Are Your Service Employees No Better Than a Statue in the Park?

…if so, here’s 5 simple ways to fix it

I watched the customer’s eyes scan the area, first to the left then to the right side of the store. He hoped to make eye contact with the sales woman but alas, no luck. Apparently she had more important tasks to do than tending to the customer. What was so important that she had to give statue service?

Statue Service

Sending a text to a friend, updating her Facebook page, combing her hair and then checking her makeup. These are all “important tasks” but not while working. There are customers to serve…

I was watching too. I saw the sales person finish her tasks then just stand there and not offer help to the customer. What was she waiting for?

Should the customer search aisle after aisle for help or should he toss up his hands in frustration and just walk out. The latter happens more than we realize.

Most lost business comes from the customer we haven’t serviced or were even aware of. The customer expected service and received none so they went elsewhere. When employees are more focused on personal or administrative tasks that take them away from the service floor where the sale is made, we shouldn’t wonder why our revenues fall.

Here are some facts that back this up: (more…)

What’s More Difficult; Dealing With a Customer Face-to-Face or Over the Phone?

Well I think it’s very easy to answer; face-to-face communication is definitely more difficult. When you’re dealing with somebody face to face you’re not just listening to the words they are saying, you are also judging them by the actions of their entire body.

Face-to-Face or Over the Phone

You’re looking at their eyes and their hand gestures. You’re looking at how they’re standing, their facial expressions and overall body language.

The situation may change their words but their body says more and it’s usually correct. Click To Tweet

If they show a “closed up” posture, shoulders slouched with a head down; they may just be shy or introverted. It’s more difficult for them to state their case. If their hands are in pockets or covered they may be deceptive and hiding something. If they’re standing tall, hands out in front with palms up and looking you right in the eye while smiling, they’re probably being honest.

When dealing with a customer over the phone body language is not a factor. You, or your customer, can be in the office in pajamas and fuzzy slippers. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing as long as the words that come over the phone line are pleasant and are appropriate for the situation. (more…)

This is Why Your Success Habits Will Make You Better Than The Rest

...your conscious actions will lead to bigger things

Rod Stewart famously sang “Some guys have all the luck” and that may be true for “some”. But has YOUR success been because of luck or your varied personal habits that have, unknowingly, made you who you are and ultimately led to your success?

Success Habits

Most likely it was your personal habits; I call them “success habits“. Let me explain…

Each day there are a series of steps, actions and patterns that you take as part of your routine. You don’t consciously think about them, they just happen. Example: reading before bed, being a good listener or never being late.

These “habits” do more for you than you realize…

  • You like to read before you go to sleep; this probably helps your communication skills.
  • You always have been a good listener; hasn’t this helped your ability to analyze and evaluate conflicting points of view and come up with the effective call to action?
  • You hate being late to the movies; now think back on how many times you have been early to events and the positive actions that came because of it: Maybe you found the best seats, got the last available tickets or had a chance to speak one-on-one with the presenter and received some “insider tips”.

Directly from the pages of the acclaimed book, Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, is this widely used phrase:

It usually requires a minimum of about 21 days to effect any perceptible change in a mental image.

In other words, it takes 21 days to break a habit and conversely, 21 days to start a new habit.

Looking back on their careers, many believe that “being in the right place at the right time” has been the catalyst for their success.

I believe otherwise and (more…)

Even If You Only Help 1 Person

He is an 8 year Army Airborne veteran with 145 jumps and received 4 promotions. Immediately after being discharged he started his modest culinary career learning multiple cooking styles, trained other cooks and now currently works manning an action station in the middle of the dining room taking orders directly from the customers.

Even If You Only Help 1 Person

He’s a team player, customer focused and willing to help others. Just the kind of person any company should want to hire.

I’ve had a long standing relationship with a culinary school in New York City as an adjunct instructor for their hospitality program. Spending time with these students is extremely rewarding, especially when they share their hopes and dreams of why they wish to enter the challenging hospitality industry.

Recently I taught a 4 day program of professional development for this class with the topics of resume building, cover letters, building a 30 second elevator pitch, job searching and interviewing skills, all in the hopes of helping them to land their first/next job.

Due to various reasons, on one of these days, only 1 student arrived for class. Frankly, my first reaction was frustration;

“How am I expected to teach only 1 student?”

I thought this was going to be a waste of time but boy was I wrong!

As I sat down with this Army veteran to plot out a series of steps in the hopes of turning his resume into an “action-packed” and powerful representation of his skills and experience I realized (more…)

This is Why You Should Never Thank Your Audience

...a public speaking tip

After joining Toastmasters International, and completing one of my first speeches, my ending line was to “thank” the audience. Saying thanks after a speech is a “usual” and traditional ending. My mentor and the founding member of the club quickly gave me some wise advice:

You Should Never Thank Your Audience

“Never thank your audience”.

I asked why… (more…)

The 3 Best Ways to Deliver the Truth

Today’s guest post is from Alyson Sia. She discusses the 3 best ways a business can discuss issues with their employees, and customers too.

It’s nice to think that the businesses we frequent have integrity. The truth is integrity, or effective honesty, takes actual hard work that many are not willing to do. Each customer and situation is different, forcing you to adjust depending on who you’re dealing with.

best ways to deliver the truth

The real risk of losing a deal, a customer or a client “forces” us to be honest. It’s better to be transparent than to hide something that may cause something bad later on.

With that in mind, here are three things to remember about delivering the truth.

1. Listen

Customers rarely come before their need is urgent. They always need it now; they let you know that this is the case – and not always in the nicest way.
Listen to what the customer is “not saying”, and always think about what they need. Click To Tweet

Forbes magazine contributor Carmine Gallo explained, “Your customers will only tell you what they think they need, but how you meet their unexpressed needs makes all the difference.” (more…)

The 6 C’s of Leadership 2017

...study them, learn from them and put them into practice

Are you in search of leadership skills? Skills that will catapult your career to heights not yet imagined? What is the secret to great leadership?

The 6 C's of Leadership

Frankly, there is no “secret”, only a series of skills needed that will separate you from most would-be leaders who are nothing more than just “managers”.

Here Are The 6 C’s of Leadership 2017

How many do you possess?

Study them, learn from them and put them into practice. Imagine you already have all 6, good luck!

Character

Your morals and steadfastness to always “do what’s right” sets the tone. People know where you stand and what you stand for. Don’t come to this leader with some half-baked idea that is shady at best.

Charisma

You have the ability to attract, charm, and influence the people around you. No wonder you always seem to get your way. The room lights-up when you enter. You may be the other “most interesting man in the world”. (more…)

Why The World is NOT Full of Guys

...please use the correct words

Respect. We all want it, need it and deserve it. But when we use words that have “no meaning” we carelessly speak with disrespect to our customers. Why do we continually refer to “everyone” as a guy?

the world is not full of guys

Over the course of my training career I have constantly said “words have meaning”. We must speak with clear intent, understanding that our words bring life to all situations. Click To Tweet

With a few sincerely-meant words we can easily take a dissatisfied customer and turn them around, providing we use appropriate actions to match. Just as easily, we can take a content customer and, using a few seemingly innocent words, show disrespect, imply a lower status and diminish their worth.

Here’s an example that I bet most of you have encountered…

(more…)

Read How CD Baby Turns a Mundane Email Into an “Exceptional Conversation”

Correspondence from most members of the retail industry is reduced to little more than a form letter with a few “mail-merged” names; the letter can fit most circumstances and usually does. Isn’t it about time someone uses their imagination and creates a response that we look forward to read…and share?

cd baby shipping letter

Derek Sivers, who founded CD Baby in 1998, once the world’s largest online distributor of independent music, had a brainstorm. Initially his company sent out a standard automated e-mail with every order that let the customer know when the CD was actually shipped. At first it was just the normal “Your order has shipped today. Please let us know if it doesn’t arrive. Thank you for your business.”

But quickly, he felt he could do better. He spend 20 minutes and created an email, the shipping letter, which has since brought smiles to everyone who has read it and reportedly led to their largest increase in customers since.

Here’s the email… (more…)

Do All Your Touch Points Need to be Perfect?

...or, does allowing a little "customer pain" actually help?

Pursuing excellence, customer centricity and continuous improvement are obsolete; so says Sampson Lee in his 2015 article “Turn Upside Down How PAIN is Perceived in Innovating CX and Brand Management”.

Touch Points

I am glad to say that I haven’t really had many bad customer service experiences, just some that fell short of expectations or I was disappointed in. Did this cause me “pain”? No, not in the literal sense but it did show a gap between expectations and my willingness to “accept” what was not to my liking.

The most recent example came when I took my wife to a great resort spa for her birthday, just a quick overnight stay at a spa that was rated in the top 5 in the country. Everything was top notch, a beautiful property, excellent bellman & front desk service and the spa was fantastic!

The employees were so friendly and professional, we had a great time.

Now I know why they are rated so high, they deserved it…

But when most of the company is operating at such a high level, the departments that do not maintain the same level of service really stand out.

This happened with the (more…)