The Mall Map Theory

By Ron Rosenberg

A corporation finds itself in a problem situation and instead of wondering how it happened, it must now answer the question. “What Now?”

With all the complications facing us today, many times we find ourselves focusing too much on "how did this happen" and not enough on "what now?"

Several months ago I was meeting with a vice president of a large corporation to plan a series of sessions that I would present to his organization.

When I asked him about the major problems facing his group, he told me that through a series of events - some beyond their control - they were now facing more...

Here's Your Chocolate!

By Ron Rosenberg

A hotel creates a favorable impression on a customer by resolving a maintenance problem and offering a gift of candy.

Despite our best efforts, we sometimes fall short in our attempts to meet our customer commitments.  It's how we deal with these situations that can make a lasting impression.

I had the opportunity to speak to about 700 people at a large conference in Hershey, PA.  Yes, that's Hershey as in Hershey's candy.  You walk downtown, and the entire area smells like chocolate!

Upon arriving at the Hershey Lodge the day before my program, I took a walk around the facilities, looking for the fitness center. more...

Are You Dining Alone?

By Ron Rosenberg

Many businesses spend considerable amounts of money putting into place complex customer satisfaction programs.  But many times the most effective ideas are also the simplest.

The real challenge in retaining customers is to find innovative ways to "go the extra mile" and exceed your customers’ expectations.  Sometimes the best approach to accomplish this can be fairly straightforward.

I was at a hotel earlier this year to present a program on organizational effectiveness.   One of the perks of being on the road is that I get to enjoy a variety of great restaurants.  One of the drawbacks is that I have to enjoy them alone.

When more...

It's All a State of Mind...

By Ron Rosenberg

Sometimes, the obvious solutions to a marketing challenge can't be easily implemented. A few years ago, when I was speaking for the National Funeral Directors Association, I had a perfect illustration of this.

I had just given a presentation on our Outrageous Marketing strategies to a packed room of funeral directors (yes, you can use our marketing strategies in the funeral profession - it just requires a bit of creativity and a lot of finesse) and was on the shuttle bus back to the hotel.

For those of you who have been at one of my live programs, you know that I'm completely exhausted when more...

What's It Worth?

By Ron Rosenberg

When making purchase decisions, cost isn't always the most pressing consideration - sometimes there are other factors that take higher priority.

We've been playing "musical cars" at our house recently. Our son's 2003 Camry recently died, just shy of 200,000 miles (precisely the reason we bought another one last year for ourselves.)

Our daughter starts college this week, so we've been trying to find a reliable and affordable car for her to use. And the "Cash for Clunkers" program had us considering replacing an old 1995 Jeep Cherokee that was beginning to show its age.

Teenagers and cars make for a complicated mix, so a few more...

Welcome to Our House!

A warm, friendly greeting at a hotel makes guests feel right at home and helps build customer loyalty.

The way you view your product can have a profound influence on how your customer perceives it.  A recent trip to Switzerland helped reinforce this concept for me.

I was on the final leg of a long business trip that involved stops in Baltimore, Maryland; Northern Ireland; and Switzerland.  I was particularly tired at this point in my schedule because the earlier part of this trip had involved a delayed flight, a missed connection, a diversion to another airport and, finally lost luggage that didn’t reach me until 2:00 more...

Change for Good

By Ron Rosenberg

Travelers donate extra currency from countries they are leaving and make a significant impact on a charity organization.

We all try to do the right thing; but frequently, the "right thing" seems to take an incredible amount of effort. Sometimes, however, a little effort by a large group of people can have a dramatic effect.

I was recently on a British Airways flight in Europe and was leafing through the magazines in the seat back pouch in front of me.  I came across a small envelope describing a program called "Change for Good."

Here are the instructions that were on the envelope: "Please put your donation, more...

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Coffee

By Ron Rosenberg

A bookstore understands its niche in the community and offers coffee and cake just for stopping in.

Many businesses fail because they really don’t understand the need they are filling in the marketplace.  In today’s competitive environment, this is more critical than ever.

Last year, I was doing some work in Southern California, and I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon on Balboa Island.  This is a cute tourist village near Newport Beach.

While walking along the street and visiting some of the shops, I went into Martha’s Bookstore on Marine Avenue.  In addition to books, the store also had gifts, gourmet foods, and decorative more...

You Can Do Something...

By Ron Rosenberg

Life and experience are always the best teachers, and this last weekend was no exception. Always looking for a greater challenge, I've moved up from the shorter sprint distance triathlons to the longer and more demanding Olympic-distance races. The distances for the race this weekend were:

Swim: 1500 meters (.93 miles) Bike: 28 miles Run: 6.2 miles

A few comments on the distances. Even though the swim is 1500 meters, because it's an "open-water" swim (on a lake, ocean,or in this case, a river) you always end up actually swimming more than the posted distance. That's because you're seldom swimming in a straight line like more...

At the End of the Day, It's Just a Sport

By Ron Rosenberg

I recently read an article in the American Airlines in-flight magazine about tennis great Rafael Nadal. Published in the June 1 issue, it was a natural lead-in to the upcoming Wimbledon championships where, just a year before, Nadal had stunned Roger Federer to take the title in what has come to be regarded as the best tennis match ever played.

They were naturally predicting a rematch this year, but Nadal couldn't play because of a knee injury. Fortunately there was another exciting five-set final with Federer eventually prevailing over Andy Roddick to win his 6th Wimbledon and 15th grand slam title - a record more...