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Nobody Remembers Ordinary Service


SLS

I did the “drive through thing” at the local fast food place that starts with an A last week and ordered those little potato bites instead of fries with my roast beef sandwich.  (I hate their curly fries) The lady who took my order was nice, polite, and seemed to be on the ball despite the usual drive through speaker distortion and I felt that she had my order correct.

When she took my money and handed me my food and the only words she said were, “Did you need ketchup?” I should have been tipped off to the fact that my order might not be correct.  Now I know that never happens to you but it seems to happen to me quite often.  I pulled around the building and reached into my bag and sure enough…….you guessed it…I know you are shocked……..curly fries and no potato bites.

I pulled into the parking space, walked in and up to the end of the counter away from the cash register.  The drive through girl ignored me as did the front person.  Finally a gentleman from the back walked up and looked at me as if to try and speak yet no words escaped his lips.  I explained my dilemma and without a word he turned and asked the 2 ladies which of them had filled my order. The drive through attendant confessed, but offered no apology to me or Mr. Strong and Silent. He turned to the fry master (or what ever his title was) and asked him if he had any potato bites up.  He did so Mr. S & S handed them to me without wasting the breath of an apology or to ask me if I was happy.

As I drove away with fries and potato bites it occurred to me that I was satisfied, I got what I wanted; but I was not totally satisfied. They all did the ordinary. What would have totally satisfied me? I know things go wrong, orders are filled incorrectly, service is delayed, and calls get spotted incorrectly.  As the bumper sticker say “Stuff Happens” I get that.

What makes me or any of us totally satisfied , is for the person that is representing the organization that I am trading my hard-earned cash for goods and services with to care.  I expect them to look me in the eye and say “You matter to me (us), I am sorry you have had this issue and I am going take accountability for the problem and do everything that I can to make our business transaction a complete value for you.” And then either do it or make me feel that they have done everything within reason to take care of my issue. Now that is extraordinary!

The following is a statistical analysis of customer satisfaction data encompassing the findings of over 20,000 customer surveys conducted in 40 countries by InfoQuest.

The conclusions of the study were

A Totally Satisfied Customer contributes 2.6 times as much revenue to a company as a Somewhat Satisfied Customer.

A Totally Satisfied Customer contributes 14 times as much revenue as a Somewhat Dissatisfied Customer.

A Totally Dissatisfied Customer decreases revenue at a rate equal to 1.8 times what a Totally Satisfied Customer contributes to a business.

In other words the only way to compete and thrive in today’s marketplace is to provide extraordinary service on every level at every opportunity. What do we have to do to be extraordinary?
1. Make an excellent first impression. Smile, make eye contact, and make them feel welcome and valued. Take pride in how you look and dress, fair or unfair, people will form a strong opinion – appearance and how you make them feel.

2. Be friendly and personable. Be caring, confident, and genuinely interested in others. Use their name, acknowledge them immediately, keep your word, listen to them and do your best to make them feel important and appreciated.

4. Exceed their expectations. Most people and organizations in life do only what is expected of them and very little else . . . don’t let that be you.  Think of their needs and solve problems. (Before they are problems if possible.) Anticipation and execution will win the day and leave your competition behind you.

5. Put others first. Maturity is ability to make others feel significant. You will go far when you learn to place others before your own self-interests and make them feel they are the most important person.

6. Do choose your attitude. More important than your education, your seniority, your title or the money you make is your attitude.

 

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Where There is no Clarity the People Stress


Imagine that it is a beautiful spring Saturday morning and you are driving through the countryside in a sporty two-seater convertible. The winding road s wide and the warming sunlight, combined with the still crisp air allow for perfect visibility.  You are relaxed, laid back in your seat and enjoying the feel of the car and the road.

Then suddenly as you round a curve, the road narrows, and you hit a patch of dense fog. Up ahead you can barely make out a figure on the shoulder of the road. What do you do?  You suddenly are wide-awake and hyper-focused, sitting up I the seat, slowing down and gripping the wheel firmly in both hands. Your state totally changes for a few minutes until your ability to see ahead of you and where are going returns.

If you had to drive in this low visibility high-risk situation for very long you would be exhausted quickly.  The people who you deal with every day are no different. If you are not sharing your vision, values and expectations in a consistent clear way every day they may be succeeding, but I promise you that burn out is just around the corner. If they are given vague instructions, unclear expectations or they perceive hidden risk they cannot perform effectively.

The bible says that without vision the people will perish. Perhaps the people perish from stress, caused by working toward a goal with out a clear path of the road ahead. Imagine building a house without blueprints, a cross county trip with out a map or playing a game with out clear rules. Chaos, stress and uncertainty would abound.

As leaders, we should share the vision and goal, set clear expectations and provide constant feedback to eliminate fear and the stress that it brings. Anything less will mean that your team is running at less than their peak performance and at risk of burnout.

Phil is one of only one thousand leaders worldwide (representing nearly 100 countries) to be trained and certified by John C. Maxwell & his team, as part of the founder’s circle of coaches, speakers and teachers.
 
He works with organizations and individuals to increase sales, productivity and profitability by helping them improve their leadership, sales and customer service skills. He offers workshops, seminars, speaking, and coaching on delivering extraordinary customer service, leadership, and personal development.

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Spring is the Time for Every Professional and Beginner to Review the Fundamentals


The-Harder-You-Work-the-Luckier-You-GetBaseball season opened this week, but before that Major League baseball players headed off to spring training to work on fundamentals and prepare for the new season.

The boys of summer have been playing the game since they were 6 years old, yet it is still important to work on fundamentals and technique. The same dedication should be applied leadership and customer service.

The Greatest play in baseball history

When dealing with customers/employees/peers, always remember the fundamentals. Polite tone, showing genuine empathy, taking ownership of their issues and situation are the basics of human interaction. Most of all reassure your customers/employees/peers that you are willing, able and want to take care of them. I think that is what is lacking in most customer’s minds these days is the lack of feeling appreciated.

Show empathy with and appreciation for the customers/employees/peers

  • I understand how frustrating that can be…
  • I know how you feel…
  • I truly understand your concern…(and want to help)

Reassure the customers/employees/peers that you can handle their request

  • I will be glad to resolve this issue.
  • Let’s work together to see how this can be resolved.
  • I’d be more than happy to look at this for you.

Avoid saying

  • There is nothing I can do.
  • No (Without telling what can be done.)
Contact me to find out more about how I can work with you and your team to develop a culture of excellent service.

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Keep getting better and don’t give up!!!


Is there such a thing as a natural-born leader?  Or a natural-born sales person?  Or natural-born anything?

I say no.

I say there are just people who keep trying, even when it isn’t easy.  I say don’t quit! Don’t stop trying to get better or figure it out.  Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly until you get better.

Where would we be if these folks had given up?

  • Thomas Edison he tried more than 9,000 experiments before he created the first successful light bulb.
  • Walt Disney’s Laugh-O-Gram studio went bankrupt.
  • Michael Jordan was cut from high school basketball team because of his “lack of skill”.
  • Abraham Lincoln plummeted into financial ruin as a young shopkeeper.  lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown
  • Milton Hershey failed dismally in his initial attempts to open a candy store.
  • Henry Ford’s Detroit Automobile Company went bankrupt before reorganizing as Ford Motor Company.
  • Bill Gates was a Harvard University dropout.
  • H.J. Heinz’s venture to sell horseradish flopped before his recipe for ketchup met with commercial success.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, and then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There is a book out called “Tough times never last, but tough people do”    I would say our current “tough times” call for each of us to be a little tougher, a little better and a little more passionate about reaching our goals.

About Phil

Contact me to find out more about how I can work with you and your team to develop a culture of excellent service.

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Do You Value Your Values?


    

To maximize service and long-term sustainability an organization must align values, actions and behaviors so that they serve customers, employees and shareholders. For the next few weeks, I plan to discuss how to build or strengthen your organization’s culture to maximize customer service, sustainable growth and employee satisfaction.

Value your Values

  •  Integrity
  • Communications
  • Respect
  • Excellence

Those sound like a good set of values on the surface don’t they?  These values were prominently displayed in the lobby of disgraced and bankrupt energy company Enron. Many executives at Enron were indicted for a variety of charges and were later sentenced to prison.

Obviously, they did not value their “values. Perhaps it would have been more accurate to say,We will strive to make as much money as we can without going to prison and we don’t care who we hurt in the process.”

I took a course in negotiating once and learned the phrase “Listen to what they say, but watch their feet.”  Trust me when I tell you that your employees, customers and business partners all subconsciously are always “watching your feet”.

Values that are not lived every day from the top down, are not values, they are what a friend of mine calls “marketing puffery”.  They look good in a brochure, website or on the lobby wall, but have little to do with what is truly valued.

Your actual company values can be seen by who is hired, who stays, who goes and who is recognized and promoted. An organization’s real values are the behaviors and skills that are valued in fellow employees.

I challenge you to make a list of your values, Enron’s and your nearest competitor, and then ask your employees to rank them as they pertain to your organization. Will they choose your values because they are demonstrated every day?

Review your company values and do some real soul-searching and discover what your customers and people need you to value and if you they are demonstrated at every opportunity.

Phil is one of only one thousand leaders worldwide (representing nearly 100 countries) to be trained and certified by John C. Maxwell & his team, as part of the founder’s circle of coaches, speakers and teachers. http://www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/philvanover/
He works with organizations and individuals to increase sales, productivity and profitability by helping them improve their leadership, sales and customer service skills. He offers workshops, seminars, speaking, and coaching on delivering extraordinary customer service, leadership, and personal development.

 

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Way to Go!


We all know that people have a need to feel appreciated, but often we hand out a “Way to go” or “Great Job” and they feel pretty empty and hollow. However praise is not just a tool to use indiscriminately, it is a habit worth making and a skill worth refining.

In a study done last year Globoforce®, the world’s leading provider of SaaS-based employee recognition solutions, they found the following statistics.

  • Thirty-eight percent of employees are actively looking for a new job, up from 36 percent
  • Thirty-nine percent of workers don’t feel appreciated at work, up from 32 percent
  • Fifty-two percent are dissatisfied with the level of recognition they receive, up from 41 percent

Obviously, there is a shortage of praise and recognition out there, but just how do we praise people in a way that will make them feel recognized and appreciated?

Here are few of my tips from a training that I offer on employee development and coaching.

  •  Use their name People love to hear their own name.  We all know that. When someone is recognized and praised for their attitude and effort, it is powerful. When the person praising them remembers and uses their name, it magnifies those positive results.
  •  Effective praise must be given with sincerity and enthusiasm. Start with phrases such as “I like it when you…”, “Thank you for…”    or “I noticed that you have been…”
  • Then tell them what they have done.  Let them know that you are aware of their positive actions. If they know what they have done it they will be much more likely to repeat it.
  •  Praise and recognize the effort and not the results. The only two things that we are in control of are our attitude and our actions. It just so happens that those are the two qualities that are hard to find in an employee.
  • Tell them how they have contributed to the goal. Steven Covey’s first habit is to begin with the end in mind.  When praising others it is a good idea to end with the end in mind also. People want to know how they contribute to the mission.

Verbal or written praise is just one way to let people know that they are recognized and appreciated. What ways do you show your people how much they are appreciated?

Phil is one of only one thousand leaders worldwide (representing nearly 100 countries) to be trained and certified by John C. Maxwell & his team, as part of the founder’s circle of coaches, speakers and teachers. http://www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/philvanover/
He works with organizations and individuals to increase sales, productivity and profitability by helping them improve their leadership, sales and customer service skills. He offers workshops, seminars, speaking, and coaching on delivering extraordinary customer service, leadership, and personal development.
 
 

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Napoleon Hill Lesson 15: Budget your Time and Money


“Inventory yourself and your activities. Intelligently balance your use of time and resources, both business and personal. Inventory yourself and your activities. Intelligently balance your use of time and resources, both business and personal.” Napoleon Hill

Money is not the main asset in life, time is, so I will discuss time and using it well in this last installment on the teachings of Napoleon Hill.  I have always heard that time is money.  You can turn time into money, but you cannot turn money into time.  I think a more accurate phrase would be that time is life.

Interesting thing about time is that if you are without it, you become stressed. Yet with a lot of time on your hands and you become bored.

Time follows certain rules. We cannot change or break them

  1. We all have a limited amount of time on this earth.
  2. Once an hour is gone, we can never get it back.
  3. We can leverage our time.
  4. We can invest our time.
  5. We can give our time to others.
  6. You can make the most of your time.

The hard truth is that your time is limited. You never know when your time will end. However, one thing is for sure, you can make the most of the time that you have.

Enjoy what life has to offer. Remember that we are just passers-by in this world we call life and can make the most of our precious time by developing the habits that Napoleon Hill outlines in his 17th and final of the Principles of Personal Achievement.

Lesson 17: Habits
Developing and establishing positive habits leads to peace of mind, health and financial security. You are where you are because of your established habits and thoughts and deeds.” Napoleon Hill

My hope is that my discussion of Napoleon Hill’s principles has stimulated new habits and a more positive outlook in your life.  If one of these principles has had an effect on your life please comment and let me know.

 

Phil is one of only one thousand leaders worldwide (representing nearly 100 countries) to be trained and certified by John C. Maxwell & his team, as part of the founder’s circle of coaches, speakers and teachers. http://about.me/phil.vanover
He is an experienced leader who brings a passionate, positive approach to developing people, driving sales through delivering outstanding customer service. Phil can bring training on leadership, service and personal growth to your organization.
You can sign up for Phil’s email newsletter and get a free gift from John Maxwell here FREE GIFT
You can email him with questions or comments @ philvanover@johnmaxwellgroup.com or call at 252 452-7945

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