able to increase significantly the turnout at the polls among those called.

So, the research of Cialdini and others is telling us that people typically prefer their behaviours to be consistent with their pre-existing attitudes, statements, values and actions.

In a follow up book that he co-authored with two other experts, ‘Yes! 50 secrets for the science of persuasion’ Cialdini points out that long term customers often forget why they chose you over the competition in the first place. This can mean that if a competitor comes up with a good deal they might be tempted to switch. So, you need to get them to remind themselves why they chose you. Feedback surveys (usually with an incentive for completion e.g. “Go in the draw to win...”) in which they are asked why they like doing business with you are a great way of achieving this.

The authors say that this process will strengthen your customers’ commitment to your organisation by reminding them that the continued relationship is rational rather than just habitual.

Find out more about Yes! 50 secrets for the science of persuasion by checking out the ‘Terrific Book Reviews’ at

Build it and…

Tie your promotions in with what is being talked about in the media as Lego have done here.

Alright, alright, I know its fake news and I shouldn’t really be spreading it but you get the point, don’t you?

Source: I pinched the image from ‘More funny, more money’ former Australian comic of the Year, Marty Wilson’s closed Facebook page.

With thanks

The best images in this newsletter are courtesy of Shutterstock.

Terrific quotes

“It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.” Rollo May

“Your performance measurement system should include how many times a week someone took your breath away by recommending or doing something amazing.” Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

“Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.” Brandon Mull

Thank you

My goal is to double the circulation of this newsletter within 12 months. To do this I need your help. If you find these ‘Terrific Tips’ a useful read, PLEASE do pass them on and suggest to your colleagues and friends that they subscribe or email us. Any friend of yours is welcome.

Copyright Business Enterprise Centre NT. Please seek our permission prior to reproducing this article in any way but feel free to link directly to this page if you wish to use this content.


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