Bad Customer. Bad Boss. Bad Employee. Courtesy of Police Academy

1984. I know some of you weren’t even born yet. But I think everyone has seen the movie Police Academy. It seems to be on TV like every other day. For those of you who are fans of the Police Academy movie (the 1st one),  one of my favorite scenes is the parking lot scene. There’s an interaction between the employee, the customer and the boss that offers so much conversation: Click here for a link to the video. I’m warning you now that there might be some language that might offend some of you. After you’ve watched the video why not use it as a meeting ice breaker discussion. Ask yourself/your team: Who started the problems? How could it have been diffused? How would you, if you were the boss, have handled this? How would you have handled the customer? If you were the customer, why were you such a jerk …

Our most valuable resource sits 63′ ahead

I should have turned around, got on the highway, chased the driver and made him pull over. On the back of the 18-wheeler in big bold letters it read: Our most valuable resource sits 63′ ahead As I passed by the truck turning onto the entrance ramp of the highway I noticed “sits 10′ ahead” on the side of the trailer near the front, approaching the cab. How cool I thought. Someone actually took the “thank you to employee messages” that I talk about in Diary of the Happiest Employee on Earth and went a step beyond – or 63′ beyond – for all to see. I should have turned back. I should have gotten a picture. I should have waved down the driver and done an interview right on the side of the highway. How cool is that, in big bold letters telling an employee doing their job that they are the most valuable resource…and each day thousands of people get …

If it’s called Sales and Service why does it appear like Sales vs. Service?

I’m writing this as I sit here at the Subaru dealer waiting for my car to be repaired. Seems two recalls that “could cause a fire” (and kill me?) were identified and that would just suck and not make for a very fun day. The waiting area is comfortable. It is clean. There’s plenty to read. There’s free coffee. There’s a giant flat screen TV. But something is missing. My salesperson. I know he’s here. I heard them call his name. Wouldn’t it be cool if the service department let the guy who sold me the car know I was here? Imagine if the service department employees provided a report with appointments made for his customers. I’m sure his name is somewhere in my records. Imagine if he came over to say hi or Happy New Year. And if he’s not here, imagine if someone from the sales team just came …

Your policies drive me away. Your employees keep me coming back.

Most customers suffer when a company has too many rules and policies in place. Employees are afraid to be original, different or stand out for fear of having their hands slapped or worse. Often times the few who ignore the rules make the most memorable impressions on customers; and often times keep them coming back. I’ve never been excited by an airline, a bank, a big box retailer, etc. They all will always have a deal or special that entices. But I will go back to the place where one employee made me smile or makes me feel like a rock star when I walk in the door. The challenge is allowing your employees to bring their true self to work. The first place to start looking how to make this happen is your policy manual.

This New Year’s Resolution will give multitaskers and overachievers an orgasm

Visiting family yesterday I picked up the Sunday comics (they actually still get the newspaper delivered to their home while I read/scan USA Today on my phone while under the covers in the morning). The comic strip Blondie gave me a good chuckle. It was a spoof on New Year’s Resolutions. All the characters were running around declaring their resolutions to one another. The last panel of the strip has Dagwood commenting how these are the same resolutions people made in previous years. How true! How many times have you told others: “I’m gonna save more money this year” “I’m going to be nicer this year” “I’m going to get healthier this year” “I’m going to quit smoking this year” “I’m going to be more charitable this year” “I’m gonna lose that weight this year” I could add to the list but you get it. So here’s one action you can take that might accomplish many of your resolutions (pay attention multitaskers and …