Super Bowl Team

Players on a team who honestly believe they are contending for the Super Bowl, or any championship likely have a subtly different mindset in how they approach their day to day activities. Is this mindset a result of contending or the cause of the contending? No doubt it’s the cause, but undoubtedly there are things that begin to be treated differently as one’s vision of what is about to happen becomes more concrete. If nothing else it becomes easier to keep your eye on the prize rather than your individual wants and wishes.

I play on a Super Bowl team where I work. The standards of quality and focus throughout the company are amazingly high. Surprisingly high when you factor in that we’re basically in the music/entertainment industry. It’s measurable. Palpable, day in and day out.

We get amazing love letters from customers every day. Below is a sampling of just one day’s letters. Nothing all that unique or compelling. Just an average day. This is not to imply we don’t have our problems, or ever get a bad letter. We do, occasionally, and we work to solve those issues. But our everyday standards, our culture if you will, promotes excellence. It’s the culture that causes some of the things indicated in the letters below to happen. What is the culture where you work or with the people you find yourself tied to? Do you elevate it, drive it, or just play along?

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Jason,
I thought you might find this interesting. I run a chain of Wireless Phones stores with about 20 full and part time Sales Associates. We are constantly working on improving our follow up and customer contact skills. I have used you over the past few years as an example of how a good company and a good Sales Associate reach out to their customers. You have provided me with yet another opportunity to do so and I wanted to thank you for that. I have attached an email that I sent out to the field to once again demonstrate your professionalism. I Thank you for your attention to my personal needs and the discipline it takes to do so. You have built a loyal customer and I will continue to purchase from you and Sweetwater in the future.
Josh Most

—–Original Message—–
From: Josh Most
Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 10:34 AM
Subject: FW: Happy Birthday!!

Team,
I wanted to forward you this email that I received from somebody that works for Sweetwater, an online source for music equipment etc. His name is Jason Koons. I have never met Jason face to face but he helped me with a couple orders I’ve made over the last 3-4 years totaling about $1000. He contacts me about every 6 months and knows exactly what I have purchased in the past and asks me how it is operating. He also inquires into any new products that I might be interested in. These contacts may come via email or phone call. He is always sure to leave a message if I do not answer. Not only is he friendly and knowledgeable, but his attention to my personal situation and the products that I am interested in keeps me loyal to his company. Sweetwater’s main competitor is Musicians Friend. The prices between the two companies are identical in most cases but Musicians Friend offers many no interest for 12-24 months promotions. Jason’s personal contact is what keeps me from using my Musicians Friend Credit Card (which I have in my wallet) to buy my products for no interest etc., and make my purchases from him even though Sweetwater does not offer that promotion as far as I know.

Now, do you think Jason has an excellent memory? Do you think that he really remembers me personally? Probably not, but he uses the tools available to him to keep the information he needs to make his contact with me a personal experience. He sets reminders that tell him that it is time to reach out to me and see how I am doing. The point I am trying to make is that he spends more time keeping me as a customer then he actually spent helping me buy from him. This is powerful. This constant effort insures that I will not think of anyone but him when it is time for me to buy more music equipment, and believe me I will. Also, it’s not just the tools that we have available but the people that use them. You should have 5-10 or your OWN customers a day to follow up with either by phone, email etc. And these aren’t necessarily direct sales calls, they can be “how are things going, can I do anything for you calls”. I am certain that Jason is one of the Top Sales People in his company. With his attention to detail, how could he be otherwise? But the real question is: If you were to apply that much ongoing attention to your customers how could you be otherwise?
Josh

—–Original Message—–

From: Jason Koons
Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 5:21 AM
To: Josh Most
Subject: Happy Birthday!!

Hi Josh,
Happy Birthday, buddy!  I realize it’s a couple of days late….but
Happy Birthday just the same!

-Jason Koons
Sweetwater
Senior Sales Engineer

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Great job.Great customer service. An e-mail that was sent by Brian letting me know my order had shipped was put in my junk mail file.I didn’t notice it. I e-mailed to check status on my order and the next morning received a phone call ; not an email,letting me know it had shipped in the time frame originally stated. Very impressive personal customer service. I’ve worked in the automotive repair biz for 30 years and can appreciate what it takes to go that ‘little extra’. We always hear when we mess up but rarely when we do good. So here’s to a job well done.Great prices, great service and the candy and magazine is a very nice touch. Tony K.

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Dear Chuck,
I would like to inform you my resent experience I had with Jake Huber and your company.I have been a drummer for over 20 years and have dealt with countless retail and online stores. In my history as a musician, I have spent thousands of dollars at versus locations and web sites but never found one outlet that I felt comfortable with for all my needs. I had recently be interested in getting an electronic drum kit and drum software. I had very little knowledge on E-Drums or software when I started shopping around and gathering info. I visited my local music stores (Guitar Center and Sam Ash) but got very little to no info on what I was interested in. I saw your company online and looked around but still had many questions. I submitted a question online and shortly received a call from Jake. I learned more useful and valuable information from Jake in the first 5 minutes of our conversation than I did in days of online researching and going to my local retail stores. He was full of personal and professional knowledge. He not only educated me but also built trust that I have found a creditable place to do business with.

I have over 15 years of customer service experience and currently manage over two thousand business customer’s telecom accounts. I know the importance of first impressions with clients and earning their trust. Jake did an outstanding job on selling me and educating me. I wanted you to know how well he represented your company and made me a customer for life with him and Sweetwater.In the very near future I am going to buy my electronic kit with speakers and other accessories. Due to the job Jake did, I will be making my purchases with him though Sweetwater.

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I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how satisfied I am with Alan Finkbeiner and with the Sweetwater experience. I am an international customer living in Costa Rica and over the past two years I’ve done around 4-5 purchases from Sweetwater. Every time, Alan and the rest of the wonderful Sweetwater team have made sure to meet my needs in terms of gear, technical advice and delivery deadlines. Every time I have made a purchase, I’ve done so with complete confidence and am always amazed by the incredible service I have been provided with. Alan is very passionate, knowledgable and truly represents the values Sweetwater stands for.

For years I’ve read the Sweetwater ads in magazines like Electronic Musician, Mix and Recording. I can guarantee to anyone that every word on those ads isn’t marketing hype. Sweetwater continues to excede my expectations and always blow me away. I am glad that Sweetwater has made it through these tough economic times. The company is definitely on the right path and has been able to create something worthwhile and sustainable for us the customers. I’ll definitely continue purchasing from Sweetwater whenever possible and look forward to what the future brings to both of us.

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