How attentive is your customer service?

Survey form with a tick placed in Outstanding checkboxPositive customer relationships are crucial to survival in today’s competitive marketplace. In fact, the quality of customer service can sometimes be the only difference between you and your competitors.

Customer service is not just about dealing with upset customers, it’s about creating a positive experience in every interaction with them. Good customer service is of vital importance for all businesses, large or small. It can have a direct impact on customer loyalty and where potential customers choose to spend their money. Simply put, the higher quality customer service you provide, the higher the level of customer satisfaction you will enjoy, and that will translate into repeat business.

Exceptional customer service is not about satisfying the customer, it is about “wowing” the customer! It’s about the customer being stunned by how enjoyable their transaction was with you.

Many businesses want to achieve “good customer service”, and are analysing their current mission and realigning it to be increasingly customer-focused. Do you give return business to a company that provides poor customer service support? Probably not. You and everyone else wants better customer service, and it’s one of the driving forces of why consumers buy at one place and not another.

Winning the loyalty and support of your employees

Motivational BossBe proactive in making the most of your opportunity to earn the support and loyalty of your employees. Here are a few tips and reminders of how you can show your best managerial and leadership qualities, and positively influence those around you:

Take a personal interest in your employees

  • Never view employees as only a means to an end
  • Treat each employee as a valued person

Be firm but fair

  • Employees have no respect for weakness
  • Fairness is often viewed more in terms of impartiality and consistency than in terms of right and wrong
  • Be sincere and honest
  • See both sides of an issue

Do not be defensive

  • When you become defensive you become offensive to your employees
  • Ask for suggestions
  • Admit your mistakes
  • Give credit where it is due
  • Be considerate

Provide a service

  • Think of what you give as well as what you get
  • Give needed information
  • Back up an employee when she is in the right
  • Know your job well
  • Be enthusiastic and pleasant

The power of vision

stevejobs1Do not underestimate, overlook or under-utilize the power of vision for your organization. It creates cohesive teams that drive performance in the same direction and outperforms the competition.

First, the definition: VISION is that view toward the future that senior leaders must have. A vision of the organization’s future is essential for leaders to know where the company is going so they can design and implement the right strategies.

These leaders must also articulate that vision for others in the organization so everyone is headed in the same direction. Typically, this vision is revisited periodically to be sure that it still makes sense in relation to the external environment in which the company operates.Now, the POWER of vision. You can motivate your people using your vision. Get them excited about where you are all going. Celebrate reaching important milestones along the way. Link each and every thing that you are doing – your mission, your goals, even every objective – to the achievement of your vision.

Articulate your vision. Bring it up as a central theme in every employee meeting – and maybe even in management meetings. Keep everyone’s eyes on the ball, to use a baseball analogy, and you will have a much greater chance of hitting those all-important home runs.

Next, get others to articulate the vision. What does it mean to them? The more your employees can relate to the vision, to visualize its achievement, the stronger your organization. Imagine the power of everyone pulling together in the same direction! This cohesiveness is your strength, your competitive advantage.

Energize every one of your employees, from the highest to the lowest, from the oldest to the newest. Then build your vision into your orientation program for new hires. Consider the best way to communicate this core information about the company. Should the vision be included in the standard presentation delivered by human resources or other department heads? Or would it be appropriate, convenient, and more significant in your organization if your chief executive officer would spend a few minutes with the senior managers of each functional area to share the vision? Make your vision a guiding beacon and cohesive strength for your organization.

The power of vision

stevejobs1Do not underestimate, overlook or under-utilize the power of vision for your organization. It creates cohesive teams that drive performance in the same direction and outperforms the competition.

First, the definition: VISION is that view toward the future that senior leaders must have. A vision of the organization’s future is essential for leaders to know where the company is going so they can design and implement the right strategies.

These leaders must also articulate that vision for others in the organization so everyone is headed in the same direction. Typically, this vision is revisited periodically to be sure that it still makes sense in relation to the external environment in which the company operates. Continue reading

5 reasons why managers don’t train employees

training_graphic_000015560128XSmallEmployee training and development initiatives can transform organisations by providing extra skills to your employees to increase efficiency and productivity. Training also leads to higher job satisfaction, which shows up in better corporate performance.

Pragmatic training also includes situational training that provides employees with the skill sets that allow them to make timely, knowledgeable decisions that benefit both their customers and the organisation.  Continue reading

Are you afraid to sell?

sales appointment“I’m experienced, competent, ethical and knowledgeable – so why don’t I have more paying clients?”

Having all of the above traits doesn’t prevent a big fear – the fear of selling (oh, that horrible word) your services. There is no way you can avoid selling, so how can you make it less scary? Continue reading

Keep your name off that layoff list

Layoff_noteA very important meeting is held, and you’re not invited. At this meeting, a senior leader announces that since targets were not reached, 150 managers will be laid off, and the purpose of this meeting is to create a list identifying exactly who those people will be. The key question for you is, “How do you keep your name off that list?”

In the 1960s Melvin J. Lerner described a psychological phenomenon called the “just world hypothesis”: People want to believe that bad things happen to bad people. After downsizings, for instance, it’s common for the survivors to believe that only the poor performers were fired.

But is that so? Continue reading

How to manage your boss

Too many otherwise talented managers fail to manage their bosses. Here are some tips that may help you:

  • manageyourbossMake sure you understand not only the goals, pressures, strengths and weaknesses of your boss, but also your own
  • Test what you know about the challenges and pressures your boss faces, and stay alert to changes that take priority
  • Communicate your expectations to your boss, find out if they’re realistic and try to persuade the boss to accept those that matter the most to you
  • Determine what you do that either impedes or eases working with your boss and change what you must to meet these work-style differences
  • Realize that for the good of the organization as well as relationships, your boss needs to hear about failures as well as successes
  • Build a dependability track record that will convince your boss that he or she can trust you to follow through on every task
  • Don’t waste the time of your boss with trivial issues