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  • Writer's pictureNick Andriacchi

Solving Puzzles With Your Customers

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

As we approach the Christmas holiday, most businesses are trying to find the perfect gift to reflect customer appreciation. Some of these gifts can be really creative. Like, a ring light that your clients can use to help create quality Tik-Tok videos. That is pretty cool, but how about taking some time to solve a puzzle with them?

Many times, the vendor / customer relationship is viewed as a game where there is a winner and loser. Instead, try looking at it as a puzzle that you and your client are trying to solve, sitting side-by-side. Solving a puzzle together puts you and the client on the same team. When the puzzle is solved everyone wins.

Relationships consisting of knowing your customer and consistent delivery of quality solution can set your company apart from the competition. These next examples are a “best of” that I have used in the past, but are great examples of “solving a puzzle” with your customers.

Morning Latte

My wife and I are lucky enough to walk to work every morning. And every morning we pass a couple of Starbuck’s locations on the way to the office. However, we go out of our way to patronize “Our Starbuck’s” – a small store on the corner of Clark and Adams in Chicago. Not a fancy store, but the individuals wearing the green aprons are amazing. Davante, Cheyenne, Savanah and the rest know what time we walk in, greet us by name and many times have my wife’s customized triple shot whatever latte already made (we don’t use the ap to pre-order).

Frankly, the coffee pretty much tastes the same at every Starbuck’s, but the quality service provided at this particular location has us going out of our way to buy from this location.

We Are Farmers …….

Another great example is my long-lasting relationship with the Sandra Cavoto Insurance Agency (Farmers Insurance). I have a great relationship with my agent Sandra Cavoto. She has been my agent for over 20 years and has taken the time to know what products I need personally and for my business. When appropriate, she presents additional products that would be of interest to me. And when I do need to file a claim – she is my advocate. I receive great advice – even if it is something I don’t want to hear - and I generally follow it because I trust her. I feel that she has my best interest at heart – not just what makes her money.

What is interesting is that I am not the world’s biggest spender. I get pitched lower premiums and cost savings all the time – which I admit is attractive. And personally, I don’t think there is much difference between Farmers, All State, State Farm. Esurance etc.

The reason I stay with my current provider at higher premiums is because of my agent. If she were to move to another firm, I would take my business with her.

Christmas Miracle

My days at Bertucci’s Meat Market..... During a Christmas Eve holiday rush, we had a customer that really wanted to purchase filet mignon for Christmas dinner. It was late in the day and unfortunately, we were sold out of that item. She was disappointed and as she was leaving it occurred to me to ask a few questions. The one that got her talking was: What is it about that particular cut of meat that appeals to you?

With the questions answered, I suggested an alternative cut that would work equally as well if not better – a bone-in prime rib roast with the bone chimed that will present nicely and it can be easily severed. She took my advice and bought it.

Three days after Christmas, the customer came in and thanked us profusely!

She was extremely satisfied and remained a customer even after she moved away from the neighborhood. BTW – not only did the prime rib roast work better for the customer, price was never an issue even though it was more expensive.

Payroll Finance

I have been advocated for my staffing clients for over 30 years. We have collectively solved hundreds of puzzles together. From customized reporting, sales and operational advice, collections assistance to creative financing solutions when required, I have been lucky to get to know my customers and help create a solution for their specific challenge.

Who would have thought that solving puzzles would create long lasting relationships.

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