Special by Design

golfer-about-to-drive-a-golf-ballGyLt34Dd.jpgThe Master’s golf tournament started this week. It’s one of my absolute favorite events and one I look forward to all year. I love watching the Masters.

I’ve been to the Masters three times. The first time I went, I was overwhelmed. I wanted to take everything is. I walked the entire course several times. You would hear people talking about a spot where so-and-so hit this shot or where so-and-so missed a big putt. “Remember when Bubba hit that shot out of the rough on 18?” Yup. Stood there. I still can’t believe how great that shot was.

During the practice rounds, you can take pictures. I took hundreds. I took pictures of the magnolia trees, bridges, players, pine straw (yes, I did). I wanted to remember it all because there is only one word that can truly describe the Masters - special.

Special? Yes. Everything about it. The grass? Special. The flowers and trees? Special. The patrons (what normal people call spectators)? Special. The players? Special. Everything about the Masters is truly special.

Those of you who have been to Augusta National know exactly what I mean. You’ve seen it. Felt it.

For those who have not yet been (and I truly hope you get the opportunity at some point), you are likely thinking I am exaggerating. What in the world is so special about a golf tournament?

Here are a few examples of things that make the Masters unique:

  1. For 100 years, caddies have worn the same white jumpsuit. The focus is on the game and the players.
  2. There is almost no advertising (the exception is the logos the players wear). No signs. In fact, the only commercials they show on TV during the tournament are from four major sponsors and they are very, very limited.
  3. You can buy a drink and a sandwich for $5. The drink (insert your beverage choice here) will be served in a Master’s branded cup and the sandwich in a plain white wrapper. If you want to add a bag of chips, the bag is white and green with the Master’s logo. You can add a Moon Pie (branded with the Master’s logo) for just a $1.
  4. There are no electronic signs on the course. The signs are all made of wood and are updated manually every so often. Since there are no radios or TVs on the course, no one (including the players) knows another player’s status until it is posted. That said, news on the course travels like wind. You hear roars from the crowd and then you wait to see the score. It’s awesome!

So why am I gushing about the Masters? Truthfully, I can’t pinpoint one thing. Yes, the best players in the world have gathered for one tournament. That said, that happens most weeks at most PGA events. Yes, the course is immaculate and beautiful, but golf courses are supposed to be beautiful. So, what makes it special? I think the answer is this - It is special by design.

Think for just a moment about the companies that are special.

I once heard a story about a customer who took four used tires to a Nordstrom’s service counter to return them. Most of you know Nordstom doesn’t sell tires. Here is the quote from Bizjournals.com:

“One of the most well known Nordstrom customer service stories, however, is about a man who went into the Nordstrom in Anchorage, Alaska, to return a set of tires. Nordstrom — an upscale retailer that sells mostly apparel, shoes and accessories — does not sell tires. The customer bought the tires at the store that occupied the same space prior to Nordstrom moving in.

Still, after some discussion, the Nordstrom store manager decided to allow the customer to return the tires there.

Nordstrom spokesman Colin Johnson said the stories are true, and are examples of how the company gives employees the autonomy to make their own decisions instead of having to send questions up the ubiquitous corporate flagpole.”

Nordstrom is special by design. I can also point to Amazon, Barneys of NY, Facebook, and others who interact in specific ways and by designs. There are examples everywhere in business, but I love the tire story because is shows the design being executed.

Think about your own business. What makes you special and what are you doing to not only remain special but to enhance that feeling?

At Telarus, we have tools for partners to make them special. They are absolutely designed to help our partners win. A great example is the free circuit monitoring Telarus provides. The FREE service allows you to see and know about outages immediately. When you see what no one else can, you are special. When you learn to remedy those situations and engage with your customers, you are special by design.

Telarus account management has been built specifically to increase the personal touch your customer receives. With regular phone calls and reach outs, this team is designed to strengthen and improve your relationship with your customer.

The list goes on, but the simple question is this – What are you doing to be special? If you aren’t sure, give us a call. We can help.

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