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Business Tools Blog

Surprise – Customers don’t really want to be delighted by you

Surprise – Customers don’t really want to be delighted by you. They just want to “get on with their lives”

This makes perfect sense when I am the customer. When I walk into my bank, I just want to get in and get out of the bank as quickly as possible (with the correct transaction). In fact, I am more likely to stand in line at the ATM, than to stand in line for a teller.

I wouldn’t be any happier if the bank handed me a toaster while I waited in line. I like toast, but that’s not why I go to the bank. The toaster doesn’t have a positive impact on my loyalty.

Instead of focusing our efforts on getting customers to say, “You delighted me.”

We want them to say, “That was easy.”

Stop Phishing and protect yourself!

If you receive a suspicious looking email (AKA phishing attempt), please DELETE it. Not sure? Here’s 10 tips for spotting a phishing email:



All passwords should include a MINIMUM of 8 (10 or more preferable) alphanumeric characters and include at least three of the four following characteristics:

- Contain at least one upper case letter;
- Contain at least one lower case letter;
- Contain at least one number (e.g. 0-9); and,
- Contain at least one special character (e.g. !$%^&*()_+|~-=\{}[]:”;’<>?,/).

Want to change your Gmail password?


Tips for creating STRONG passwords video courtesy of Google:


written by  Leanne McAfee

Measure Loyalty not Satisfaction

Years ago, in a galaxy far far away, a colleague and I were trying to figure out how to benchmark customer satisfaction.

I asked, “How satisfied do we need a customer to be?”

She said, “Just satisfied enough to be loyal, any extra is a waste of effort.”

It didn’t dawn on me until now.  We were bench marking and measuring the wrong thing.  We made the assumption that CUSTOMER SATISFACTION = LOYALTY.  We knew that loyalty was what mattered, but we didn’t try to measure loyalty.  We assumed that satisfied customers were always loyal.

The truth is, ~80% of satisfied customers are loyal, so we weren’t that far off.  But we still wasted time measuring the wrong thing.

Do HEROES drive Customer loyalty?

A few months ago, my credit card was stolen and the thief used my credit card to try to buy via the internet.

AMAZON – called me to alert me to the problem. They pro-actively put a hold on the shipments and made it really easy for me to understand what had happened to my account.

MY CREDIT CARD COMPANY was another story.

  • I called the credit card company to report my issue
  • I entered my information 3 times before I found a live person who should have been able to help me
  • I reported the fraudulent charges 4 times to this person, repeating myself over and over, before they were able to confirm that they understood
  • Next, the service rep transferred me to another department.  I was asked to report each fraudulent charge again
  • Finally, just when I thought I was done, I asked when I would be receiving my new card
  • The service rep said that he couldn’t help me.  He then transferred me to another department
  • The new service rep thought that I was cancelling my account
  • After verifying my information again and explaining what had happened, she transferred me to another department
  • Luckily, I was transferred to a “HERO” who took care of me.  Sam was wonderful.  He quickly resolved my issues and overnighted a new credit card to me.

How was my loyalty impacted by this encounter?

AMAZON – I am loyal.  The experience was effortless.  I feel like they had my back and were really on top of their game. (Interaction time with Amazon <2 minutes)

CREDIT CARD COMPANY – While I think Sam was awesome, I think the credit card company was incompetent.  It was the opposite of effortless. (Interaction time with my credit card company >30 minutes)


Unless the Hero is the first contact, the answer is “No, a hero does not drive loyalty.”  Repeating information, being bounced around, and feeling like the experience was “generic” far outweighed the extraordinary efforts of “Sam the Hero”.


I am pretty sure that the 30 minutes that I spent with my credit card company cost more than the 2 minutes that I spent with Amazon.  More $$ doesn’t = more loyalty.  Seems absolutely counter-intuitive.

Top 5 Reasons Customers stop doing business with you

If you want customers to leave, just follow the below 5 steps.  Any one of these 5 items can cause a customer to leave you forever.  (I think the cable company starts with this list, and then thinks of other ways to make me crazy)

1. It took more than one contact to resolve the problem

  • First contact resolution is HUGELY IMPORTANT

2. The experience felt generic

  • Customers want personalized service

3. Repeating information

  • Don’t even get me started!

4. Perceived additional effort to resolve

  • When a customer hates the answer, it doesn’t matter how wonderful you were.  The trick is guiding customers to the answer

5. Transfers (Bouncing the customer around)

  • Customers are not ping pong balls

Products are Cool, but Service is Critical

What drives customer loyalty or dis-loyalty? The numbers show that customers are only 25% likely to share a positive service experience and 65% likely to share a negative service experience. Conversely – customers will share information about a hot new product or gadget 71% of the time, but only warn their friends about a ho-hum product 32% of the time.

Could this be true? Think about the last time a product didn’t work and you called customer service to help you fix that product. When Susie in customer service tried to explain that there were no known fixes for the problem that you were having, did you blame the product or did you think Susie was incompetent?

The interaction that you had with Susie defined whether that product would be blacklisted with you forever. The fact that the product didn’t work was not the defining factor, it was the interaction with Susie.

Example – there is an airline that I have blacklisted. I will avoid that airline at all costs because of a poor service experience (they slammed the boarding door on me, literally slammed it). It’s very clear in my mind that I will never choose to fly that airline again. But paradoxically, when I book travel and choose an flight I rank my choice by

#1 anyone but the blacklisted airline
#2 safety
#3 convenience
#4 price
#5 previous service experience

I exclude my blacklisted airline because of poor service, but I don’t choose the better airline because of great service. In fact, great service is #5 in my decision criteria.

Can service only drive dis-loyalty?
• Great service is expected and if delivered simply meets expectations
• A product that doesn’t perform can be “fixed” with great service
• Poor service drives intense dis-loyalty

Do we really need to “delight” customers? or is meeting expectations enough?

I’ve spent some time with a recent study by the CEB (Corporate Executive Board Company) - where 97,000 customers provided feedback on what drives loyalty. The first set of charts was startling. (It actually took me a few days to believe them). Spoiler alert … customers are just as loyal when you meet expectations as when you surprise and delight them. Stay tuned for more posts on what these 97,000 customers said actually drives their loyalty (and dis-loyalty) - and what we can do better

 photo loyaltyperceivedvactual_zps2d081599.gif

6 tips to avoid Phishing schemes

With the recent Hacker attack on Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, we should take a moment to revisit how to avoid being the target of Phishing scams. A phishing email usually contains a link with directions asking you to click on it. Clicking the link transports the email recipient to an authentic looking, albeit fake, web page. Anyone can be tricked into accidentally clicking, but these 6 steps are be a good reminder.

1. If you receive a phishing email to your Zayo email account, please report it in the zECURITY chatter group. This will alert our security team to protect your co-workers.

2. Never click on a hyperlink included within the confines of an email from an unknown sender. If you want to check out the website the link supposedly is associated with, manually type the URL into the web browser.

3. Never enter sensitive Zayo or personal information in a pop up window. Pop up windows represent another tool used by phishers.

4. Verify HTTPS on Address Bar. Whenever a site is conveying confidential information - the address bar reads “HTTPS” and not the standard “HTTP.” The “S” confirms that the date is being conveyed through a legitimate, secured channel.

5. Do not respond to any emails that request personal or financial information, especially ones that use pressure tactics or prey on fear. If you have reason to believe that a financial institution actually does need personal information from you, pick up the phone and call the company yourself — using the number in your contacts not the one the email provides.

6. Remember that phishers can make email look like its from a legitimate company or a co-worker. If an email looks fake, report it in this chatter group.

Format Numbers in Millions using Custom Number Format

You can divide numbers by 1,000,000 to display in millions, but this changes the value of the number.  A better way to display numbers in millions is to use a Custom Number Format.


  • Choose Format > Cells
  • On the Number tab, select Custom from the Category list
  • Paste one of the following formulas in the Type field
    • To display millions with one decimal, paste #.0,,;(#.0,,)
    • To display millions with a dollar sign and one decimal, paste $#.0,,;($#.0,,)
    • To diplay millions with two decimal places, paste #.00,,;(#.00,,)
    • To diplay millions with a dollar sign and with two decimal places, paste $#.00,,;($#.00,,)
    • To diplay millions with three decimal places, paste #.000,,;(#.000,,)
    • To diplay millions with a dollar sign and three decimal places, paste $#.000,,;($#.000,,)

Convert a Number with Currency in Excel into a Spelled/Written Word for use in Mail Merge

It makes me crazy when I have to complete a mail merge and the numbers that are so nicely formated in Excel turn into unformatted numbers in Word’s mail merge.   This can be solved by using the TEXT function, for example, if I wanted 1000 to show up like $1,000.00 in my mail merge document, I would use the below formula (where cell A1has the number that I want to be formatted as currency in my mail merge document.)


The next challenge is when I want to proceed the $1,000.00 with the words “One Thousand Dollars and No Cents”.  I can make this happen using the following formula (where cell A1has the number that you want to be formatted as text in your mail merge document)


But not so fast.  That formula only works after you have added this macro: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/210586

  1. Start Microsoft Excel.
  2. Press ALT+F11 to start the Visual Basic Editor.
  3. On the Insert menu, click Module.
  4. Type the following code into the module sheet.
Function ConvertCurrencyToEnglish (ByVal MyNumber)
   Dim Temp
   Dim Dollars, Cents
   Dim DecimalPlace, Count

   ReDim Place(9) As String
   Place(2) = " Thousand "
   Place(3) = " Million "
   Place(4) = " Billion "
   Place(5) = " Trillion "

   ' Convert MyNumber to a string, trimming extra spaces.
   MyNumber = Trim(Str(MyNumber))

   ' Find decimal place.
   DecimalPlace = InStr(MyNumber, ".")

   ' If we find decimal place...
   If DecimalPlace > 0 Then
      ' Convert cents
      Temp = Left(Mid(MyNumber, DecimalPlace + 1) & "00", 2)
      Cents = ConvertTens(Temp)

      ' Strip off cents from remainder to convert.
      MyNumber = Trim(Left(MyNumber, DecimalPlace - 1))
   End If

   Count = 1
   Do While MyNumber <> ""
      ' Convert last 3 digits of MyNumber to English dollars.
      Temp = ConvertHundreds(Right(MyNumber, 3))
      If Temp <> "" Then Dollars = Temp & Place(Count) & Dollars
      If Len(MyNumber) > 3 Then
         ' Remove last 3 converted digits from MyNumber.
         MyNumber = Left(MyNumber, Len(MyNumber) - 3)
         MyNumber = ""
      End If
      Count = Count + 1

   ' Clean up dollars.
   Select Case Dollars
      Case ""
         Dollars = "No Dollars"
      Case "One"
         Dollars = "One Dollar"
      Case Else
         Dollars = Dollars & " Dollars"
   End Select

   ' Clean up cents.
   Select Case Cents
      Case ""
         Cents = " And No Cents"
      Case "One"
         Cents = " And One Cent"
      Case Else
         Cents = " And " & Cents & " Cents"
   End Select

   ConvertCurrencyToEnglish = Dollars & Cents
End Function

Private Function ConvertHundreds (ByVal MyNumber)
   Dim Result As String

   ' Exit if there is nothing to convert.
   If Val(MyNumber) = 0 Then Exit Function

   ' Append leading zeros to number.
   MyNumber = Right("000" & MyNumber, 3)

   ' Do we have a hundreds place digit to convert?
   If Left(MyNumber, 1) <> "0" Then
      Result = ConvertDigit(Left(MyNumber, 1)) & " Hundred "
   End If

   ' Do we have a tens place digit to convert?
   If Mid(MyNumber, 2, 1) <> "0" Then
      Result = Result & ConvertTens(Mid(MyNumber, 2))
      ' If not, then convert the ones place digit.
      Result = Result & ConvertDigit(Mid(MyNumber, 3))
   End If

   ConvertHundreds = Trim(Result)
End Function

Private Function ConvertTens (ByVal MyTens)
   Dim Result As String

   ' Is value between 10 and 19?
   If Val(Left(MyTens, 1)) = 1 Then
      Select Case Val(MyTens)
         Case 10: Result = "Ten"
         Case 11: Result = "Eleven"
         Case 12: Result = "Twelve"
         Case 13: Result = "Thirteen"
         Case 14: Result = "Fourteen"
         Case 15: Result = "Fifteen"
         Case 16: Result = "Sixteen"
         Case 17: Result = "Seventeen"
         Case 18: Result = "Eighteen"
         Case 19: Result = "Nineteen"
         Case Else
      End Select
      ' .. otherwise it's between 20 and 99.
      Select Case Val(Left(MyTens, 1))
         Case 2: Result = "Twenty "
         Case 3: Result = "Thirty "
         Case 4: Result = "Forty "
         Case 5: Result = "Fifty "
         Case 6: Result = "Sixty "
         Case 7: Result = "Seventy "
         Case 8: Result = "Eighty "
         Case 9: Result = "Ninety "
         Case Else
      End Select

      ' Convert ones place digit.
      Result = Result & ConvertDigit(Right(MyTens, 1))
   End If

   ConvertTens = Result
End Function

Private Function ConvertDigit (ByVal MyDigit)
   Select Case Val(MyDigit)
      Case 1: ConvertDigit = "One"
      Case 2: ConvertDigit = "Two"
      Case 3: ConvertDigit = "Three"
      Case 4: ConvertDigit = "Four"
      Case 5: ConvertDigit = "Five"
      Case 6: ConvertDigit = "Six"
      Case 7: ConvertDigit = "Seven"
      Case 8: ConvertDigit = "Eight"
      Case 9: ConvertDigit = "Nine"
      Case Else: ConvertDigit = ""
   End Select
End Function