Sometimes You Just Gotta Toot Your Own Horn

...10 things that start off 2018 on a high note!

Hi Team. I wanted to take this time to thank you, my loyal readers, for your support over these past few years as I’ve written this blog. The process has been fun and gives me an outlet to vent some customer service frustrations from time to time (plus management and leadership frustrations as well as positive thoughts).

Gotta Toot Your Own Horn

2018 has started off on a great note and I wanted to share some news and info on many great things that has happened over the past 2 months.

1. LiveAgent voted my post: “Do You Have To Be Assertive To Provide Great Customer Service?” as one of “The Absolute 99 Best Customer Service Posts of 2017”. Click the photo to read all 99. Mine is #43.

Steve DiGioia Absolutely 99 Best Posts of 2017 (more…)

5 Questions That Prove How Ethical You Really Are

...how comfortable are you making these decisions?

Look, look, there he is. Yeah, I see ‘em. Come on, let’s go – we gotta head him off before he gets back into his office. I’m gonna get him first…not before me!

stevedigioia.com/blog

As you walk the halls of your business the employees make obvious efforts to greet you and do their best to become “known”. They know just a mention of their name from “the boss” may lead to future opportunities. You wield power and prestige. Your decisions chart the course for the company and the employee’s careers.

With sound judgment, logical reasoning and nerves of steel you’ve built this business to the powerhouse it is today. You’ve made great decisions.

But how ethical have your decisions been?

There are 2 kinds of leaders:

  • One who mentors, coaches and brings out the best in others
  • One who leads his/her company to success that’s built on the shattered hopes and dreams of others.

Which are you?

A few months ago a friend of mine shared a unique list of questions that must be asked when making business, or even social, decisions. These 5 questions focus on the underlying effect these decisions have on people.

These questions also drill down on you, the decision maker. How comfortable are you with these decisions?

5 Questions That Prove How Ethical You Really Are
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Ever Work for a Company That Reduced Employee Benefits to Save Money?

...there's gotta be a better way to become more profitable

To: ABC Company Executive Team; a brief prepared by Steve DiGioia to address the circumstances for which I am contracted.

Reduced Employee Benefits to Save Money

For 3 consecutive quarters gross revenue has dramatically fallen, investor concerns increased and net profits all but evaporated. The Executive Team has implemented a series of temporary cost cutting measures to reduce certain expenditures, some examples are; suspension of free employee meals and offsite health club membership, placing a cap on expense account use and reducing some PTO (paid time off) benefits for a select group of employees.

I am tasked with recommending actions and implementing measures needed to roll-out a new program of reduced benefits. It is also my responsibility to inform employees of ABC Company these changes will be in place until future profitable market conditions allow a return to prior status.  See below my recommendations.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“As entire industries fall to the economic recession there appears to be significant emphasis placed on ensuring that organizations make good choices to not only manage the current condition but to look forward to what will be needed when the predicted ‘bounce’ in the economy occurs. This is where people management becomes critical as organizations make the difficult choice of downsizing or making other cuts to fit the current demands and to stay profitable.

They must ensure, however, that they retain the talent they require to not only sustain the business but also to be able to rebuild when the time comes”.[1]

Herein lays the challenge. For the last 3 quarters of fiscal year 2017 we have seen a gross revenue reduction of 27%, equating to over $572,000.00. During this time commission-able employees of ABC Company have seen a substantial reduction in pay; non-commission-able employees have had their hours cut; management has already reduced certain corporate expenditures while putting a hold on approved upgrades to employee equipment and planned training. Understandably, these are needed actions to sustain ABC Company through these difficult times.

ABC Company is proud there have been no lay-offs and they have retained their talent as recommended above. The long term viability of ABC Company is in the hands of loyal employees willing to sacrifice for the good of the company.

But how long do you believe this will last?

As reported by statista.com, (more…)

Wouldn’t You Want To Do Business Like This Every Day?

…so what’s stopping you?

Close your eyes. Imagine walking into a store and are immediately met by a pleasant employee with one goal in mind; to ensure you find the best product that suits your needs exactly as you wish.

Wouldn't You Want To Do Business Like This Every Day?

No need to look for help, she’s already there and knows the products like the back of her hand. She is patient and flexible, asks the “right” questions to find your wants while letting you decide if the item(s) meets all your needs and expectations.

She is empowered to give you the best deal possible and tailor the terms to make the sale easy and doable for your budget. If later you are unhappy with the product for any reason you can return it with no questions asked.

Sounds too good to be true?

Lately, it is.

This is how business was done years ago. Businesses knew they must tend to the customer on every level to be successful. And, as a local business, they were dealing with a neighbor, their kid’s teacher or clergy and really wanted to do the right thing by them. Attentive service benefited everyone – they would never let the customer down.

We trained the new employee, monitored their actions and each knew what was expected of them. It was enjoyable coming to work, we were like family.

It’s so easy to be successful when customers want to do business with you. Click To Tweet (more…)

Leadership Series: Annette Franz

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Annette Franz. Annette is CEO of CX Journey Inc, a boutique consulting firm specializing in helping clients ground and frame their customer experience strategies in/via customer understanding.

Leadership Series: Annette Franz

Annette’s passion lies in teaching companies about customer experience and helping them understand the critical linkage between the employee experience and a great customer experience.

Q1. Hi Annette, thanks so much for joining me today. First question – You are one of the leading proponents of “customer experience,” but in today’s challenging marketplace many businesses focus more on generating revenue than on the positive experience their customers receive. How do we get back to understanding that business is about the service and the experience we receive?

This is one of the most perplexing challenges for customer experience professionals today; it seems like such a no-brainer. We know the business needs to focus on the employee experience and the customer experience over revenues. But most executives still adhere to the old management adage that they’re in business to maximize shareholder value. How to overcome this?

We need to build the business case: Listen to customers, make improvements, and show ROI (return on investment). We can also share publicly-available data comparing CX leaders and CX losers to their market performance to help tell the story and build the case. And we share customer feedback, stories, and pain to help executives understand that when things are bad, the customer will not return.

Or develop a customer immersion program where executives get to live with their customers as they try to use the company’s products and services. There are a lot of other things we can do, but the bottom line is that we have to make our case and sell it.

Q2. You have written that the customer experience is an ever-evolving journey. Can you explain what you mean by that?

The customer experience really is a never-ending, ever-evolving journey. Once you’ve designed the best experience for your customers today, their needs change, their expectations evolve, the business evolves, new products and services are introduced, different customers with different needs come on board, etc. Our work is never done!

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Happy to Announce I’m a Featured Contributor for ICMI

Introducing ICMI's 2018 Featured Contributors
January 18, 2018

What will ICMI Featured Contributors do? They’ll be your voice throughout the year. They’ll answer your burning questions, push you to think about new ways of approaching contact center leadership, and hopefully inspire you with new confidence. Each of these writers will share bimonthly articles on icmi.com and in our Contact Center Insider Newsletter.

Steve DiGioia, ICMI Featured Contributor

 

Here’s a Cheat Sheet That Will Make You a Better Leader

...#7 is my favorite

I’m about to tell you the truth. But, are you willing to hear it? We all think we’re good leaders but the fact is most aren’t. Let me explain…

Cheat Sheet That Will Make You a Better Leader

The owner’s kid who was gifted the company; the fast rising star who leap-frogged into management or the employee with the “special relationship” with the boss may all think leadership is within their grasp but boy are they wrong.

  • They took on a leadership position without the experience or confidence to make a difference.
  • They run on auto pilot and expect success without knowing what’s needed to achieve it.
  • They’re not as good as they think.

They’re not leaders but followers; like birds in a flock. You can’t tell one from the other.

But you’re different. You understand that a leader’s job is difficult and takes dedication and patience. You look at situations differently and are willing to chart a new path. And, you’re ready, willing and able to start your journey into leadership – you don’t want a handout, but you do need some help.

If you’re wondering how to become a better leader – I’m here for you my friends. So…

Here’s Your Cheat Sheet That Will Make You a Better Leader

1. A good leader brings out the best in others so they may one day be a leader too. Each of us possesses a unique skill set that, if allowed to be fully used, will benefit all. The difficult part is recognizing the specific methods that work best when motivating others. (more…)

How to Tell if Your Favorite Brand Monitors Social Media

Do you reach out on social media to the businesses you purchase from? If not, why not? Your Facebook or Twitter account provides an opportunity to let them know how happy you are with their product – or not!

How to Tell if Your Favorite Brand Monitors Social Media

So, how do you tell if your favorite brand monitors social media?

Many of you have read an earlier post of mine where I told the story of when Zappos, very unexpectedly, sent me a tweet in response to a conversation I had with a friend in a Twitter chat room. If not, here’s the link: http://stevedigioia.com/blog/heres-proof-of-the-great-zappos-service/

Well, it turns out that Zappos, besides being great at customer service, is also great at responding to social media mentions. Well a similar thing happened last month, this time with Vistaprint. (more…)

This is What You Need to Succeed In Any Job

…13 personality traits of the perfect employee

You’re trying to land the “perfect” job. Your resume is ready, you’ve done your company research and practiced for your interview – but you know something’s missing. This is what you need to succeed in any job…

This is What You Need to Succeed In Any Job
13 Personality Traits of the Perfect Employee

Honesty

If I hired you I would expect you to be honest and to do what’s in the best interest of my customers. I must have faith in you and believe you will work as I do, with integrity.

Dedication

My business has succeeded because of many things and above all is dedication. I have dedicated much and given this business my best. Because of my efforts I can now reap the rewards afforded me and look for others to share in the good fortune.

Commitment

I have worked when tired, sick or feeling “blue” – that hasn’t stopped me. My customers expect much and it’s my job to take care of them. My problems are my own and will never lower the level of service I provide because of any issue I have. I am committed. Can you say the same?

Professionalism: Punctuality and Respect

Much can be said about today’s young workforce. (more…)