Leadership Series: Kirt Manecke

Today’s profile is of Kirt Manecke, award-winning author and sales, marketing, fundraising, and business development specialist with over 30 years of experience surprising and delighting customers. He is also the author of “Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service-The Essential 60-Minute Crash Course”.

Smile the Book

Q1. Hi Kirt, thanks for joining me today. What do you believe was the turning point that led you from owning a successful surf shop near Keego Harbor, Michigan to where you are today?

After owning the surf shop, I worked for a New York Times Best-Selling children’s book author handling his sales and PR. I saw how well he was doing financially selling books and decided to write and sell my own books. I felt it would be a powerful way for me to be able to make a difference in the world and help fund causes close to my heart like animal welfare and land conservation.

Q2. Did you ever expect the success of your “Smile” series of books and have they changed your views on what “service” is?

While I was writing them, I thought they’d sell, but I also knew there was a chance I’d be wasting all this time writing books that would not sell. It’s a scary thought. I think that’s true with any product or service that people create. There’s always a risk that a product won’t sell. I’m pleased with sales.

The only thing that has changed about my views on service is that I’m very surprised to learn that it is really difficult to try to help some businesses that have poor service. Some managers and owners are not open to feedback and get very defensive. The ones who are open to feedback are usually the ones with the best customer service who are already delighting customers, and these are usually the people who purchase my books.

I guess it follows that statistic: 80% of companies think they are providing superior customer service, but only 8% of their customers agree.

Q3. What is the best part of your career? (more…)

Leadership Series: Kate Nasser

...The People Skills Coach™

I’ve had the pleasure to meet many wonderful customer service professionals who are leaders in their respective fields and niches. I was amazed at how warm and welcoming they have been and their willingness to embrace, support and welcome me into their fold. Today, I start my first “Leadership Series” of articles that profiles one of these leaders. Sit back and enjoy some behind-the-scene insight into their world.

Leadership Series - Kate Nasser

We start off with Kate Nasser, founder of CAS, Inc. Kate provides customized training, coaching and people skills workshops and is an award winning blogger and speaker.

Q1. Hi Kate, thanks for being the 1st person profiled for my new leadership series – great to have you aboard! Let’s get started. What interested you in public speaking, training and conducting workshops and how did you get into the industry?

I got into the speaking & training arena when I started my own business. I had been working in computers for many years and saw how my technical colleagues struggled with the customer service aspect of computer support. They didn’t have the people skills to work with the customers and solve their problems. So, my business plan was to teach techies how to talk to other human beings throughout the business. They loved my workshops because I was a techie and could help them learn better people skills.

Q2. What was the turning point that led you from being a high school teacher to The People Skills Coach™?

I was a high school math teacher for only a few months. Despite my love of teaching I knew early on that public school teaching was not my niche. I became a computer programmer, a systems analyst, and then moved into technical end user support.  It was there that I combined my natural customer service skills and my love of working with people. Yet I was still dissatisfied with my life.  I left and started my own business and became The People Skills Coach™.