10 October 2013

Women of Value: I is for Insight


I is for INSIGHT: Women of Value are Insightful!

I went on holiday with a girlfriend to Sydney a year or so back and we had some great fun together.  I certainly gained lots of  insights on customer service as we wined, dined and shopped our way around Sydney. Some of the insights were:

I was so looking forward to chilling out with a facial and getting my nails painted; the beauty therapist seemed uptight and a little stressed – “how are you doing?” I asked, her reply was “not good”; and then she went on to explain to me that she has just split with her partner the night before and was now trying to juggle the business and have to quickly take breaks to rush back to day-care to breastfeed her 1 year old child! (I am not quite sure that I needed to know that – a breast pump did come to mind, but I withheld my comment!)  

Nevertheless, I definitely felt for her, as I know what it can feel like in very difficult times (as we all can from our various life experiences) but she did not stop talking about her situation for the whole appointment!  Consequently, I came out of the appointment feeling very heavy-hearted, rather than uplifted and energised.
Insight: Don’t share your current ‘crisis’ with your customer/client unless the context of your products/services and familiarity and knowledge of your customer makes it appropriate to do so!

Using a voucher brought online, I booked in to a restaurant that was advertised as ‘overlooking Darling Harbour’.  At first, we had difficulty finding the restaurant and had to ask at another eatery along the way – yes there was a sign to the restaurant except it was covered up by the positioning of plants/foliage along the front outside dining area.  This foliage also completely blocked out any potential views of the harbour – though on asking for a ‘view’ the waiter suggested I could positioned the table at an angle so that I could see through the small gap in the foliage!!  So the view was poor, but I have to say that the seafood platter was simply scrumptious and looked exactly like the picture on the voucher!
Insight: Be careful how you describe your products and services; customers get disappointed when a product or service does not meet the expectations and benefits that you have set out in your marketing materials.  Don’t cover up the best ‘benefits’ of your business with ‘foliage’ as it were; have the benefits boldly on display for all to see!

We had a fun time riding the Sydney ‘hop-on, hop-off’ bus and took advantage of sitting on the top deck of the bus with the wind blowing in our hair and our cameras poised to ‘click’ at the various points of interest as we rode along.  All was going well until a couple joined the bus and chose to sit behind us – oh my goodness, I have never heard anyone complain so much, including the comment “this tour is not good today, because it is too windy”; ……‘move to the lower cover deck’ or ‘do the tour another day’ etc were my instant thoughts, all while my friend held tight to my arm so that I would not turn around and actually say my thoughts out loud!
Insight: No matter what you do you are NEVER going to be able to please all your customers/clients – this is a very hard lesson in business, but the key is get repeat and referral business from the ‘lovers’ of your products and services; rather than those who choose to critique every little aspect of your business, despite how much you go out of your way to make your business a pleasurable experience for them.

Insight: Know who your customer is, don’t assume!  Don’t look at your customers as if they have $ signs in their eyes.  Take time to get to know your customer – listen to their responses.  Check the customer’s previous ‘experience’ or ‘entry level’ for your product – this was going to be the first handbag my friend ever brought; so she wanted time and space to view lots of samples before making the final choice.  

So women of value as you go about your day - whether that be looking after your children, helping out at a community event, spending time with girlfriends, running a business, or managing a team within a workplace, remember to be INSIGHTFUL: what insights are you experiencing, seeing, observing, feeling, hearing in your current circumstances and situations?


Igniting Dreams | Evoking Action

Love Maree

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