Are You Taking Advantage of March Madness?

It’s tournament time! Every year we have the NCAA Basketball Championship at this time. The selection committee seats 64 teams in the country, well, really 68 teams as there are four play in games. Win and your in the 64 team bracket. That seems to be the ultimate buzz word at this time, bracket. There are plenty of people playing online, ESPN has over 13 million brackets submitted, at the office and at your favorite bar or restaurant. If you want to print a bracket for your own needs, here is this years printable bracket.

The tournament schedule is as follows – 1st and 2nd rounds are March 16th thru the 19th, the Sweet 16 is March 23rd & 24th, the Elite 8 is March 25th & 26th, the Final Four is April 1st and the National Championship game is on April 3rd.

So what can you do to take advantage of this very exciting tournament time. Here are some ideas to help you:
1. If you have TV’s make sure that they are tuned in to the games. The games are being played on CBS, TruTV, TBS and TNT networks.
2. Offer a happy hour special from the bar during game times and maybe feature some appetizers. Make them shareable or sampler platters for a group.
3. Have a large bracket printed out and updated for guests to see where the tournament is at.
4. Offer specials based on rounds. For example, second round can be $2 Drafts or nachos, while the Final Four can be $4 burgers. Get creative!
5. There will always be some customers who just prefer to watch at home. Be sure you offer great takeout deals to encourage those customers to eat your food during the games.

If you are going to run some promotions during the March Madness tournament just be sure to utilize your Social Media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), your web site and your email newsletter to let your customers know that there is something special going on. That covers the digital realm, don’t forget to promote internally with posters, table tents, menu inserts and the like. Contact me directly to help with marketing and promoting the next three weekends.

Good luck with your bracket if you played. I did mine using the ESPN Tournament Challenge app and I have two brackets submitted. I have North Carolina winning in one and Kansas winning in the other. Makes it fun to follow the tournament.

Do You Deliver Exceptional Customer Service?

Deliver Exceptional Customer Service

This is a question you need to revisit and evaluate on a regular basis. With virtually every business segment diluted by brick and mortar competitors and throw in the online options, customer service is the true way to differentiate yourself on retaining existing customers. This philosophy applies to B2B and B2C business sales models.

If you have not already done so you need to define customer service within your organization. This can be tricky because you may believe you are delivering exceptional customer service but in reality may not be. I have always said that customer service is not what you believe it to be but what the customer perceives it to be.

Here are some items to be thinking about when creating your forward-facing customer service program.

*Do you train all employees on the program
*Do you hold all employees accountable to deliver this program
*How do you measure customer service success
*What ways do you deliver customer service currently
*Rate your current service from 1-10, with 10 being world-class
*Do you know what your customers really want

That’s a half-dozen items to get you started on the path to delivering exceptional customer service. Through this program you can develop great customer relationships, focus on customer retention, enhance customer satisfaction and most importantly fostering customer loyalty.

Much more to come on this topic!

Customer First….Not a gimic.

Customer first!! How many times do you hear that in the business world? What does it mean to you? If you are not careful you can alienate customers and then of course, lose those customers. Without customers you can just close your doors. So, customer first needs to be top of mind throughout your organization. Here is an article that elaborates a bit more on some key components of putting the customer first.

Read it here.