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Customer Loyalty in as Little as 17 ˝ Minutes
By Bob Taylor and Jim Hartigan
About a year ago, Orgwide opted to unplug from AT&T and switch our wireless account to Verizon (like all of us @Orgwide, you can follow our friends @VerizonWireless on Twitter). With the switch, we got an account rep, Diane Smith. (In that we’re a small business, we rarely get an “account rep.”)
We knew Diane was the real deal when we noticed she actually did all the things she said she would do. I know, it sounds crazy, but she really follows up. An early indication of her partner-ness came a few weeks after we switched. On December 23, 2011, I called to ask for her assistance in locating an iPad I needed for a gift. To compound the challenge, the iPad I needed was not a common configuration, and I couldn’t locate one that would arrive in time for Christmas. Not only did Diane snag the exact tablet I needed (apparently she’s in on Verizon’s secret stash), she then met me in a Dunkin Donuts parking lot for the relay!
So, last week Diane sent us a note requesting a meeting to discuss our data plans because, get this, she says she can save us some meaningful money. As always, she arrives on time … and then proceeds to show us a way to save about 25% with absolutely no strings attached!
During the meeting, I asked Diane a couple of Android vs. Apple software questions that she wasn’t completely sure about. Within an hour after the meeting, I received an email from her with the information I needed and her unsolicited commitment to monitor the topic for emerging developments. In other words, she’s actively assisting us with our business!
With service like this, I’m looking forward to our next purchase!
Jim’s Take on Bob’s Story:
I get back from a mid-day run and discover Taylor’s all giddy because he’s had a good experience with a sales rep. As Orgwide’s Chief Rain Maker, I’m always on the lookout for a good sales story. You see, my contacts will tell you I’m the “17 ½ minute guy.” Why? Because when making my initial inquiry (or leaving a voicemail), I only ask for 17 ½ minutes of their time to ask a few questions and share a little about Orgwide. It’s memorable sure, but more importantly, it shows I value their time. Plus, in order to be effective, I have to do my homework and keep my presentation and questions crisp. Most importantly, it gives me the opportunity to build trust by “doing what I say I will do” – finishing our call in 17 ½ minutes.
I say this simply to frame up the fact that Taylor is all excited over the sales rep who just came in, spent less than 20 minutes in the office, and saved us all kinds of money. I thought, “Wow, now that’s a valuable 17 ½ minute meeting.” But there’s more. Taylor was going on and on about the sales rep (Diane) and how unbelievable the whole experience had been. The researcher in me couldn’t resist asking a few questions of both Taylor and the real recipient of these savings – our bookkeeper! My questions revolved around how happy they were with the service, how much money was being saved, etc. As a quick reminder: this is cellular service, one of the lowest rated purchases on this planet for customer services. I then asked the really important question: “If someone came in and could match our current cellphone service and save us ANOTHER $500 a year, would you take the appointment? How about $750? $1,000?” At the end of my inquisition, I went to the white board (and those who know me knew that was coming!). I did a little math for my partner and our bookkeeper and demonstrated that the service Diane was delivering was LEGENDARY. She had entangled us to the point that we would NOT EVEN CONSIDER (or even take an appointment should one be offered) another vendor even if they were offering a PRICE REDUCTION of 25%! As a sales guy, I have to say Diane has created loyalty beyond reason. In fact, she has created a “switching cost” of a non-monetary value! How? By doing her homework, valuing our time, and doing what she says she will do - actively assisting us with our business!
Do you have a great “Account Rep” story to share? We’d love to hear it!
Reprinted with permission of
About Jim Hartigan
Jim Hartigan, Partner joined Orgwide Services in April 2010. A 30 year hospitality industry veteran, he most recently served as SVP, Global Brand Services at Hilton Worldwide where his team was responsible for ensuring excellence in quality assurance, customer satisfaction, market research, brand training, media planning, and sustainability across 10 brands and more than 3,400 hotels in 80 countries around the world. In 2004, Hartigan was Orgwide's first client launching online learning for Hilton in North America.
About Bob Taylor
Bob Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Orgwide Services, brings 30 years of hands-on management, real-world leadership, and business experience to our organization. A former Sr. Manager in FedEx's world-recognized Leadership Institute, where he received the company's most coveted award for individual contribution, the Five-Star Award for Excellence. In 1995, Bob elected to open RFTaylor & Company, a management consultancy serving such corporate clients as Emerson Electric, FedEx, Hilton Corporation, and Nike, Inc., to name a few.
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