I’m back, rested and enlightened from a recent trip out to Washington, DC, after attending Yanik Silver’s Underground 9. Here’s my big takeaway:

Culture.

We talk about it a lot, and we’ve done a lot within Tech Guys to promote a unique culture. From recently sending a video of my dog howling to a client who was looking for an extra ounce of luck for a product launch, to sending a client a coffee mug with their favorite expression on it. We get the basics of culture – create a place where people WANT to work with you.

However, at Underground, Joey Coleman had a great presentation on the first 100 days of a new relationship. He was speaking to how banks provide a lot of value in the first 100 days to get the new customer to stick around. Joey challenged us to think of ways to increase our customer stick rate. The rationale being that if we can spend less time SELLING and more time SERVICING, we’re building a company and culture everyone wants to be a part of.

After Joey’s presentation, I went to my hotel room and sent out a request for my entire team to tell me what their Love Language is. I asked everyone from our new hires and junior techs, to Lori in Accounting and even the guys I’ve worked alongside for years. Love Languages is a short test on figuring out how you receive love. Do you receive love when someone says something nice to you? When they send you a gift? When they spend quality time with you? I compiled the results in a Google Doc, and have been able to reference it already this week. When one tech does something stellar, how do I thank them? Is it a email? An Non-Violent Communication-style gratitude? Call them and chat? Send them a small gift? I just need to look at the sheet and see. BOOM!

Internal versus external culture.

Joey asked if anyone in the audience had ordered Zappo’s free Culture Handbook. I hadn’t, so I did it right then and there – and what a cool experience it was! They sent me a Thank You for Ordering note, which was pretty typical. Then, they sent me a video of the book being printed, with some reasons why it would take 2-3 weeks for delivery. HOW COOL! They added value to the conversation by giving me a real WHY.

I checked the news today, and someone posted this gem by Virgin:

It reminded me of my trip home on Delta. The usual boring safety demonstration before takeoff had a fun spin – it was playful. At one point, the flight attendant’s clothing kept changing. Black dress to black dress with red scarf, to red dress. It kept my attention. It got the point across, and also relaxed the passengers.

I’m working on our first 100-days with new clients so we can increase our retention. So that we can have raving fans. I love the people we service, and I’d like to keep them around for a long time. We are lucky enough that referrals drive the majority of our traffic, which is ideal since any friend of our clients are friends of ours.


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