Service Leadership


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  • Loved bicycles. At age 16, he borrowed $23,000 from his Grandfather to open a bike shop (15% interest)Four years later he’s a $100k revenue companyOpened Zane’s Outdoor in the local New Haven mall
  • Invested $100,000 in inventoryKnew in 2 weeks he was in troubleClosed down in 3 months, $100k in the red.Moved back to the bike shopDecided to call it quits, and had a weekend blowout saleHuge turnout - Made $35k in one weekend
  • Smell of coffee and new rubber is quite appealingCoffee is hot so people move slowPeople are more likely to stay and browseCoffee is an ice breaker and tension reliever
  • Flats fixed freeFree new tubesAll parts under $1 are given away for free
  • Average kid needs a new bike every 2-3 years. 100% trade in credit for bikes bought at Zane’s Model: they buy back the bikes then donate them to philanthropic programs, writing off the donation.
  • The drill making business or the hole making business?If you are in the hole making business, you may have a broader view of solutions. Chris sells the experience of bicycles. We all have great memories of our new bikes… Make every experience as exciting as the first one.
  • Holiday Inn express was the first hotel to offer free breakfast … Now I get pissed off when I have to pay for breakfast.
  • 90 psi? Don’t assume your customer knows what psi is, go the next step, tell them why it’s important.
  • How to talk to women… Steve Carrel, Elizabeth Banks, and Seth Rogan…
  • Providing helmets to PTAs at cost. Sponsoring youth sports teams. Being visible in the community.
  • Empower your employees to fix problems. Provide consistency so customers know any employee can help them.
  • Service Leadership

    1. 1. Service Leadership
    2. 2. Disclaimer: • We are naming names and calling people out. • This is for educational purposes only • The views expressed by the host are not necessarily those of Area48, ASU SkySong, Gordon McConnell, ASU OKED, ASU, ABOR, Governor of Arizona, Chris Zane, Rush Limbaugh, Barack Obama, or anyone else.
    3. 3. What’s the lifetime value of one customer?
    4. 4. for Zane’s Cycles $12,500
    5. 5. Competitive Advantage • Patents • Team • First-Mover • Margins • Volume • Distribution
    6. 6. What we don’t talk about it getting and keeping a customer
    7. 7. How far are you prepared to go?
    8. 8. Meet Chris Zane
    9. 9. ZANE ’S OUTDOOR
    10. 10. How do I compete with Big Box stores? • Have a great atmosphere • Have a crazy service plan • Do whatever it takes to get the customer to buy their next product from you.
    11. 11. How do I compete with Big Box stores? • Have a great atmosphere • Have a crazy service plan • Do whatever it takes to get the customer to buy their next product from you. Go BEYOND what your customer believes is reasonable
    12. 12. What companies have a great atmosphere?
    13. 13. What companies have a lousy atmosphere?
    14. 14. Who has a great service plan?
    15. 15. Who has terrible customer service?
    16. 16. Customer Loyalty • (+11) • Costco (+6) • USAA (+27) • Southwest Airlines (+14)
    17. 17. Worst loyalty rankings (Guess!) • TV Service Providers • Credit Card Issuers • Health Insurance
    18. 18. Sources: • • •
    19. 19. How did Chris compete with Big Box stores? • Great atmosphere • Crazy service plan • Creating Lifelong Customers Go BEYOND what your customer believes is reasonable
    20. 20. atmosphere
    21. 21. service
    22. 22. creating lifelong customers
    23. 23. Advice from Chris…
    24. 24. what business are you in?
    25. 25. change the rules on your competition
    26. 26. tell customers the whole story
    27. 27. ask the customer questions
    28. 28. planting seeds…
    29. 29. • Never let a customer leave unsatisfied – Fix complaints • Hire nice people, teach them bikes • Create continuity between employees and customers • Drive the competition NUTS! Still more advice…
    30. 30. Before you leave tonight… • Write down your 5 closest competitors and how each falters in their service model. • Write down 5 ways your SERVICE MODEL can supplement BUSINESS MODEL. • Consider how the numbers work financially… BURY THE COMPETITION WITH CUSTOMER SERVICE
    31. 31. Wiley Larsen Venture Manager, ASU Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group