Hockenberry Management Consulting will help Transform Customer Satisfaction into Loyalty

Transforming Customer Satisfaction into Loyalty

We are all customers, buying products and services from a variety of organizations. As a customer, have you ever received service that you were not pleased with? What did you do?

Studies show that unsatisfied customers are very likely to tell others about their negative experience but are less likely to complain or tell the service provider about their poor experience and dissatisfaction. In fact, a significant number of people will simply stop doing business with a company without notification or explanation.

Is there a difference between satisfied and loyal customers? Does it matter? In his book, “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless: Customer Loyalty is Priceless”; Gitomer says, “Satisfaction is no longer the acceptable measurement of customer service success. The standard and measure of success in this millennium are loyal customers.”

We Love Our Customers by Hockenberry Management Consulting

4 Competitive Advantages of Customer Loyalty

    1. Loyal customers always return to purchase your product or service, creating a long-term stream of income.
    2. Loyal customers boast about your product or service to others they know, creating the most effective (and least expensive) form of advertising for your organization… word-of-mouth advertising.
    3. Loyal customers are willing to pay more for your product or service because they trust you to be fair.
    4. Loyal customers are more forgiving when your organization makes a mistake because of the solid relationship they have with you.

So, how do you get loyal customers?

3 important components to develop a loyal customer base

    1. Establish trust with every customer at every point of connection. People buy from people they trust and they welcome suggestions and guidance from people they trust.
    2. Create an emotional tie with your customer at every point of connection. Most buying decisions are based on an emotion, rather than a need. In order to do this, service providers must also be able to identify and manage their own emotions effectively.
    3. Utilize empathy to strengthen customer relationships. Empathy involves putting yourself in another person’s shoes, trying to understand their perspective.

How is your organization doing in the area of customer loyalty? How do you know? One simple way to measure loyalty is to ask customers what Reichheld refers to as the “ultimate question” in his book, “The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth”.

The question is this: “How likely is it that you would recommend this organization and our products or services to a friend or colleague?”

From the answer to this question, Reichheld identifies three categories of customers: promoters, passives, and detractors.

  • Promoters are loyal, enthusiastic customers who repeatedly buy from you and tell their friends and colleagues about your product or service.
  • Passives are satisfied but unenthusiastic and may or may not buy from you again.
  • Detractors are unhappy customers who are likely providing the kind of word-of-mouth advertising that your organization doesn’t need or want.

So, how do you get loyal customers?

How about your customers? Are they promoters, passives, or detractors? Are they loyal or just satisfied? What difference is it making to your bottom line?

Making a strategic decision to create a loyal customer base is one of the most important commitments you can make to the success of your organization.

For more information or help on this and other topics, contact our team.

Success in Sales

What are the key components to success in professional sales? Is it just a matter of hard work, knowing the right people, and never accepting “no” for an answer? Or, is it more about proven processes, becoming known and trusted in your market, and personal commitment?

If you knew the answer to this question, what difference would it make in your business?

We all know that hard work is important, yet we also know that working hard on the wrong stuff makes you nothing more than tired at the end of the day. And while it matters who you know, it matters more who knows you.

We also know that persistence can pay off, especially for longer-term, consultative sales. Otherwise, customers will be influenced to say “yes” to a question for which the true answer is “no” and the chance of creating a loyal customer through that transaction is slim to none.

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3 key components to success in professional sales

First, a professional sale is an on-going process – it has a beginning, followed by several critical steps, and it never ends.

The process begins with the introduction. First impressions count. An old, but certainly not outdated thought is “if they don’t buy you, they won’t be interested in anything else you are selling.” A good introduction allows you to gain favorable attention by establishing rapport.

Genuine interest, demonstrated through a healthy dialog begins to build trust, forming the basis for a new relationship. Trust is essential to the discovery process, i.e., helping the prospect recognize and understand their wants and needs.

Once given permission to do so, it’s time to present the benefits of doing business with you, which is followed by the customer truly saying “yes” and making a commitment to buy your product or service. The sale has occurred, but this is not the end of the process… it is only the beginning of an ongoing professional relationship.

Second, success in sales depends on your ability to identify prospects. Consider a dual approach to this factor – becoming known by people and getting to know people. Effective market communication allows people to learn who you are and what you do. This can be accomplished through advertising, networking, trade shows, etc. Likewise, prospecting may include a combination of activities, such as referrals, strategic alliances, centers of influence, etc.

Whatever methods you use, it is important to have a process for beginning and growing relationships with people who will eventually do business with you because your products or services help them, or their organization, in one of three ways – to gain a benefit, avoid a loss, or solve a problem.

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Finally,and possibly the most important key to success is you! We should regularly ask ourselves the question “is my attitude and behavior consistent with what it takes to produce the results I need and want?” If the answer is “no”, then change so your answer can be “yes”.

You can’t get different results by doing what you always did or by thinking the way you always thought. Sometimes, we really can be our own worst enemy. If this describes you, consider taking steps that will help you make the necessary changes, so you can get the improved results you want and deserve.

For more information or help on this and other topics, contact our team.

Hockenberry Management Consulting Talks About Skilling Up

Why Is Time Management So Challenging?

Have you ever found yourself at the end of a busy day wishing there were just a few more hours left so you could get more stuff done?


Or maybe you’ve experienced that sinking feeling at the end of the day on Friday, staring at a list of unfinished to-do items, wondering how the week flew by so quickly. Rest assured, you are not alone.

Strategy based upon finding from Hockenberry Management Consulting

Time Management


Bookstore shelves and online resources are filled with information meant to help us manage our time better through various techniques, such as organizing our desks, filing paperwork properly, planning meetings with agendas, delegating to others, avoiding interruptions in our day, handling phone calls and emails quickly, using Post-It notes more effectively, etc. Do these techniques help? The honest answer is probably “somewhat… but not enough.”

These techniques aim to help us manage time, but in reality, we cannot manage time at all. The concept of “time management” is actually a misnomer. After all, can any of us change the fact that there are 60 minutes in every hour, and 24 hours in every day, and 7 days in every week?

If we cannot manage time, how can we possibly regain a sense of control in the midst of our busy lives and hectic schedules? As you may have guessed, the solution is to better manage ourselves.

Let’s consider this alternative view by asking three questions.

1. What is your purpose?
2. What are your values?
3. What is your vision?

If we cannot manage time, then we must think about how we can manage ourselves. We can change what we do in any given hour, day, or week. We can decide whether to continue spending (to use up, exhaust, or consume) our time, or whether to begin investing (to make use of for future benefits or advantages) our time.

How To Manage Your Time Better by Hockenberry Management Consulting

What is your purpose?


Do you know your purpose in life? If you knew you had only one year to live, what would you do differently? Why? What is important to you? How would you want to be remembered by your family, friends, and colleagues? Now, imagine that you were guaranteed many more years to live. How would the future be different from your current situation? Everyone has a purpose in life. This purpose, as you perceive it, establishes the foundation from which you think and behave. This perception of your purpose shapes your attitudes and helps to determine your goals. When you have a clear purpose in life, decisions about how you use time become easier to make. Certain things become more important than others. You begin investing time more often, rather than just spending it.

What are your values?

What principles do you use to make decisions in life? Your values are the morals, ethics, and standards that are important to you. They shape your perception of what is right and true, and generally do not change over time. What gives your life meaning? What do you believe? What do you value? Clarifying your values will help you make better decisions and help to reduce stress in your life. Choices about spending and investing time also become easier to make when you have clearly understood values.

What is your vision?

Where will you be and what will you be doing in 1 year… 5 years… 10 years? What will you need to do differently in order to get there? How will you need to change in order to get there? The vision you have for your future also affects the way you think, make decisions and choose to take action (or not) which determines how you use time now.

Clarifying your life’s purpose, affirming your values, and crystallizing your vision will have a significant impact on how you use the minutes that remain in this hour, the hours that remain in this day, the days that remain in this week… not to mention the weeks that remain in this year, and the years that remain in this lifetime.

For more information or help on this and other topics, contact our team.

The Search for Improved Organizational Results Hockenberry Management Consultants

The Search for Improved Organizational Results

Do you want improved results from your business or nonprofit organization? Of course, your answer is probably “yes,” so the more challenging question is… how do you do that?

Improving your organization’s performance is easier said than done – especially since it can be difficult to know where and how to get started. Let’s take a bird’s eye view of some possible starting points.


In every organization, there are essentially three core business processes – strategy, management systems, and operations. Let’s briefly look at each.

Strategy… the process of determining the direction in which your organization will move toward.

Management systems… the processes utilized to hire, develop and retain a qualified workforce.

Operations… the processes utilized to market, sell, produce, and deliver your organization’s products or services.
Theoretically, the better aligned these processes are, the better the organization will perform, leading to improved results. Achieving this kind of alignment is not easily accomplished, but when successfully aligned, the organization and its members reap the benefits, and the customer is better served.


Achieving improved results in your organization’s performance depends on your ability to continually improve the execution of these core business processes, which is largely dependent on three foundational factors. Let’s consider each.
Leadership… one could effectively argue that leadership is cause and all else is effect.

Culture… the environment in which business takes place and work is accomplished is often the result of chance, yet culture has a significant influence on how people think and behave, which affects individual and team performance, ultimately impacting organizational outcomes.

Systems… the ability to develop, repeat, and improve effective processes across the organization.
Without effective leadership, a healthy culture, and a systems approach, the business processes of strategy, management systems, and operations are hindered and possibly jeopardized.

In addition to understanding organizational performance dynamics as outlined above, it is equally important to remember that organizations are comprised of people. Therefore, your business or nonprofit’s ability to achieve improved results is dependent on each individual member’s performance. So, let’s briefly look at a few key individual performance factors.


Positive behavior change, which leads to improved individual results (which impacts organizational outcomes), is enhanced by several key factors.

Goals… people are generally goal oriented, needing direction and wanting purpose. It is best when this direction originates from organizational leadership.

Knowledge… the information we acquire through the process of learning.

Skills… the ability to apply knowledge in the appropriate situation.

Attitude… all intentional behavior is preceded by thought. Attitudes are habits of thought. If we expect to change behavior in a positive manner and achieve improved results, we have to change the way we think.


If you want to get better organizational results, begin by asking yourself these questions.

1. How good is our strategy and is it being executed well?
2. Is our management system helping or hurting our cause?
3. Are employees really on board with our mission and vision?
4. Are operational processes contributing to success or detracting from it?
5. Are customers satisfied and loyal?
6. What affect does our leadership have on the organization?
7. Is our culture conducive to achieving our mission?
8. Are we leveraging process improvements across the organization?

The answers to these questions will begin to tell a story (that you may or may not like).

The next, and most important, question is… what will you do about it?

For more information or help on this and other topics, contact our team.

Leadership Problems Are Solved by Hockenberry Management Consulting

The Challenge of Leadership

Have you been to a bookstore and noticed how many resources are on the shelves focused on the topic of “leadership”?


How many have you read, hoping to acquire some new method, quality, or technique that would help you meet the challenge of leading effectively within your organization? Each resource addresses the subject from a different angle, but few of these materials really get to the heart of leadership.

Getting to the heart of leadership with hockenberry management consulting

Leadership is arguably the most significant issue in companies today.


In their book, “Improving Leadership Effectiveness”, Fiedler and Chemers state “The quality of leadership, more than any other single factor, determines the success or failure of an organization.” Tracy supports this view in his book, “The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success”, by writing “Leadership is the most important single factor in determining business success or failure in our competitive, turbulent, fast-moving economy.”

Is there room for improvement within your company’s leadership? Martin and Mutchler, in “Fail-Safe Leadership”, share that if one or more of the following conditions are present, the leadership in your company may be failing.

Here are some of the items from their checklist: 

1. excessive meetings
2. preponderance of consensus-driven decision making
3. lack of personal accountability
4. time consuming and/or meaningless performance evaluations
5. communication problems
6. personality conflicts and/or power struggles
7. difficulty keeping employees motivated
8. unacceptable results
9. time management problems
10. micro-management
11. duplication of effort
12. high staff turnover
13. fear of making decisions
14. reactive rather than proactive thinking
15. failure to meet quality standards
16. chronically sagging sales

At least a few of these conditions exist in most organizations, so the question is what to do about it. To answer that question, we must start by defining leadership.

The Characteristics of Leadership by Hockenberry Management Consulting

If asked to think of a great leader from your life experiences and describe what made/makes them a great leader, what would you say?


Most people would describe personal qualities and characteristics of the person. What’s most interesting is that there are several characteristics that would be consistent across different people’s answers, but there are also unique characteristics that made each great leader different. Some are outspoken… some are soft-spoken. Some are conservative thinkers… some are risk takers. Some are highly educated… some are not. Etc. What is the common thread among great leaders? Is it that they get things done and achieve results?

When considering how to develop leaders within an organization, a decision must be made.

Do you take certain people and try to teach them qualities and characteristics that you think make a great leader, and then hope for results? This would be considered a competency-based model of leadership development. Do you define the desired results, and then grow people as well as processes within your organization, to ensure that those results are achieved? This would be a results-based approach to leadership development. Do you utilize some combination of both models?

Developing Leaders Within Your Organization by Hockenberry Management Consulting

The answer to that question depends on several factors.

One thing is certain; if you are not effectively developing leaders within your organization, you are likely functioning at a competitive disadvantage, or soon will be. So, the question is… what will you do to develop leaders in your organization?

For more information or help on this and other topics, contact our team.