Where is the hand-dryer?
Many a time I’ve washed my hands in a hotel loo, I’m wheeling around looking for the hand-dryer and it’s somewhere far away. And it’s really annoying. The utility of it really bothers me, as you can tell, I’ve turned into a blog on my website called “Where’s the hand-dryer?”
In marketing we make compromises all the time.
You have to make compromises, that’s life.
There’s no getting away from it.
None of us are perfect, none of us can be perfect even with the best of intentions.
We’re going to have moments where we have to make tough decisions.
But there are good decisions, and there are bad decisions, and in my mind one of the worst decisions you can make is putting your needs before the customers before your prospects. It’s very transparent, it’s very obvious, the customer knows it, the customer will feel it, they will intuitively sense it, they will viscerally feel it, they will know you’ve made that decision.
You’ve literally flung them in front of you to defend yourself against oncoming fire.
They will literally feel sacrificed. It might only be to a small degree, but deep down in their psyche they have realized that you will, ultimately when push comes to shove, put their needs after your needs.
There’s nothing worse from a marketing perspective when you’ve done everything right, when you’ve come up with a great campaign, you’ve done everything brilliantly and at one point you just sacrificed the customer.
It could be the tiniest little thing, it could be really barely demonstrable. It could be something so secondary that you didn’t think it would matter but in the customer deep down they know it. And you know it.
Ultimately that betrayal no matter how big or small is a signal to them that takes them out of the right mindset and reminds them that there is a customer sales relationship. That you are asking them to do something in exchange for money.
It brings it back to reality and when you’ve spent so much time building incredible messaging to build true honest authentic connection with your customers, when you’ve gone to all their effort to then betray it with a tiny slip of the mask, so that they see behind the curtain and recognize that actually beyond your intentions there is a deeper intention around the sale, around money, around business. There’s nothing worse.
You have to make those compromises, but you have to put customer intention at the start of it, and at the middle of it and at the end of it.
You have to keep your customer intention front and center all the way through.
You cannot really honestly afford to compromise in any way that makes the customer feel secondary to you. Because it is to risk everything, the tiniest compromise can betray the biggest, most expensive, most committed campaign you’ve ever run in your life.
It’s a bit like in friendships and relationships you would never want your friends to realize you have another agenda, you shouldn’t really have another agenda I guess, and you certainly wouldn’t want your friends to think you had another agenda. “Well I think he’s only my mate because I happen to know George Clooney” Well you wouldn’t want people to know that. (I don’t know why I thought of George Clooney, just the most famous person I can think of at the time. Sorry Rock if you’re watching this, obviously you’re way more famous than George Clooney.)
But you know the reality is you wouldn’t want people to think that you had an ulterior motive, that you were using them. And your customers are exactly the same.
Your customers don’t want to feel used. If you’re going to have an honest, authentic relationship with them, have an honest authentic relationship with them. Do not let any secondary agenda betray that.
Now that means not worrying about the sale.
That means not worrying about them giving you the business.
Well you know what? Don’t worry about the sale. Don’t worry about the business. Because if your marketing is good enough they will come towards you and they will give you the business because you will have demonstrated your commitment to your relationship with them in a way that your competition probably never will.
That’s the best thing here, it’s a complete advantage to be genuine and authentic for your customer for your prospect. That’s what they want. They want an honest relationship and all you’ve got to do is give it to them.
But that takes effort. You’ve got to put that customer intention really front and center;
So how could you put customer intention front and center in your business?
How could you put customer intention right out front so that the customer knows that commitment, so that your team are aware of the commitment, so that at all times that is absolutely under any circumstances very visible to everyone in your team so that nobody makes that compromise, to put your needs before your customers.
Ultimately it’s about learning what the important things are.
It’s about learning what matters.
Sometimes you’re gonna take a hit to keep the customer happy, sometimes that’s life.
Recently someone mentioned to me that they had a complaint, they went back to the business and the business dealt with it fantastically. The business didn’t sit there thinking, “oh no this is going to hurt our margin”, what the business did was own the problem. They knew it was their fault and they just owned it. And they therefore turned that really really angry customer into an instant reversal and a win, because they dealt with it by putting their customer first.
It’s so simple. It sounds so simple.
But I’m reminding you of it because I see so many examples, like every day, of businesses not putting the customer first, businesses selling out the customer relationship. And they think the customer doesn’t know. Of course they know, of course we know, we’re not idiots, we feel betrayed, we see the betrayal. So don’t let it happen.
This is why this episode is about hand-dryers.
There is nothing worse than being in a hotel toilet looking around with wet hands and seeing the world’s worst hand-dryer. You know that that hotel’s commitment to you is pitiful. When you see a hand-dryer that has all the air power of an asthmatic sloth. When you see that hand-dryer you kind of groan, and you immediately think yourself “I’m not even gonna bother with that hand-dryer. I’m just gonna find some paper towels, what a waste of time.”
Now imagine a different situation where you see something like a Dyson, where you know it’s going to almost be an amazing pleasurable experience to dry your hands.
How do you feel about those two hotels?
The one with the asthmatic sloth or the one with incredible Dyson or Dyson clone?
For me every time I want the the Dyson clone. I want to feel loved by that hotel. I want to feel absolutely put front and center. I want my intentions to be more important, I don’t care if it costs them a little bit extra. But that buys my love, and it buys an authenticity and a commitment to my needs that that asthmatic sloth hand dryer can never muster. And that costs that hotel a fortune.
So where’s the asthmatic sloth in your business?
I never thought I’d say that, but where’s the asthmatic sloth in your business? Every three months, start looking around asking for feedback. “Tell me where’s the asthmatic sloth? What’s the worst bit about working with us?”
Ask your customers that, you’ll be surprised on what you hear.