corporate culture

Challenges Create Opportunity, People Create Change - 4/20/21


There are so many great things that have been said over the years about overcoming challenges, pushing aside the roadblocks of life, dealing with difficulties.  And these are important points of discussion because challenges are all around us.  There are challenges with our personal health or in our personal Read more

The Passive Predicament - 4/13/21


The employee is speaking to you.  Do they have that look in the eyes like they’re hanging on your every word, like they’re processing, interpreting, and getting ready to quickly respond to your key points and questions?  Or do they have the look of somebody in the 2nd hour Read more

Regain Lost Motivation - 4/6/21


For many of us over the last 12 months, our home has also become our workplace.  Our work interaction has been 2-dimensional through the computer screen as opposed to the 3-dimensional experiences we’re used to with co-workers and customers. We are all motivated in our own unique ways.  Some are Read more

The Answer is Right, but the Service is Wrong - 3/30/21


Maggie was irate.  The gift she ordered needed to be received by the 20th of the month so she could give it to her cousin for his birthday.  It was the 19th, and Maggie couldn’t find any shipping update online, so she called the company.  The employee said “Oh!  Read more

Question Everything, but What’s the Question? - 3/23/21


The new leader joins the organization, and she decides she wants to question everything.  She wants employees to question everything.  Why have we always done it this way? Why do we continue to do it that way? Is this the best way to work? Sometimes it’s a great management Read more

The Resourceful Rep - 3/16/21


One of our clients is seeking to develop Customer Service Standards.  We’re working with them to identify those key expectations of staff that will enable the organization to deliver a consistent high-level customer experience.  One of the key attributes that this organization is seeking from its team members is Read more

Be Proactive like a Pro - 3/9/21


We constantly work with clients, encouraging them to become more proactive with customers.  Don’t just be reactive, waiting for the customer to ask questions or to complain.  Instead, go to the customer, anticipate their needs, suggest something to them. But many of us, frankly, don’t know how to be proactive.  Read more

Find One Unique Thing - 3/2/21


Many of us are not in a position to develop long-term relationships with our customers.  Our encounters are often one-time only with a customer - very brief and likely to be our only time chatting with this individual. And even though there may not be a long-term professional relationship developed, Read more

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - 2/23/21


Should I stay or should I go?  That’s not just a classic song by The Clash.  It’s also the question customers ask more and more, especially during difficult economic times. A recent study in the Charlotte Business Journal noted that 50% of North Carolina businesses are concerned with how to Read more

Optimism – A Force for Good in Customer Service - 2/16/21


Will 2021 be a better year than 2020?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe it would be nice to see into the future and know for certain, but I can’t and I don’t.  But as I wade further and further into this year, I can hope that the water Read more

Take a Football Approach to Changing Corporate Culture

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

As the NFL regular season draws to a close over the next 3 weeks, it’s a good time to get in some football analogies – particularly analogies that relate to business. Many coaches attempt to create a team culture, believing that how they work, communicate, relate, and interact on an ongoing basis impacts their on-the-field success.

We agree.

Consider these keys to creating your own corporate culture just like a successful football coach.

Target the Super Bowl

· If a healthy culture is defined as having everyone on the same page, going in the same direction. You have to define the “direction.” Leaders need to set long-term goals for the organization – a Vision of what it wants to achieve or what it wants to become. To most professional football teams, it’s the Super Bowl. Create that Vision.

Score More than the Other Guys

· Understand that getting to the Super Bowl (your Vision) requires you to accomplish certain milestones along the way. Know those milestones, those nearer-term goals for your organization. To an NFL team, they cannot get to the Super Bowl without winning games, and winning is defined simply as scoring more than your opponent. Define your organization’s milestones.

Know Who to Block

· Make sure everybody understands their individual roles. Lack of clarity for an Offensive Lineman can cause his quarterback to be sacked. Lack of clarity for a customer support person can cause an organization to lose a customer. Be clear with everyone on their individual role.

Huddle Like a Football Team

· Teams huddle to call out the play. When do you get all your individuals (or individual departments) together to discuss how you’re going to work on the next project or initiative? Everybody needs to know how their role will fit into the team picture, and they need to know the roles of others around them. Huddle with co-workers.

Get First Downs on the Way to Scores

· Don’t always through the long-bomb. Winning a game involves about 150 plays. If you keep moving forward on offense 10 yards at a time, you’ll keep progressing toward the goal line. Don’t feel like you have to do it all at once. Have a plan. Work the plan. Celebrate each first down, celebrate more on scores, and celebrate like crazy when you win.

With the right Vision, understanding of near terms goals, clarity of roles, communication, teamwork, and great execution, maybe your last celebration will be your Super Bowl!

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


Let the Patient Decide How Much You’re Paid

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

In the Ocala.com article Medicare gives hospitals an incentive to please patients, the author notes how “Munroe Regional Medical Center officials in Ocala said the overhauled health care law could result in about $700,000 annually in lost Medicare revenues or as much in additional incentives, based on how other hospitals nationwide fare.” The Medical Center has about 400 beds, to that’s roughly a $1.4 Million swing for a 400 bed facility (or about $3,500 per bed per year).

Medicare will be basing its reimbursement on several aspects of performance including quality and patient satisfaction. And much of the feedback on which the reimbursement is based comes directly from patients and family members. Let me restate this – $1.4 Million in reimbursement is dependent on the customer’s perception.

Think of it this way – hospitals get paid for its procedures, treatments, medicine, etc. But soon, how much they are paid for those procedures, treatments, medicine will be based on the customer’s opinion. It’s almost like the patients are naming the price for the care they’re receiving.

Think about this relating to your business. Imagine that your customer could determine how much you’re paid for each encounter with your organization based on the quality of the product and their experience with you. Would you look to find ways to improve the quality of your products and services? Would you try to improve the attitudes and customer service skills of your staff? Would you try to make your processes quick and seamless? Would you try to be better than you are now?

I hope you just said “Yes” 4 times.

For most hospitals, they need to ensure that their staff (clinical and non-clinical) are well-trained in customer service skills, principles, and techniques. They need to ensure that processes are simple and self-evident. They have to create a culture of caring for the customer. They have to hire staff focused on the patient as much as the arm being X-rayed. They have to incent staff to create a great experience and hold them accountable when they don’t. They have to have management who understands how to create a culture of customer service as well as how to model Service Excellence. They have to understand how to redesign customer service processes to be more efficient. They have to communicate smoothly about patient needs and processes. They have to be all about the patient.

If they do these things great, maybe revenues will increase by $700,000; do them poorly, and revenues will drop by $700,000.

Medicare is making it all about the patient. If you’re not in healthcare, thank your lucky stars that you don’t have Medicare.

But still learn this important lesson – make it all about the customer.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


Does Airline Customer Service Stink?

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

If you read about the recent results in the American Customer Satisfaction Index about airlines, you might not be that surprised. Customer satisfaction dropped for the industry with Southwest Airlines continuing to be the highest rated.

I’ve done some flying over the past couple weeks, and the customer service itself doesn’t seem worse to me, but it doesn’t seem better. As former Carolina Panthers football coach John Fox frequently said, “it is what it is.”

The big question is “Why is it allowed to be what it is – simply mediocre?” It was the TSA representative who literally did not say one word to the 30+ passengers for whom I watched her check their tickets against their I.D.’s. It was the flight attendant that wouldn’t reciprocate a smile as I walked by him. It was the congestion of passengers delaying boarding in a poorly designed gate entryway. It was the interminable wait for the “valet” checked luggage in the hot and crowded jetway after the flight.

On the flipside, I had a great experience with another TSA agent who warmly greeted and still productively processed passengers through the checking of their ticket. There was a flight attendant that went out of her way to ensure a family with small children felt comfortable. There was the self check-in kiosk where an employee gave some support in getting started in what turned out to be a 90-second process with no wait.

The problem is not that there isn’t great customer service in the airline industry. The problem is that it’s not consistently given. It’s too often dependent on which employee you get, on what airline you take, on…luck.

The obvious and correct conclusion, therefore, is that delivering great customer service is not a high priority. If it was, then there would be the intent and the execution to make it happen – consistently.

Make great customer service a priority in your business. Have an intent to make it a part of every aspect of your organization, and then ensure it’s being executed consistently.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/