Is this the way you build a relationship?

Would love to know your thoughts on this recent chain of events: Met a guy on a shuttle bus recently. We were going to the same conference. It was a 10 – 15 minute interaction. We both shared a bit about what we did and our businesses. We exchanged business cards. Ran into him a couple of times during the conference. We said hello and asked if we were enjoying ourselves. (you know, that obligatory stuff). When I got home I sent him a handwritten note; nice to meet you; hope it was a good conference for you. Today I received an email from him telling me how wonderful his company is, asking me to refer him; and that he has two books coming out soon; would I like to know when they come out? What are your thoughts on this scenario as it relates to building relationships? And what do you think …

Today’s (sarcastic) Customer Service Lesson: Get the customer frustrated and then ask for their opinions.

I love Verizon Wireless; and for those of you who have been following my blogging you know that. They have gone above and beyond for me so many times over the years that even if a better plan came along from another wireless carrier I would stay (of course they would somehow match it or do something to make me feel wanted). But I do get a chuckle every time I need to call them. You have to press an awful lot of numbers and get through a maze of options before you can actually speak to a person. Pressing “0” gets you nowhere.  Like a lot of companies they would like you to self-serve yourself at their website where possible. I get it; but sometimes the matters are a bit more complicated or need to be explained. So what about that chuckle? When you finally get through the maze, or had to call back because …

For “MY” Convenience….How to disengage a customer

On a recent flight the following statement was made during the “you can pick from peanuts, pretzels or cookies unless you’re in first class” announcement: For your convenience Delta Airlines only accepts credit cards for on board purchases. So when the flight attendant came down the aisle to pick up my trash I asked her to humor me and tell me how them only accepting credit cards is for “MY” convenience. She laughed so hard that everyone nearby looked. But basically she didn’t know how it was for my convenience? She thought it was ridiculous that those words were chosen, but it was in the manual; so she had to read it. Ah, the ole manual! So then I’m assuming the answers to the following questions can be found in the manual too: What if I’m the minor who was put on the plane going to see grandma? What if I don’t have a …

R = EE = EC = $$

Today I introduce to you the Recess Formula for Business Success. It’s a pretty simple formula and it will be easy to remember. R = EE = EC = $$   Where R stands for Recess; EE is an engaged employee; EC is an engaged customer; and I’ll assume that you know what the $$ equals. Here’s how it works: Give your employees a Recess (R) ;a break from the customary normal routine. Give them a chance to learn, to think, to play, to innovate, to rejuvenate and wind down. Do this regularly. What you’ll get is an engaged employee (EE). Engaged employees come up with new ideas, are better team members and provide customer experiences beyond your expectations. And you know what that leads to……………………… an engaged customer (EC). Engaged customers are fans. They come back. They look for more. They think of you first. You are on their …

So who really is the company decision maker?

  A while back I received a call from an HR Executive who wanted to hold a Recess for her employees. She wanted to have a little fun celebrating success and strengthening the team. We had some great emails going back and forth. We talked a couple of times. I developed a plan and sent a proposal. She then ignored me. I sent her an email. She responded immediately apologizing and they were really busy finalizing budget. She would look at the calendar this week. She then ignored me. I emailed a couple of weeks later. Something about busy, stressed and working on tight deadlines and new initiatives. My response: “Exactly why you need these few hours for Recess….and right now. It will get your team engaged, productive and through this stressful period.” Her response: “I promise I will get to it this week. (What’s there to get to?) Let me talk to CEO …

Engage a Customer: I like Your Hat. Thank You.

The title says it all. Well it used to say it all. When I am out in public I get stares and comments about my beanie hat. The majority of the comments are positive; and they come from Boomers, Gen X’ers, Gen Y’ers and the very young. I used to just smile or thank people for the compliment. Then one day I smacked myself in the head and went “DUH!” This was an opportunity to engage someone in a conversation. This was the opportunity that might possibly lead to a business card exchange. Maybe even a sale or a booking? So I sat around (and still do so) thinking of replies to when someone says “I Like Your Hat”or “Great Hat!”. Thanks. What do you like about it? Where’s yours? I see you smiling. That’s a good thing. There aren’t enough people doing that. What do you like most about it? And then for …

Your Presentation was PowerPointless. But it taught me a lot.

I HATE POWERPOINT!   In the last month I have sat through several PowerPoint Presentations where I have wanted to jab nails through my  eyes. Text was so small even the people in the front row could not see what was being presented Charts packed with information that could not be read from most points in the room Slides that appeared to be a shot of a Word document Bullet point after bullet point of every single word the presenter was saying. Why even have the presenter show up? I can read it myself. You get my point. I know we have all experienced this. Use of the tool was pointless. Bottom line is the slides did nothing to engage me, nor the rest of the audience, but probably did a heck of a lot to keep the presenter on track, especially if he or she was unprepared or nervous. Now …

Video Killed the Radio Star and Technology Killed the Entrepreneur’s Vacation……….sorta

The first video to appear on MTV when it debuted was the song Video Killed the Radio Star. Most people know that; but just in case you didn’t I thought I would lay the groundwork for my post. Well last week technology killed my vacation……….sorta. The good news is I got to ride my bike a lot. I got to eat fried clams. I got to watch fireworks (twice) as towns on Cape Cod celebrated the 4th of July holiday on different days. I got to the beach. I swam. I sunned. I read a book. I tanned. I relaxed. I listened to great music. I also closed one speaking gig and moved a second one closer to a signed contract. I’ve criticized people for being glued to their phones and I’ve been criticized for being glued to my phone. But the reality is sometimes there’s no escaping it. What it comes …