Archive for the ‘Management Training’ category

What do Malaysians and North Americans have in common?

April 19, 2008

Me with Jonathan Low, MAPS conference chairI got to answer this question for myself a few weeks ago when I spoke in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I had two engagements, one speech for the Malaysia Association of Professional Speakers annual convention, where I spoke on “TurboTime: Maximizing Your Results Through Technology.” (I’m pictured here with the conference chair, Jonathan Low.)

The second presentation was a two-day intensive seminar for executives on “Creating Customer Service Excellence.” This program was sponsored by Elite Citadel, a seminar promoter for SE Asia.

What did I notice about the two audiences that was similar to North American audiences?

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Do something different to set your company apart at Halloween

October 9, 2007

Books For TreatsWould you like to generate positive buzz about your company this Halloween?

Do something different this Halloween — sponsor Books For Treats in your area. What is Books For Treats? It’s a program that encourages you to give gently read children’s books to your trick-or-treaters. For about the price of a candy bar, you can purchase good second-hand books and delight your ghosts and goblins.

How does this work for your company? You could sponsor (buy) the books from second-hand book stores or other resources, and set up a table at a shopping mall or other venue in your community for trick-or-treaters. Many cities are now doing this so kids have a safe, central place to spend Halloween. Collecting treats is often coupled with other activities for the kids.

How does this benefit your company? Put bookmarks with your company info, or a sticker on the outside that says, “Compliments of (your company.” Send press releases to the media to get them to cover this unique giveaway. When you tie it into reducing childhood diabetes and obesity and increasing literacy, it is a win/win all around.

And believe it or not, kids — and their parents — love the books, even if they are slightly warn. Your good will will go far in getting positive responses — and new business.

I’ve been doing this at my house since 1995, and the kids (and parents) loved it so much, I expanded it into the community. We gave out 3500 books last year, and have 8000 to hand out on Halloween to kids in San Jose.

Go to the Books For Treats site to read more, download a free kit on how to do this, and start it at your house or community. Our motto is, “Give kids brain candy. Feed their minds, not their cavities.”

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Acknowledge the good stuff

August 27, 2007

My friend Mike Robbins’ delivers amazing presentations using appreciation to deepen relationships at work and home.

His book, Focus on the Good Stuff: The Power of Appreciation, is just published, and he’s doing a special drive to get on Amazon’s bestseller list tomorrow. If you buy it Aug. 28 (at a new-release discount), you will receive hundreds of dollars of free bonus products from authors and speakers like Jack Canfield, Marianne Williamson, Jeffrey Gitomer, many others. Learn the details on how to get the bonus materials.

The book shows you how you can dramatically enhance the quality of your life and relationships by focusing on what you’re grateful for, who you appreciate, and all the good stuff around you. Mike teaches simple yet effective ways to utilize the power of appreciation — leading to greater success and fulfillment. This book is filled with action items, ideas, and practices that help you bring more appreciation into your life, thus giving you a deep sense of peace, satisfaction, and gratitude. It is endorsed by Jack Canfield, Marianne Williamson, Rev. Michael Beckwith, and many others. The foreword was written by Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

Here’s a recap of Mike’s formula for giving great compliments, something we can apply to those we want to continue to date, as well as others in our lives.

Mike RobbinsOne of the best things we can do to support, empower, and inspire the people in our lives is to let them know what we appreciate about them. However, for some of us complimenting and acknowledging people can be challenging for a number of reasons -– we’re busy, we take others for granted, we focus on the things about them that we don’t like, we worry about what they’ll think, or we feel uncomfortable expressing our appreciation.

Here are some specific tips for how to give great compliments:

1. Be genuine — speak from your heart, say what you mean and mean what you say.

2. Be specific — let them know exactly what you appreciate about them (the quality or action) and why

3. Let them know how they impact you in a positive way — people can’t argue with our experience, so when we let them know what they’ve done and how it has impacted us, it gets through the “gate keeper” that most people have for deflecting compliments.

4. Give without attachment — don’t expect anything in return.

5. Make sure they accept your compliment — don’t let them deflect, disagree, or blow off your acknowledgement.

As we enhance our skill and ability with acknowledging others, we become a powerful force of love and appreciation. Giving great compliments is something we all can do to increase the level of love and connection we experience with the people in our lives. And, it’s fun!

See how you can use these tips with the people with whom you live and work.

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There ought to be a law — customer disservice

July 24, 2007

In the last week, I’ve encountered three situations that have totally ignored the customer having a positive experience. Each one is an example of someone just doing what they have been told, without any thinking through of the implications for the customer.

1) While waiting to board a computer plane, the agent announced all passengers should exit the gate and wait on the tarmac. So 50 of us were herded out in 90-degree weather to be buffeted by the jet spray of our incoming plane, wait for the passengers to deplane, watch the pilots do their pre-fight check and the ground personnel to clean the plane. After 20 minutes in the hot sun, we were then allowed to cross the steaming tarmac to board.

Why couldn’t we have sat comfortably in the air-conditioned waiting room while the plane landed, passengers disembarked, and the plane was checked and cleaned? It would have been a lot more comfortable, and we could have had another 20 minutes of productive time working or reading.

2) I received a letter regarding my AmEx merchant account telling me one of my customers had reported fraudulent charges on her account. Her charge to us would be deducted from my account unless I could dig up proof of her purchase and fax it back to them. However, they included a list of every charge on her bill during the challenged time and she had to mark “I take responsibility for this charge” or “This is a fraudulent charge” on each item. She had marked the charge for my item as the former. Yet I had to prove the charge or I would be docked the payment.

Why should I have to waste my time proving something she takes responsibility for? After calling AmEx they said there was no way around this. Is this stupid, or what?

3) I arrived as instructed at 11:15 for my 11:30 doctor appointment. The pre-exam paperwork took less than one minute, but that is the reason they asked me to appear early. At 11:45 I was called by the medical assistant to take blood pressure, temperature and weight. I was shown to the exam room, told to disrobe and put on those skimpy paper covers. At 12:15 the doctor appeared.

Why should a patient be kept waiting for 30 minutes essentially naked? Couldn’t the MA take the vitals, then put the patient in the exam room, but told not to get undressed until closer to when the doctor is ready? I know doctors have tight schedules and can’t wait for patients to undress, but couldn’t she let the MA know when she was finishing up with the previous patient so the new patient can be informed to disrobe now?

All of these examples are of procedures designed for the company, not for the customer. As people get fed up with being treated like cattle, they will take their business elsewhere, to those who show some modicum of care about the customer experience.

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Do your staff focus on serving each customer uniquely?

June 26, 2007

She stood at the entrance in her crisp uniform, greeting every arrival. The guests filed past into the hotel meeting room for the local radio and TV broadcasters annual awards banquets. She looked each person in the eye as they passed and said, “I hope you have a great time tonight.”

I watched her, noting this out-of-the-norm behavior, even for 5-star hotels, which this was not. After we were seated, she visited each of her tables and asked if there was anything we needed. She chatted with those who wanted to chat and moved silently to pour wine for those otherwise engaged.

I complimented her on her impeccable attention to the guests and asked what motivated her to treat everyone with such care. She said she’d been working in hospitality for over 40 years and loved her job. But the next thing she said stood out for me.

“These people have given me so much joy every day, I’m thrilled to be able to help them make their special night memorable.”

This server had a clear vision of who her customers were that evening and how she could give each something from her heart.

Did she do this with every group? What about those who she had no personal connection to? I didn’t think to ask her, but now I’m guessing she found something to celebrate about each group.

Do your employees find ways to relate to each of their customers? Do they think about how to make each interaction special? Do you notice exemplars and compliment them? Or better yet, reward them?

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