Learning to Adapt
June 4, 2014
First the Egg
June 6, 2014


I had the opportunity to meet Stan Phelps of 9InchMarketing when he was in Phoenix late last year delivering a keynote address.  Counselors Academy was considering him to keynote our spring conference so the timing was right to say hello and get to know him a bit better.

Stan’s whole purpose is about creating an outstanding experience for your customer (or client or consumer or however you refer to the people you are targeting) that keeps them coming back for more.  Here is how he explains the Goldfish Principle:

Let’s face it...we’ve lost focus in marketing. We’ve been so laser focused on prospective customers that we’ve forgotten to deliver an exceptional customer experience once they’ve walked through the door. Advertising is no longer the answer. Traditional media is fragmented and for the most part ineffective. Customer support is non-existent, we’re too busy outsourcing it to India. We’ve developed complex loyalty programs that confuse customers and only promise future benefits. The Goldfish Principle is about "differentiation via added value." Creating signature extras that help you stand out, improve customer experience, reduce attrition and drive positive word of mouth.

He’s got three books out on the topic – I recommend them.  But if you don’t have time to get into the books, here just a few things Stan believes about the customer experience.

  • You can’t have happy customers without happy AND engaged employees.  So what are you doing to make sure your internal teams are functioning properly? Create a culture that empowers employees to do something extra.
  • You can tell a lot about a brand by the way they handle a mistake.  Let’s face it; we’re all going to make one or two (or a thousand) mistakes in our business.  Some will be worse than others, but all can be recovered from if we handle it together.  To quote a music lyric, “sorry seems to be the hardest word.”
  • And while we’re thinking about saying sorry, let’s not forget to say thank you. Those two words go a long way in securing relationships.
  • Did you know a referred customer is worth four times as much as a non-referred customer?  What are you doing to manage that referral stream?

So to summarize -- focus on giving customers and employees more than they expect. Giving them more builds loyalty to your brand, which translates into increased sales, word of mouth, engagement, and productivity. And who doesn’t want all that?

And why does he call the company 9InchMarketing? That’s the distance between your brain and your heart—and we need to engage both to be successful.

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

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