Tag Archives: connection

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customer service pace

Customer Service Pace and the Cutting Edge

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Suggest to someone that we are existing in a fast-paced World and you likely won’t be starting an argument. Most will easily agree. In your organization, what is the customer service pace?

You have two paths. The first path is to do it the way you’ve always done it. The second is to figure out how to be on the cutting edge.

The cutting edge won’t last for very long. It is chasing an expanding goal. It is fluid, rough, bumpy, and requires some risk.

Customer Service Pace

Organizations that exist on the first path may have upgraded, but they are still stuck. Their root philosophies still exist in the history of how they got here.

Somewhat surprising, that path will eventually get them unstuck. Likely headed for extinction, not distinction.

First path organizations have longer wait times. As a result, the customer can do it faster, be more informed, and continue moving without hesitation, discomfort, and stress.

This is the path where sales, service, and customer interactions are more painful for the customer as compared with organizations on the cutting edge.

Cutting Edge Path

The second path, the cutting-edge path, changes the customer service pace.

It is when order status is at their fingertips on a mobile app. When sales questions are self-answered by a schematic the customer finds on the web. It may be when help is just a YouTube video away.

What is worse for the first path organizations?

The second path organizations not only do it faster and with lower customer cost. The customer experience becomes about ease of use, value, and a feeling of respect.

Connection is Culture

There are exceptions. The exceptions exist in connections. Connections that form a culture. Not the organizational culture, but a culture of the customer.

People will wait in line for hours for the latest iPhone release. Culture.

People will gather at Harley Davidson dealerships for food, music, and test rides. Hanging out for hours. Culture.

It may be the rock concert, the county fair, or the line that forms for fresh cut french fries.

Pace isn’t as important here as is the connection and the experience.

Pick your path. Pace yourself. Be something really special that connects people, or be on the cutting edge.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

 


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connection economy

Connection Economy and the Implications of Scarcity

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Labeling our economic conditions sets the stage for how we’ll choose to communicate, sell, and serve. Many refer to our most recent economic climate as a service economy and others, as a connection economy.

From my experiences I see relevance for both labels, and honestly, the two have a few similarities.

Both should spark deeper thinking about how you will service your customer. They should invite deeper thought about what problems customers and clients will pay you to solve and how you’ll build relationships.

When Scarcity Is Rare

Many individuals and businesses use the principle of scarcity to drive sales. Even your career may incorporate some of this philosophy.

The best question may be, “In a connection economy is there less room for strategies based around scarcity?” Perhaps it is one of the best reasons to think differently about your sales and services approach.

Scarcity may exist in consultative sales, the value of experts, and hot new trends. Does the connection economy suggest additional considerations?

Nearly everything that you could once only seek to buy in a small radius around where you live, has changed. Now products (or services) once considered rare are available across a much larger platform. Not new, but sometimes forgotten.

What matters more? The answer is easy, your connections.

Connection Economy

Connections matter because they have reliability and authenticity built into them. They discount the concept of the pressure sell, the do it or die, or the one-sided win.

In service and in sales, it is harder today to get forgiveness. Much easier is the path to move on.

Some suggest loyalty is gone. Yet with so many choices loyalty secures a position as scarce. The value of connections matters more, not less.

Loyalty means promises made, are kept. If you’re going to sell on scarcity make it about the value of your relationship.

Intuitive commerce exists in connections.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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why cooperation

Why Cooperation Is The Better Path

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A popular workplace complaint. People can’t seem to get along. Often the trend is to take a different position, go against the flow, cause some havoc and get noticed. Have you considered why cooperation beats opposition?

Everyday Challenges

Diversity challenges us every day. When you break it down the real challenge with diversity is that we see differences as the other side, an opposition.

We often don’t agree, but believe we should. We believe we are practicing diversity. It is true across generations, sexual orientations, and protected classes of people.

This often breaks down to the agreement to disagree. That’s opposition, not harmony, not collaboration, and not teamwork.

Leadership and Connections

Individuals who are supported by the leadership style of some people move up while others move down creates an energy. Is that energy constructive?

Hierarchy has value and is important. So is respect and even authority. In a connected economy has that changed?

People often throw around buzz words. Things like servant leadership, emotional intelligence, and six sigma. Certainly, many components of these practices work. Do all components?

The climate of the organization conditions success.

Whether we like it or not we are living in a networked world. People converse all around the globe quickly, easily, and by desire. New contacts and relationships are made and older ones are reinvigorated or repaired.

Why Cooperation

Much of our lives and economies are being stimulated by connection. Push marketing still has value and deep roots, but the connected economy is much more about pull.

So when we see something different in our workplace and psychologically label it as the other side, we lack connection. Agreement to disagree is not a win-win.

Every moment as the organization moves across time, something new is created. What does that look like in the connected economy?

Cooperation reminds us of the value of connections. It reminds us that differences are not the opposition, but opportunity. Within any culture some differences are not tolerated. They never enter the system, or at least they shouldn’t.

The climate of your organizational success has an opportunity.

To become a force for the market, you must have a force within.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating a Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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invited feedback

Invited Feedback Is The Secret For Change

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You have experience and experience matters. When you see questions as an opportunity for feedback you jump in to give it. Feedback is often only valuable if it is invited feedback, everything else is just noise.

It can be frustrating, as a parent, a workplace leader, or a special adviser to the committee. When you have something to offer but there is not an invitation for feedback. Do you need an invitation or can you just jump in?

Jumping In

In the feedback process much is lost if the feedback doesn’t align. If you don’t understand the problem or situation your feedback may lack value and feel like a waste of time.

It is why arriving at the meeting on time is so important. Show up late, chime in even though you’ve missed the opening remarks, and everyone but you clearly can see that you don’t understand the situation. Worthless and a waste of everyone’s time.

Feedback is often conditioned by belief. If you believe that more exercise clears your mind and makes you healthy telling someone who hates to exercise may not be welcomed.

This is true for many things. It is true when you tell people to read more, listen more, or even in religious contexts, when the advice is to pray. When it doesn’t resonate with you it is not welcomed feedback.

Invited Feedback

Some people don’t care about fitness, and they don’t want to read. Forcing your ideas of engagement will create a disconnect, and worse, it may feel like a complete waste of time.

The secret then to successful feedback has at least two important factors.

First, you must understand the situation and you do this more effectively when you seek facts and assume less. And you must be able to bridge gaps in understanding and beliefs.

Invited feedback happens when there is a connection. People embrace change when they are bought-in.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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customer service empathy

How To Practice Customer Service Empathy

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Customer service really isn’t just a department, it is for everyone who cares. Purchasing anything is typically connected to an emotional decision. Sure, we often buy based on our need, but often choices we make leading up to that purchase are based on a feeling. Do you practice customer service empathy?

In my soon to be released book, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, I wrote about the difference in mind-set between short- and long-term strategies. A customer service memory may be built in a moment, but there are many things leading up to that moment and often some lengthy things following behind.

Customer Experience

The customer experience sometimes begins after the test drive, after the emotion of the moment, and long after the purchase is made. It isn’t the short game, it is often more about the long game, even the experience of a cup of coffee, a convenience store purchase, or the click of a computer mouse.

Since we have memory, and in many cases make a similar purchase again, it is clearly a long-term connection. Building that connection, creating the customer experience, it may all be based on our ability to demonstrate empathy.

Customer Service Empathy

Empathy is not sympathy. Empathy is about understanding. If business relationships are about people, then customer service is about empathy.

Empathy doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It doesn’t happen when you don’t care. It happens because you care.

Our feelings and building the connection often happens through memories. Things like scents, sounds, and images. What our senses connect with as people.

Even social media channels seem to serve more posts to people that contain pictures or video. Coincidence, I think not. Strategy, I think so.

We have to take action, speak up, interact and engage to show empathy. No words, no signs, no pictures, and empathy will be harder to demonstrate.

How To Practice

How can you practice customer service empathy?  It is easy to do, demonstrate it. It may start with some simple phrases, here are a few to consider:

  • I’m sorry…
  • How can I help?
  • We’re here for you.

We all know that practice makes perfect.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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judging customer service

Judging Customer Service: How Was It?

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There are plenty of judgments going around. People often decide what they will like or what the reaction will be before it even happens. Are people judging customer service?

It might start with the advertisement, the packaging, and the photograph. What is the presentation, does it make sense and will it work? Is it the right fit and does it capture all of the customer needs?

Good Intentions

A funny thing happens with product and services marketing, sometimes customers have a different impression from the intent. In other cases, they become attracted and mistakenly buy a competitors product. It might be ordering a Whopper at McDonald’s, right time, wrong place.

Fresh water anglers might know the elusive muskellunge as the fish of a thousand casts. One angler casts for hours with no fish. The next boat that passes might make it happen in just one throw. Right time, luck, chance, or experience, perhaps more than one applies.

Sometimes all of our intentions are right, but the outcome still might go wrong. People like to be right.

Emotionally Connected

Your packaging, your website, and your social proof might all be part of what generates sales today. The product or service you provide might be judged by thousands of people before a purchase is made. Yelp reviews and Angie’s List, they all matter.

The truth is that in many cases the customer decides right before they click the button, pull out their wallet, or slide their credit card. Most buying decisions involve emotions. Who really needs an expensive car, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, or shoes with red soles? Emotionally connected people, they believe that they do.

Judging Customer Service

Many people live by a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once the judgment has happened and the purchase has been made, the customer doesn’t want to be wrong. The truth is they always want to be right.

Their interests are to experience the expensive car, ride the Harley Davidson, or wear the red-soled shoes. They are connected.

Quality, expectations, and delivery, they all matter. Life doesn’t always feel fair, like it or not your customer service has already been judged.

Accurately or not, on purpose or by mistake, it often takes place right before the decision to buy is made.

Are people judging customer service?

Will you live up to their expectations—should you?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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