Tag Archives: decisions

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reviews matter

In Marketing Do Reviews Matter?

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Product or service providers plea, “Please go on Google, Yelp, or Amazon and leave a review.” Do reviews matter? Why is this so important?

For the marketer, the restaurant owner, or the car dealership, and anyone providing a service or product today, they want your comment online. Of course, they love it the most if it is a favorable comment and they want you to abide by your mother’s rule of don’t say (write) it if it isn’t nice.

Providing Opinions

Many of the consumers are not in a hurry to provide this. They don’t understand why they should invest their time or energy to help. Yet they are often looking for the reviews, testimonials, or other data before they buy.

People want to be certain and confident in their choice. As a bonus, when the decision is based on another person’s advice, they have a scapegoat.

In an uncertain World, what people often seek is certainty, or maybe someone else to blame.

People need the facts, not really opinions, yet many decisions are made based on opinions. Every day we encounter words like fake news, under oath, or perjury. In spite of, or because of, many people are compelled to action based on what others say.

Best of the Best

We live in a funny World. Throughout the year, magazines, newspapers, and many other forms of media, proclaim to provide lists of the best. There is the Top 100 Future Stars, the 50 Best Restaurants, and the 40 Most Influential Under 40. Does anyone ask about this research? The answer is, very few.

In marketing, reviews matter. They matter because we often want someone to tell us who is the best, what to buy and who to buy it from.

Top 10 Places to Visit

Most Popular on Netflix

Number One News Channel

Amazon Best Seller

Rated Safest and Most Reliable Car

This of course gets more confusing by with language like Award Winning, Voted Favorite, and All Time. Is any of this validated? What is in the fine print? Does anyone really care?

Reviews Matter

Chances are good that many consumers or even B2B decisions are emotionally based on what someone else says or writes. They want the other person to be on the hook, decisions are too hard, and they don’t want to be responsible for a point of view that may be judged by others as wrong.

It is not just people, but also technology. Our data is filtered. It is filtered by search engines, algorithms, and by our social network.

Reviews matter and choice may be one of the best problems to have.

– 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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culture drives decisions

Culture Drives Decisions, Does Your Team Get It Right?

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It is Monday, or Tuesday, or any day of the week. You’ll make some decisions today, everything from what to eat to your next big purchase. In the workplace, you’ll make decisions too. Everything from how you’ll navigate the environment to the timeliness of your work. Culture drives decisions, are you getting them right?

Organizational Culture

Your organization has a culture. It is hard to imagine any assembled group of people who over time do not develop a way of doing things, how to interact, and what the rules are. When hiring, many organizations try to find someone with the required skills, but they must also fit their culture.

Is this a good idea? In many regards, yes it may be. However, when the organization is trying to build something, grow, develop, change, and inspire, more of the same is exactly that, the same.

It isn’t a secret. Culture, and its associated density, is driving the organization or team where you do your work. This is especially true for how you make decisions.

Your Way

You have a way you build brand, a way you schedule and hold meetings. There is a dress code (formal and informal) and a proper way to interact. There are hours of operation and expectations on how you’ll accommodate those. Organizational hierarchy is strict or loose.

You’ll manage relationships according to the flow of the culture. This is true for the customer, the vendor, and your co-workers.

All of these things and so much more guide what choices you’ll make today. They will guide the workflow, the pace, and who has the final say in any matter.

Culture Drives Decisions

Organizations often pride themselves on being unique. Unique can be interesting, diverse, and compelling.

If your organization or team is stuck, stalled, or just can’t seem to get out of its own way. You may want to check your culture. It is the way you do everything.

It is probably the most important decision that you get right.

– 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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consensus decisions

Consensus Decisions and the Power of the Group

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Working alone, is the sometimes dream of the team member. Frustrated with roadblocks, different opinions, and even unhealthy conflict may make people believe that stand-alone is better. However, when you want a good decision, consensus decisions may be the best option available.

Decisions and Problems

I really enjoy working with groups on learning how to think more critically, how to solve problems, and most of all, make better decisions. Many people enter the seminar thinking that there may not be much to learn and that it will be another hold hands and sing Kumbaya session. It is not.

Our environment often conditions us. Society is an environment that everyone reading this must navigate. Our values and beliefs will shape the ebb and flow of how we process information. This is especially evident when we consider generational differences.

Many argue that our technology driven society is leading to less interaction, more solitude, and social distress. There may or may not be something to that but others may argue it is bringing us closer, just in a different way.

You may also like: Driving Decisions Through Culture In Your Organization

When it comes to making decisions, research says that more people are better than one. Consensus decisions by far exceed the probability of a good decision when compared with those made stand alone.

Through the results of hundreds of seminars that I’ve personally delivered on the subject, I know that consensus decisions work, and work well.

Consensus Decisions

It may be important to understand exactly what a consensus decision is. First, it is not a majority vote. Properly executed consensus decisions welcome and consider the thoughts of everyone in the group. It is not about minority power persuading others. It is about everyone agreeing with a chosen path.

As you may guess, true decision by consensus is often hard to attain. It may require extra time, patience, and a willingness to consider ideas different from your own. However, the quality of the decision makes it very worthwhile.

Technically, the best method to process a decision by consensus is through a round-robin approach. This approach suggests that each group member has an opportunity to express his or her thoughts, experiences, and probable outcomes of a choice.

As the group processes each member listens to understand and consider each explanation and probable outcomes of the choice. In the end, in true decision by consensus, all group members agree with the decision or choice.

In a society that seems to be changing it forms of connection, one thing may still be true. When it comes to brainpower, the power of many is still better than the power of one.

– 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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New habits

New Habits Are a Decision You Can Make

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Personal or professional change is always a topic that invokes interest. Many people consider that they want to make a change, make a difference, or discover something new. Have you considered how new habits are about decisions you make?

Wanting New Habits

Someone will suggest that they want to get more exercise, read more books, or learn more about something they have always wanted to do. What is required to make this happen? The quick and easy response is change.

Your days are likely filled with activity. Depending on your work, your personal responsibilities, and your discipline (note discipline, not motivation) you can make a change. The question you may have to ask yourself is what will you give up?

Out with Old Habits

Old habits are hard to kick. Attraction to the path of least resistance is easier than the discipline required to make a change.

I want the chocolate cake is more desirable than I won’t eat the cake because of the outcomes that will follow.

Taking a little snooze while watching some television is easier than getting dressed in some workout gear and heading to the gym.

Having a nice cup of coffee and processing emails or joining in the office chat is easier than calling some clients to ask about the recent service you provided.

Sometimes we can this motivation, but it really is more about discipline.

Requirements

New habits require at least two things. They require you to give something up, and they require you to have the discipline to continue to do the new repetitively.

When I’m coaching people they often can’t see how they will make a change. Their day is full, their time is committed, and their energy and work to life balance is set. It makes me smile because that is exactly why we are talking. They need a change.

New Habits New Steps

Recognizing the need for change is the first step. Next, you have to consider what you will give up. Will it be the chocolate cake, the television snooze, or the smooth and easy flow of what you call the daily grind?

If you’ve decided you need a change. Identify what you’ll give up and commit to the discipline to stick to it.

New habits are possible but only when you decide.

– 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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undecided customers

More Options and Undecided Customers

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One concept is that people aren’t buying because they lack the option that they need or want. Whether it is buying an idea, a product, or picking the best apple from the bushel. Counting options can create undecided customers.

It is an easy trap and one that businesses often fall into. If people are not buying, what we are selling it must mean we aren’t selling the right stuff. Of course, that could be the case, but what should you do?

More Options

Many businesses and marketers will expand the menu. They are convinced that what they are already offering is important, valid, and desired, otherwise it wouldn’t be on the menu, so their solution is add more options.

To the novice marketer lots of options seems like the right path. If we don’t have it, we’ll create it, or offer it as an option. Options cost, but it feels better than losing the sale.

However, more options often doesn’t close the sale. It makes the buying decision even harder. In some cases, it makes it so much more challenging that the customer walks away, still thinking, but cannot decide.

Most consumers pride themselves on making good choices. Given more options, the safest choice is sometimes no choice right now. They will wait, studying the options, they will think about it more.

Undecided Customers

Choosing our Netflix movie, hiring the right candidate, or picking the wonton soup from the Chinese menu all occurs after we’ve filtered. More options doesn’t make the choice easier, it makes it harder. It is the greatest way to delay a choice, make the customer work harder, or just not buy at all.

Having something for everyone seems appealing, until no one can decide.

– 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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driving decisions

Driving Decisions Through Culture In Your Organization

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Sometimes it is all that people want. They just want a decision. Do you suspect you know the answer before the final word is delivered? What is driving decisions in your organization?

Impatience is often a problem when people believe they know the correct path. The opposite side of impatience may be analysis. What does the data tell us? What evidence exists?

Decisions and Organizational Flow

While it may seem surprising to some, the organizational culture may be responsible for driving decisions. In larger organizations, a lack of understanding about subcultures may be one of the reasons for resistance or change failure.

Most people want to support the decision, the better your culture the more likelihood of decision support. This is simple, when you have a highly engaged workforce. Many will be easily able to follow the path. They’ll believe in it, and they’ll follow it.

Therefore, the first step that is often cited as getting buy-in, is important. Buy-in can be created in many ways, but at the root of buy-in is culture.

Culture is Powerful

Consider that when the culture is committed to customer service, making changes that will positively impact the customer feel easy. A culture that is commitment to technology use, well, they’ll embrace being the front runners for the latest gadgets.

In somewhat of a contrast, cultures that are committed to the highest quality in their product, much to the surprise of some, often struggle the most with change.

Do you know why? The answer is easy, their workforce is attached emotionally to what they feel is a perfected product. Change may tarnish perfection.

Driving Decisions

Your organization has a culture. Decisions that drive future direction are guided by beliefs. Buy-in for change will be closely attached what employees feel.

As a result, often the roadblocks for change are unknowingly created by the very culture an organization works so hard to create.

– 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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failure expensive

Is Failure Expensive, Compared to What?

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What does failure cost? Most people believe that the cost is significant. Is failure expensive and if so how, or compared to what?

On January 28, 1986, we lost the Space Shuttle Challenger reportedly due to an O-ring failure. The cost of this disaster probably easily exceeded $500 million. Some estimates are at more than $5 billion.

On April 10, 2010, we experienced the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. Estimates on the cost of this manmade disaster reportedly exceed $42 billion.

Hard Costs, Hard Lessons

Oil spills, space shuttles, and nuclear reactor plants have all contributed to enormous costs of failure. Cost of life is of course, immeasurable.

Failure often seems to be measurable to hard costs. Have you considered the costs of doing nothing?

What if there were not any oilrigs, what if there was no nuclear power? NASA programs have also contributed heavily to technology development and innovation. What if those programs never existed?

Many of us won’t make decisions about oilrigs, space programs, or nuclear power, but we will make decisions about what we accomplish or don’t in our lives and in our careers.

What is the cost if you don’t take the new job, what if you didn’t attend college, or what are the pros and cons of starting your own business?

Is Failure Expensive

We can sometimes put a number on what failure costs, but it is pretty difficult to put a number on the cost of doing nothing.

For the individuals, businesses, or organizations that find themselves stuck, perhaps they only see the price tag of failure.

Failure may not be that expensive when you compare it to the cost of doing nothing, or worse, regret.

– 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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long-term customer service appreciative strategies

Long-Term Customer Service, No Need to Panic

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There are many businesses doing it for the long haul. There are also many businesses who believe they are in it for the long haul but tend to operate for the short term. Are you providing long-term customer service solutions, or really just service in the moment?

Operating for the short term often seems realistic. It feels like the right thing to do. What I do today, must earn the trust, respect, and close the sale with my customer. That makes sense, but that is a short-term proposition. After today, it’s over, tomorrow is another day.

Short Game Panic

In the suburbs or rural communities, most people require a car or similar vehicle for getting things done. There isn’t a train, a bus, or in some cases, not even an Uber ride. People make life happen in part with their vehicle.

Why do people run out of gasoline? Why do they let their tank go so low that eventually it is empty?

There may be many reasons. Anything from waiting for payday to a faulty gauge, however, one of the most common is short-term thinking. The idea is I think I can make it. It will save some time and money, right now, in this very moment.

The short game doesn’t always work out so well. It causes stress, anxiety, and often panic. Panic often causes us to make additional unfavorable decisions. We can’t see things clearly, we’re always picking up the pieces from the short term fix.

Short Game Risk

Risk is often measured differently in the short game. It is like our fear to speak up. It is common for people to say nothing even though they believe the result will be unfavorable. The short gamer weighs the risk of speaking up as more dangerous than dealing with a bad decision later.

In the short game, they say nothing, and there is little risk taken, it feels safe. Tomorrow the price may be paid as a poor choice unfolds in what now may be labeled as a self-fulfilled prophecy. However, they’ll let it play out, see what happens next. That is playing the short game, not the long one.

All of this is the same for the culture of customer service that you are building.

You can run the risk in the short game. You can take the chance that you won’t run out of gas or you can hang up the telephone, watch the customer walk out the door, or worse you can hide behind email. Close the sale today, worry about tomorrow, tomorrow, that is the short game.

Long-Term Customer Service

Long-term customer service is much different from the short game. In the long game decisions usually are not made in a panic. They are made with the future at heart, the correct choices for the right now and for the long term.

Long-term strategy doesn’t come with panic. You fill the tank before you start the journey.

Unless you don’t plan to be around much longer.

– 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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Business culture decisions appreciative strategies

Business Culture Decisions in a New Economy

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Understanding the culture of your business is important. As people, most of us try to brand ourselves based on who we believe we are, not perhaps how others label us. When you think about business culture decisions things shouldn’t be much different, should they?

Unique

One of the most common broadcasts I receive from a new client is, “We are unique.” Certainly, just as every individual is unique so is the culture of most organizations. Organizational culture is shaped by leadership and based largely on the environment.

While cultures may be as unique as personalities, talent, and fingerprints, there are still some commonalities. In fact, largely, the art of doing business is the same. Sell products or services (something), and deliver on your promise.

Culture Then and Now

The culture of 1920 Ford Motor Company is certainly probably different from the culture today. Essentially the same business, but leadership has molded the shape across time. The same could be said for Harley Davidson or IBM.

Is it time for new decisions? A different question may be, “When isn’t it?” Every person and organization makes decisions about who they are, or who they will become. We sometimes suggest that both people and businesses are stuck in time.

Our economy is very different from 1920. It is different from what it was in 1950, and even in the year 2000. For decades our economy has been shifting, today more Fortune 500 companies are representing the service sector or have a significant service component.

Business Culture Decisions

Businesses often change because of need. Internal and external forces exert pressure on organizations, requiring adaptation or perhaps demise.

The real challenge though is in the perceived risk. Staying the same feels safe if it appears to be working. The status quo is what most individuals feel comfortable with, businesses aren’t really much different.

What most people and businesses should be thinking about is if our World, the business environment, or the way we do things, is staying the same, or is everything around us changing? Is anything changing?

If our new economy is the same then I guess there isn’t any need to become different.

Easy decision.

– 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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customer service decisions

How To Make Good Customer Service Decisions

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When you dig under the surface of any corporate policy and procedure designed to satisfy customers you might ask about empowerment. Employees who are empowered to make delicate and difficult transactional decisions have an important role; have you considered how employees make customer service decisions?

Most of the work that we do and likely most of the sales transactions don’t go beyond the decision for a customer to buy and for a vendor to fulfill. Occasionally though, something will go wrong. A client or customer will need something more, something extra, or perhaps there is a flaw or defect.

When we purchase a pack of Post-it notes, we expect them to stick, disposable pens we expect to have ink, and our file folders should fit in the cabinet. Many transactions are simple, straight forward, and require little thought to make things right.

Complex World

It is the complexity of the world we live in that creates additional challenge. Expectations of people vary. So will the decisions that they make.

When there is a problem and we begin a conversation with someone designated to help, we may become progressively curious about his or her level of empowerment. A really angry customer may start the conversation with, “I need to speak with a manager.”

Many organizations feel a bit torn, a bit of tug of war, or wonder how they will walk-the-line.

There becomes a balance, often a set of rules or guidelines designed to steer employees to follow the flow chart. It is straight forward, or so we think. When the customer presents this, you say that.

When we think about it, it all comes down to the decisions that we trust employees to make. That is empowerment.

Certainly not every employee is ready to make the most difficult choices. Consideration to advance problems to a higher level will probably always be part of the process.

The best scenario is minimizing problems in the first place. Those too are often based on the decisions that employees make.

Customer Service Decisions

Most people can follow the flow chart. They can be trained to understand start and end blocks, input and output, and processes. Still, at some point they’ll encounter a decision.

Training is important, but training beyond policy will come from training that forms an understanding of the culture.

Not every decision can be made at the front line, but the easy ones can. What makes a decision easier? Certainly ones with smaller risk, but understanding policy should have equal importance with developing the understanding of the philosophy and the culture.

That is how people make good customer service decisions.

– 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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