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[Entrepreneurs Beware] Smartphones Kill Customer Service

Entrepreneurs Beware-NY Restaurant Comparison Chart
Entrepreneurs find opportunity in change. We share some ideas in this BIGG Success Show Podcast. Click play to listen to George & Mary-Lynn

The entrepreneur behind a busy New York restaurant wondered why they kept getting bad reviews. So they hired an outside consultant who suggested they review surveillance video.

They found a tape from ten years ago and compared it to a similar recent day. The entrepreneur posted the results anonymously on Craigslist.

We created a table above to show their findings side-by-side:

Entrepreneurs beware! These results are staggering. Smartphones are killing customer service. Here are the details:

Notes for Entrepreneurs

1) Different seat
Customers are more demanding than ever. Ten years ago, only about 7% (3 of 45) of this entrepreneur’s customers requested a different seat. Today, 40% (18 of 45) do.

Meanwhile – customer service levels seem to be falling as many businesses try to make do with less people or fewer labor hours.

It spells o-p-p-o-r-t-u-n-i-t-y for entrepreneurs dedicated to the customer experience! We’ll talk about this more below.

2) Time to place order
Smartphones distract customers. Ten years ago – it took a customer just 8 minutes to order after they had been seated. Now it takes over twice as long, 18 minutes. Here’s why:

A server brought the customer a menu. 7 of the 45 say they are having trouble connecting to the restaurant’s WIFI. The server spent 5 minutes helping them.

How do you signal your server that you’re ready to order? A closed menu. In this case, it usually meant the customer hadn’t opened the menu yet. They were too busy with their phone. The customer asked for more time.

The server made three trips to the table before the customer orders. Their phone generally never leaves their hand.

3) Food returned
The server began delivering food in about 6 minutes. This is the same timeframe as 10 years ago. But now, of the 45 customers:

  • 26 spent 3 minutes taking photos of the food
  • 14 took pictures of each other with the food
  • 27 asked their server to take a group photo
  • 14 of these 27 weren’t happy with the photo and asked the server to retake it

In total, customers spent 4 minutes taking photos themselves. Servers spent 5 minutes taking photos instead of serving other customers.

Guess what happened in the meantime? Their food got cold! So 9 of the 45 sent it back. Only 2 did so 10 years ago.

4) Exit time
10 years ago – after paying their bill, a customer left in 5 minutes. Now, they play on the phone and don’t leave for 20 minutes.

Incidentally, they’re so busy looking at their phone – as they exited the restaurant, 8 of the 45 bumped into other customers or servers.

5) Total time
Little things make BIGG differences. Time has a nasty habit of ticking away. It takes almost twice as long for this restaurant to turn a table today, compared to 10 years ago (1:55 versus 1:05 respectively).

Entrepreneurs Need Smart Tactics

The entrepreneur concludes: “We are grateful for everyone who comes into our restaurant, after all there are so many choices out there. But can you please be a bit more considerate?”

The two of us always remember the three rules of customer service:

Rule 1: The customer is always right.
Rule 2: If the customer is ever wrong, re-read Rule 1.
Rule 3: The customer is not always reasonable.

Perhaps we need to add “or considerate” to Rule 3. As we said earlier, customers are more demanding than ever. Apparently, they want to spend their dining experience with their smartphone.

You can ask them not to do it. But we doubt the request will be honored.

We wonder how they’ve stayed in business. With the time to turn a table at double what it was ten years ago, have they raised their prices?

So what can they do? Here are a few thoughts:

  • Hire a digital concierge

This is the “if you can’t beat them, join them” strategy. Bring on a staff member dedicated to digital.

They could check in with customers soon after they’re seated to make sure they’ve been able to access WIFI.

Once their food arrives, they could go to the table to take a group photo. Further, they could remind people to check in on Foursquare, solicit “likes” on Facebook, etc.

  • Limit the choice

Think of this as “an object in motion stays in motion” strategy. For example, you may offer a “daily deal” on a few appetizers. The customer can make a quick choice. You get the food coming their way quicker.

Instead, you may test a limited menu – customers could “pick one” from a short list in each category: appetizer, soup or salad, entrée, dessert.

  • Promote digital-free dining

Consider this the “take up a cause” strategy. You want to encourage experiences, instead of recordings of experiences. You want to be an oasis from the hyper-busyness.

Obviously, this won’t appeal to everyone. That’s the beauty of it – you’ll naturally attract like-minded customers. You may test it at certain times of the day to start.

Note the divergence between the first strategy and the last. They’re polar opposites! One encourages digital while the other denies it.

Entrepreneurs get to choose. Which works best for your customers?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00898-073114.mp3

closed minded business_thumb

Are You Open to Opportunity?

closed minded business

Warning! The stories you are about to hear are true. The names and some details have been omitted to protect the guilty parties!

Listen to this post! Click play to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. (Duration 5:10)

Throwing away a new customer
We were on the phone with a business owner who told us about a prospect who had turned down a recent proposal.

He was bringing them a brand new customer. They didn’t have to invest any time, money or other organizational resources.

They turned him down flat.

Read more

Why Your Boss Holds You Back – Part 2

what to do if the boss holds you back | BIGG SuccessToday, we’ll wrap up our mini-series on why your boss holds you back. Last time, we talked about the secret motivation of your boss.

It’s the reason why – in spite of all the hard work you do, in spite of the results you deliver – your boss doesn’t want you to get promoted.

Simply stated, he or she has a vested interest in keeping you right where you’re at.

So what can you do about it? What are your options?

We’ll share three of them today.

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. (Runtime 4:50)


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Go for it anyway

Tell your boss you understand the concerns. But you want to be sure you’re ready when the right opportunity does present itself. You’d like to practice interviewing.

Even that may not get the job done.

So let’s assume the opportunity is out-of-town. If need be, and if you feel really strongly about your fit with this particular opportunity, offer to pay for the trip yourself. Take an extra few days and call it a mini-vacation.

We have a friend who did exactly this. He got his boss to set up the interview. He didn’t go to practice. He went to get the job.

And he did! You can do it too!

Jump ship

You may not be able to get a better gig with your current employer. But if you’re feeling like you’re hitting your head on a ceiling, start looking for a place with a higher ceiling!

Expand your outlook to other companies.

Reach out to select individuals in your network.
None of them will likely be the person who gives you a job.
But one of them is likely to know someone who might.

When you chat with them, just let them know that you’re quietly exploring your options. You’re doing great where you are. You love the place.

But you’re ready for a bigger challenge and it doesn’t seem forthcoming where you’re at.

Strike out on your own

The best way to have a boss who never holds you back is to be your own boss. But be ready – this boss may be your toughest task master!

Before you launch, be sure you’re ready for the rigors of entrepreneurship. It may pay to spend a little time preparing before you give up the day job.

And don’t think it has to be an all-or-nothing proposition. If you have enough energy to take on a job with more responsibility, you should have enough energy to start a part-time business.

You can build it part-time until your free cash flow replaces your current job.
Then you can launch full-time and let the sky be your limit. Now that’s BIGG success!

If you have more questions than answers about being your own boss, maybe we can help.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00788-030812.mp3

Image in this post from stock.xchng

Why Your Boss Holds You Back – Part 1

getting held back by your boss | BIGG SuccessWe want to talk today to really good employees. If you’re truly not one – if you know you slack off, if you’re one of the average and ordinary – today’s conversation isn’t for you.

For all you BIGG goal-getters, we’re going to talk about something today that you may have already faced.

If you haven’t experienced it yet, you will. It’s only a matter of time.

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. (Runtime 4:35)

You work hard. Much harder than most. You get there early. You stay late. You do your homework.

But it’s not just the time you put in.

You deliver results time after time. Your boss knows you’re his or her go-to guy or gal.

You get the hardest projects, the ones that are most critical to your organization’s success.

And you always come through.

Your boss notices. You get some credit for what you’ve done. You may even get a spiff or a small raise.

Out of the blue, an opportunity arises within your company.

You think you’re perfectly suited for it. It would mean a BIGG increase in responsibility but you’re confident that you can handle the challenge.

You also like the increased pay. But most importantly, this new position would place you on track for your ultimate goal with the company.

You’re so excited.

You can’t wait to talk to your boss. You know he or she could grease the wheels.

They could definitely get you an interview. Then it would just be up to you to demonstrate how qualified you are.

But when you tell your boss, you’re surprised at the reaction.

You’re given a laundry list of reasons why it would be a bad move.
You’re not qualified.
It’s not the right fit for you right now.
Be patient. A better opportunity will come up down the road.

You leave the office confused.
You can feel it.
This is a good move.
You are qualified.

A simple truth about your boss

You need to understand a simple truth about your boss:
Your boss wants to hold you back.

Not because you haven’t earned the opportunity to take on more.
Not because you’re not qualified.
No, none of these are the reasons your boss isn’t willing to help you out.

The secret motivation of your boss

The real reason? It’s the secret motivation of your boss:
He or she is being rewarded for keeping you where you’re at.

The rewards may be monetary. He or she is being paid handsomely and you’re the star performer lining their pockets.

They may get a lot of credit for the work you’re doing. You make your boss look good to his or her boss. Without you, the results just won’t be the same.

In other words, you’re too valuable to let go.

Seems like a good thing, right? But you may be so valuable that your boss can’t let you go anywhere.

You can’t really blame your boss. While it may be small-minded, it certainly is logical from his or her point-of-view.

What can you do about it? What are your options?

We’ll share three suggestions on our next show. Please check back tomorrow.

In the meantime, how about sharing with us? Have you ever had a boss who held you back? What did you do?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00787-030712.mp3

Image in this post from stock.xchng

Where to Find Opportunity

places to find opportunity for BIGG SuccessEntrepreneurs look for opportunities to create value by solving a problem. A problem people have.

So entrepreneuring, at its essence, is all about people.

Entrepreneuring is what BIGG success is all about.

Only it’s not just an occupation. It’s a mindset.

We’re often asked where to find opportunity. Let’s look at three places where you can look:

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast.


iPhone/iPad Podcast Player

[haiku url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00759-120611.mp3″ title=”The BIGG Success Show #759″]
Inefficiencies

Look for inefficiencies. These inefficiencies are often caused by some sort of technological shift.

The first generation creates the inefficiencies. The second generation extends them.

The first generation profits from the technology. The second generation profits on the technology.

So look for places where technology is creating an inefficiency to find your opportunity.

Someone asked us recently if we thought “this whole social media thing” had just about run its course. We, of course, said no way.

Web 2.0 is creating inefficiencies in many established industries. Entrepreneurs capitalize when industry leaders stick their head in the sand.

Regulation

Regulation creates opportunities. This goes two ways.

Deregulation often opens doors that were closed before. And new regulation or re-regulation may create opportunities as well.

For example, here in the U.S., it’s expected that the health care bill may create new opportunities.

And one could argue that the deregulation of the phone company a couple of decades ago has is still driving opportunities today.

Would we have SmartPhones if we had a phone monopoly? You decide, but it’s worth thinking about.

We should add, our purpose here isn’t to argue the costs and benefits of regulation, re-regulation, or deregulation. We’re just saying to look at what’s happening with regulation if you want to find an opportunity.

Demographics

Look for demographical change to find your opportunity.

It could be shifts in genders. For example, the number of women in the workforce has been driving change for some time now. Now you’re starting to see more women in leadership. That will create opportunities.

It could be related to age. The Baby Boomers has created opportunities their whole lives. They are the ultimate bubble.

And now they’re starting to retire. This is creating all sorts of opportunities.

Inefficiencies, regulation, and demographics. What do they have in common?

Change!

Change creates the opportunity which will lead you to BIGG success!

Do you think you see an opportunity but want a second opinion?

Maybe we can help.

Before we go, we’d like to take this opportunity to say “Thanks” for meeting us here today. Until next time, here’s to your BIGG success!

Image in this post from stock.xchng

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00759-120611.mp3