These Are My Thoughts, Not Yours

Here are some things I’ve been thinking about over the past few weeks. Take from it what you will, but there are tremendous lessons to be learned from each one of these points.

 

  1. Big Data – Most organizations are obsessed with Big Data. If you read any major business publication like the New York Times, you can’t go a day without reading about Big Data. Organizations are collecting data and filling hard drives at an astonishing pace. The problem? They now have so much data, many find themselves combing through a vast desert looking for a drop of water. Start with an idea of what you’re looking for.
  2. Disruption – Again, if you read any major business publication not a day goes where you don’t read about some sort of Industry disruption. Start-ups now say they’re “disrupting the X Industry.” You don’t decide if you’re a disruption, the market decides. When will someone disrupt the canned Tuna Fish market?
  3. Inbox Zero – Everyday a gazillion people take it to their blogs and twitter looking for the secrets to handling all their incoming email? Imagine if the time spent looking for a solution or reading various methods was actually spent answering emails!?! I’m solving the problem once and for all, today. If an email doesn’t require a response, delete. Everything else, respond or file. I go to bed every night with an empty inbox. My friend Seth Godin responds to every single email. Do you really get more email than Seth? Don’t even get me started on systems for getting stuff done.
  4. The Ultimate Solo-Professional Incongruence – If you’re so busy and so good, why are you chasing business so frantically? Shift the focus to attraction over pursuit.
  5. Employee Empowerment – Are your employees empowered to use their brains? One insignificant “I’m sorry I’m not allowed to do that” can ruin an entire experience. A recent stay at a Best Western Hotel was ruined over a bottle of water. Don’t ask me why I was at a Best Western Hotel.
  6. Real Customer Loyalty? – If they’re complaining about the small stuff, they’re lacking emotional connection. Loyal customers will often brush off a bad experience as an anomaly.
  7. The Zappos Way – Even Zappos & Amazon will fire customers that don’t fit. The solution isn’t to bend over backwards for every single complaint.
  8. Platform – People mistake “strong platform” with the numbers. A 100 engaged fans trumps 100,000 mindless drones and bots.
  9. Language – Are you speaking like a human or like a robot when you write to your customers? Use personality. If Bezos and Amazon can, why can’t you?
  10. Social Media & Customer Relationships – Don’t be fooled – simply responding to every tweet about you or your brand doesn’t mean anything in terms of genuine customer relationships. Is your organization using social media for high touch, high value customer engagement, or is it mindless “respond cause we have to” touch?