motivation

Make it Crystal Clear - 5/21/19


Sometimes we communicate so well, and sometimes we don’t communicate as well as we think we do. When you’re trying to set or manage another person’s expectations, what you say may be very clear to you, but the reality is it may not be clear to the other person. Read more

Harvey Wrote the Book on Focus...and Golf - 5/14/19


In Harvey Penick's Little Red Book, the famous golf instructor provides many key tips about golf that just as well could apply to life in general. One such tip is the following: Once you address the golf ball, hitting it has got to be the most important thing in Read more

Stop Rolling Your Eyes - 5/7/19


Most of our customer service tips offer advice and guidance. But advice and guidance is useless if the individual receiving it is not willing to listen, learn the theory behind it, and try to apply what they’ve heard or learned. I’ve personally facilitated hundreds of training sessions with clients over Read more

Should you tell the customer? The Employee’s Dilemma - 4/30/19


Last week we looked at the dilemma that many companies face – When there is an issue that is going to happen, should they tell the customer? This week, let’s address that same question from the employee’s perspective. I personally experience employees struggling with this question when I’m in Read more

Should you tell the customer? The Company’s Dilemma - 4/23/19


I have a lot of clients that struggle with this question, both at a company/strategic level as well as an individual representative level. When there is an issue that is going to happen, should you tell the customer? This week we’re going to address the question at the Read more

Customer for Life – The Final Step - 4/16/19


Two weeks ago, we addressed the Third Step of keeping a Customer for Life: Address what will keep them. Now, we’re sharing the Fourth and Final Step. To have a Customer for Life, you have to grow your relationship with them. While the 3rd step is the Read more

Use the Actions of Empathy - 4/9/19


I firmly believe that the most important personal trait of someone in customer service is empathy. If empathy is understanding the other person, then it’s very difficult to truly serve someone that you don’t understand. Particularly when they’re upset or irate, being empathetic and getting them to Read more

Customer for Life – The Third Step - 4/2/19


Two weeks ago, we addressed the Second Step of keeping a Customer for Life: Never let a relationship go stale – keep the communication going. Now, we’re sharing the Third Step. To have a customer for life, you have to address what will keep them. Read more

Facial Recognition is the Future of Customer Service - 3/26/19


According to a recent New York Times article, facial recognition is the future of retail customer service. A trend in technology for retail businesses is to utilize facial recognition technology in order to better know who is entering your business. The idea is that if somebody within Read more

Customer for Life – The Second Step - 3/19/19


Two weeks ago, we shared a Customer Service Tip on how to get (and keep!) a Customer for Life. We addressed the First Step, Knowing what you need to know about the other person. Now, we’re sharing the Second Step. To develop a relationship with anyone, there has to Read more

The Wedding Crasher – 7/19/16 TOW

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


In theory, the wedding photographer is invited, stays on the periphery, gets the candid shots, and takes excellent wedding party/posed pictures as well. That is what Mary experienced at her wedding – the photographer visited the site of the wedding and reception beforehand, met with the bride-to-be, discussed plans, timing, and locations. She scoped out photography angles, lighting characteristics, and got a sense for the theme and colors of the wedding. The wedding was beautiful, and everything was captured wonderfully by the photographer.

Mary’s sister Maggie had a different wedding photographer – this individual spoke to Maggie on the phone a couple times before the wedding and “didn’t have time” the week of the wedding to scope out the locations and plans with Maggie. Instead, he visited the wedding and reception sites a couple weeks earlier on his own.

On the day of the wedding he showed up – just 15 minutes before the ceremony – wearing his bright red shirt and tie – which stuck out like a sore thumb with the earth tones and white colors of the wedding. He continually moved during the ceremony to get the right shot – often distracting those in attendance, and he took way too many pictures – at least it appeared that way because of how much he was in the middle of all the activity.

He was as much of a wedding crasher as he was a wedding photographer.

When the pictures came back, there were several good, but too many were posed, too many had lighting issues, certain features of the reception location were missed, too many relatives and friends were not included, and – therefore – Maggie thought his fees seemed too high.

Sometimes the best experiences are made that way by talking to the customer first – what do they want, what do they expect, and how do they define success? Sometimes your planning process helps you paint a prettier picture with your product.

Don’t simply deliver a product. Engage the customer beforehand to see the desired experience through their eyes.

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Build Your Customer Service Energy – 12/29/15 TOW

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I am NOT a high energy person. It started late in college when my mom actually had me tested for anemia because I complained about being tired. First of all, I never knew there was such a test. Second, I learned it doesn’t pay to complain. I was hoping it was just a case of being a Senior in college and having a few too many late nights, but it turned out to be just who I was…and am.

Although I’m fairly laid-back, when I give a speech or facilitate a workshop on customer service, culture change, or client retention – participants invariably compliment me on my energy level.

But how can this be?

Maybe it’s adrenaline, but – even if it is – it’s adrenaline that comes from being with people I sincerely want to help, people whose questions and concepts make my synapses fire! It’s about engaging others in dialogue, in conversation – it’s about getting to know others to the point that you want to help them.

Maybe you’re not the highest energy person, and all the espresso and 5-hour ENERGY shots won’t help you sustain energy with customers. Instead, take a different approach.

View an interaction with a customer or co-worker as an opportunity to sincerely help someone. It’s an opportunity to engage with a unique and often very interesting person. It’s a situation where you’re having an intellectual discussion or personal conversation – it’s dialogue and engagement.

Each “Moment of Truth” is an opportunity for you to help others, learn a little more about the world, and share a little of yourself with the world.

Almost irrespective of the topic, each interaction is one of life’s little moments – and those little moments and the opportunities that they provide to engage others are energy-building opportunities.

Use the opportunity of the engagement to build your customer service energy.

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Don’t Let it Stick – 4/28/15 TOW

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Many American college football teams have the tradition of putting special stickers on their helmets. The stickers are an award for a great play. A player at Ohio State may have 20 Buckeye stickers noting all the great plays they made, while a Florida State player may have lots of tomahawks on their helmet. The more stickers you have, then the more great plays you must have made – and everybody can see that you must be a fantastic player!

Imagine you wore a helmet at work, and you get a Star on your helmet every time that customer compliments you, that patient says you did something great, or that account thanks you for going above and beyond for them. However, every time your boss berates you, every time that customer complains to you, and every time that account holder sends you a nasty e-mail, you get a big red “X.”

As you walk around the office you see others’ helmets, and they see yours. You get a perception of who is great and who is awful by the Stars and the X’s you see, and others also get a perception of you.

By wearing these helmets, the opinions and comments of others dictate how you’re perceived, but you can never let the opinions and comments of others dictate how you perceive yourself.

If we let those words and emotions of others “stick” to us, then we’re letting others determine our worth and our self-image.

Instead, we need to find ways to let the only stickers that matter to be those that we give to ourselves. At the workplace, we need to find ways to congratulate ourselves for small successes, to give ourselves Stars for being responsive, to add a sticker for focusing on that customer or co-worker like they are the most important person in the world.

I’m not saying we should build our own ego, but I am saying that we need to feel good about what we do for others, and if we rely on others to identify our value, most of us will be selling ourselves short.

Don’t let the opinions and comments of others “stick” too long.

Fill up your own helmet.

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