To our friends and customers.
Thank you for your calls and good wishes. We are all well here. We do plan on being open tomorrow unless the authorities ask us to close the office.
Our thoughts and payers are with those who have been injured and the families of those who were killed in these horrible explosions.
As you know, I think customer service is one of the key strategic advantages for any organization. Great service makes your company memorable. Customers come back and they tell others about you.
Here are seven ideas for delivering great customer service:1. Greetings Matter
When a customer first meets you - in person or on the phone it so important. It "sets the stage" for everything that follows. You need to make the customer feel welcome.2. Keep a Positive Attitude
You know when you walk into a store if the people working there are happy to see you or if they're just waiting until the clock runs out. Your attitude matters! It affects customers. It can affect your coworkers as well. If you want some ideas on how to have a positive attitude, check out the free previews of "The Happiness Advantage" or "Fish" on our website.3. Listen
It's really important to listen to your customer. What do they need? If they have a problem, you should carefully listen to them and repeat their story back so they know you've heard their concerns. Listening is one of the skills that will really help you at work. And listening is a skill that helps you in other ways - with sales, and interaction with your associates at work.4. Pay Attention to Your People
When you think of great service, which organizations come to mind? Probably companies like Zappos, The Container Store, Wegman's and others are close to the top of the list. These organizations all have one thing in common: They pay attention to their employees. As Herb Kelleher from Southwest Airlines says, "We pay attention to our employees first. They'll take care of the customer and then, the shareholders will be happy."5. Training
OK, I know this suggestion is a little self-serving, but training does matter. You should use training so your team understands the importance of service - and what good service looks like. In addition, it's important to reinforce this message on a regular basis so everyone in your organization maintains the highest level of service. People get tired... they forget about customer service as they do their job day after day... and then your service suffers. So reinforce the customer service message on a regular basis.6. Little Things Mean a Lot
I know that I love it when a store remembers my name or recalls something that I like. I think the little things matter with customers. These small things show that you care about them. And, as a result the customer wants to keep coming back. It's also great if you can connect to the customer by mentioning something that they've told you in the past. Perhaps about their family or a significant event.7. Saying "Thank You" Matters
Finally, you should thank your customer. Remember, they often have lots of choices where they can get the same service. So if they have decided to come to you and your organization be sure to thank them for coming! Invite them back! And be sure to stay in touch with them.
Four Ideas (in Addition to Training) That You Can Use to Reduce Sexual Harassment Incidents in the Workplace
As you know, sexual harassment claims and actions can be a very serious issue that can cause problems for you and your organization, ranging from lawsuits and monetary damages to reduced employee morale.
The first and most important step to reduce the possibility of sexual harassment incidents in your organization is training. In fact, it is absolutely critical for you to conduct sexual harassment training in the workplace regularly to ensure that every employee understands what sexual harassment is and that your organization takes this issue seriously.
But, I also think that there are several other things that you can do to help create an environment where sexual harassment claims are less likely. Here are four ideas:
Build Respect: At its core, sexual harassment shows profound disrespect of a work colleague. That's why a training program that builds respect in the workplace can also reduce sexual harassment. This kind of training also helps with a variety of issues that range from diversity to bullying, and even to building teams successfully.
Keep the Organization Focused on the Mission: Offices can be swept up with issues ranging from disrespect to harassment to gossip. One way to reduce these issues is to keep the organization focused on your mission. That doesn't mean that social interaction shouldn't happen, but when the conversation turns negative and personal, then you can shift it back to the work at hand. That sends a signal that disrespect and gossip won't be tolerated.
Point Out Bad Behavior: When you see someone acting disrespectfully, then you need to let the person know that his or her behavior is inappropriate. Often, it is best for you to follow up with the offender in person. When you follow up, you should be specific: mention what they said or did. Explain why their comment or action was not appropriate. Be specific, and focus on the content of their comments and why their comments were inconsistent with your organization's policies. Then, if possible, see if you can catch them doing something right - and comment and compliment them on that as well.
Focus on Professionalism. I remember a colleague asking me this question, "Would you write (or say) that if you knew it were going to be printed in the New York Times?" I think this is a good question for every employee. If your behavior were on CNN or in print in the newspaper, would you do it? If the answer is no, then don't do it. Professionalism is key to creating a workplace that is free of harassment. Professionalism doesn't mean you can't have fun. It is appropriate to celebrate when you've reached a goal or a colleague is celebrating a birthday. But professionalism implies that people think before they act; and that action can have consequences.
Sexual Harassment, like other issues of bullying and disrespect can be debilitating to an organization. Your associates become discouraged and unhappy, and their productivity will drop. In addition, good people may become so discouraged that they will leave your organization. That's one of the biggest reasons why it's important to train on these issues.
I just want to thank our customers for their patience during the blizzard. We had to close early on Friday as the Governor had ordered all the roads and public transportation closed.
We are digging out from the snow today. While deliveries may be slightly delayed, we are open and our team is here to help you!
One of the fun things that we get to do when we start a new year is we take some time to reflect on the past year. We ask ourselves a variety of questions: What programs have been most popular with our customers? What does it indicate about the workplace today and what managers and HR professionals are seeking? What are our customers telling us about the future?
A few years ago, many of our customers were looking for programs on change as they tried to navigate the slow economy. I think with the improving economy we've seen a shift towards programs that motivate and energize a workforce. Of course, customer service remains a popular topic for all organizations. We've also seen an increasing interest in programs that help organizations deal with the many generations who are in the workforce simultaneously.Here is a sampling of some of our most popular programs for 2012
The Happiness Advantage with Shawn Achor is our most popular program. Shawn Achor has taken his years of research in positive psychology to the world of work. In essence, his message is this: You can increase your performance and productivity by every measure with a positive mindset... and there are simple tools to help you improve your mindset. All of this will help your organization. If you'd like to preview this program, click here.
Fish and Fish for Leaders: The Fish Philosophy programs remains some of the bestselling programs worldwide. I think part of the reason for the popularity of these programs is that on the surface, a fish market seems an unlikely place to find fun, positivity, creativity, and excellence. But, when you watch the Fish programs, you see all of these ideas present at the Pike's Place Fish Market - and the lessons are truly universal. If you'd like to preview this program, click here.
Ben Zander's "Leadership: An Art of Possibility" and "Attitude: Radiating Possibility" remain very popular. Benjamin Zander is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and uses music to inspire people to be their best. If you'd like to preview this program, click here.
Morris Massey has a totally unique, funny, and irreverent way to communicate about generational differences. His programs have been popular for decades. If you'd like to preview this program, click here.
Sam Glenn Series: Sam Glenn is hysterical. He's an artist and motivational speaker. And his message about attitude, change and... well, lizards are very popular with our customers. If you'd like to preview this program, click here.
Beyond Words for Healthcare: Body language means a lot - particularly in the world of healthcare delivery. This program (part of a series on body language) has been our top healthcare title for the year If you'd like to preview this program, click here.
Harassment: A New Look - the issue of Harassment is one that is constantly in demand. The "A New Look" series has become one of our best sellers as it provides excellent suggestions for employees and managers on everything from sexual harassment to bullying. If you'd like to preview this program, click here.
So what about 2013? We see an exciting year ahead as we work to deliver more programs to you - at a range or pricing. You'll see more titles under $200 (we've added this category as a "Topic" in our website) and also new releases from Enterprise Media and from other producers.
Also, stay tuned for some hysterical meeting videos!
We look forward to an exciting 2013 with all of you and are always grateful for the opportunity to work with you.Thank you for being our customers!