Posted by Rich DiGirolamo on June 8th, 2011 | No Comments
Next week is the day. June 16th is your opportunity to reengage your organization. It’s not too late to plan your Recess At Work Celebration. The Recess At Work System offers you 12 high impact, purposed opportunities to learn, recharge, & celebrate. They’re designed for fun and to have valuable professional development and business growth. Click here to order yours and save 15% by entering code RECESSitate at checkout. It’ll ship today.
Join companies like Keen, the Dallas Regional Chamber, Iroquois Pipeline and Danbury Hospital who understand the benefits of taking a Recess.
But in the meantime…..
In my blog entry of June 6th I wrote about a Postmaster who didn’t seem to know how or want to sell me postage because his computer was down. I just stood there as he hoped I went away. The next day I went into that same post office needing to purchase a mailing tube. The handheld scanner device was not reading the bar code and when the postal clerk keyed the UPC code into the computer it was rejected. Her response to me was it doesn’t scan and it is not in the system. I could sense her frustration. Once again I felt as if there was this hope that I would just go away. I reminded her there was a price of $2.19 printed right on it and offered her the money. Clearly that was something she wasn’t trained to do. After many attempts the scanner finally cooperated.
We all have called a business only to be told their computer systems are down; or slow; or are rebooting. Seems to happen a lot with my cable company; which I have to tell you causes me to jump and down with joy since I only seem to call them when I am having a service problem. It is nice to know their problems are widespread throughout the internal systems as well. Feel my pain. Join my pain. But all kidding aside when I’m told to call back it doesn’t meet my ideas of great customer service.
Several weeks ago, on a Friday, I called a company wanting to discuss some advertising. A woman answered. She was clearly on a cell phone and in the middle of a crowd. She said “Rich, I am at the airport picking up family; my daughter is getting married tonight. I know this is not what you want to hear but can I call you Monday?” It was Friday. 1:00 PM. She was being honest. Of course this could wait until Monday; how often does your child get married? 1, 2, 3 times? Monday came and went; she never called. Nor on Tuesday. On Wednesday I went with another vendor.
Sadly, we live in a world where customers want it yesterday. Wanting it now doesn’t even suffice any longer. And not only do we want it yesterday, we want it faster, for less money, with no inconvenience and expect people to offer so 150% of themselves when they service us.
But here’s what we don’t want:
- Your internal problems should not be your customer’s problems. Customers don’t want to hear your problems and employers should be very concerned if employees are vocalizing those problems to customers. This can be signs of poor leadership, bad communications, inadequate investment in equipment, or low employee morale. Sharing your problems can and will lead people to competitors – especially if you are a service business.
- Employee frustrations are a clear sign of training and development – or lack thereof. As I wrote in my blog entry about the post office, what did we do before computers? We used our fingers and toes! A properly trained employee knows how to handle inconveniences; and often times you just need to replace frustration with humor. I’ll mention it here again…..training doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t always need to include high priced outside consultants. Every person on your team can teach something. There are DIY (Do-It-Yourself) training packages. For those who have already purchased the Recess At Work System, the Each Can Teach Recess is a great place to start. Why not start your next status or team meeting with a quick training piece. Or take 30, 60, or 90 minutes regularly to let the team share something they have learned.
- When you make a promise live up to it. I know; everyone screws up. Heck, I’ve screw up. I’ve forgotten to call people back. It happens. No one is perfect. I could have also called that advertising company back; but I didn’t. I chose to go elsewhere. I felt it was her responsibility to follow-up; not me. After all I was turning over my money. On a different day I might have called back. This time I didn’t because there were other options; who could offer me the same service. How many times have we lost a customer or disappointed someone because another didn’t so some simple follow-up on a promise?
So think about these three examples. Think how they apply to you, your business or perhaps how you even deal with personal situations with friends and family. People don’t want to know your problems; but they love when you keep your promises – whether they are a business associate or someone you lie in bed with.