We have the privilege of working to be indispensable to customers and making them feel like they belong—instead of stuck.
True loyalty is earned, not rewarded.

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The south Dublin café owner is proud of the business he’s growing, and rightly so. In just twelve months he’s built a thriving small business that’s become a meeting place for locals. The kind of place people recommend to their friends. A café people want to return to and talk about. If you spend any…

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Keeping a customer is more valuable to your business than courting one. Fred Reichheld, from Bain and Co, points out that return customers buy more products and refer more friends. Yet the majority of our marketing is devoted attracting more customers. When startup Dollar Shave Club launched in 2011, the brand had some stiff competition in…

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It’s a Saturday night. Jeff, the on-call Planning Enforcement Officer for the local council, is just about to sit down to a takeaway meal and a movie with his wife when his phone rings. Residents close to a new nightclub want him to come and assess the noise levels at the venue. Even before the…

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As vulnerable humans, we’re brilliant at paying attention to threats in our midst. We are experts at mitigating against failure, which we trick ourselves into believing is the way to optimising for success. This tendency might explain our willingness to devote our resources to averting risk, solving problems and fixing mistakes. When we focus on…

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When a flight is delayed why are the passengers who quietly accept their fate and meal vouchers never the ones who get priority on the next available flight? Our instinct is to acknowledge and take care of the customer who complains the loudest. We work hardest to get the dissatisfied, those unlikely to become raving…

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Your customers are changing. You are changing too. Notice how impatient we get now if we are second or third in a queue. In our world of one-click-ordering, instant downloads and movie streaming, we believe waiting is unacceptable. ‘Why can’t they just open more checkouts?!’ While it’s true that you can’t please all of the…

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The call centre operator’s power is limited. He can’t bypass the company’s systems and processes. He is employed to apply a band-aid to the wound—buying the company some time until someone in another department (who he has no direct access to) can solve the problem. He should be empowered to delight and when he’s not…

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Yesterday I was registering a domain name online when I noticed the company had tweaked the user interface from cart to checkout. Now when you confirm the purchase, the default option is to register for three years, instead of one. The steps to reverse this are not obvious or easy—which I guess means sales are…

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The packaging on the flat-pack garden shed promised fast, easy assembly (80% faster than the competitor’s product), using 75% fewer screws, pre-drilled holes and a 30-year warranty. Taking the manufacturer at their word the customer’s expectation is set. The shed takes two people five hours to assemble, requires additional drilling, a trip to the hardware…

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