4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good to Awesome


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Scott Stratten is an expert on helping companies become awesome by being customer-focused. In fact, he even wrote a best-selling book about it called "The Book of Business Awesome." In this ebook, Scott presents us with 4 types of awesome so your company can start being awesome today. Read on to determine where you can move from good to awesome.

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4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good to Awesome

  1. 1. 4 Ways to Take YourCompany from Good to Awesome By Scott StrattenAuthor of The Book of Business Awesome
  2. 2. IntroductionWe can’t all be Zappos.com or work somewhere super cool like Google. And I’m gladthat we can’t, because if we were all the same, we’d all be perfectly ordinary.When we see awesome companies at work around us, a few things can happen.As customers, we love them for it.They make the day-to-day chore of being a consumer so much more fun. We’ve allseen enough boring commercials. We actually spend time and money on ways to avoidbeing sold to, so the last thing we’re looking for is another boring sales pitch. Let’s behonest, we get excited as customers when we’re just not treated badly. We can’t helpbut lose our minds when something great happens. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 2 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  3. 3. As business owners, the effects are a little more complicated.For me, seeing and reading about the great things people do in business makes mefeel like I can do great things, too. That’s why I love to share them. But sometimes,these examples can be intimidating and even limiting. It’s very easy to see anawesome company in action and think that you’ll never be able to do the things theycan do, because you’re just getting started, or don’t have their budget or resources orbecause your industry isn’t cool enough, or you’re sure your customers wouldn’t likeit. Other people’s awesome can sometimes make us feel a little small.Too often, feeling intimidated becomes our excuse not to be awesome.I want to make sure that, as you read this paper, you put yourself in the picture. Don’tbe overwhelmed or think that you need to mimic the stories I’m going to share.Instead, be inspired to find your own brand of awesome, that only you can bring tothe table. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 3 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  4. 4. Using Situational Awesome to Build RelationshipsBusiness is built on relationships — on the simple act of people interacting andengaging with others — and that all starts with the individual, with you.In every great business story there is an individual who started it all. Every greatmarketing campaign started with someone deciding to take a chance and step outsidethe norm. The outstanding customer service a company is known for was executedone contact at a time and started with one voice deciding to care. They may not havealways executed it on their own, but at the start there was one.I call this situational awesome, and we can all do it. We have access to it every day inour attitudes and interactions. It starts with the passion we have for our work and/orour product. It can be as simple as just giving a damn about our customers. Sometimesit’s as simple as saying “I’m sorry this happened” to a customer on the service line. Itmight sound simple, but this is the start of every great story I share in this paper.Someone decided to care or to try. This can be a cashier, a janitor or a volunteer. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 4 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  5. 5. If you are a parent reading this, then you know all about the panic that comes whenyour child loses their favorite toy. You know the one, the tattered old bear they can’tsleep without. For my son, it was his “Soosoo,” a pacifier, and he’d rock three of themat a time. He’s something of a pacifier ninja. When pacifiers went missing, there was apanic of epic proportions. How will this child ever go to sleep without his Soosoo?If you don’t have children, just imaging leaving your iPhone somewhere. There you go.We all know that feeling of panic and how we’d do everything and anything just tohold our pacifier/iPhone in our mouth/hands again.When Chris Hurn’s family enjoyed a vacation at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, they returnedhome happy with their time away, only to find their son had left his beloved toy,Joshie the giraffe, behind.*Cue parental panic* 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 5 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  6. 6. As parents, we’ll do just about anything to stop this, including lie.They did what any good parent would do: They lied, explaining to their son thatJoshie wasn’t lost, but simply enjoying an extended vacation.The Ritz-Carlton was in touch with them that night to let them know that Joshie hadbeen found and would be returned to them as soon as possible.This is where a good story could end. The family was happy, Joshie was found and onhis way home. The Ritz-Carlton provided a level of service so much better than whatmost businesses would do, it’s almost blog worthy in itself. But, it didn’t end there. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 6 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  7. 7. The cleaning staff that found the toy understood just how important the little guywas and decided to take it upon themselves to go above and beyond ok, and beawesome. They took pictures of Joshie, enjoying his extended vacation — on thegolf course, getting a massage, meeting up with friends, even working off his roombill by helping the Loss Prevention Team. Joshie enjoying the pool.They sent the photos, plus his Ritz-Carlton staff ID badge, home with Joshie. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 7 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  8. 8. Amazing.The person who did this wasn’t a top-level CEO. This wasn’t part of any plan orstatement sent down to the cleaning staff. This is situational awesome —employees, in this case a front-line worker, seeing an opportunity to be awesomeand taking it.They earned more than the loyalty of the family. The story was written about andshared online and the awesome spread. With over 5,000 likes on Facebook andalmost 600 tweets, the story reached a far greater audience than could have everbeen intended. In light of this story, when I think about the Ritz-Carlton now, Idon’t picture their fancy logo or crafted commercials; I think of the story of Joshie— and I bet others do too. That is what branding is all about, and it’s happeningevery day, dynamically changing based on the experience of our market. That issituational awesome at its best. Read more about Joshie’s stay at the Ritz-Carlton here. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 8 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  9. 9. Finding Our Occupational AwesomeNext we have occupational awesome, which although similar to situationalawesome, comes with a little more definition.Occupational awesome is about our roles and how they define windows ofawesome for us. While it might be easy to assume that more senior positions wouldhave an easier time finding opportunities for awesome, this isn’t always true. Forexample, customer service agents — because of their daily interaction withcustomers — have a special opportunity to make amazing things happen in theircompanies every day. Front line workers are given the ability to make a huge impacton brand perception, because their jobs give them so many opportunities toengage with customers.Other positions in a company come with their own opportunities. Every single jobin a company is important, and every single person is a part of your branding andmarketing. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 9 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  10. 10. A while back I did a marketing experiment and went to my local mall on a Tuesdayafternoon — not exactly a booming time for retail. I walked from store to store andpaid attention to the staff and how I was met and treated at each stop. In all butone store, I was ignored or, at best, tolerated. Business would be so much betterwithout these pesky customers, right? Questions were answered as quickly aspossible, and I was treated mostly as a nuisance. Until I came to Lush.Lush sells soap, bath balms and salts — all 10 x 10 feet of it. I walked in and wasgreeted excitedly, offered a tour and went on to learn more about soap than I hadever intended.I walked out 20 minutes later with $80 in unplanned soap purchases, all becausesomeone cared that I had chosen her store for a visit that day. She didn’t know Iwould write about her or speak about her. She didn’t care whether I was areturning customer or a new one. She simply cared about her job and showed apassion for her product. And you know what happened when the next personwalked in? The exact same thing. Her job meant that she was responsible forgreeting customers and answering their questions, and she did so awesomely eachand every time. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 10 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  11. 11. To foster occupational awesome at your company, you have to inspire youremployees about your products, service and offerings. Help them connect whatthey do every day — no matter what it is — to the overall business. Businesses thatdo this will enjoy better occupational awesome. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 11 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  12. 12. Inspiring Divisional AwesomeNext up on our list of awesome business is divisional awesome. This section ofawesome business is about the amazing things that can happen when people worktogether and the results of their collaboration are greater than the sum of theirparts.It’s easier to understand divisional awesome, by understanding what it is not; youdon’t have divisional awesome when your great service doesn’t extend through theresolution chain. To be divisionally awesome, you have to be awesome at everytouch point with your customers. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 12 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  13. 13. As businesses, we run our companies through silos. There is marketing, customerservice, sales, human resources and more. We use these divisions to keep ourselvesorganized and make sure we aren’t missing anything important, right? The problemis that customers don’t see silos. If they see your company name on a social mediaaccount and reach out to you, only to be told that the account isn’t the right placeto ask customer service questions, they will likely be upset to be in touch with acompany official who isn’t willing to help them. No matter where someone interactswith your company or brand, you better offer them an outstanding experience; ifyou don’t, you’re not awesome and you run the risk of losing customers.Here’s an example of divisional awesome: I travel around the country speaking toaudiences about awesome and unawesome business stories, which means I spend alot of time in airports. A few months ago, I was waiting to go through security for aDelta flight. It was a busy time at the airport, and so I had given myself lots of extratime for the wait. As I finally made it to the front of the line, a group of flightattendants pushed their way in front of me. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 13 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  14. 14. Now I understand the first rule of flight club: the plane will leave without me, butnot without them. I know they need to get through security. But after the fifthperson pushed my bag out of the way without so much as an “excuse me” mypatience wore thin. And I said, “Come on now. Not even an ‘excuse me?’”The attendant right in front of me took some offense to this and, in her snarkiesttone, replied, “We said excuse me. Why don’t you open your ears?”Seriously? I could not believe my very open ears. Did she not realize I was hercustomer? She was a Delta employee, wearing a Delta uniform with a shiny Deltapin, and, at that moment, she was Delta to me. And I was furious.And so I did what we do these days. I tweeted. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 14 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  15. 15. Within a few minutes, the Delta account replied to me with an apology.And that was it. They didn’t offer me a jet or a free flight. No one delivered icecream to gate D9. They sent a simple acknowledgment and that was it.The social media department used the opportunities for awesome available tothem and diffused an angry customer. They made the difference between mespeaking across the country about “why I never, never, never fly delta and youshouldn’t either,” and made it a story about brand recovery instead. That isdivisional awesome. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 15 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  16. 16. Within divisional awesome, there is opportunity for situational awesome andoccupational awesome. The difference is that divisional awesome extends to anentire department. When you start to achieve divisional awesome, use thatdepartment as a model for other departments that need to get awesome.When one division of a company starts to shine, hopefully the others will beinspired to stand out, too. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 16 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  17. 17. Using Institutional Awesome to Be Totally AwesomeAnd last, but certainly not least, is institutional awesome. This is where you findcompanies who through the work of individuals and groups have created brand-wide amazingness; it’s the highest level of awesome, because it means situationalawesome has turned to occupational awesome to divisional awesome and ontoinstitutional awesome. Institutionally awesome companies are the ones known for their outstandingcustomer service, products, services and campaigns. This level has an especiallypowerful role to play through hiring and human resources. Here, a company cancreate opportunities for awesome at every level, from the individual up. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 17 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  18. 18. As far as I’m concerned, HR is the most crucial component of a company. If youdon’t hire the right people, nothing that marketing or sales can do for you willmatter. The old “warm body” syndrome, where hiring would simply mean fillingin lower-paid positions in your company with anyone who came along, is reallyasking for trouble today in the Internet era. It is these frontline workers, who areusually the least paid and least appreciated, who actually have the mostinfluence day to day on your brand. And unlike pervious generations, customersnow have a loud and public platform to voice their grievances.People are a funny species. We all think we’re unique in what makes ussuccessful in our industries when, in reality, we all thrive off the same basicprinciples. We want to matter. We want to believe that we have a greater impactwith the work that we do. And the minute we think that we don’t, ourcarelessness comes to the surface. If your employees know they make adifference on a day-to-day basis, I can promise you that not only will they dotheir jobs better, but they will remain with your company longer. And awesomeHR is the key to making all of that a reality. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 18 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  19. 19. Unfortunately, most of the time HR is involved on the negative side — with whatemployees are doing or can do wrong. Rather than focusing on the “what ifs” on thebad side, we need HR to be a catalyst for what employees can do better. This isespecially true for social media and establishing guidelines to create opportunities forsuccess rather than trying to censor workers.At the institutional level we also see what public relations can do for a brand and howawesome PR will not only do damage control, it will make the company come outlooking even better than they did before the mistake.A great example of the value of a prompt PR recovery that demonstrated institutionalawesome was FedEx’s response after a video of one of their employees went viralback in December 2011. The video was a 10-second clip of one of their deliverydrivers chucking a computer monitor over a fence rather than ringing the bell at thegate and taking it to the front door. The video could not have been shot morebrilliantly. The camera angle showed both the driver walking up and the FedEx truck,complete with logo perfectly positioned into the background. One guy, obviouslydissatisfied with the service, shot and uploaded the video. Then the geekalanchebegan. The un-awesome spread, and millions of views poured in. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 19 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  20. 20. A bad delivery by a FedEx employee.Faster than any brand I have ever seen, FedEx responded, and within a day or so,there was a blog posted to their corporate page titled, “Absolutely, PositivelyUnacceptable.” You can read the post here. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 20 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  21. 21. The post was thorough, showed remorse and gave no excuses. Comments on thepage were left open for anyone who wanted to contribute. An overwhelmingpercentage of these comments ended up being positive and supportive to thebrand. They included a video of their senior vice president of U.S. operationsapologizing for the customer’s experience and let everyone know publicly thatthey have resolved the issue with the customer and were disciplining the driverresponsible. The apology was widely shared online. And although it did not catchup to the spread of the original video, it did hit the majority of their customerbase. 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 21 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  22. 22. Coming Together in AwesomenessTogether, situational, occupational, divisional and institutional awesome cometogether and become your brand voice, the message and the image people thinkof when they think about your company. No matter whether your business is aone-person show just getting started or a multi-national corporation, whether youare a front-line worker or a top-level executive, you can create awesome. Don’t letthe awesome of others intimidate you or keep you from moving forward. Focuson finding your own windows of awesome every day and remember theindividual is the start.How can you be awesome today? 4 Ways to Take Your Company from Good 22 to Awesome - Scott Stratten
  23. 23. About Scott Stratten Scott Stratten is the President of Un-Marketing. He is an expert in Viral, Social, and Authentic Marketing which he calls Un-Marketing. It’s all about positioning yourself as a trusted expert in front of your target market, so when they have the need, they choose you. He has over 135,000 people follow his daily rantings on Twitter and was named one of the top 5 social media influencers in the world on Forbes.com. His new book entitled “The Book Of Business Awesome: How Engaging Your Customers And Employees Can Make Your Business Thrive” is a best-seller, breaking the rules of how companies are truly marketed and grown through the current online/offline world. www.unmarketing.com
  24. 24. About the sponsorCitrix Systems, Inc. is transforming how people, businesses and IT work and collaborate inthe cloud era. Its portfolio of GoTo cloud services enable people to work from anywherewith anyone by providing simple-to-use cloud-based collaboration, remote access and ITsupport solutions for every type of business. Learn moreat www.citrix.com and www.citrixonline.com.