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Case studies from design industry professionals, from the smallest of firms to large, global organizations. Click on image - order your copy today!

Exceptional Customer Experiences:  7 Infallible Rules Not To Be Ignored

Every small business claims to have excellent customer service.  I’m not kidding.  Go out and do an informal survey of your own.  At your next association meeting, ask ten or twelve colleagues – read:  competitors – how they rate their own customer service.   I’d be willing to bet that 9 out of 10 will tell you they are just ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ when it comes to customer service and exceptional customer experiences. For those of you who prefer to speak in simpler terms, that very, very long word from Mary Poppins just means “exceptionally good”.  By claiming to have exceptionally good customer service, they claim their customer service is uncommon or unusual, at a uniquely higher level than anyone else provides.  The truth is: if that question was [...]

By | August 9th, 2017|Customer Experience, Customer Relationships|0 Comments

Influences on Small Businesses for 2017: Competition & Customer Behaviors

'Designing Strategies' eNewsletter July - August, 2017               Volume 14     Issue 78   Any small business owner or manager who has been operating over the past ten years has experienced big time changes coming at them.  It is no secret that changes and external  influences on small businesses are a constant we need to prepare for.   Any not willing to do necessary zig-zagging required to change strategies or pivot on a dime may well be gone now.  We have been facing more than a few significant external changes, trying to stay afloat.  Let’s limit this discussion to just two of the enormous influences on small business es and their success.  Two of those influencers and disruptors I [...]

Prepare for First Client Meetings: 5 Important Pre-Meeting Sales Tactics

Relationships with every serious prospect starts out with them being complete strangers to us.  Or, perhaps they know us but not what we have to offer customers.  Once a prospect becomes aware of our company, products and services, they have move a step closer to becoming a real, paying customer. That is when it is time to prepare for first customer meetings. Take time to plan before taking an arbitrary shot at convincing a customer your products and services will best solve their problem.  Prepare for first client meetings ahead of time to achieve the best results.  It pays off big time to develop a Sales System Strategy focused on taking someone from that total stranger status to a wildly enthusiastic cheerleader with experience as [...]

By | May 16th, 2017|Customer Relationships, Sales|0 Comments

Build Customer Loyalty to Grow Your Small Business

Acquiring new customers helps any small business grow.  Customers are known to come and go.  All customers that leave are not necessarily dissatisfied or disgruntled.  Customers may move out of your area for any number of reasons, or no longer need your products or services.  Worst case scenario would be that for some reason, you failed to build customer loyalty. To grow a small business,  former customers have to be replaced. Remember that current customers are the lifeblood of your business and keeping them satisfied should be your highest priority.  Their experience with your firm, your products or services and your staff needs to be exceptional.  For all of these reasons, it is imperative that you build customer loyalty. Statistics show that, on average, U.S. companies lose [...]

By | October 30th, 2016|Customer Experience, Customer Relationships|2 Comments

Millennials – Quit Thinking About Them Coming – They’re he-re!

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter March - April 2016 Issue                       Volume 13 - Issue 70   Talk has been going on for the past ten years that 'soon' Millennials would become a major force in the marketplace and the workplace. In case you haven't notices, they're here. They are here in massive numbers – large and in charge. If you have not seriously worked on your marketing strategy for reaching them, you are way behind. They are here and in force. The leading edge of 76 million of them are now thirty-somethings with the ability to seriously flex their economic muscle on any industry. Millennials need your attention - now.  It doesn't matter if you are a [...]

How to Handle Negative Customer Feedback

Sometimes, as hard as we might try to provide exceptional service to every customer, one of them will be dissatisfied about something.  In an ideal world, every sale or project would run smoothly and result in a highly satisfied customer.  Wouldn't that be wonderful?  But, reality means that sometimes things will go wrong.  When things go wrong, sometimes it will result in negative customer feedback if the problem is not handled promptly. It would be nice if the dissatisfied customer would give us a call, explain the problem and let us resolve it. But, that's not always the case. Sometimes they will just sit back and brood about it, wondering why we haven't figured out what the problem is via ESP or mental telepathy. Then, after they [...]

By | January 7th, 2016|Customer Experience, Customer Relationships|0 Comments

Today’s Customers Are NOT Your Father’s Customers

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter September – October 2015                     Volume 12 -- Issue 67 There have been various versions of the 'It's Not Your Father's (whatever)' on TV and in magazine and newspaper advertisements over the past few years. Ad Agencies must think we have yet to notice that things have changed and aren't the same as they were years ago. No surprises there. Of course things have changed. Almost everything has changed to some degree.  Today's customers are very different from those our parents dealt with in the past. Everything has changed.  Very few things are like they used to be.  Cars, clothing, homes, communication devices and the food we eat every day are not the [...]

Customer Referrals: Get New Customers Through Old Customers

Every small business owner wants their customers to love them.  Well, we at least want them to be extremely satisfied with the products or services we provided for them.  In these situations, everybody is happy.  All small businesses also want new customers. More customers equal more sales.  More sales add to growth and success.  Each new customer also provides increased opportunities for more word of mouth customer referrals that can lead to even more new customers. Referrals are nice to get, but don't leave giving referrals entirely in the hands of the referrers. If you do, they will be in complete control over what information gets passed on about you, your firm and whatever products or services you provide. It is great when a customer [...]

By | April 2nd, 2015|Customer Experience, Customer Relationships|0 Comments

5 Phases of a Customer Lifespan

What is a customer lifespan? Did you know that customers have a lifespan?  Or, that there are 5 phases in a customer lifespan? Perhaps life cycle is the better term. It sounds so much more on-going, doesn't it?  Once you've found a potential customer or client,  or they've found you, the business relationship is official. Some customers will come to you for one purchase or project. Others may stay for a long time, doing business with you over and over again.  You would think that the customer lifespan begins with the first purchase, or order, or signing of a contract to do business. But, That's not where the relationship begins at all. In reality, the lifespan begins before that first sale.  Following you will find more detail on [...]

By | September 11th, 2014|Customer Experience, Customer Relationships, Sales|0 Comments

Customer Pain: Identify It, Then Heal It

A Fast Company magazine article  on understanding what customers will buy, brought out the most basic human factors that affect why people will spend money.  Consumers will buy a product or a service to ease pain or in search of pleasure. If you have a nasty headache, you’ll rush to buy aspirin or another pain reliever in a heart beat. Why? Because aspirin will relieve the pain and provide a more pleasant experience. If you scrape a knee, you quickly clean the wound, slather on something that numbs the pain and then apply a bandage to protect the area while it heals. Of course you will buy all the necessary medical supplies to take away the physical pain. Pain will always be a call to action, [...]

By | October 13th, 2013|Customer Experience, Customer Relationships|0 Comments