Feb 08 2013

Court Your Customers

Roses are red. Violets are blue.

If you don’t court customers . . . they’ll find someone new.

 Attracting, Delighting, and Retaining Customers Is Like Courtship

 

heart-be-mineMake a Good First Impression

Like speed dating, there’s plenty of competition for the customers’ attention. You only have a short time to make a good first impression before the “bell rings” and they’re off to see what someone else has to offer. Continue Reading »

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Jan 29 2013

Bridging the Service Gap

How to bridge the “service gap” when customers and employees live on opposite sides.

Service Circa 1968’s In my childhood memories, my mother pulls up to the gas station. A man dressed in a crisp uniform jogs to the driver’s window. “Fill ‘er up?” he asks politely. “Regular or Ethel?” That same uniformed service professional efficiently cleans our windows, checks the oil, and briskly walks our payment into the station. He returns with change and a heartfelt “Thank you, mam.”

bridge

Montana Department of Transportation Historical Photo. http://www.mdt.mt.gov/photogallery/

 

[Old enough to share this memory, I bet you know the melody to this TV commercial jingle: “You can trust your car, to the man who wears the star— the big, bright Texaco star!”]

Service Circa 1988’s My children’s childhood memories of going to the gas station feature mom hopping out of her into gale force winds, pumping her own gas, cleaning the windows (until the kids got tall enough!), then trudging into the station to pay or paying at the pump. Continue Reading »

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Jan 24 2013

Bowling Alone

Women-Bowling

Photo Credit: William M. Vander Weyde, 1910. George Eastman House Collection

Democracy in America 1830

When the author of Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville, visited the United States in the 1830s, he was most impressed by America’s many, active civic organizations. The fact that Americans were joiners, Tocqueville said, was the key to the new nation’s unprecedented ability to make democracy work:

“Americans of all ages, all stations in life…” he observed, “are forever forming associations…not only commercial and industrial associations in which all take part, but others of a thousand different types…” Tocqueville called this active membership the “art of association” and “habits of the heart.” He stated nothing had more impact on successful democracy than these “associations in America.”

Bowling Alone

If Tocqueville was correct, and joining civic organizations is the civic foundation of our democracy, what happens when American’s quit joining? Continue Reading »

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Dec 10 2012

Serve Like Santa

Lessons in Legendary

Customer Service

by Jeri Mae Rowley

Have a Great Story Even people who don’t “believe” know Santa’s story and will share it with others. Make your service legend one worth telling again and again.

Be Good for Goodness’ Sake Santa is always “on stage” and you are constantly making an impression on current, and potential, customers. Whether you are serving, or the one being served, be good … for goodness’ sake!

Make Your Workshop a Wonderland Invite customers to come in … and keep coming back. Set a gracious stage that welcomes people with lighting, aromas, music, color … and don’t forget the milk and cookies!

 

Be Jolly Customers are attracted to people who serve with pride, professionalism and a joyful spirit. Continue Reading »

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Nov 15 2012

Better Way to Buffet

Published by under Customer Service,Meetings

Truly a Balancing Act

Steinmetz, Joseph Janney, 1905-1985.

Joseph Janney Steinmez, 1905-1985.

Lingering in a single line, you serpentine the room; you precariously balance your plate while holding your utensils. Miraculously, you manage to use both hands to transfer your food. Add your hot beverage to the balancing act, warily winding back to your table.

Oops, you missed the butter!

Buffets are a great way to feed groups on a budget. If you are planning a buffet or potluck for your event, consider these tips to enhance efficiency, safety, clean up and, enjoyment of your guests. Continue Reading »

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Sep 30 2012

Purple Cows

Purple Cows of Business

When I was in college, there were only four “P’s” in marketing: Product, Place, Price and Promotion. As our economy moved from a manufacturing and extraction to a service-based economy, a fifth “P” was added to the list: People. Contemporary marketing’s ever-expanding checklist of “P’s” also include; positioning, publicity, pass along, and permission. Sound familiar?

607271-cow

Another P

Author Seth Godin, introduced another “P” in his book In Praise of the Purple Cow, reminding readers “The world is full of boring stuff—brown cows—which is why so few people pay attention. Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service.”

How to “Stand out from the Herd.” Continue Reading »

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Sep 29 2012

Listening with Heart

We hear with our ears. We listen with our hearts.

In Chinese, four characters create the active verb “to listen,” ears, eyes, undivided attention, and heart. If one essential element is missing—you aren’t really listening.

Listen-Chinese-characterSome people are hard of hearing. Hearing involves perceiving physical vibration of sound waves on an eardrum. Hearing happens unconsciously, involuntarily. Many people are “hard of listening.” Listening requires concentration, enabling your brain to extract meaning from language, tone, and sentences. When we truly listen, we have an opportunity to understand the sender—regardless of agreement. Continue Reading »

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Nov 06 2011

Appreciation

 

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

William James

People need to feel appreciation.  Especially now, when all of us are “doing more [and even more] with less;” the yearning to feel appreciated is intense in every workplace.

Pre-recession research from the U.S. Department of Labor revealed that the main reason people left their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated.  And in one Gallup Poll, 65% reported that they had received no recognition for good work in their workplaces.

During the current recession, employees have been thankful just to have a job.  But, as the economy picks up, we’re seeing indications that “thankful for a job” does not mean “satisfied with a job.”   According to Manpower, 84% of working individuals plan to find a new job this year – up 24% from a year ago. In 2011, the thing most people want to change is their job. Continue Reading »

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Oct 03 2011

Women Owned Business 2011

“Women continue to launch enterprises at a rate exceeding the national average, yet their firms remain smaller than those owned by their male counterparts.” That’s the conclusion reached in the “State of Women-Owned Business Report” published recently by American Express OPEN. For 14 years, the study has tracked the health of Women-Owned Businesses in the United States.
Described as a “mix of progress and paralysis” the report acknowledges a unique dichotomy for Women-Owned Businesses. The good news …continued increase in the number of Women-Owned Businesses. The bad news… the increase is stymied by fewer employees and 14 years of flat-lined annual revenue numbers. Continue Reading »

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Sep 12 2011

Family-Owned Business

Family-owned businesses are an enduring backbone of our economy.
“Mom and Pop” remain the true backbone of America’s economy. Family-owned businesses in America are responsible for 60% of total employment, 78% of new job creation and 65% of all wages paid. The importance of family-owned business is revealed in the following 2011 statistics. Continue Reading »

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