Micro managers are usually people that don’t have faith in their employees. They are driven by fear and anxiety, wanting to control the actions of their employees so that “nothing goes wrong”. All discretionary decisions must not be made by the employee because “the boss” knows what is best.

Watch this video with Tal Shnall and me where we discuss this topic.

And click here to read my blog post about this – it’s also my most viewed post.

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In Celebration of Customer Loyalty Month, Here’s Some “Anti-United Airlines” Stories

...lets highlight some great examples of service

April is Customer Loyalty Month. To celebrate, I share a few examples of great service that were submitted by the loyal readers of this blog. It’s nice to read something positive – aren’t we all getting tired of that United Airlines story?

Celebration of Customer Loyalty Month

Lindsey Hartig, Marketing Manager at Martin Resorts on California’s Central Coast, shares this story…

“At Pismo Lighthouse Suites, a son collected sand dollars for his dad since his dad couldn’t be with him on his trip. Unfortunately, he left them in the suite when he checked out and housekeeping threw away. The boy was very upset when he told his father he left them and the father called the hotel just to see if we had them.

Matt, a Guest Services Supervisor, took the call and said he would go to the beach and collect some for them and then mail them. Matt went to Morro Bay on his day off and collected a bunch, including the ‘dime sized’ one the son had found. They were shipped off the next day.”

Helene Wein, Director, Global Accounts at HelmsBriscoe, shares this story…

“Just got back from a work trip. Wish I would have gotten the name of the attendant, it happened so fast, and I was so impressed. Having just come from our group meeting at the restaurant, we had walked upstairs to attend an after dinner reception. I hadn’t gotten but just a few feet from the door and I started sneezing. Not usually a big deal, I sneeze in threes. (more…)

Talk About Giving Someone The Suit Off Your Back!

...yes, he really did this.

Here’s one of the best examples of how to create customer loyalty that I have ever seen. It happened while I was working at the Hilton Newark Airport Hotel in 2003.

Giving Someone The Suit Off Your Back

We had a fantastic staff, happy employees and a robust business. One day there was a buzz that traveled all around the hotel. “Did you hear what happened?” “You’re kidding, I don’t believe it.” “When did that happen?” “He really did THAT?”

We had a great front desk employee, Alberto. Always smiling, he knew the hotel like the back of his hand and the guests loved him. A model employee.

One Sunday evening, a guest checked in and, after emptying his luggage, realized that he had forgotten his suit. That’s bad enough, but the story gets worse. The next day, Monday, he had a job interview scheduled at 10am. He quickly began to panic, knowing he would never be able to go to the interview without a suit on. He was confident he would miss his chance at this job, the job he flew 1000 miles for. He called down to the desk hoping to find out if there was a late night department store in the area where he could purchase a suit, ANY suit.

Realizing the dire circumstance of this guest, Alberto sprang into action. (more…)

You Need to Use These 9 Business Building Hacks Today

Location, location, location. Is that all you need for a successful business? I doubt it. You need to use these 9 business building hacks today. Maybe there’s more to it than just location…

Business Building Hacks

Understand Who is The Most Important

The needs of the customer must always come before your own. They are the foundation of your business, any business. Forget the customer at your peril.

Hire For Personality First, Teach The Skills Second

In today’s “customer experience” world, you must have employees with an abundance of soft skills. You can always train for “hard skills”; specific knowledge of a software program, mechanical prowess or understanding of the law and corporate policy.

But, team building, empathy, self motivation, time management, communication skills and plain old common sense must be inherent in those you hire.

Don’t Put Short-Term Profits Ahead of a Long-Term Goal

Building a solid foundation for long term success is easier said than done but what other choice do you have? You didn’t start your business only to have it end in failure 3 years later and (more…)

Here’s How to Continually Give Great Service Even After 39 Years

Following in his father’s footsteps as a baker, and at the age of 23, Armando Leyva and his wife Lorely, started their own bakery business.  Still a novice to the bakery world, Armando leaned on his father’s many years of experience as a bread master and, much to his surprise, realized the bakery was much more than just bread. Soon he and his wife would discover the many talents needed to operate a successful business. There was much to learn.

Continually Give Great Service

The business’s staple, bread, was the start then pastries and desserts came next. Finally, special occasion cakes and the personalized decorations that came with it rounded out the core products they so willingly shared with their customers.

The neighborhood bakery, named La Gran Via Bakery, became the place to be when in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn NY.

Fast forward 39 years and the business is now operated by the next generation of Leyvas, Royd and Betsy.

During a trip last month to Brooklyn, my hometown, my wife suggested we stop off at her “favorite Spanish bakery” to get some treats not available in my neighborhood. How could I resist?

As we entered the store my senses were quickly met with the aroma of fresh pastry, chocolate and strong coffee. Then a friendly voice came from behind the counter, “That’s ok, that’s ok, I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that”.

As I turned around I saw (more…)

I had the pleasure to be interviewed by Tal Shnall, host of Customer Service Champions, where we discuss methods to improve leadership in the customer service industry.

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If You Make These 3 Stupid Mistakes Your Business Will Hate You Tomorrow

…how the bagel store forgot their bread and butter

When you take unacceptable risk, you have to be prepared to face the consequence. – Carly Fiorina, past CEO of Hewlett Packard, presidential candidate 2016.

Your Business Will Hate You Tomorrow

Being ready isn’t enough; you have to be prepared for a promotion or any other significant change – Pat Riley, Hall of Fame basketball coach, named one of the 10 Greatest Coaches in the NBA history.

Hope is an expensive commodity. It makes better sense to be prepared. – Thucydides, 5th century Greek historian.

Why do I start this article off with these quotes? To show the importance of preparation and how it doesn’t matter what industry or place in time you are in;

Preparation is a required constant. Click To Tweet

I stopped by my local bagel store last weekend and wasn’t expecting to see there was already a line of patrons inside. They looked as hungry as I was. But something wasn’t right. The line didn’t move, there was a constant murmur from the people and the workers seemed stressed.

What’s going on?

(more…)

Here Are 3 Steps You Need to Increase Employee Engagement

Today’s guest post is from Annabelle Rigby. She discusses 3 simple and easy-to-implement steps to increase the engagement of your workforce.

Employee engagement is essential to any successful business, allowing for a better exchange between employees and supervisors. Studies show that employees who feel engaged are more productive and satisfied with their jobs.

Increase Employee Engagement

Here are 3 steps you can take in your company to help keep employees motivated, and improve the efficiency and success of your business.

1. Let Them Know They Have a Voice

Regardless of whether it’s in the workplace, at home, or even in the grocery store, everyone wants to feel like they have a voice and that their opinions are valued by others. You can foster employee engagement by creating an environment within your business that encourages your employees to speak up and let you know what they think.

Listening to their concerns about everything from the work environment, to certain procedures and policies, and even customer feedback will allow you to paint a better picture of your business, and determine what works and what doesn’t. It will also affirm to your employees that they are valued members of the team and that they are capable of positively impacting their workplace.

Your employees are the face of your business - listen to them. Click To Tweet

It’s likely you’ll gain inspiration and receive some helpful advice if you encourage them to share their opinions and voice their concerns. (more…)

Great Leadership Comes From Within, Here’s My Proof

Since 2013 I’ve had the pleasure of being part of a wonderful organization, Bizcatalyst 360 led by Dennis Pitocco, where I am also a Featured Contributor and member of their “Thought Leadership” Panel. I get to interact and share ideas with a vast array of top leaders in their chosen field. There is no price that can be put on opportunities like these.

Leadership Comes From Within

Recently, Dennis asked the group to contribute our thoughts by answering 10 questions on leadership and how our leadership skills and mindset were formed. Below are my answers that I am happy to share with you.

How Do You Become a Better Leader?

1. Did anyone have a tremendous impact on your leadership journey and if so, how?

An old respected boss always told me “make it the best you can at all times”. Seems simple enough but too few follow this advice. Customers will notice and appreciate your efforts to provide the best products and services.

2. What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of an organization?

We must understand that:  A good leader brings out the best in others so they may one day be a leader too. Click To TweetEach of us possesses skills that, if allowed to be used, will benefit all. The difficult part is recognizing the specific methods that work best when motivating others.

3. How do you encourage people to take control and responsibility?

I train my employees to “put yourself in the customer’s shoes”. If we wouldn’t be happy with the product or service we provide, how can we expect others to be happy with it? We are aware of our shortcomings and still “sell our product”. But, if the customer knew about it, would they be happy? (more…)

How a Good Ticket Agent is the Key to a Successful Day

Life is stressful. The societal pressures of work, providing for your family, body image, social media, etc. are bad enough; the last thing you need early in the morning is a grumpy ticket agent to start your day off on a miserable note. Here’s my story…

the Key to a Successful Day

I haven’t taken the train into New York City, from my home in New Jersey, in roughly 10 years. I sure don’t miss the crowds or the unfriendly ticket agents. Guess dealing with fellow commuters gets to them too. Today was to be different…

On the New Jersey Transit trains there are blue-suited attendants, ticket agents, who monitor the passengers to ensure they have a valid ticket to ride the train. One by one they stop by each seat and collect the ticket, punch a hole in it and move on to the next passenger.

This is what you usually hear…

“Tickets, get your tickets out”. “Have your tickets ready” or some similar phrase.

Never a please, or hello and definitely not a good morning.

Sliding into my seat I waited patiently for the “floor show” to begin. That’s what I used to call the banter between the agent and hapless passenger.

“Hey, good morning, thanks. Have a great day”. “Morning, how are you doing today?” “Hello, may I have your ticket please?” “Great, thanks and have a wonderful day”.

I couldn’t believe my ears. (more…)