When someone asks what you do, it’s a simple answer.

“I run a restaurant…”

“I’m a graphic designer…”

“I’m a doctor…”

This is your ‘what.’ Here lies the problem. You’re not a restaurant owner. In fact, you create enjoyable experiences for people to share. We get too caught up in ‘what’ we are that we don’t dedicate enough time into the ‘how.’

Focusing too much on the what of businesses impacts on our creativity and ability to raise the bar in terms of how we interact with the market and end user. We become beige and non–descript.

In marketing and business development, your ‘how’ is what sets you apart. It’s the style of manner that’s important – our definitive point of difference. We need to look at not just the task (the what) but the skill that’s required to execute it successfully (the how).

We’re focusing too much on the end goal… and missing the process. In doing so, we never quite reach where we want to be. All this effort is put into the front end, the beginning of the client relationship. The hype and thrill of getting the client soon wears off.

There’s no follow up, no extra love or investment in ongoing relationships. When, the after care is equally as important. People remember both the beginning and end of relationships.

As business owners and influencers, we need to stop chasing the bright shiny things in corners once the deal has been done.

Systemise your business. Invest in processes. 

It’s good to have your big goals. Every business needs to have an end goal, to be constant dreamers. Your processes and procedures are the building blocks to help you achieve it.

Designed to provide step-by-step instructions for achieving a result, your processes are your ‘how.’ They describe the who, what, where, when, and why.

It implies an emphasis on how work is done in contrast to a product or service focus on what is done. It covers all of the touchpoints of your service delivery – before, during and after.

The Customer Purchasing Design Process (CPDP) 

Your most important business process is the primary process relating to solving the problem, meeting the need or getting the job done for a customer.

This starts with an understanding of the Customer Purchasing Decision Process (CPDP). It’s the process undertaken by a customer for a market transaction before, during and after the purchase of a product or service.

While this will vary between businesses, there are 5 basic stages which a customer usually goes through when purchasing a product or service, including:

  1. Need recognition
  2. Information search
  3. Evaluation of alternatives
  4. Purchase
  5. Post-purchase evaluation

As you can see, the process covers each touchpoint, from start to end. By turning your attention to your ‘how’ not ‘what’, you make room for continuous improvement and innovation. Remember, the experience you provide will set your brand apart.

Work on your business, not in it.

Stay tuned next time for a case study on how one business improved their processes.

At Kiikstart, we’re dedicated to helping people have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or enquiries@kiikstart.com.

Training, in any form, must be good, right? Upskilling can only be a positive thing. Yes, this is true to a certain extent, but it’s not as black and white when it comes to traditional training.

There’s a common belief that ‘training’ is going to make us more employable in the modern market. But the world of work is changing, and so is the way we educate and develop future leaders.

The illusion of safety…  

Employees and those wanting to generate new opportunities often assume that a degree of qualification will be the answer to their career prayers. The truth is, simply having that certificate on your wall won’t necessarily guarantee a job.

But it’s not millennials fault. It’s a notion that’s passed down from previous generations. We graduate high school, go to university, and get a ‘real’ job. It’s the right of passage for teenagers, soon approaching their early twenties.

So, if traditional training is making us less employable, what’s the answer?

Training needs to be more flexible and suit the needs of today’s employers. In the learning and development industry, we see it all the time. There’s maybe a few years dedicated to learning, but now ongoing development.

We also need to change the language which is why learning and development needs to replace “training”. Learning and development implies that this is an ongoing process which builds capability and talent over time. Training is something you do to get a day off work, get a free feed, and come back to your workplace. This notion reverts to and the workplace norm.

There’s too much focus on what you will learn rather than how the learning is delivered.

Here are a few things to think about when considering traditional training.

  • The style and manner which the training is delivered. Training and learning and development are two very different experiences. Is online going to deliver the quality, personalised and robust experience you’re looking for? Go through a cost vs. benefit plan and really consider what other valuable skills you’d gain and miss out on.

 

  • Be really clear on what you want to achieve from this newfound knowledge. Ask the tough questions of what you will gain from the experience and how you want to use this to not only benefit yourself but those around you.

 

  • Most employees have no ongoing plan of action to fully utilise any new knowledge and skill gained by employees in real time. This results in employees losing interest quickly. Companies need a well-thought out, detailed framework for learning and development back into the reality of the workplace.

 

  • Employers and individuals don’t put training into context. There is a bigger picture focus missing, due to lack of context. What skill gaps exist that cannot be filled by training alone and what plans are your plans or that of your employee to fulfil these?

 

  • Staff morale is negatively affected when decision makers fail to support and create new opportunities back into the workplace. This can be more demoralising than not sending staff to be “trained” in the first place.

At Kiikstart, we’re dedicated to helping people have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or enquiries@kiikstart.com.

How can you best prepare your clients for the real world? Create a service experience that reflects the reality of the workforce (and what it means to be an employee).

To do this, you need to recreate and replicate a workplace. All too often clients leave our services and aren’t prepared for the workforce.

We need to work together to create people that have a voice, develop their ideas, and can hold a business conversation.

Involve your client in identifying their own employment interests. Implement a service that goes beyond crisis response, beginning the process of working towards employment.

Build a picture of employment. 

Reinforce this early on by asking the right questions as early as possible. This helps them understand that employment is a key focus. There should be no closed questions to encourage further conversations. Frame them in a way that the client needs to think for themselves and have an opinion.

Here are a few examples:

  • Think about a time when you did something that you enjoyed. Could be a job or something you did in your spare time. What did you enjoy about it?
  • Remember a time when you need to do a task and it came naturally. It could be in a job, study or general day-to-day tasks. What was it and what did you find came naturally to you? Have you thought how you could turn this into an employment opportunity? Why or why not?
  • What industries or work environments don’t you want to work in and why?
  • Think about businesses that you shop at or businesses you just like to visit. Name these and identify why you are interested in these.
  • Describe what the ideal job or workplace would look like for you.

Once you start to visualise their employment opportunities, it’s time to explore their skill set. Identify new tactics to help address skill gaps. These might include on-site mentoring, referral into short courses, and employment provider support.

Think about all the skills, talents and knowledge you need to possess within yourself, not only to become employed but to keep a job.

Valuable employability skills include:

  • Being able to consistently meet deadlines
  • Having relevant and quality conversations with other people
  • Asking smart questions and acting on the information given
  • Maintaining a certain image and identity that is appropriate and in line with the corporate image
  • Taking direction and delivering on the standards and expectations of other people
  • Serving other people’s interest and needs – not just your own
  • Creating a consistent level of work/output that meets the deadlines and standards of other people
  • Making people feel comfortable and at ease
  • Being able to address concerns and find solutions
  • Being creative when faced with challenges
  • Certain level of persistence and commitment to tasks
  • Reasonable level of literacy, numeracy and computer skills
  • Always being focused on organisational outcomes
  • Being able to respond to people in a respectful and mindful manner even when challenged and under pressure
  • Respecting other people even if their personalities and opinions differ from our own
  • Willing to take chances and try a different approach.

Give your clients the best the chance of gaining (and keeping) a position that’s suited to them. If you need help putting the frameworks in place, talk to us.

At Kiikstart, we’re dedicated to helping people have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or enquiries@kiikstart.com.

Many of us go into homeless and disability services to make a difference. Instinctively, in the process, we often adopt a counsellor role. But even with the best intensions, this isn’t the best way help them.

The secret to their growth is empowerment. Put yourself in your client’s shoes. What does empowerment mean to them and how are they actually going to achieve this?

  • Choice and control
  • The confidence to take calculated opportunities – avoid risks as it makes people retreat.
  • Being involved in the decisions that affect their wellbeing, functioning and that of their families
  • Taking action, not just talking about it
  • To live within their own standards and expectations and actually know what these are.

Level the playing field

The key to empowering your client is through a two-way relationship. In this line of work, serving people with complex issues and come from diverse backgrounds, is part of the job.

Poor lifestyle choices, substance abuse, and mental health issues are common roadblocks. These behaviours will require your active and conscious intervention. And while you can be an important person in their growth, empowerment is critical for real, long-term change.

Overcoming a conflict in perceptions is one of the first steps you can take. You can achieve this by making time to understand each other’s story and going in with a clean slate. Often, it’s our assumptions and how we deliver the client end to end experience that stops a relationship forming.

Keep these things in mind to avoid playing the counsellor.

  • Check your tone, style and manner
  • Ask yourself this: how do you want to come across? What image are you creating in the mind of your client?
  • Be confident but not condescending
  • Be very clear as to why you want to work on addressing these concerns and issues together and the benefits of doing so to the client. Be authentic in your approach.
  • Have the client be proactive and make their own recommendations about how they would resolve these roadblocks. Allow time for reflection – you do not need to be talking all the time.
  • Provide time for the client to think about solutions – what action can they take which matters to them right now, what support will help them achieve these solutions, what could de-rail the road to solutions and how to avoid potential derailments?

Clients believe certain myths about what they will receive from you and your service. Identify and respond to these “myths” asap if you want any shot at a useful and meaningful relationship.

Find out whether they’re accessing other support services. Get your client to describe them. What’s their family life like? What’s their lifestyle like? Their interests? Skills gaps?

By getting to know your client and creating an open, mutual space for growth, you prevent any mothering of them. Instead, there’s room to really help them.

At Kiikstart, we’re dedicated to helping people have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or enquiries@kiikstart.com.

No business can afford to stay static and in recent times community services and the not for profit sector has faced huge change and disruption – but at the same time also huge opportunity. With the right attitude, staff and client offering that is.

At Kiikstart, we talk the entrepreneurial mindset all the time. And when it comes to community services, they’re in need of this approach. Flexibility, adaptability, and innovation is vital to serve evolving client needs and changing funding frameworks and realities.

Services must not increase the number of clients through the door, but the level of accountability and measurable outcomes that are achieved. Wanting “to help people” and trying hard to make a difference will no longer be enough to sustain community services in the new world. And there is a need for creative ways in which to do this.

Staff need other approaches and tactics to increase involvement. More effective ways to establish a relationship between the client and Case Manager can bring about long-term change.

Changing KPI’s, obtaining outcomes. measurable change within employment, community involvement and relevant learning and upskilling – it all places greater emphasis on long term client relationships.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Ask questions. Collect feedback.

In community services, we’re not only providing a ‘service’, we’re building ‘relationships.’ We can achieve this by, first, identifying customer values and perceptions. Communication is key, here. Talk to staff, community leaders and influencers, stakeholders, and of course, your clients.

So, what can come out of it? A client might tell you they don’t see any benefits from your service. Get creative about other ways to communicate the benefits of working with you. By doing this, you create a more enterprising and engaging experiences for clients.

It’s important to know how to be courageous, addressing the behaviours and concerns your customers have – in a way that is respectful but maintains progression and focus.

Just like start-ups must constantly evolve, community services need to create an experience that reflects what’s going on. We need to look at every component of our service and go through it with a fine-tooth comb.

With ever increasing competition for funds and increased client choice as to who they can chose to work with, the need to be commercial and business savvy has never been greater. The art is finding the right balance between commercial reality and the soul and personality of the service.

Curiosity, connection, value, and differentiation. Do we have these qualities? If not, you need to adapt. The success of an entrepreneur lies within the mindset.

Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. They follow their intuition and constantly adapt. Good relationships are not just important, they’re critical. Entrepreneurs take risks to achieve greatness.

At Kiikstart, we’re dedicated to allowing people have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or enquiries@kiikstart.com.

Consumer behaviour is constantly evolving. Tapping into new opportunities to engage will always help you find innovative approaches to grow your business. To do so, you need to understand consumer trends and the role that your business can play in meeting these needs.

With food, hospitality, and wine brands, there are many parts that make up your brand’s story. Let’s look at packaging, for example.

You need to be aware of the functional benefits that packaging can have on your product and customer – enhancing your awareness beyond label design and its basic role of protecting the product.

How can you push the envelope and use it as another way to connect with your customers? What are their ‘pain’ points? What keeps them up at night? A lack of time? How can your packaging provide a solution?

As products become more saturated, customers find it harder to make their decision. There’s an opportunity to offer more than just essential packaging to entice them over the buying line. Think about their current buying habits, too.

Consumer trends drive consumption behaviour

When innovating your bespoke product, consider these motivators:

  • Better value for money
  • Personal space and time
  • Indulgence
  • Busy lives, time-poor
  • Changing age structures
  • Changing life stages
  • Individualism
  • Fun & enjoyment
  • Connection
  • Ethics & responsibility.

These points can apply to every part of your business, not just packaging.

The opportunities for innovation never stop. New products, ways of delivery, services, apps, pricing, experiences, sustainability, and business models… it can get overwhelming, to say the least.

LG innovate better than most.

The brand has expanded innovation into another part of the home – the bathroom. LG U+ is a smart mirror which generates personalised skincare advice. It analyses the skin and offers individuals customised beauty tips and product recommendations.

The smart touchscreen mirror uses high-definition cameras to analyse pores and wrinkles, and takes external factors such as weather conditions into consideration.

I realise we can’t all be LG, but they serve as a great example of a brand that continues to push the boundaries. So, how do we do it? Here are some tactics that you can start to implement within your brand.

Ask smart questions and communicate with your customers

It’s such a simple thing but how many of us really talk to our customers? We serve them and then move on. We listen to their feedback when they openly give it, but rarely actively seek it. And hardly ever facilitate it.

Elon Musk, the brains behind electric car company, Telsa, activated a suggestion from Twitter in six weeks.

Think about what you can ask that shows interest – avoid the generic questions that shows a lack of creativity and thought. Increase your own level of self-awareness as to the type of questions you ask to make a connection with someone else.

Network within your industry

Look beyond your business, and across your industry. Spending time monitoring your competitors can help you uncover the gaps that you can fill. Don’t look at it as networking, but ascertaining what’s not being done and how you can introduce it within your business.

Spend the time exploring new paths that your customers will love. You don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel. Seek our new flavours, formulas, ingredients, packaging, and marketing. Track how your customers respond. Have fun with it.

At Kiikstart, we’re dedicated to helping people have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or enquiries@kiikstart.com.

Niche is in. Niche is it. Niche is zig. Niche is woah! While it can feel like big brands are everywhere and trump everything, being niche is, in fact, make is much easier to position yourself… and, most importantly, market yourself. Because you’re not up against them. You can stand all by yourself, even in the midst of them.

Think about it. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘jack of all trades but master of none’? Well, the same goes for brands. While mainstream brands are targeting the masses, you specialise on one thing that no-one else is – and you kick ass at it.

So, let’s say you’re an artisan food or drink maker or a boutique winery. How do you make yourself heard, up against the big guns?

Show your personality. A sensory experience. Co-create.

There’s something I notice in almost every business. We’re too afraid to show our personalities. Our real selves. Our uniqueness. I don’t know why, but it’s one of the biggest marketing flaws I’ve seen. It’s like building a friendship with someone you’ve never met by showing nothing of ourselves. It’s next to impossible.

The same thing goes for brands. You’re a niche brand and you make things, your way, with your own two hands. You are the brand, so don’t be shy. Infuse your brand with your personality. Become a brand evangelist. Belieeeeve in your brand… find  your fans, and bring them with you  Infuse your essence, style and ‘voice’ and narrative into everything you do – from your cards, and emails to your brand’s packaging and online experience. It’s here that you’ll set your brand apart against the cold, soulless corporates.

Share your process. You make things yourself, so why not invite your audience to see and share in how you do it? Engage the senses by invoking texture or selecting images that create an immersive experience.

Another tip we have is to grow your audience by treating your business like a think-tank. Again, invite and listen to your customers and the feedback they give you. In doing so, your customers become collaborators, who push you to constantly evolve and take on new challenges.

How do you want to be known, liked & loved?

Have you explored how you want to be known? What do you need to leave behind? How does your brand ‘image’ reflect and drive your vision and mission?

Remember it needs to achieve the following:

  • Have soul
  • Be different
  • Spark people’s interest
  • Be relevant
  • Meaningful
  • Educate
  • Enlighten
  • Have impact
  • Be real

Depending on your brand, and the end user, it should also entertain and have the feel good factor. Where’s the joy?

Consider every connection point. If you have a physical space your customers visit, that’s a whole new discussion – on location, external signage, the atmosphere upon entering, using the front counter, and ‘telling’ your brand story. How are you making contact? What materials are you giving them, if any, when they leave? How long do they stay? How do you make the sale?

Getting a handle on your image

Identifying your underlying key principles are what make strong and memorable niche brands. Or any brand for that matter.

Take the time to critique your existing marketing, advertising, branding and promotional activity. What does it say about you and your brand? What are the key messages you want to communicate to your key stakeholders and what’s the best way to do that? What do they want to hear? How well do you understand them?

There are many moving parts to your business. A lot of these touchpoints, big brands don’t focus on, so your point of difference, or niche, could simply be a strategic communication or service delivery.

If you need help identifying your niche needle in your brand haystack, contact us.

At Kiikstart, we’re dedicated to helping people have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or enquiries@kiikstart.com.

Customer service isn’t necessarily what it used to be. With the evolution of technology, it’s changed how we connect and provide service.

This series of blogs will educate businesses that in order to survive, there needs to a renewed focus. Adopting experiential development and successful delivery will ensure not only continued growth, but the evolution of the entire space in which you operate.

All businesses should continue to evolve, alongside new trends and developments. Dealing with customer feedback, not complaints, for example, should be part of your process.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What means do you use to receive feedback from customers?
  • How do you promote the fact you welcome feedback during and after customer interaction?
  • Provide an example when you needed to respond to a dissatisfied customer – how did you respond to minimise negative fallout and poor word of mouth? How do you use this feedback to evolve and build your product and service offering and promote the feel good factor that comes from making positive change?
  • What are your processes for responding to all feedback and is each staff member consistent in their approach, with a level of standards and processes set by you, the decision maker?

What satisfies one customer might not satisfy the next. It’s important to build systems and procedures for businesses to handle customer insights and feedback.

Take every feedback as a lesson, so you can continue to move forward and grow and no longer see it is a complaints but complimentary market research.

Now, it’s your turn to tell us. What kind of feedback are you responding to? How have you managed them? Did the customer walk away happy in the end?

We’d love to hear about your own experiences.

At Kiikstart, we’re dedicated to helping people have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or enquiries@kiikstart.com.

Ok, last week we were talking about exploring your customer service philosophy values. If you missed it, check out the article here.

For the purpose of this blog, we’re going to assume you know your values like the back of your hand. Cool, so now we know our values, it’s time got through how we can provide value to them, especially those with specific needs.

Let’s go through some things to think about.

10 tips to knock your customers’ experience out of the park

  • Provide examples of the type of specific needs that tourists will have – what are some of the diverse requests and the solutions you have come up with to ensure satisfaction.
  •  Identify common, specific needs against your key target markets. Consider some of the most challenging or out of the box needs– how did you find an answer? Provide detail into the steps, action and processes undertaken.
  • Identify when you have worked with other regional businesses to help find a solution to specific needs you are alone could not fulfill (if relevant). How did the relationship with the other business come about and what has been the benefit to the tourist?
  • Be specific about the approach you take to ensure people’s specific needs can be met or an alternative solution can be provided. Ability to think creatively.
  • What communication methods do you use before arriving to be able to gain an insight into their specific needs?
  • Provide examples of any relevant questions you may ask to identify specific needs at the time of booking.
  • Provide examples as to how you gain feedback and insight from tourists both informally and formally.
  • What type of questions are you asking to gain a real insight into what they enjoyed and also ideas for future improvement?
  • Give an example when you implemented feedback from a tourist – why did you chose to respond to it, what was the scenario and how did you respond to it. What was the outcome to the business?
  • What measures do you use to gain insights and feedback from your customer? Are there any relevant data and stats you can include about the process and some of the key trends?

You can explore these questions no matter what industry you’re in. All businesses rely on customers, not just tourism visitor centres. Always keep the outcome in mind. Every time you engage with a customer is an opportunity to develop the relationship. Make it a priority to know what your customers’ value.

Next up, we’re going to be discussing how to obtain and deal with customer feedback to build a more memorable experience… of the good kind.

At Kiikstart, we’re dedicated to helping people have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or enquiries@kiikstart.com.

How well do you know your business? Have you ever conducted a SWOT analysis? So many of us are so busy working in our business, there’s no time to work on it.

Businesses require constant evaluation. We need to put ourselves in the mindset of ongoing start-up. Something that was working last year might not be as strong for us this year. The same will happen next year.

You need to be constant learners – in your business, your competitors, your industry and cross-industry to ride the next wave.

 

What is your customer philosophy?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What processes and tactics do you use when your guest makes a booking, to really understand their needs?
  • How do you make suggestions to guests so they can experience the best of the region and immerse themselves, before arriving – to help plan their activity once in the region?
  • What questions do you ask so you can provide an experience or make helpful suggestions?
  • Do you ask guests before they arrive, if they are interested in being kept up to date with relevant events or experiences – so they can plan ahead. 

If yeshow do you communicate with guests in advance, and do you ask them how they’d like to be kept up to date with relevant offerings in the region?

Explain how you welcome people, to ensure they feel at ease and gain a positive impression of you and your local region?

Describe your brand personality and the characteristics associated with it. What are the best traits and characteristics associated with your business and how do you express these within customer interaction?

Make customer service a focus. Don’t just aim for good service. You want them to actually remember the experience, for all the right reasons – so that they can’t resist choosing you again. 

What structures are in place to deliver an outstanding service experience, consistently? How do you delight your customers? What about your people? Do you have ongoing training and development in place? 

Connecting with them, post-visit, is just as important as attracting them initially. Think about what you can do to show your gratitude. It is the unexpected add-ons that will make your company stand out.

With your customers, do what works for you. Continuously discover new ways of adding value and serving them.

At Kiikstart, we’re dedicated to helping people have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or enquiries@kiikstart.com.