Tag Archives: service

The Behavioural Campaign


The best way to describe a behavioural campaign (that shines a light on behaviours) is to think of a campaign focussed on products, which is something we’re all familiar with.

Whether it is a current account campaign, or a campaign on self-service banking, the purpose of a product-based campaign is to re-inspire people to create and re-create an awareness of the campaign’s product focus. A product campaign can introduce a new product or re-introduce an existing product that needs to be brought back to the forefront of your employees’ thoughts and actions.

But what we often forget to do is to shine an equally illuminating light on the behaviours that would enhance the marketing and selling of that product.

After all, how can you truly maximise the impact of a product campaign if you don’t have a plan around maximising the key behaviours that lead to better sales of that product?

Therefore, it is our philosophy that a product campaign goes hand in hand with a behavioural campaign.  The only difference is that a behaviour or set of behaviours can be used and re-used as part of several product campaigns.

In order for employees to thrive in a product campaign and thereafter, those relevant behaviours need to be both mastered and embedded so that they are sustainable and reusable.

If we solely focus on product campaigns without enforcing the critical, targeted and ethical needs-based behaviours that complement the marketing and sales of products, then how can we possibly prepare employees to succeed?

Don’t forget to focus on the 4 key elements of behaviour change: ‘More, Better, Different, Less.’  By introducing behavioural campaigns that link to product campaigns, we can upskill employees on the behaviours they need to increase the frequency of (More), those behaviours that need improvement (Better), those behaviours that need to be changed (Different), and the behaviours they need to stop doing all together (Less).

A sales and service process and culture that is the ‘heartbeat’ of an organisation, is a journey of behaviour upskillling and change.  Therefore, we must implement behavioural campaigns just as rigorously and meticulously as we implement product campaigns. By focusing on mastering the means to achieve our goals, rather than just the output alone, we will move to the end point successfully, much more rapidly and with minimum challenges along the journey.

Your thoughts?

Neda Bayat is Global Business Consultant for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc. and Breakthrough PerformanceTech, LLC.

How Mystery Shopping Can Help You to Feel the Customer’s Experience

female detectiveI am a true believer in learning by observing the “real” world. That is why, last week, I spent a full day mystery shopping at 4 branches of a bank in a European country. My goal was to find out how well they could identify my needs and how eager they were to open an account with the products I needed. Let me share my experiences.

The bank is the number one bank in that country, and my expectations were high. My first impressions confirmed my expectations. I noted that the staff were all “very friendly people and willing to help me without making an appointment first”.

I dropped the clue that I want to open a current account to start with and, surprisingly, 3 out of the 4 advisors immediately started to explain to me their common current account. They printed out the information and/or handed me their brochures. No questions or financial details were asked to find out if this was the right account for me. The only question they asked me repeatedly was “What more information do you want?”

To help them out, I dropped some more clues, but each time the advisors only addressed the obvious question. When I said that I wanted to discuss it with my husband first, none of the advisors asked to schedule a next appointment or noted my contact details.

The following questions kept me awake that night:

  • Is excellent service only about being friendly to a customer?
  • Is pro-actively asking the right questions to identify the needs of a customer and, therefore, being able to offer the best solutions, considered being too pushy?
  • Would a customer feel irritated if they were offered a next appointment and/or asked their contact details for a follow-up?

My answers to those questions were definitively no. What I learned from Marty Cohen and Ed Brown is that Sales and Service are intertwined. And guess what, they really are. As a customer, at first I felt welcome because the employees were very friendly and willing to help me. But from the start of the conversation to the end, it became obvious that the advisors were not listening to me and didn’t recommend the right account for me. I felt I was not being taken seriously.

That day I learned a lot about how a customer must feel sometimes and what we all could do to train, coach and support employees to improve their Service and Sales skills for the benefit of the customers. It was a well spent day, and I recommend you do some mystery shopping yourself or do it more often.

Let me know what you discover!

Brenda Schäfer is a Results Consultant for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

Great Service from a Bulk Food Discount Store?

bulk food, grocery store, shopping, service

Well, I love great service, and I expect it from the upscale companies who charge more and put a premium on appearance, but sometimes I get great service where I don’t expect it.

Recently, I was shopping for a big event—breakfast for 300 people. I had my list and wanted to check out a local bulk food discount store to see if they had what I needed. So I marched in, list in hand, and got busy checking the items off. I wasn’t prepared to buy anything that day; I was just doing my research.

I was looking at the fresh produce when a man in an apron who was stocking strawberries stopped and asked if he could help me. “No,” I responded, “Just trying to see if you have what I need. I’ll be back next week.”

“Oh,” he said, “Let’s see your list.” See my list? He wants to see my list? Well, not only did he want to see my list, he wanted to walk around the entire store with me to ensure I found everything. Okay, this keeps going. Not only are we walking around together, but he is also giving me tips on how to call ahead and order what I need so the produce will be fresh.

Well, we are still walking around and he has my list. I want my list back, but he is marking it up with checkmarks on everything that we find. Not only is he putting checkmarks by each item, he is making notes by each item, such as aisle number and shelf location. What? Who does this? Who expected this kind of service from a bulk store? Not me.

You might be thinking what I was thinking…it’s just him, it’s not the entire staff. But I was wrong. On our way through the store, the manager stopped and talked with us, asked about the event, and she gave me even more helpful hints on how to save money. And it keeps going. After that, another staff member in the paper goods department took the list (there it goes again, and I really do want it back) and showed me how to look for quantities in cases, because that saves money and reduces the number of boxes I have to drag around.

Someone there has it right. I loved the experience. And eventually I did get my list back, with all the notes, and I will be back there to shop, not just for this event but for any future events.

If they can do it, can you? Could you and your team top that experience? I bet you can! I believe that great service can come from any organization that makes it a culture and customer goal.

Your thoughts?

Johanna Lubahn is Managing Director of Call Center Services for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

It’s Service Malpractice

Recently we called a contractor to evaluate a leak in our house.  There was an obvious crack on an interior wall, and we suspected the leak was coming from the roof or the siding.

When the contractor came, he said that our downspout was not connected properly, and he could fix it. That was a big relief.  However, this was the same company that installed the downspouts and gutters, so I was curious why he now felt it important to change the direction of the downspout.

What he said next stunned me. He explained that when they put in the downspouts and gutters, they had asked my husband and me how we wanted them to be attached. Why did they ask us in the first place? We’re not the experts!  If they had counseled us on what they usually do and why it is important, we would have followed their recommendation, because who wants to tear out part of an interior wall and fix it!  We couldn’t remember who we talked to when this was installed, but I don’t remember them sharing their knowledge, expertise and best practices with us to persuade us how it should be done.

I consider this service malpractice.  When your team members talk with your customers, are they confident in their expertise in your industry, and are you confident they are truly helping customers?  Don’t take your expertise for granted. Give your customers the full advantage of what you know about your products and services, because they don’t know unless you help them.

Your thoughts?

Johanna Lubahn is Managing Director of Call Center Services for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

Are Your People Robots or People?

I am an on-line shopper out of necessity. I really like to go “shopping” into stores and malls, but I am time-poor, so it’s shopping on-line a majority of the time.

Recently, I purchased a large item from an on-line retailer and was not satisfied when I got it. They make the return very easy and ask you to complete a lengthy satisfaction survey about the product: Will you shop with them again? Will you recommend them? Was the experience fast and efficient? Did you encounter any challenges?, etc. I completed the survey and was quite happy with everything until I had to call. That’s when this experience “went South”.

Because of the extensive survey that I completed and the ease of ordering and returning, I was expecting a great phone experience. After all, they look for customer satisfaction in the survey and ask a number of questions around it. So, I was very disappointed when I encountered an uninterested and bored person at the other end of the phone. What happened to all the hype? Was this only the marketing department creating a great website with exciting phrases and cute slogans? Where was the enthusiasm for helping me figure out the return process with a large item?

I knew she was bored, because I could hear it in her voice. We always say, “It’s what you say and how you say it.” And this couldn’t be truer in today’s electronic world. When you do have to speak to a person, wouldn’t it be nice if they were engaged, excited to speak to you and help you? I think so.

If you manage people, listen for how they interact with your customers. Do they take the opportunity to fully engage customers with their tone and their own personal style, or could they easily be mistaken for robots? This can be a very subjective area, but it’s one that can set your organization apart, one conversation at a time.

Listen to yourself, too. Are you smiling when you talk in person or on the phone? Do you put some enthusiasm into your voice, no matter what conversation you are in? Or could you be a robot?

Your thoughts?

Johanna Lubahn is Managing Director of Call Center Services for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

Stun Them!

Recently, while I was standing in a long line at the bank to purchase gift cards, a woman turned to me and said, “I cannot imagine doing my banking over my cell phone!” She was looking at the marketing poster positioned very properly at a turn in the waiting line. “Can you?” she asked me.

I said, “Actually, yes I can. I use mobile banking and love it!” She appeared shocked. Well, she asked me! So I went on:

“I’m the type of person who loves to scan her mobile for a cup of coffee. So, the convenience of using my phone to check my balance or to see if checks have cleared is perfect.” She stared at me, but I didn’t stop. “Last week, I was traveling and obviously made an error in my checkbook, so I transferred funds from my savings to checking on the phone. That saved me both money and embarrassment. So, yes, I love, love, love mobile banking. You need to download the app.” She didn’t know what to say but did get out an “oh” before I was called to the teller window.

The point I’m driving at is…on a dime, you need to be able to articulate the benefits of any one of your products and services and do it with passion.

Your thoughts?

Cynthia Whitmer Griffith is a Performance Results Network Results Consultant for Community Banks and Credit Unions at Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

That Was An Amazing Experience and Quite Unexpected

Buffet_GermanyI travel quite a bit for my job. It takes me all over the world. Working for a sales-and-service company that focuses on the internal and external client experience, I always have my antennae up for great experiences.

I am always intrigued when people from other countries tell me they come over to the U.S. to evaluate and learn from the American service industry. Granted, we have some real role models that can be used as case studies and have certainly proven themselves, but some of the names they throw out leave me scratching my head.

One of the best and most unexpected experiences for me happened on a trip to Cape Town, South Africa. I was staying in a hotel that was nice, had great rooms, and seemed to be average overall. During my two-week stay, I ate breakfast in the restaurant every morning. My usual breakfast consists of cereal, orange juice, and coffee, so the big extravagant buffets were not a positive. They cost me money. During the second week of my stay, the hostess approached me and said she needed to speak with me. She said that she had watched my selection of breakfast every day and didn’t think I should have to pay for the full buffet, so she had already asked her manager to give me a refund for my first week and every day during my stay. I was amazed and delighted.

What she displayed was a real interest in her customer and a proactive approach. Companies are made up of people, and your people have the opportunity to amaze and delight every day. Have you given them the tools and environment so they can? Have you given them the training and coaching so they can amaze and delight? Do you remind them on a regular basis of the opportunity they have to do this? If not, take the time to amaze and delight your team, so they can amaze and delight your customers, so they become your advocates.

I’ve told that story everywhere I go, and I am still writing about it 4 years later, because that doesn’t happen to me very often.

Your thoughts?

Johanna Lubahn is Managing Director of Call Center Services for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.