“Are You Efficient or Effective? Is There a Difference?”

Leaders today must be both efficient and effective to reach company and department goals, to engage employees, to retain more customers and to reduce employee turnover.

Finding someone, anyone who can be both is a rare find, it’s like finding Bigfoot.effective-communication

Most managers, usually excel at one. It may be they are efficient and great at meeting deadlines. But the problem maybe the leader uses a risk or reward style of motivation. If all is going poorly, the threat of working late. If all is going well, pizza Friday. Continue reading

Advertisements

“Asking Affirming Questions to Keep Your Customers”

Companies that deliver great service and keep their customers ‘Ask Affirming Questions.’7Slight_Logo

If you ever want to read a really good book some day read, “Awaken the Giant Within” by Anthony Robbins. Robbins teaches us that the quality of our life is based on the questions we ask ourselves–the problem is we ask bad question.

In another great book, “Psycho—Cybernetics”, Maxwell Maltz teaches us there is something in us to help us find the Continue reading

“7 Slight Edges to Creating a Customer Service Culture”

According to a JD Power study, companies that have a culture committed to great customer service will grow at twice the rate of their competition.

April was a milestone for me, I reached my 27th year of being in the training business. I designed and presented my first workshop in April of 1988. Where were you in April of 1988? images

In that time I have worked with companies throughout the US, up and down the Americas, back and forth to Moscow, and to West Africa. What I’ve learned in dealing with these companies is that they are committed to keeping their customers and growing from the inside out. As I worked with these companies I noticed they all did certain things to help them keep their customers, they are little things that make a big difference in the level of service they provide. I called these things “slight edges” and I saw there are seven of them.  Continue reading

“3 Reasons Why I call Exceptional Service the Necessary Evil”

I call exceptional service the necessary evil for a few different reasons.  First, it’s necessary, ServiceSign.29203237we have to do it, if we don’t, our competition will.  But there are three problems with exceptional service that makes it evil.

It can be duplicated.

Let me paint a picture for you.  If I own an auto repair station, and you own an auto repair shop, and you’re my competition, and you hear part of what I give my customers after doing business with me is a free car wash. Can you start washing the cars of your customers?  Sure you can.  If I hear you’re filling the gas tanks of your customers before you give the car back, can I start filling gas tanks?  Of course I can.  That’s a big problem with exceptional service; it can be duplicated.   Continue reading

“Gain More Referrals, Ask Affirming Questions”

question markTo get more referrals you have to ask for more referrals—it’s just that simple. Any marketing pro knows this. But, the problem is we ask for a referral in such a poor way the only answer we get from our referral source is, “Uhmm, yeah, sure, I’ll keep you in mind.”

One of the ‘7 Slight Edges’ is Ask Affirming Questions. This is a great slight edge because you can begin to apply it today and see a positive impact in your life and in your quest to gain more referrals. It’s the slight edge I get the most positive feedback about from past participants of my workshops. Continue reading

“Five Keys to Owning Your Time & Gaining More Referrals”

imagesAs a title professional referrals are critical to your success, it’s important that you spend the appropriate amount of time gaining referrals.  This is owning your time, doing the things that bring you closer to your goals. When you spend time on unimportant tasks—tasks that don’t bring you closer to your goals—someone else owns your time. Continue reading

“7 Slight Edges to Owning Your Time”

1979621_547235915374618_2121933437_nYou and you alone are responsible for where your time goes. Yeah, you can blame your staff, your boss and your family but, ultimately it’s your responsibility. Knowing that it’s your responsibility is the first step, the next is owning it. If you look at time as something you own, you are more likely to take care of it, protect it and nurture it. Continue reading

Be of Service

3904b35dad8869f5a5d3d61c3b28c0e4

Here’s a question for you, don’t over think it, it’s not a trick question. What does Harley-Davidson Manufacture? Motorcycles, right? Sure they are in to other things like apparel but, they make motorcycles. OK, here’s another question for you, this one is the trick question. What does Harley-Davidson sell? Now your answers may be more like, the open road, bad-boy image, or an American style. What does a good realtor sell? To some it may be the American Dream, for others it may be an investment.  What does a good travel agent sell?  For you it may be rest and recreation. For me, when I’m talking with my travel agent, I know I’m going someplace to earn money.

The next slight edge is ‘be of service.’ Companies that deliver great customer service, don’t talk about what their products and services are, they talk about what their products and services do for the customer—how they serve. More specifically, they talk about how their product or service will help customers reach their goals or fix their problems or make them feel; how it will serve. Continue reading

“Faith”

Image

Companies that deliver great customer service have faith. What do I mean by faith?  Having faith means, believing in something you have no proof of. We think that smiling, making eye contact, and using the customer’s name will bring them back but, we really don’t know it does. There are very few studies that report a customer saying. “I came back because she smiled.” But, we do these things because we have faith that it will bring them back.

So many times participants leave my workshops with some great ideas to deliver outstanding customer service and separate them from their competition. And of those who practice the slight edge of courage and put their ideas into action, many will drop the idea after a few weeks or months of not seeing the results they had hoped. They lack the faith needed to stick with it, to push on. And when you demonstrate a lack of faith, your employees lose trust that you will ever follow through on anything.

Faith is all about measurements.  It’s easier to keep the faith if we have something to tell us we’re on the right track. 

Let’s say your Big Picture is to live a healthy lifestyle. And to do that you’ve decided to put yourself on a diet and exercise plan to lose ten pounds. What measuring tool would you use to let you know you’re on track? A bathroom scale, right? You start your plan and after a few days you step on the scale and you see you lost 2 pounds—great, you’re the right track. After a few more days you step on the scale to find you lost a few more pounds—better yet! The scale builds faith you will reach your ten pound goal. No scale and you will have to use other, less accurate methods like notches on your belt. Or worse, you won’t have anything to go by. If this happens, you are very likely to stop pursuing your goal. 

Having faith is about measurements; you need to put things into place that demonstrate you are on the right track. If you develop a new customer service performance standard and you don’t have any signposts to help make sure you’re getting the results you want, you are very likely to stop doing it. 

If you ever want to read a really good book someday, read “The Game of Work” by Chuck Coonradt. In his book the author gives you methods of how to measure, or keep score, of how you are doing. The key is to put something, anything, into place to help you keep score.

Many thought leaders recommend this idea of a score board or score card. They work in so many ways. They show your progress, they help you keep the faith, they engage the employee, they provide quick feedback—these are only a few benefits.

The scorekeeping method you use is best if it is

(1) Objective; there is nothing subjective about the bathroom scale. Make sure your signposts are specific.

(2) Self-administered; ask your staff what measuring method they would like to use on themselves. You will be helping the staff take ownership of the idea by valuing their input.

(3) Dynamic; use two or three methods of measuring. Allow the employee to compare current performance with past performance. 

Here’s another aspect on faith. People who lack faith, live in their history. They are always looking back on things. They say things like, “This is the way our industry is.” Or, “This is the way we have always done it.” Or, “I could never run a marathon, earn a million dollars, own a business.” These people are living in their history, they see life as it’s always been.

But people who have faith live in their imagination. They look at how good things can be. They don’t look backwards at what are limiting patterns, they look forward to unlimited possibilities. They have faith that this new idea or new initiative or new goal will not only work but be filled with rewards.

This is not dreamland, this is about living in your imagination and seeing how great things will be, taking that first leap that and putting your idea into motion and then having a scorecard to measure your progress and help keep your faith.

Keeping the faith is all about measurements and living in your imagination. Don’t let good ideas die on the vine. Have the courage to take action on your idea. Think about how good things will be. Use signposts to make sure you’re on the right path. Give feedback to nurture the actions and help the staff take ownership of the idea. 

Don’t become frustrated if you don’t get immediate results. Remember, unsuccessful people take forever to make a decision, and then change their minds quickly. Successful people make decisions quickly and are slow to change their mind. 

 

Act with Courage

Do you realize that most of us will live our entire lives never knowing whether or not we are a coward? When was the last time you acted with courage? And I don’t mean a bungee cord or tandem parachute jump–life is not supposed to be a pursuit of catastrophe. I mean the kind of courage that requires a commitment, not a momentary beat down of a fear. I mean real courage like running your first marathon or making a commitment to being debt-free or writing a blog two or three times a week?

The reason we don’t act with courage is because failure feels ten times as bad as success feels good. Cowards are self-centered people, they are concerned with how they will look if they fail. They are concerned about what other people will say about them if they fail. Courageous people have no regards for self. They know and understand, if they fail they will learn from the experience. They will ask themselves, “What did I do right? What did I do wrong? What can I do better or different the next time?” They know and understand that failure doesn’t mean stop, it means get up and try again. Courageous people can accept failure–they can’t accept not trying.

Ask me about my 60-minute webinar recording, “7 Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers”

$77.00—no usage limit.

mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com 

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. You need to build your courage muscle–you need to start out small. Go for a walk every day. Ask your boss for that raise. Ask that man or woman you’re interested in out for a date. Start building little ‘wins’ and then you can turn up the courage level. Quit smoking, turn off the TV and spend time with your spouse, say no to going out with your friends and put the money your save into your savings account. Then you’re ready to take the next step towards a greater level of courage. Quit your job and pursue your dream job or start your own business. Start training to complete your first marathon. Take those blogs you have been writing and turn them into a book.

Courage requires us to feel uncomfortable. Courage requires us to get past ourselves. Courage requires personal change.

It’s time to start acting with courage—you’ve put it off long enough–you deserve to act with courage. It’s time to sacrifice who you are for who you want to be.

Mark