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Browsing posts under "Miscellaneous Thoughts"

Cool Things Worth Checking Out

I’ve been collecting articles and videos that I think you might enjoy!  Here they are!

INFORMATIVE:

Here’s a great article on Ben Zander: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2537

If you ever wondered, here’s an article on Google’s hiring strategies:  http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130620142512-35894743-on-gpas-and-brain-teasers-new-insights-from-google-on-recruiting-and-hiring

Macy’s CEO benefits by visiting stores and listening to associates for custom merchandise to meet regional tastes: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-12/macy-s-ceo-store-visits-gain-urgency-amid-shares-slump-retail.html

More on Multitasking: If you’ve seen or previewed our training program “The Happiness Advantage,” you know what Shawn Achor thinks about multitasking.  Well here’s a cool video that explains even more! 



FUNNY:

Here’s a fun video with Scotties that’s designed to make you smile.  I know, it has nothing to do with education and training, but we all need a laugh:



Posted under What’s New, Lists, Miscellaneous Thoughts, Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage, Benjamin Zander by Stewart on Jan 20, 2014 | Comments: 0 | Comments Off

Seven Ideas For Great Customer Service

Customer Service Excellence

 

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.


Posted under Lists, Customer Service, Miscellaneous Thoughts, HR and Training by Stewart on Mar 04, 2013 | Comments: 0 | Comments Off

Blizzard of 2013 Update - and Picture!

Blizzard of 2013

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!

Posted under Uncategorized, Miscellaneous Thoughts by Stewart on Feb 11, 2013 | Comments: 0 | Comments Off

Four Reasons Why Etiquette Matters in the Workplace

My friend Robert Dimmick has been writing about Etiquette for years under the name "The Etiquetteer."  I like his wit and humor (as well as his sensible advice).  I also think that etiquette may be a surprisingly powerful resource for HR professionals...

You're probably asking why am I writing about etiquette?  Isn't this a concept that has gone out with powdered wigs and the Model T?   The answer is simple: I believe that most of the principles of etiquette can help you in your workplace - today's workplace.

Here are some of the ways in which Etiquette can help:
  1. Etiquette helps with customer service: Let's face it, good customer service comes from politeness and genuine interest in the needs of the customer.  Improve the level of etiquette and you'll improve your service.
  2. It helps build respect in the workplace:  When we look at harassment in the workplace, much of the problem seems to stem from a lack of, well, politeness.  If you look at the scenarios that are shown in our respect and harassment prevention training videos, you'll see scene after scene of bad, boorish behavior.  Maybe, if we all tried to be a little more polite, then the incidence of harassment (and the attendant productivity reductions) would diminish. 
  3. It can be a way to reduce workplace conflict:  Workplace conflict can and does happen.  But if your team exhibits respectful, polite behavior, the likelihood of this happening is reduced.
  4. Good behavior also is a boon to business:  You can achieve more if you have good and positive working relations with colleagues, vendors, and customers.

Here are a few great articles from The Etiquetteer for you:

Thoughts on Customer Service.

Thoughts on Office Etiquette.

I encourage you to poke around the website.  You'll find lots of insights and quite a bit of humor as well!

Posted under Miscellaneous Thoughts, HR and Training, Management, Respect in the Workplace, Etiquette by Stewart on Feb 01, 2013 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment»

The Power of The Personal

Panera Bread Story - Brandon and Theresa Cook

So much of what we speak about boils down to the basics.  Treat customers as you'd like to be treated.  Listen to the good ideas of your people.  Keep a positive attitude and your attitude will spread to others. 

Often we get so tied up in the day to day business, that we forget these basic lessons... Here is a great story about a simple act of kindness... One that had a huge impact for Panera Bread.  CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORY

Remember, the small stuff really matters!

Here's more on this great story from AdWeek!

Posted under Customer Service, Miscellaneous Thoughts, Corporate Strategy by Stewart on Sep 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Comments Off

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