purpose

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

Be Clear on What You Value – 11/11/14 TOW

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


Today is Veteran’s Day in the United States of America. Many veterans, those currently serving in the military, and those who have friends/relatives who have served seem to have a strong attachment to their particular branch of the service. The values espoused by the branches often relate to courage, honor, loyalty, respect, and integrity. Those associated with the military latch onto those words and try to embody them in all they do.

To a business, those words are akin to the Core Values of an organization. They represent what the organization wants its culture, its people, its image to be about; Core Values are the desired characteristics of the employee and the company. Those qualities – when defined – help in so many ways.

Unfortunately, we have some clients that have not yet created Core Values. They have an organizational Mission – so they know what they’re there to do. They often have a Vision – so they know the long-term direction they want to go. But they haven’t defined the fabric of the people they desire to live that Mission daily and move toward that Vision. They can’t look for specific personal qualities of a prospective new hire because those qualities haven’t been defined. They have difficulty rewarding specific attitudes and actions, because the attitudes and actions aren’t fully determined.

Now you may say that – if the company has a Mission and a Vision – they can reward behaviors that align to those; they can hire people to do the job needed to live the Mission.

True, but we’re talking something deeper than a job description. Surely you’ve experienced two people with similar job experience but could tell one would be a better fit organizationally than the other. I’m certain you’ve seen employees with technical skills but without the attitudes or actions that are a symbol of what your company truly values.

On this Veteran’s Day, it’s important to appreciate those that give us the freedoms we have and often take for granted. Let’s learn a lesson from them at the same time. Take time to identify what the organization truly values in its people. Then seek, hire, reward, and retain those that are an example of what makes your company great.

Be Clear on What You Value.

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Of Panthers, Bratwurst, and a Greater Purpose – 10/14/14 TOW

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I’m fortunate to be a season ticket holder of the Carolina Panthers NFL football team. At most games, I grab something to eat in the concourse before I go up to my seat, and the dynamics of the interactions with the staff at the food booths are usually VERY positive. Let me paint a picture…

First, I let my stomach guide me to the right booth (Will it be nachos, a burger, or bratwurst? Decisions, decisions…). Once I select the location – which typically has about 4-5 windows and lines of fans waiting to order, I choose the line, and begin slowly moving toward the front, taking baby steps after each customer is served – nothing special about the experience at this point.

But then it happens – a true customer service 21st century miracle! Are you ready? I get great customer service from (Are you REALLY ready?) people who are paid…NOTHING!

At almost every booth at every game, the booths are manned by volunteers. You can tell by their hats that they’re supporting a local high school marching band or a dance academy or some other organization. The “employees” are volunteers, but the organization gets a piece of the sales revenue.

When you encounter these volunteers, they ask you what you’d like, and they lean in to make sure they heard it correctly. These cashiers relay it to the co-workers to ensure they get the order passed on; the cashiers are always smiling, confirming your order. They’re joking with co-workers. There’s positivity EVERYWHERE!

They like their co-workers and care deeply about getting things right. “Now you wanted chili, is that right, sir?” or “Would you like extra jalapenos – no charge?” or “Was that a diet or regular?” or “Thanks much for coming! The condiments are in that silver station behind you. Enjoy the game!”

You might read this and ask “What’s impressive about this experience?”

These are people working for hours and hours in a tough industry – food services. They are not well-trained, they are on their feet for 4-5 hours at a time, and they’re dealing with sports fans – many of which are getting increasingly intoxicated as the game progresses.

Yet, the volunteers are positive. They convey appreciation. They work as a team with their co-workers. They listen, they confirm, then they get the order right…all without personally earning a dime.

So why are they so good? Because they know the greater purpose in what they do – supporting their kids and the activities their kids love. They know the benefits of their work and who benefits. They and their co-workers have the same goal. They WANT to do a good job for you…and for their kids.

To create a great customer experience, learn from these food service volunteers. Find the greater purpose in what you do.

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Adrian Knew the Goal of His Role – 4/29/14 TOW

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Last week was about the “5 P’s” of Building Confidence, but this week’s Tip will focus on the most significant one of all: Knowing Your Purpose.

I was facilitating a training workshop of K-12 bus drivers on Service Excellence. During the session, I asked everyone to create a “Personal Mission Statement.” Essentially I asked them “What is the greater good in what you do? What is the bigger reason for your job – beyond the miles you drive, the maintenance you check, the conversations you have?” I was essentially asking them “What’s the goal of your role?”

I told them that I’d give them a couple minutes to write down their thoughts, and soon everyone started writing except Adrian. So I asked Adrian if he had any questions about the assignment, and he said “No. I know exactly what my purpose is.” After giving everyone another minute to write, I asked for volunteers, and Adrian was the first to raise his hand. He said “I’m here to be a role model to the kids. I’m here to make sure they stay straight and give them advice when they need it.”

Now Adrian was probably only 23-24 years old at the time, but he knew his greater purpose. He knew that his true job – the true good he provided – went far beyond the thousands of miles he drove annually. It went far beyond the paperwork he completed and his many maintenance checks. His impact went beyond cleaning the bus and arriving on time.

He knew the goal of his role.

Do you Know Your Purpose? When you clearly understand your role and the greater good you provide for your customer, your co-worker, your company, and your community, you can be more confident in acting. You can be more decisive, because you know what you’re doing is part of your Purpose.

Find your inner Adrian – Know the Goal of Your Role.