and I thought you loved me as your FAVORITE customer . . .

There are companies who claim to be the “Leaders” in their industries.

Some execute better than others.

In truth, my experience is that it’s the companies which don’t brag about it who are the best Leaders.

Too often, the self-professed “Leaders” lose their way as they attempt to fuel their increasingly large companies with new customers and lose sight of the real value of their existing customers.

I’m not sure I know at which point this shift occurs, but I do know that it marks the beginning of the end for them . . . Just ask Comcast . . . and now possibly Verizon

Today, I witnessed 2 magnificent specimens of both ends of this “Leadership Spectrum.”

Which do you want first . . . The good or the not-so-good?

Aw heck! Let’s start on the bright side.

After dropping my daughter off at school in downtown Nashville, I had a hankering for a chicken biscuit.

I almost never buy ANY “Fast Food”, so I had no idea where the gettin’ places for Chicken Biscuits are, but I was certain of a Popeye’s and a Chick-fil-A somewhere along Charlotte Pike . . .

I resolve to drive and stop at the first one of the 2 I encounter.

2015-02-05 08.00.40

2 blocks from that decision, I saw a billboard for a Chick-Fil-A “4.5 Miles Ahead” . . . Divine Intervention?

I like Chick-Fil-A and was hopeful that would be the one for me this morning . . . how smart they are to buy THAT billboard just for ME!

Lucky me . . . Chick-Fil-A WAS the first one, and it happened to be @ 50 yards from the perfect cut-through street to the office.

When I approached the drive-through line, the first thing I noticed was that the lane split to TWO speakers – Brilliantly twice the efficiency moving cars through.

Then I noticed this sign:

“MOM’S VALET

and DADS, TOO!

Try our Mom’s Valet Service

Order and Pay in the Drive Thru.

Park and come inside and we

will have your table and food ready for you.”

Sheer BRILLIANCE!

My experience was flawless – FAST, Friendly service – HOT and fresh food – and I loved the option for the fresh fruit cup instead of potatoes.

That was a fabulous way to start my day.

Later in the day, I paid my Verizon bill for 3 phones and 16 GB of Data (We have 2 teen-age girls who are excessive data users)

I shuttered as I paid that $277.07 and reminisced the days when I had Cricket for about 1/2 the cost for the same number of phones . . . until Cricket forgot about taking care of their current customers and made it impossibly expensive for me to stay with them because of a requirement to buy new phones after their marriage to AT&T.

As I finished with that transaction, I saw this title pop in front of me on Facebook:

Verizon Cuts Rates For Data Plans, But Not Automatically For Existing Customers

By  February 4, 2015

(Eric Hauser)

So . . . Verizon Wireless is “a leader, not a follower,” yet they’re going make me call in and navigate their automated answering system til I can find a human to help me figure out if I can save any money under their new plan?
Ummm . . . Meanwhile, there will also be several million other people trying to do the same thing, so I’m thinking they should probably ramp up their call center staff . . .
Sadly, there will be several million other “Valuable current customers” who will probably never know that they could be paying less and will continue to pay more than they should for the rest of time . . .
How is this leadership?
Could a better scenario be that Verizon just flips the switch on the new pricing and then add a blurb to all of their customer’s bills that says something like: “Because we love you as one of our current customers, we are reducing the cost of our data and have immediately reduced your bill by $10/month . . . If you would rather have more data, simply log on or call us and hit the box for that option under your billing summary.”
You can’t fake Leadership just by proselytizing that you’re a Leader.
Most of us know when we’re being hoodwinked, and stop trusting . . . out the window goes our loyalty.
How’s YOUR business doing along this spectrum?

Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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