“Switch Your Focus Away From Your Customer”

Companies pushing the ‘exceptional’ customer service mind set are misguided in their focus.  As I have written several times, exceptional service is evil.  It’s evil because it can be easily duplicated by our competition, it can be expensive, and to some of our customers, it won’t even be perceived as exceptional. 

I have also written, over my 24 years of being a customer service expert, that exceptional is necessary.  It’s necessary because it’s in the customers face, it’s something they can touch and see.  Also, if we don’t deliver some exceptional service, our competition will. 

The key to exceptional service is to steer your effort away constantly trying to find newer and better ways to deliver great service, stop wasting your time.  This is what I call the ‘more-ness’ factor.  Our American mind set has led us to always looking for ways to do it more, faster, better.  You can invent the latest and greatest service idea, but if your service provider is in a bad mood because some jerk cut him off on the highway on his way to work, the best ideas will fail.  And, as I feel with exceptional customer service, I think we’ve maxed out, it’s time to stop beating the competition with exceptional service and switch our focus to quality customer service. MORE BELOW

                                                                            Choose one of these three great training tools. 

Quality Customer Service vs. Exceptional Customer Service;

In this 15 minute audio and power point presentation you learn the difference between Quality Customer Service and Exceptional service.  Why Quality service is more cost effective, creates a positive work environment and gives you a better competitive edge.  And we will show you how exceptional service may actually hurt your business because it is the necessary evil.

If you would like this free training tool, click and send qualitymodel@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

Privacy Policy; your information will not be sold or rented to any third party company and is exclusively for the exchange of content-rich training between your company and Gorman Business Consultants.

Time Management Matrix;

In this 45 minute audio and power point presentation you will learn where your time goes.  Pin-point what are your greatest time wasters?  Identify what are the things only you can do.  And what are the things other people can do.   

If you would like this free training tool, click and send timematrix@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

Maturity Ladder;

In this 45 minute audio with power point presentation you will learn how to assign tasks to the right person based on their level of maturity.  From there you will be able to give the best feedback to ‘grow them up’ the ladder.  All leading to a positive, mature, work environment.

If you would like this free training tool, click and send maturityladder@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

 Ultimately, the level of service you provide for your customers will depend on the culture you create for your employees.  Quality service switches your focus from the customer to the employee, helping them to be engaged, and it builds open and honest communication. 

While having well trained managers and supervisors to create this type of candor is important, it is only one step in the process.  First, leadership must make the commitment to quality service.  This isn’t a 180 in how you deliver service now; as I wrote, you need to practice some exceptional service.  And, if you are already delivering exceptional service, the change is actually easier because you don’t have to worry about that aspect.

Next, you have to switch the focus of your frontline team from SOLVING problems to PREVENTING them.

Only through an investment of training into the managers and supervisor and then to the frontline team will you be able to help everyone understand that they can and must help to ‘create a customer’ for the company.

Thank you.

Mark

mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

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“Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers”

If a customer has to expend extra energy to have their issue resolved, they are less likely to be loyal.  However, if the customer doesn’t have to put too much effort into resolving their issue, they are more likely to be loyal.  This according to a 2010 published article in Harvard Business Review titled, “Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers.” 

But, if you have been following me for the past ten years, whether through my blogs, newsletters, seminars or webinar, you know I’ve said this already.  And I didn’t need to survey 75,000 customers like HBR did. 

I have long said that exceptional customer service is ‘necessary evil’ we have to do it, if we don’t our competition will.  But there are three problems with exceptional service that makes it an evil. 

First, exceptional service is easily duplicated.  Think about it, if I’m your competitor and I hear or witness a service you are providing, that I’m not, can I copy you?  Sure I can.  And now, copying our competition is easier than ever, all I have to do is go to your website and surf around.  And, an unexpected problem from being duplicated is that we, as service providers, are raising our own bar.  We are setting unrealistic expectations on ourselves.  What are the services your our providing that your competition can be easily duplicated?  MORE BELOW.

 Choose one of these three great training tools.  Along with the gift, you will receive a profile form to help us give you the information best suited for you.

Quality Customer Service vs. Exceptional Customer Service;

In this 15 minute audio and power point presentation you learn the difference between Quality Customer Service and Exceptional service.  Why Quality service is more cost effective, creates a positive work environment and gives you a better competitive edge.  And we will show you how exceptional service may actually hurt your business because it is the necessary evil.

If you would like this free training tool, click and send qualitymodel@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

Privacy Policy; your information will not be sold or rented to any third party company and is exclusively for the exchange of content-rich training between your company and Gorman Business Consultants.

Time Management Matrix;

In this 45 minute audio and power point presentation you will learn where your time goes.  Pin-point what are your greatest time wasters?  Identify what are the things only you can do.  And what are the things other people can do.    

If you would like this free training tool, click and send timematrix@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

Maturity Ladder;

In this 45 minute audio with power point presentation you will learn how to assign tasks to the right person based on their level of maturity.  From there you will be able to give the best feedback to ‘grow them up’ the ladder.  All leading to a positive, mature, work environment.

If you would like this free training tool, click and send maturityladder@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

 Second, exceptional customer service can be expensive.  Too many times companies feel they have to ‘giveaway’ products or services to make apology for the mistakes we made.  In truth, if we handle the issue, and handle it quickly, the customer will return with future business for us.  We must remember to address the intellectual needs of the customer by fixing the problem and then their emotional needs by simply saying we’re sorry.

Third, exceptional service has a perception problem.  I may perceive the service you provide for me as excellent but, someone else may say, “They should provide great service, their prices are outrageous!”  Or, to me, great service is a knowledgeable service provider.  But to you, great service may be a clean environment.  If you focus your energies on one and not the other, someone is going to be disappointed with your level of service.  Try as we may, we can’t ‘reach’ everyone.  We are always going to have critics, so why spend time and money on something that has a high percentage of missing the target?

Quality customer service is the avenue to follow when considering where to put your energy to keep the customers you have.   If you would like to know the difference, send me an email for a gift of my 15 minute webinar recording giving you the details.

Thank you.

Mark

mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

 

Engaged Employees

Engaged employees produce 9 time more than disengaged. How to build an army of engaged? Call me about ‘Coaching & Leading Teams’ (CLT) and findout the 2012 schedule for Open-to-the-public workshops.  Also, available for in-house, customized sessions.

Discuss topics like; time management for leaders, teambuilding, engaging your customer, cutting costs to the benefit of the customer, Mutual Benefits Agreement and effective communication, how to give feedback, Maturity Ladder, and much more.

CLT is for the manager that needs a new percpective, the supervisor struggling in their new position and the future leader who has demonstrated the job skills but maybe not the people skills.

Thank you.

Mark

mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

 

Effective Communication for Leaders

 Here’s something I think you’ll be interested in.  I have a recorded webinar called, “Effective Communication for Leaders” available for purchase.  This would cover the Quality Leadership Model, Maturity Ladder, Conscious Competent Model, the Engaged Employee, the MBA, Public Praise and Dealing with Non-performance.  

 This is a 90-minute audio webinar of my voice with the same power point from the ‘Effort’ workshop, you also get PPT handouts.  The session is $197.00 and I don’t care how much you use it, there is no limit on usage.  You can put your entire staff through the session.  You can play it on a projector and have several people sit in for a group experience or have your staff go through it individually at their desks.  With the tightening budgets, this is a terrific value.     

 Is it something you would like to try?  Of course there is a money back guarantee if you’re not happy with it.

 Thank you.

 Mark

mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

612-308-3065

What’s the Best Method to Convince a Skeptic?

The answer to the question in this blog title is simple; value their input.  You must ask the skeptic, “What do you need to reach the desired result?” 

Engaged employees produce nine more than the disengaged employee.  Something engaged employees say is that they feel their opinion matters.  The way to demonstrate to them their opinion is important is to “Ask Affirming Questions” about the project they are working on.  You need to ask, “How would you like to appoarch this task?”  “If you were in control of this project, how would you like to see it conducted?”

You need to ask questions that get them looking for ideas and solutions to achieving the desired results.

Only a week left to sign up for my open to the public seminar, “Effort & the Role of Leadership” coming on January 18th and 19th.  Discuss this and hundreds of other time management techniques. 

Please contact me for more information.

Thank you.

Mark

Mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

612-308-3065

The Greatest Time Management Mistake & it’s All in Your Head.

What do you think is your greatest time management mistake?   Allowing interruptions?  Procrastination?  Undisciplined meetings? Actually it’s none of these. 

The greatest time management mistake you make is all in your head, it is deception.  Too many leaders allow themselves to be deceived into losing valuable time on the job.

I mean two things when I say deception. First, I mean when we deceive ourselves about our own level of importance.  If you have read my past blogs or taken my “Effort & the Role of Leadership” workshop you know I put a high priority on leaders tracking their time, you need to keep a time log.  When you keep on for a week you can then sit down and evaluate each task you did and uncover your highest priority.  I believe you’ll have anywhere from 4 to 7 things that only you can do. But, because of deception, I have seen too many leaders get wrapped up in their own importance and feel they are the only one who can do any task. 

I was working with Texas A&M and I put the participants through this exercise–I asked them to list the tasks that only they can do.  After a few minutes I asked the group, “How many of you have 10 things on your list?”  A few hands went up.  Then I asked, “How many of you have over 15 things on your list?”  All the hands but one went down.  I asked the gentleman how many things he had on his list and he said 22! Twenty two things on his list that only he can do, really?  What’s going on with this guy?  He was deceiving himself about his own level of importance; he was deceived into believing he was the only person who could do the tasks on his list.

Here’s another way leaders deceive themselves.  Let’s say, when you were new in business and someone in a leadership position said to you, “A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind.”  So you learn it’s important to always have a clean desk.  And so you put important tasks off while you take the time to clean your desk.

Or, let’s say your boss comes to you at 2:00 and says, “I need you in that meeting today at 3:00.”  And you think, “Well, if the boss says I have to be there, it must be important.”  And then you go to the meeting and find out it has nothing to do with you.  It’s because you were deceived into thinking that, if the boss says be there, it must be important.  Not enough leaders take the time to ask their boss, “Is it OK if I don’t attend the meeting?’

Deception will steal your time.  Make sure you are working on tasks that you and only you can do.  Don’t get hung up on minor tasks like cleaning your desk.  And take a minute to ask your boss, or anyone, if your presence is required in the meeting.

Mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

612-308-3065

“7 Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers”

I thought you may be interested in learning about my latest recording.

This highly effective 60-minute webinar recording will provide your employees with the skills to grow revenues by keeping your customer and developing an army of referral sources. 60-minute Webinar recording of “7 Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers” is now available for purchase.

FAST – No wasted time here. Get right to the heart of the matter in a 1-hour block designed to easily fit into your busy schedule.

CONVENIENT – No airlines. No travel. No time out of the office. Listen from the comfort and convenience of your desk.

ACTIONABLE – Our conference recordings provide cost effective tactics you can start using right when the session ends.

GREAT FOR MULTIPLE LISTENERS – Use speakers attached to your computer and as many people as you want can listen participate – at no extra cost to you. A projector is suggested for the Power Point presentation. Many professionals use these sessions as a cost-effective, time-efficient means of training supervisors, managers, and staff while reinforcing key issues in a fresh, new manner that they will remember and act on.

AFFORDABLE – Priced at $97.00, it is a fraction of the cost of travel and attendance fees for other high-priced conferences or seminars. Pass the recording to all of your employees, a great value!

FACILITATOR – Mark Isaac is an author, skilled trainer and owner of Gorman Business Consultants, a Minneapolis-based consulting firm specializing in customer service and retention. For the past 24 years, he has served as an independent consultant for a broad spectrum of public and private, national, and international companies, providing insights and applications for growing your business from the inside out. Helping ALL employees understand, they can and must help ‘create a customer’ for their organization. To purchase a recording of “7 Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers” just give me the OK and I’ll send you the link to the recording.

Thank you. Mark mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com 612-308-3065

Dealing with Non-Performance

Dealing with Non-Performance 

Happy holidays and welcome back.  I hope you all had a merry and safe holiday season. 

Let’s pick up our discussion of giving feedback.  Before the Holiday’s I wrote about giving your team the “MBA” to ensure positive desired outcomes.  Then I shared with you the importance of giving feedback.  Then, my last blog covered how you can give a “Public Praise” to your staff when the desired outcome is achieved.  You can revisit these and all and blog at https://7slightedges.wordpress.com/

Life would be great if our team members reached the Desired Outcome every time.  Our days would be filled with Public Praises and our team would be fully engaged.  But, life isn’t all beer and Skittles, sometime our team doesn’t reach the Desired Outcome and we have to give them, what I call, Dealing with Non-Performance

The first, and most important, thing to remember while giving a Dealing with Non-Performance is, remember it’s training, not discipline.  I think this is a big reason why the average manager fails to give this type of feedback; they feel it’s going to be some kind of battle and they’re concerned they may not be to victor.  Keeping in mind that this is a training opportunity will make the entire process more bearable. 

Just like the MBA and the Public Praise, the Dealing with Non-Performance steps must be done in order.

Steps to Dealing with Non-Performance

  • Tell the team member about the non-performance.
  • Ask for their input.
    • “Tell me about it.”
    • Wait until they are done talking before you start to speak again.
  • Ask for their solution
    • “How are we going to deal with this issue?”
    • They state the solution, remember, if you say it, it’s suspect.  If they say it, it’s the truth.
  • State their solution to them in the form of the MBA.
    • You may have to raise the level of the consequence. 

Confronting Non-Performance is a powerful tool for finding creative solutions to issues.  Done right, it will get the team member on track and you will demonstrate that their opinion is valued.  Notice, like with Public Praise, Dealing with Non-Performance is mostly questions.  It’s a little ironic that, when you give feedback, they do most of the talking, if they do, you’ve done it correctly. 

Hope you can attend, “Effort & the Role of Leadership” Open Seminar coming January 18th and 19th in Minneapolis. 

Now available for purchase my “7 Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers” webinar recording.  For $97.00 you can train your entire staff. 

 Mark

Mark Isaac 

Mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com 

612-308-3065