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What To Do When Your Organization Isn’t Getting The Desired Results

org challengeOften times when an organization faces challenges, shortfalls and doesn’t live up to expectations… fingers start pointing everywhere. The finger pointing is a natural sign and symbol of trying to place the blame and figure things out. The finger pointing is often followed by pink slips, excuses and questions.

There is a timeless organizational principle that I like to live by and help the organizations that I coach to always take a hard look at. The principle is simply this:

“If your organization isn’t getting the desired results, look no farther than the leader.” 

You can’t point as many fingers as you want, make more excuses than failure itself; however solutions can truly only be found by looking at the leader. Yes the team has to perform, but the leader is ultimately responsible for the strategy, hiring, firing and coaching of those team members.

If your organization is having challenges, look no farther than the leader for solutions.

Aloha – 10 Reasons Greetings Matter

It’s been said that “You never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression.” That’s a very true statement; however you can still make a great 2nd impression if for some reason you botched the 1st one. Impressions matter and 1st impressions really matter.

In that same line of thinking, I have come to understand that “Greetings Really Matter.” When my family and I arrived at the airport in Hawaii yesterday, we were greeted with beautiful fresh flower lei’s. A couple of the pastors from Hope Chapel greeted us with warm “aloha’s” and lei’s as a symbol of love and welcome to Hawaii. Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, peace, compassion, mercy and love. Hawaii has been very welcoming: Hotel, restaurant, people etc.

This really got me thinking about the importance of greetings and how they can make a world of difference. Here are 10 Reasons Greetings Matter

  • If you greet your family when you come home with hugs, kisses and kind words instead of walking through the door with your phone attached to your ear… You will communicate love, warmth and the fact that “they matter.” Greetings Matter.
  • If you greet people with a smile, hello, and how is your day? You may be the only smile they see and the only person to ask how their day is. It’s a simple way to make a difference. Greetings Matter.
  • If you greet people with a firm handshake, you are communicating hello, strength, passion, respect and remember me… Even if you crush their hand, they will remember. You never remember limp handshakes, but you will generally remember the firm one’s. A firm handshake always makes the non firm handshake person get a tighter grip – a subliminal message to say “Step up your game!” 🙂  Greetings Matter.
  • Greet those you love with “I Love You’s!” Unfortunately we always save the “I Love You’s” as parting words or words of remembrance. Flip it around and greet with I love You! You can still close with another “I Love You!” Greetings Matter.
  • Have an over-the-top greeting. Make your greeting was as memorable as Chick-fil-A’s “My Pleasure.” If you operate a place of business, understand that your welcome, greeting and reception go a very long way. Think of those restaurants that have an over-the-top greeting. Those greetings create great first impressions and opportunities for memorable experiences. Greetings Matter.
  • Phone etiquette and Phone greetings matter. Don’t get me started on “Main Menu, Automated Greeting type stuff.” Greet someone well over the phone. Greetings Matter.
  • Online Greeting – Sometimes the only greeting that people will ever get from you or your business is your website. Make sure your online appearance is communicating a warm welcome, unless of course your business is not warm and welcoming. Greetings Matter.
  • The Church should have the warmest welcome of any public establishment – Is the welcome at your church communicating affection, peace, compassion, mercy and love for everyone? Or is it communicating welcome to those that look like, dress like and act like we do. Your greeting matters, not just the greeting that you say, rather the welcome that you do. Greetings Matter.
  • Give someone a #FistBump. A FistBump is the Swiss Army Knife of greetings and gestures. I greet those in my online community with a #FistBump and good morning (every morning), no matter where I am, what time zone, what part of the world… It’s become my morning greeting and my morning gesture. As soon as I don’t think that this little gesture matters, those that are a part of my online community let me know if I ever forget to send out that top of the morning #FistBump Tweet. The #FistBump is really a Big Deal, as a matter of fact the New York Times recently featured an article about it in print and online, you can check it out here.
  • Your greetings matter because people matter.

Remember greetings really do matter. When you greet strangers, friends and family – make sure you communicate your own version of Aloha. Communicate affection, peace, compassion, mercy and love.

Thoughts? Share your thoughts on the importance of greetings.

2 Keys To Business Success

The older I become the more enamored I am with great customer service.  I enjoy giving individuals, managers or organizations positive feedback and compliments when their service is exemplary. Currently my family is on a quick vacation to Kansas City.  We took the boys to the Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor water park and themed hotel.  The experience was great and the boys absolutely loved it.

We spent 2 days at Great Wolf and I purchased an additional night hotel stay from Hotwire.com.  I have been pretty successful with Hotwire.com in the past, even though you don’t know where you are staying until you book.  I found a 3 Star hotel for a great rate. I primarily chose this location because it had a 95% customer approval rating. Customer approval ratings are a great indicator of what you are getting yourself into. Once I booked the Hotel, the Drury Inn popped up as my location.  Wha?  I’ve never heard of this place it sounds like it might be our first bad experience.

We checked in to the Drury Inn and have been utterly impressed.  What has impressed us the most boils down to the: 2 Keys To Business Success

  • 1. First Impression: We have all heard it, and it’s definitely true… “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  The receptionist was amazing, with an over the top personality.  She let us know about all of the hotel amenities that were available to us, and every staff member in the lobby and hallway gave us a friendly greeting.  The place was clean and we felt good because of our first impression.  It doesn’t matter if you have an Internet business, blog, church, clothing company, restaurant, Dr.’s office, hotel, water park, coffee shop, bank, pyramid marketing company, mechanic shop…  Your first impression is critical.
  • 2. Follow-Up: About 30 minutes after arriving in our room, the friendly front desk clerk called to make sure that everything was great in our room and to see if we needed anything additional.  This was a great touch and if we did have a problem they had an opportunity to immediately fix it.  As we were eating breakfast this morning the manager came buy our table and asked if we needed anything else and wanted to make sure that everything was great for us.  I watched her work the room and making sure all of the customers were taken care of.  This is one of the most important aspects customer service.  If your business didn’t make a good first impression or provided less than average overall experience, your follow-up can turn that “not-so-good” experience into a great one.  Often times businesses, ministries and organizations are one follow-up away from having a repeat customer, instead of a “one-and-done” type of experience.

Many of us have heard or had 1st hand experience with these 2 Keys To Business Success from organizations like Chick-fil-A and Zappos. I know I have!  On the other hand, I had never heard of the Drury Inn; however I’m now a fan of this older hotel located off of I-35 in Kansas City.

Making a great first impression and having great follow-up are 2 Keys To Business Success. They are never a substitute to a having great product; however they are the ultimate compliment.  They not only compliment a great product, they are an integral components to having a great product.

Share your thoughts and experiences with these 2 Keys To Business Success.  How have they positively or negatively affected your patronage of a business, brand or product.

What Happened To Great Customer Service?

The more and more I frequent restaurants, patronize businesses and interact with businesses over the phone… the more convinced I am that great customer service has become the exception instead of the rule.

Some of the most noticeable exceptions would be companies like Zappo’s, Southwest Airlines and Chick-fil-A.  Every time you hear someone talk about either of those  businesses’, they talk about how amazing their customer service is and how their bags fly for free.

I think we live in a day and age where businesses just want the quick win, the here and now and the show me the money.  Great customer service is a commitment to to winning over the long haul.  It doesn’t take any more time, energy and effort to say “Welcome to blah, blah, blah… what do you want?  Pull around to the window,” as it does to simply say, “My Pleasure!”

It’s ridiculous that I have to be amazed when I receive great customer service.  That should be the rule instead of the exception.  Well I guess me, you and others will have to continue to brag on those who do it well and those who can’t seem to figure it out will continue to go bankrupt, close their doors and be a thing of the past.

What Happened To Great Customer Service?

What Is Your Wish?

It’s been great to be on vacation in sunny South Florida, as a matter of fact I’m typing this from my 21st. floor balcony of The W Hotel over-looking the beach.  This balcony has been such a great place for writing, thinking, meditation and tranquility each and every morning.  I can smell the ocean, watch the waves roll up to the shore and watch the morning joggers.  I’ve even learned to appreciate the sounds of the cars passing by and occasional background noise of construction work.

The attribute that has impressed me the most about our stay at The W Hotel is their over the top customer service.  My wife and I have stayed at The W Hotel before in New York City; however we don’t remember our experience being quite like this.

From the time we arrived everyone from the bellman, housekeeping, concierge, to the front desk clerk have been exceptional.  You almost feel compelled to tip everyone for anything.  The W Hotel has this “Whatever, Whenever… What Is Your Wish” theme.  When you call the operator they answer the phone by saying, “Whatever, Whenever Mr. Williams, what is your wish?” Seriously, I think one time she even said, “Good Morning Mr. Williams, how can I make your wish come true?”

Don’t get me wrong this place costs a pretty penny per night and we have even ran across Miami Heat Superstar Dwayne Wayne and acclaimed Hip-Hop & R&B producer Scott Storch getting their Ferrari’s valet parked.  Not to mention the night of Lebron James’ “Big Decision,” he had 25 rooms reserved at The W Hotel right here South Florida.  The W Hotel has everything from the overall ambiance, look, spa level toiletry products, chic feel and most importantly the customer service.  My son’s who are seven and eleven years old said, “Dad, this hotel is cool and everyone is really nice.”

To top it off, I called to get a wake-up call and the lady asked me which type of wake-up call I would like, “Excuse Me!” She responded, “Would you like a motivational, inspirational, traditional or a breakfast in bed?”  Me, “Do, they cost extra?”  She responded, “No, sir Mr. Williams.”  Me, “Okay, then give me the inspirational.”

The next morning my wake-up call was as follows, “Good Morning Mr. Williams your inspirational wake-up call is ‘A man with confidence instills confidence in others.'”  She followed up with a, “Do you have another wish Mr. Wiliams?”  Me, “Give me three more wishes…  Seriously can you follow up with another one of these calls in about 15 minutes?”

The bottom line is that The W Hotel is not doing anything that any other hotel establishment can’t do.  A critical component for The W Hotel is the fact that the they truly value customer service and training.  It’s not merely a lip service that every service industry claims to value.  The W Hotel Values + Execution of Those Values = Satisfied Customers.  Satisfied Customers + Returning Satisfied Customers = Hotel Success.  This applies to all industry, if you don’t believe me look at Chick-fil-a and their “My Pleasure” value system.

How much more successful would restaurants, churches, businesses and any other service industry be if they truly embraced a “Whatever, Whenever, What is Your Wish Philosophy?”

Share your thoughts and experiences with brands that do an excellent job with customer service.

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