Coleman's theory of building customer loyalty isn't about focusing on marketing or closing the sale: It's about the First 100 Days® after the sale and the interactions the customer experiences.
While new customers experience joy, euphoria, and excitement, these feelings quickly shift to fear, doubt, and uncertainty as buyer's remorse sets in. Across all industries, somewhere between 20%-70% of newly acquired customers will stop doing business with a company with the first 100 days of being a new customer because they feel neglected in the early stages of customer onboarding.
In Never Lose a Customer Again, Coleman offers a philosophy and methodology for dramatically increasing customer retention and as a result, the bottom line. He identifies eight distinct emotional phases customers go through in the 100 days following a purchase. From an impulse buy at Starbucks to the thoughtful purchase of a first house, all customers have the potential to experience the eight phases of the customer journey. If you can understand and anticipate the customers' emotions, you can apply a myriad of tools and techniques in-person, email, phone, mail, video, and presents to cement a long and valuable relationship.
Coleman's system is presented through research and case studies showing how best-in-class companies create remarkable customer experiences at each step in the customer lifecycle.
In the "Acclimate" stage, customers need you to hold their hand and over-explain how to use your product or service. They're often too embarrassed to admit they're confused. Take a cue from Canadian software company PolicyMedical and their challenge of getting non-technical users to undergo a complex installation and implementation process. They turned a series of project spreadsheets and installation manuals into a beautiful puzzle customers could assemble after completing each milestone.
In the "Adopt" stage, customers should be welcomed to the highest tier of tribal membership with both public and private recognitions. For instance, Sephora's VIB Rogue member welcome gift provides a metallic membership card (private recognition) and a members-only shade of lipstick (for public display).
In the final stage, "Advocate," loyal customers and raving fans are primed to provide powerful referrals. That's how elite entrepreneurial event MastermindTalks continues to sell-out their conference year after year - with zero dollars spent on marketing. By surprising their loyal fans with amazing referral bonuses (an all-expenses paid safari?!) they guarantee their community will keep providing perfect referrals.
Drawing on nearly two decades of consulting and keynoting, Coleman provides strategies and systems to increase customer loyalty. Applicable to companies in any industry and of any size (whether measured in employee count, revenue, or total number of customers), implementing his methods regularly leads to an increase in profits of 25-100%.
Working with well-known clients like Hyatt Hotels, Zappos, and NASA, as well as mom-and-pop shops and solo entrepreneurs around the world, Coleman's customer retention system has produced incredible results in dozens of industries.
His approach to creating remarkable customer experiences requires minimal financial investment and will be fun for owners, employees, and teams to implement. This book is required reading for business owners, CEOs, and managers - as well as sales and marketing teams, account managers, and customer service representatives looking for easy to implement action steps that result in lasting change, increased profits, and lifelong customer retention.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
A Letter from the Author: The Future of Business Is H2H
Thanks so much for purchasing Never Lose a Customer Again! Or picking it up at the bookstore and reading this first chapter-trust me, you should save time and go buy this now as I offer a 100 percent refund guarantee at the end of this letter, so no need to worry!
It's time to stop thinking B2B or B2C-the future of business is H2H.
There is a natural human tendency to learn about a new way of doing business and immediately jump to excuses about why it won't work for you.
"I could never do that in my business, because [insert reason here]."
"That sounds good in theory, but it would never actually work in practice."
"Maybe he can do this, but real people can't. It's unrealistic."
Please do me a favor. . . . Do not approach this book with that mindset!
The philosophy, methodology, and processes I describe in this book have radically changed both B2B and B2C businesses. The examples highlighted in this book run the gamut of size, scope, and industry. This approach has succeeded in small, medium, and large businesses. Nearly every type of product and/or service offering you can imagine has implemented this process: international and domestic-based operations; small, medium, and large customer bases; high- to low-dollar items.
The ideas in this book are not my theories. They come from real-world experiences-both my own and those of companies I have worked with over the last twenty-plus years. These companies range from internationally renowned brands like Zappos, Deloitte, Hyatt Hotels, NASA, and the World Bank to small, local, mom-and-pop businesses.
You might be concerned about the size of your company and whether you can implement these ideas. Don't worry-you can. You may wonder, "What if my business has only two employees?" The techniques in this book will still work for you. "What if my business has more than five hundred employees?" These approches still apply. In fact, I've included case studies of companies that range in size from one employee to more than 340,000 employees!
You may worry about whether you can afford to implement the strategies and techniques discussed in this book. Again, you needn't fear, because you can. If your business has less than $100,000 in revenue, you can afford the techniques described in this book. If your business is making billions of dollars, you're more than covered. I've included case studies of companies where the annual revenue ranges from $50,000 to more than $220 billion.
Whether you sell products, services, or some combination of both, this book has examples for you. Whether you operate within the domestic United States or around the world, this book has examples for you. Whether you consider yourself an online business, a brick-and-mortar business, or some combination of both, this book has examples for you.
My point is very simple: Yes, this works, and yes, it applies to YOUR business.
One of the biggest myths in business is the supposed difference between B2B and B2C. I get comments like this all the time:
"Joey, I loved your example, but it was a B2C business. Do you have an example that is B2B?" or "Joey, you talked about a large B2B operation. We're a small, B2C company-what should we do?"
These questions are based on the premise that there is a huge difference between the two types of customers (businesses and consumers).
There is not.
While there are certainly differences between B2C and B2B operations, they are less significant than most people imagine. All business is ultimately the same, because all business boils down to humans dealing with humans. I like to focus on a human-to-human (H2H) equation, because that is what matters most.
When we think about the typical B2C environment, we know we're selling to a single buyer and our focus is on that individual. Without an H2H approach, we fail to think about the other people who will interact with the purchased item. Imagine a male customer who purchases a new shirt. We forget to consider the girlfriend who appreciates the way he looks in the shirt, the roommate who borrows the shirt, the parents who think he "looks sharp" in the shirt, etc.
In contrast, when we think about an H2H interaction in a B2B setting, we have to recognize that every business is an organization comprised of people, and therefore your product or service is interacting with humans-and many of them. The person who made the purchasing decision probably isn't going to be the only person using the product. In fact, they may not be the person using it at all. With an H2H approach, we must think of all the people who aren't involved in the sales conversation but will be using the service, and about the constraints operating on the person who is making the purchasing decision.
With H2H thinking, we consider all of the people who interact with and experience the product.
When you shift to H2H thinking, you find more commonalities between yourself and your customer or client. You can then take what you know about human nature and infuse it into your business operations.
To never lose a customer again, you must meet your customers (whoever they are) where they are in their emotional journey.
If you can meet your customers where they are, you can avoid missing the opportunity to take them out of the sterile B2B environment or single-minded B2C environment and into the more emotionally resonant H2H environment.
The next time you find yourself thinking in terms of B2B or B2C, remind yourself that you are selling something to people that will be used by people. If you always keep that in mind, you will move your customer through the phases of the ideal journey, and you will make every customer a customer for life, regardless of your business or industry.
In essence, you'll never lose a customer again.
Some consider this idea-that all business is about human-to-human interaction-controversial. Not everyone agrees with this approach to business. That's fine.
If you find yourself disagreeing with this mentality, I encourage you to put the book down and if you purchased it, to email me directly so I can give you a full refund of the price you paid for the book.
The entire philosophy I describe in this book is based on this human-to-human concept, and if you disagree with it, I don't want you to waste your time reading any further.
I am very serious about the refund offer. Email me at RefundFromJoey@JoeyColeman.com, and I will arrange for you to receive a full refund.
That's how serious I am about this philosophy and approach to life. I wrote this book because I genuinely believe that business is ultimately about solving problems to help human beings. You don't have to agree with me, but if you don't, this book probably won't help you, and I would rather reimburse you than bear your disappointment.
Let's get started!
P.S. If you have any questions, want to make any comments, or just want to share how you're going to implement these systems to never lose a customer again, send me an email at Joey@JoeyColeman.com. I'd love to hear from you!
If a Dentist Can Do It, Why Can't You?
As I bit into the purple SweeTART¨, my mouth exploded in pain.
The taste I expected from the sweet and sour candy was replaced by the crunching, painful realization that my back molar had shattered. Tooth fragments filled my mouth and pain shot through my gums, taking me back instantly to previous dental disasters.
But as intense as the pain was, my first thought was not actually about the pain. It was about one of my greatest fears. The thing I dread the most in life: I was going to the dentist.
Then it dawned on me. I didn't even have a dentist.
When I moved from Washington, D.C., to Denver a few months earlier, I didn't take the time to seek out and establish a relationship with a new dentist. This should come as no surprise because, like most people:
I DESPISE GOING TO THE DENTIST!
Thankfully, a good friend recommended that I go see Dr. Katie McCann at Aurora Modern Dentistry-promising that she would take great care of me.
Dreading the impending dentist visit, I reluctantly called Aurora Modern Dentistry. I was surprised when a warm, caring, concerned receptionist answered on the first ring. I did my best to explain the problem, and she said, "Joey, we need to get you in as quickly as possible. It sounds like you're in a great deal of pain and we want to resolve that right away." The receptionist adjusted Dr. McCann's schedule to get me an appointment two hours later.
This considerate and fast-acting reaction set the tone for the level of care I was going to receive from Dr. McCann and her office. The fact that a receptionist would make space available immediately for a brand-new patient was a good sign.
Yet despite this initial positive experience, I was still skeptical.
I did not have a good history with dental procedures. Years prior, I underwent a root canal where, despite the fact that I was under anesthesia, I swear the dentist climbed up onto a stepladder and jumped into my mouth with a sledgehammer, wreaking havoc as he went. The pain from that procedure lasted for days.
As past experiences with other dental care providers rushed into my mind (root canals, wisdom teeth extractions, cavity fillings, etc.), I tried to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for the upcoming appointment with Dr. McCann.
The receptionist asked me if I would have access to email and the Internet between our call and the time of my appointment. I told her I would and she said, "If you're willing and able, you can complete the intake forms online, which will make your appointment go that much faster." Almost instantly a message appeared in my email inbox.
Not only did the message welcome me to the practice, but it included a link to a website where I could complete all the necessary paperwork to detail my entire dental history. I didn't need to print PDFs and fill them out by hand. I didn't need to navigate poorly formatted Microsoft Word attachments and try to insert my personal data.
Moving quickly through the various intake prompts gave me a sense of relief that I was able to complete my "paperwork" on my own time, as opposed to while I waited in the dentist's office. The ratty clipboard and chewed-cap ballpoint pen approach to filling out yet another insurance form, medical history, and HIPAA release was replaced with a customer experience befitting the twenty-first century. I quickly navigated through a website that asked for my information only once, didn't require me to repeat myself from form to form, and allowed for the capture of my electronic signature.
I completed all of the forms in less than six minutes. It was simple. It was easy. It was refreshing. I hit Submit with a sense of accomplishment, but I was still curious whether this online form truly covered everything the dentist would need. Surely it couldn't be this easy?
I arrived at the dentist's office two hours later for my scheduled appointment, walked in the front door, and the moment my foot crossed the threshold, the receptionist stood up to greet me.
"Hello, Joey. How are you feeling?"
How did she recognize me? We'd never met before!
She immediately guided me back to the examination room where Dr. McCann was waiting. After a quick but thorough examination-not only of the broken molar, but of the area around it-Dr. McCann informed me that I needed a crown to repair the damage.
Fantastic (can you feel the "biting" sarcasm?). I'd never had a crown before, but it sounded like an awful experience. My mind flooded with questions: How long will this take? How painful is the procedure? How much will it cost?
Dr. McCann answered all of my unarticulated questions thoroughly, patiently and gently anticipating my cares and concerns in the process. She explained that her office had the newest in dental technology and that they would be able to mill the crown in the office while I waited.
"From beginning to end, you'll be here about an hour and a half, but you'll never have to come back for us to check the fit again. We'll take a digital impression of the area. We'll construct a new tooth. We will 3D mill it, and then we'll insert it and check for a proper fit. We'll make sure that everything is working well and is fully seated prior to you leaving our office."
I couldn't believe it.
Getting a crown was once a complicated medical procedure that took weeks to complete. Now this new dentist was telling me that everything could be accomplished in an hour and a half? It felt too good to be true. But Dr. McCann didn't stop with the explanation of the crown creation/installation procedure. She went further.
She offered me payment plans (crowns aren't cheap), described her in-house insurance option (which was so much better than any dental insurance I had ever heard of), and shared other ways to reduce the cost of this dental emergency. When I agreed to the procedure, Dr. McCann said, "That's great. We'll get started right away. Prior to that, I just need you to sign this consent form for us to do the work."
Suddenly, the screen attached to the examination chair, which up until now had shown X-rays of my mouth and the damaged tooth, displayed a simple, straightforward consent form. She presented an electronic signature pad and stylus, which I hadn't noticed attached to the dental chair, and I signed the consent form electronically.
When I was finished, Dr. McCann turned the screen back around, once again brought up the image of the area that she would be repairing, and set to work. Dr. McCann offered me the opportunity to listen to music during the procedure, but I decided to stay "in the moment" and be present. I thought this would help me react faster if something went awry. As the old adage observes, this wasn't my first rodeo.
Throughout the procedure, Dr. McCann made pleasant conversation-a difficult task when I had a series of tools in my mouth and was struggling to talk. Her ability to artfully navigate asking easy yes/no questions to advance the conversation left me feeling that I was in the hands of a trained professional.
An hour and a half later, I left Dr. McCann's office with a new crown and a newfound appreciation for the fact that an industry notorious for creating horrible patient experiences could easily upend those beliefs.
Table of Contents
1 A Letter from the Author: The Future of Business is H2H 1
2 If A Dentist Can Do It, Why Can't You? 7
3 The Cost of Losing a Customer 15
4 Customer Defection: A Structural and Cultural Problem 23
5 What is Customer Experience? 33
6 You Only Have 100 Days (If That Long) To Get It Right 39
7 The Eight Phases of the Customer Experience 45
8 Phase 1: Assess 57
9 Phase 2: Admit 87
10 Phase 3: Affirm 113
11 Phase 4: Activate 139
12 Phase 5: Acclimate 157
13 Phase 6: Accomplish 185
14 Phase 7: Adopt 215
15 Phase 8: Advocate 241
16 Get Started: How to Stop Losing Customers Today 271
17 Conclusion: If Comcast Can Do It, So Can You 303
Appendix: Audience Information Categories 331
Digital Bonuses 337
Bibliography and Recommended Reading 339