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Skype – this is what “loving your customers” is all about January 2, 2011

Posted by utehagen in Customer Appreciation, Delivering Happiness, Loving your Customers, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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I was very impressed when I woke up this morning to the below message from SKYPE.

They understand how important the reliablility of their service is to their customers. And as a response to the recent outage, they didn’t just try to ignore it and hope that people didn’t mind too much. Instead they came out with an apology and even a token of appreciation with a voucher. They took the great opportunity to reach out to their customers. BRAVO!

Message from SKYPE: To our valued customers:

As 2010 draws to a close, I would like to take a moment to thank each of you for your patience, understanding, and support during Skype’s recent outage.

We know how important your Skype conversations are to you and we take any disruption to our service very seriously. We are pleased to confirm that Skype is back to normal allowing you to connect with friends, co-workers, family and loved ones.

As a valued customer of Skype, we would like to offer you a sincere apology and offer you our gratitude with a credit voucher worth a call of more than 30 minutes to a landline in some of our most popular countries, such as USA, UK, Germany, China, Japan. Or spend it however you like on Skype.

Thank you for allowing us at Skype to be a part of your life. May your holidays and the New Year be a time of joy, peace, and health for you and your family.

Kind regards, Tony Bates CEO Skype

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How to be healthy and successful June 16, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Delivering Happiness, Marketing 101, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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I just found the below information on the Harvard University Medical School Health Beat. And while it talks about personal Health, my experience of more than 20 years in the corporate business world tells me that this connection also exists for organizations, teams and companies.

And also: only a happy, healthy person can be truly successful.

Now: think about it as a MARKETER — this gives you tremendous insight into our potential customers. What can you do with your product or service that will help your customers to feel good, to fully engage and to do good? Always think about these BENEFITS, they are in the final end why people buy a product or service.

The happiness-health connection

Want to improve your health? Start by focusing on the things that bring you happiness. There is some scientific evidence that positive emotions can help make your life longer and healthier.

But to produce good health, positive emotions may need to be long term. In other words, thinking positive thoughts for a month when you already have heart disease won’t cure the disease. But lowering your stress levels over a period of years with a positive outlook and relaxation techniques could reduce your risk of heart problems.

Pathways to happiness

In an early phase of positive psychology research, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson of the University of Michigan chose three pathways to examine:

  • Feeling good. Seeking pleasurable emotions and sensations, from the hedonistic model of happiness put forth by Epicurus, which focused on reaching happiness by maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain.
  • Engaging fully. Pursuing activities that engage you fully, from the influential research by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. For decades, Csikszentmihalyi explored people’s satisfaction in their everyday activities, finding that people report the greatest satisfaction when they are totally immersed in and concentrating on what they are doing—he dubbed this state of intense absorption “flow.”
  • Doing good. Searching for meaning outside yourself, tracing back to Aristotle’s notion of eudemonia, which emphasized knowing your true self and acting in accordance with your virtues.

Through focus groups and testing hundreds of volunteers, they found that each of these pathways individually contributes to life satisfaction.

Things that won’t make you happy

People tend to be poor judges of what will make them happy. While most people say they want to be happy, they often believe in myths or carry assumptions that actually get in the way. Here are some widely held myths about what will bring happiness:

  • Money and material things. The question of whether money can buy happiness has, for more than 30 years, been addressed by the “Easterlin paradox,” a concept developed by economist Richard Easterlin. His research showed that people in poor countries are happier when their basic necessities are covered. But any money beyond that doesn’t make much difference in happiness level.
  • Youth. Being young and physically attractive has little or no bearing on happiness. In a study published by Richard Easterlin in 2006 in the Journal of Economic Psychology, not only did being young fail to contribute to happiness, but adults grew steadily happier as they moved into and through middle age. After that, happiness levels began to decline slowly as health problems and other life problems emerged.
  • Children. Children can be a tremendous source of joy and fulfillment, but their day-to-day care is quite demanding and can increase stress, financial pressures, and marital strife. When ranking their happiness during daily activities, mothers report being more happy eating, exercising, shopping, napping, or watching TV than when spending time with their children. In several studies, marital satisfaction declines after the first child is born and only recovers after the last child leaves home. Personal relationships of all types are important, however. In studies, being married, having more friends, and having sexual intercourse more often are all moderately or strongly associated with happiness.

How do you know if you’re in flow?

  • You lose awareness of time. You aren’t watching the clock, and hours can pass like minutes. As filmmaker George Lucas puts it, talent is “a combination of something you love a great deal and something you can lose yourself in—something that you can start at 9 o’clock, look up from your work and it’s 10 o’clock at night … .”
  • You aren’t thinking about yourself. You aren’t focused on your comfort, and you aren’t wondering how you look or how your actions will be perceived by others. Your awareness of yourself is only in relation to the activity itself, such as your fingers on a piano keyboard, or the way you position a knife to cut vegetables, or the balance of your body parts as you ski or surf.
  • You aren’t interrupted by extraneous thoughts. You aren’t thinking about such mundane matters as your shopping list or what to wear tomorrow.
  • You are active. Flow activities aren’t passive, and you have some control over what you are doing.
  • You work effortlessly. Flow activities require effort (usually more effort than involved in typical daily experience). Although you may be working harder than usual, at flow moments everything is “clicking” and feels almost effortless.


Delivering Happiness – Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh shares the secret June 7, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Delivering Happiness, Marketing 101, On line Marketing success, Understanding Customers, Your personal success, Zappos.com.
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Many people have already joined a new movement: Delivering Happiness — triggered by the release of the new book by Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh. You can find more information about the book at this link: http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com

I received a free advance copy of the book and devoured it over the weekend. However, my review of the book is in no way influenced by this.

I highly recommend this book to any entrepreneur as well as corporate executives who are serious about their commitment to create enduring success for their business. The formula, that is both simple, but still so hard to executie is: Purpose, Passion and Profits. Although in the book the order is the other way around, it is really this order that generates sustained business success. Tony writes in a very direct and refreshing style about his personal development journey and how it has influenced his entrepreneurial endeavors. He clearly is an entrepreneur at heart, but what he has learned by experience really does apply to any successful business undertaking. It all culminates in the rise of Zappos.com, which is a great branding story and at the very core of it all is a commitment to creating happiness for customers, employees, vendors and shareholders. As an experienced Brand Builder, who passionately believes in the value of brand purpose as I have experienced the power of it, I highly applaud Tony for taking it one step further from “serving consumers” to “creating happiness”.

Do yourself a personal favor and pick up the book (it’s available on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/deliveringhappiness ). It is a pleasant read and if you truly “listen” to the message, it will change your life for ever.

Zappos: How to deliver Profits, Passion and Purpose May 25, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Marketing 101, On line Marketing success, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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Sounds impossible?

Well, it isn’t and Tony Hsieh has proven it with ZAPPOS by creating a $1.2 Billion business from scratch. Many of you may have heard about Zappos and others may say “who?” Tony has written a book about his experience that will start shipping on June 7th, 2010. He has also teamed up with others to create the “deliver happiness” movement.

Sounds slightly weird? Well, that’s what Tony and the Zappos culture are. Check out the preview at http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com/ and pre-order your book immediately.

17 Revelations On How An Online Retailer Went From Zero to $1.2 Billion May 22, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Marketing 101, On line Marketing success, Your personal success.
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I highly recommend to read this post on Jeff Bulla’s Blog. It is a great case study on how the single-minded commitment to fulfilling consumer needs is not only creating a great financial success, but also happier people — both the customers and the employees. This is how you create true profitable differentiation by better fulfilling customer needs. It’s not difficult, it just requires a personal commitment and change of mind-set.

http://tiny.cc/fpwke

How to win loyal customers? March 12, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Marketing 101.
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People will become loyal to you if you offer them something that is of unique value to them. And the value you offer should better fit with your potential customer’s needs and desires than a competitive offer.

But how do you find out what people’s needs and desires are? It is really quite simple, but most marketers don’t do it. The simple secret is to know your customers as well as you know your spouse, close family members and best friends.

It all starts with making a CHOICE about who the bulls-eye target for your offer is. Then you need to go and personally meet with your target. Not all of them of course, it is sufficient to spend quality time with a few representatives of your target audience. Observe what they are doing, ask them to talk you through why they are doing what they are doing. Look for how your potential offering could help to make what your target is trying to accomplish easier, faster, more pleasant, less expensive, more emotionally rewarding etc.

Secret Tip: Don’t ever expect that people can TELL you what their true underlying motivations are. They can’t, because these are happening in the sub-conscious. You need to be the detective who discovers the motivations from what you see and hear.