Volume 2   |   Number 1   |   January 2014
Happy New Year!

January is the month for new beginnings and making New Year's resolutions. It also happens to be the month - once a decade it seems - when we Katzs' end up buying a new car.

And so two years ago, finally ready to part with an aging Audi A6T with 200,000+ miles (and its' original clutch), I geared up for buying a new car: studying the latest Consumer Reports reviews, memorizing Kelly Blue Book prices, working on my negotiation skills by trying to convince my teenager to cut his hair, etc. All before slipping on a pair of driving loafers and hitting the road.

The surprising thing about the experience wasn't my finding an acceptable replacement or even that, two years later, I would still enjoy driving the car. No, the surprise was the relentless execution my car company has delivered in retaining me as a customer - something companies in all industries can learn from and apply. Let's roll!

Bob Katz, President
Financial Analysis and Control Technology Services LLC (F.A.C.T.S.)

 Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts; nothing else will ever be of any service to them."
- Charles Dickens, Hard Times
I'll be interviewed this coming Tuesday, January 7th, by Steve Shaer for the Radio Entrepreneurs show on WBNW 1120 to be rebroadcast on the 8th We'll be talking F.A.C.T.S., of course, and the Katz early days in radio. Don't miss it!

If you'd like to learn more about how to distinguish your business and enhance your customer acquisition/retention efforts, read "Create Distinction" by Scott McKain.

Also, I don't usually recommend fiction but if you're looking for a good techno-thriller read, check out "The Alexandria Project" by Andy Updegrove. The book tells the story of cyber attackers deleting crucial data from computer networks across America, leaving the country on the verge of collapse as Wall Street, the transportation system, government agencies, and the rest of our internet-based economy all fall victim to the attacks of unknown assailants. And don't miss the surprise ending.

Driven to Execution
Growing up to be 6' 5" can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because you get picked first for all team sports. But a curse when it comes to buying ties, suits and, as I'm reminded once per decade, cars.

Heading out to look for some new wheels, I thought a two-seater sports car might be fun. I ducked into a Porsche dealership to live out a boyhood dream to drive a 911.

I saw all those beautiful cars sitting on the floor, so I asked the salesman, "Got anything in my size?"

He looked around the showroom, laughed and said, "Nothing you'd be comfortable in." Damn!

infiniti m37 My search continued, eventually ending back at Audi and two competitors: BMW and Infiniti. In the end, despite a performance disadvantage (I do love turbos) and my positive experience as a previous Audi owner, the Infiniti M37 won out because of its comfort, long term reliability and lower cost of ownership.

These days, product loyalty ("stickiness") is truly difficult to achieve. With the Internet, customers have much more information and opinions about what to buy. But while many companies emphasize their comfort, performance or reliability to get the sale, Infiniti's execution after the sale will likely beckon me back when I'm ready for a new car.

At Infiniti, I can call a personal concierge from my car to make dinner or hotel reservations or even get the football scores, night or day. Automatic reminders alert me when maintenance is required. When serviced at Herb Chambers, my car gets dropped off in a clean, warm and friendly reception area. While waiting for my car, I can work in a quiet, wi-fi enabled room, with hot coffee and fresh pastry at the ready. It's execution dedicated toward continuously delivering customer satisfaction and enhancing the user experience.

This same "virtuous circle" can be adopted in your business. For example, if you're a professional services firm, could you offer a private phone number with 24/7 access for top clients? If a software business, could you route customers to unique resources or services via a password-protected paywall? If a products company, could you include an app to enhance the user experience?

The idea here is to build on existing relationships, offering valuable products and services that your clients will grow to rely upon.

While this level of customer retention may be expensive, it's far less costly than the additional customer acquisition expense that would otherwise be required. Infiniti understands this and has built in ways - in both the product itself as well as the post-sale experience - to keep me coming back.

What can you offer, in your business, to retain your customers and keep them coming back? I'll be grabbing a complimentary donut in the service area if you want to talk about it!

About Us: With our unique insights and expertise, F.A.C.T.S. provides practical, cost-effective solutions to clarify and execute your business vision and objectives.
F.A.C.T.S. LLC  |  info@factservices.com  |  www.factservices.com
Phone: 508.353.3571  |  Fax: 978.841.7910  |  P.O. Box 1574  |  Concord, MA 01742

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