Ringing The Bell For New Customers
I know it sounds cheesy; it’s the cheesy that makes it good! My wife Donna and I were on a weekend getaway when we picked up a very cool, wall-mounted antique brass bell. Sometime earlier I had begun wondering how we could alert everyone in the company when we landed a new customer relationship.
Unlike most retail businesses where shoppers can come and go on a daily basis, most job shops know that new customer relationships are worth celebrating! This is because the selling cycle is usually longer and there is more business risk riding on the sourcing decision. So when that first official Purchase Order comes in, it’s a big deal.
When I saw that bell, I knew I had my answer. I figured I would use the overhead page system, make a brief announcement, then hold the handset up to the bell and let ‘er rip. It would be an unmistakable signal that another new company had begun placing their trust in us.
We scared a few folks at first (yeah, it’s loud) but now most everyone looks forward to it. And like usual at RBB, it wasn’t long before I was shoved out of the process; the Customer Liaisons who take that first order now have the privilege of ringing the bell.
Sure, we still have people who privately roll their eyes when they hear the bell, since for 38 of our 40 years we didn’t have such foolishness. But that’s okay. You still find these people searching out the details about that new customer on the big screen in the lunchroom. Mission accomplished.
Life in an electronics job shop, or any other type for that matter, can be challenging. The frequent product changeovers, the swarming of resources to each job, the staffing/workload balancing act. As business grows, it becomes vital to cut through the daily routine so that the culture can be cued into what drives ultimate success. Since RBB’s typical customer relationship lasts for more than ten years, each time we hear that bell is a reminder of our growing customer base, our responsibility to the industry, and our exciting future ahead. We are always looking for effective ways to move forward together.
What cheesy, fun, or downright silly moves does your company make to cut through and get attention? Would you be willing to share them in a comment? Let us know below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
Bruce Hendrick has been a leader of major change in corporations and small business alike for the past 25 years; he's the owner of RBB Systems and Organizational Development Services, LLC; noted speaker, author, active church member and community volunteer.