Who Loves Ya, Baby? - 2/25/20

Telly Savalas played Kojak - a hard-nosed detective who solved crimes while eating a lollipop.  He was a tough guy with a tough attitude but a soft side.  He used to say:  Who loves ya, baby? So, who loves their customer? If you want to see somebody who loves their Read more

6 Actions for Attitude Adjustments - 2/18/20

The battle over one’s attitude can feel like a never-ending fight… I need to stop letting little things bother me. I need to not let that customer’s anger infect my mindset.  Just because my co-worker isn’t doing what they said they’d do shouldn’t mean that I should have an attitude Read more

A Hair-Cut Above...and Below - 2/11/20

After going to the same barber for more than a decade, I decided to leave.  The customer experience went down, and the price went up.  For my last several visits, I was the one who was driving the conversations – when I could get a word in edgewise between Read more

When Employees Fight Over a Customer - 2/4/20

There’s nothing like the feeling of comfort I get from a warm greeting at a business establishment.  A feeling of “you are my most important customer” and “I cannot wait to serve you” brings a tear to the eye of a customer service consultant.  But that’s not the only Read more

LOTS of Opportunities to Appreciate Customers - 1/28/20

They give us their money, and we give them merchandise. We say “Thank you!”  That is the old-time stereotypical opportunity for a company to thank their customers.  But there are opportunities all day long for us to convey appreciation to our customers. Beyond the actual transaction, there are so many Read more

When Jack Gave Arnie a Tip - 1/21/20

Jack Nicklaus may have been the greatest golfer ever.  Many think that Arnold Palmer was the most important golfer of the 20th century.  These two greats were contemporaries, so they became competitors and friends all at once.  And when somebody who is one of the greatest of all time Read more

Make it Abundantly Clear - 1/14/20

Becky was laying in her hospital bed and staring at the whiteboard on the wall.  It had a room number, the room’s phone number, and the date.  It had the pictures of the pain scale, with happy-to-sad faces and ratings from 0-10.  It noted when the last meds were Read more

Become the Wishing Well - 1/7/20

When you don’t know if the next step will solve the customer’s problem, give hope a chance.  If you’re not certain how things will progress on their project, give hope a chance.  If you want to end the conversation by having them feel positive, even if uncertain, give hope Read more

Why Silence is Golden - 12/31/19

In the world of customer service, to begin finding a resolution, sometimes we have to initiate conversation. To keep things moving forward, oftentimes we have to proactively engage in discussion.  To have effective dialogue, we need to avoid those long periods of dead silence. But don’t let those truths of Read more

2019 Holiday Poem - 12/24/19

There is joy absolutely everywhere, Sometimes you just need to look for it. There are birds and babies. There are flowers and sweet older ladies. You just have to look for them. People hold doors open for others, with smiles. There are days when you can see for miles. You just have to look for them. There Read more

The Light that Others Reflect – 10/25/16

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

Getting philosophical for the next 300 words.

The angry customer. The pushy or obnoxious co-workers. The demanding manager. The products that don’t always work. The stress on the faces and in the voices of customers and the employees serving them.

There are many dark moments that you may have to deal with during the course of your week at work. These are the dark encounters of our work day, those that can bring down morale, reduce the joy, and dampen employee enthusiasm.

But there is a light. There is a source of positivity, laughter, vision, and empathy. And that light is you.

I’ve been in some focus groups of employees discussing low morale. It seems like half the staff have the mindset of “once leaders change, then I’ll change.” While the other half seem to say “I’m not going to wait for others to behave professionally or positively before I act that way as well. They don’t control my behaviors.”

There’s an obvious difference in the two reactions. The first is passivity in the darkness. The second is taking ownership.

When we have a light – a positive nature, kindness, professionalism, respect, empathy and encouragement – we can be like the light in a room. Have you ever been in a room with a couple large mirrors? Those mirrors reflect that one light, helping the entire room to brighten more than it would otherwise.

The point is that dark situations at work should be opportunities for us – opportunities to bring in light. Opportunities to have your light be reflected in the attitudes and actions of others.

Be the Light that Others Reflect.

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A Great Co-worker Question – 8/4/15 TOW

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In working with a client on a culture change initiative, we were discussing how employees can best form relationships and support each other. Some members of our culture team talked about how employees often ask each other “How are you?” – which is positive, but it’s usually done out of habit, and the expected and typical response is simply “fine.” There’s no depth in the question and response, no real desire to have a greater understanding of the other person and enter into dialogue.

So what is the question to ask? Is it “Can you tell me your feelings today?” Is it “T’sup?” How about “What can I do for you?”

Try this: “What do you need?”

Asking a co-worker this question means that you want to help them. From a business perspective, you’re focusing the question on needs, not wants. It’s a better question than “What can I do for you?”, because the co-worker may not know what YOU CAN DO, but they do know what THEY NEED.

The need could be a simpler method of accomplishing a task. It could include stress relief or rest. The need could be a good performance evaluation. The need could be someone to talk to about their frustrations.

Asking about the need opens the door to a relationship with others and to helping others.

If you want a deeper relationship with co-workers and you want to help them as well, ask them this question.

What do you need?

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Apply “Inside/Out” to Yourself – 2/3/15 TOW

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A point we’ve made more and more over the years with clients is this: To create a great experience for those outside your organization, you need to have a great culture inside the organization. Don’t focus so much on how to treat customers that you end up neglecting how you treat employees and how employees treat and work with each other.

For this Tip, instead of talking about the organizational perspective, let’s talk about this personally.

I heard a speaker recently who quoted a 20th century philosopher who said “What you consume eventually consumes you.” Just think about that for a minute – What you consume eventually consumes you. What does that mean to you?

Here is what it means to me.

If entertainment you experience (the books, videos, TV shows, and movies) are about blood and gore, about hate and anger – then those visual experiences impact you. The same lenses through which you witnessed that entertainment are the lenses that sometimes slant your perspective on the world toward the negative and selfish.

If you surround yourself with people who are negative, put down others, and are constantly viewing themselves as the victim, then how easy is it to be positive with others? Do you find yourself assuming negative intentions in the acts of others? Do you find yourself focusing on who’s to blame instead of taking responsibility?

If what you – literally – take into your body is full of junk food (guilty!), carcinogens, or drugs, how clear of mind and purpose will you be in interacting with each other?

If your self-talk is negative, where you beat yourself up about what you do wrong and tell yourself what you can’t do, how comfortable and confident will you be in serving others?

I have issues with several of these examples as I assume most people do – but the point isn’t to determine how great we are or aren’t today. The point is to ask How can we get better tomorrow? How can we better serve others, be a better teammate, and be a better role model?

The answer? Look at what you bring into yourself. Avoid filling yourself with the ugly, the negative – with the junk. Try to fill up with good.

Apply “Inside/Out” to Yourself.

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