Your chicken ain’t that good. Your customer experience is even worse.

It started with a deceptive marketing campaign. Please take our survey and you will get a code for a free meal the next time you come in. First of all, I know the importance of surveys to a company so I shared my comments. Towards the end of the survey it asked if you would like to give your email address to receive promotions. I chose no. Well it seems that if you don’t give your email address, no code for your free food. Didn’t say that anywhere. Not how Starbucks does it. Or Dunkin Donuts. Or Burger King. Take the survey and your free code appears on the screen in front of you. A call to their customer hotline. Thought they might want to know about the glitch. (I also wanted what was promised me.) Person tells me “higher ups” can only help me. Would I like to leave my name …

Why your great idea might be going nowhere

A couple of years ago I was introduced to the FourSight Thinking Profile. Like Meyers-Briggs and DISC and others it didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know. Although it was one of the more fun approaches. At the end of the assessment you are scored and ranked/classified on four preferences. The Preferences are Clarifier, Ideator, Developer and Implementer. My scores revealed that I am an Implementer and Ideator. They were too close to pick one over the other. As I said I was not surprised by the result. So I thought. I knew this about myself. It’s how I was able to start the nonprofit DoubleDDiner.org as quickly as I did. It’s how I was able to take the idea for Diary of the Happiest Employee On Earth from concept to published book in a few short weeks. This morning I was having breakfast with a friend and colleague who was sharing a …

Give yourself or your employees a day off………the grid

Last week was my birthday. I gave myself a present. I went off the grid for 24 hours. I took three phone calls from family in the morning and that was it. (Didn’t want to listen to mom yell at me the next day.) Then I turned off my phone. I took a drive through New England. No web surfing. No Facebook. No Twitter. No LinkedIn. No Google+. No phone GPS. No Starbucks App. No looking for a recommendation. I think you get the point. Later in the week I went away to do some writing/editing of my next book. I got an early check-in at a Residence Inn and spent the next 24 hours off the grid again. I sat by the hotel pool area and wrote on my laptop – with connectivity turned off. When I needed a diversion I went in the hot tub or for a quick swim.   …

Setting the record straight on Marshmallow Peeps.

For me it’s the most wonderful time of the year. No it’s not Christmas. It’s not New Year’s. It’s not back to school. Although the folks at Staples seem to think that is the most wonderful time of year. It’s PEEPster!! – that holiday that coincidentally occurs with Easter. And my favorite candy on the whole planet…………………….Marshmallow Peeps, can be found everywhere!   Now for the record, let’s get two things straight. I invented the Peeps Microwave game. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s very simple. Put your Peep in the microwave. Turn on the timer for 1 minute and watch your peep grow. The trick is to open the door before your Peep explodes. Now it is your friends turn. See if he or she can best your time. For added fun, when the Peep shrinks back to (almost) its original form, see how long you can nuke …

Maybe nonprofits should recruit non-altruistic volunteers?

Very few people volunteer for altruistic reasons. There’s usually some personal motive behind donating your time and expertise to a nonprofit or other volunteer organization. Sure people donate to give back, bring about change, make friends, and have fun. But many times behind their involvement is hope for something else. After all, how many people volunteer to deal with egos, get stuck with people who couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag, and deal with personal agendas as it relates to the cause? Recently I was chatting with someone deciding whether or not to get involved with a local community initiative. She commented why she is leaning towards NOT getting involved. It seems a committee chairperson has stated her main reason for getting involved was to gain some visibility for her business. Let me remind you that we live in a what’s in it for me world. That has no changed in our new economy. And when it …

Hey, the Pope took a vow of poverty and look now

With the election of Pope Francis yesterday we kept hearing the words poverty, humility and simplicity on the news. The new Pope lived in a tiny apartment, rode the bus and worked tirelessly to help the poor. Today he has a Popemobile, runs a small country and heads the largest corporation on the planet. This morning, a friend, who is also a client and Executive Director of a nonprofit, posted this on his Facebook timeline: “Like the new Pope…I too took a vow of Poverty. It’s called non-profit employment.” More often than not non-profit employees accept positions and stay put because they love what they do. They enjoy making a difference in the lives of the people they serve. Sadly, making a difference comes with scrutiny by the public. Making a difference organizations (non-profits) are often funded by grants and donations; and the public has decided that the work these folks do …

Welcome Nonprofit Employee! We can’t pay you a lot but……

When you accept a position with a nonprofit there are a couple of realities: Nonprofit pay is typically NOT on the level of your peers who may be doing the same work in the for-profit world You often have a deeper belief in the work of the organization and that is what keeps you grounded, engaged and showing up with a smile every day. (Let’s face it, years ago I worked for Avon. Do you think I really cared about cosmetics?) But there are things that a nonprofit executive (or any company leader) can do to make up for the lack of pay. I’ve often wondered why we have good-bye lunches when people leave, yet we do nothing to really welcome someone when they join a company. Why do we take someone out to lunch and sometimes even buy them a gift for their contribution when they are leaving us high and dry – …

Instead of going out to lunch with your team, try this

Back in the day I had a boss who understood the importance of having her team spend some time together outside of the office; having some fun; seeing the human side of one another. The challenge was she herself wasn’t the most social person. She was a great manager. She mentored. She truly empowered people to get the job done and coached them along. She was supportive of your ideas and willing to try your approach when you showed enthusiasm, the need, and that you had done your homework before coming to her with the idea. She acknowledged what she was not good at; and who could help her. So every few months she would come to me and say….”Rich, why don’t you organize something fun for the group.” Little did she know she was shaping my next career. Some of things I organized: lunch outings, roller coaster ride lunch hours, a Friday night …

Why the TV news outlets suck! An open letter

Dear TV News Outlets, You suck! All of you. Well almost all of you. Last night I was flipping from news station to news station as the Carnival Triumph had arrived in Mobile, Alabama. I was excited to see people waving and cheering and applauding from those on the decks; as well as those waiting for passengers on the dock. Many of you were interviewing people via phone. Most of you seemed to be looking for stories of doom and gloom and horrible conditions and poor service by Carnival. Shame on you.  Wouldn’t it have been awesome if you had focused on how people persevered? How they made the best of a bad situation? To let us hear more stories of good and hope and human kindness? Stories of how people helped one another get through the ordeal? To see you grasping for a story that isn’t there is like watching …

An open letter to cold call salespeople

Dear Salesperson, My business name is in my email address. So it is very easy for you to go to my website and see what I’m about. Every email address we use at the charity I founded has our organization name as part of the address. So it behooves me when I sign up for a free newsletter, webinar, etc and I receive a sales call from you which starts out by asking me “what type/kind of business I run.” If you can’t take 30 – 60 seconds and do a little bit of homework on a prospect why would we think you’re gonna go above and beyond if we become your customer? You’re very welcome for this free training tip, Rich DiGirolamo on behalf of every prospect on the other end of your call