Tag Archives: service economy

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building customer service appreciative strategies

Correctly Building Customer Service Culture

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Everyone knows that in the business world there isn’t really any standing still. You are either moving forward or falling behind. In the midst of our service economy, smart organizations are building customer service cultures like they never have before. Are they doing it correctly? Will it last?

Many are familiar with the fictional Iowa corn farmer who repeatedly hears, “If you build it, he will come.” Is your team hearing a voice from beyond? Is this type of thinking true for building customer service culture?

Foundational Stories

Surprising to some, much of the impact and learning moments of our lives are founded in stories. The stories may be factual or fictional but they often solidify learning. The greatest thing about a good story is that it is repeated. It is shared, valued, and trusted. Most important it is told over and over again.

The foundation of your customer service culture needs to be a story worth telling. It should be able to form connections, and move and inspire others. If the story isn’t worth telling the likelihood of repetition will drastically decrease, no matter how hard you push.

Once you have a story, or at least believe that you have a story, you’ll have to assess its value. You can ask yourself or your team, “Is this story something that anyone will care about? Will it move people by causing positive actions and behaviors?”

If no one sees or feels a benefit from the suggested outcomes, no one will care. If no one really cares, there is little chance for a viral experience. Even throwing money at it won’t change things much. End of story.

Symbols Shape Culture

Your story, metaphorically or literally, will condition what happens next. The story may be deeply rooted in values and traditions. It may be illustrated through words, phrases, and symbols.

Surprisingly, it may even be a song. It is hard to imagine the true (and lasting) impact when people sing your song. Coca-Cola did this so well.

Building Customer Service Culture

You’ll have to ask yourself and your team, “What will we do to create lasting impact and keep the story alive?”

Organizations often have a good plan. They may even have a good story, one that has some value in telling. The mistakes they make are not in the design. They are in the build.

Correctly building a customer service culture that matters will require you to show up, support it, live it, and tell it. Not once or twice, not just at the quarterly meeting or annual retreat, but every day.

Design will be important, but you’ll also have to lead.

– 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.

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being right appreciative strategies Dennis Gilbert

Being Right Is Not The Point, Pull More, Push Less

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Making your point feels valuable. Sometimes all we want is to be heard. Is anyone really listening? Maybe they are not, because being right is not the point.

We are deeply rooted in a service economy. Things have been shifting for years and they’ve been accelerating since 2008-2009. What is the point?

The point is that in an ever-expanding service economy you must continuously ask yourself what are the service points to your business, regardless of your sector.

Being Right

Too often people and businesses place their focus on being right. They may feel that there is something to prove regardless of the cost. One big problem with this is you have to ask yourself if people will care. Caring is where the value exists.

Most buying decisions, even in business-to-business transactions have a strong emotional component. Logic, which feels important to some, really takes a back seat to emotions.

This is true in engineering, it is true in manufacturing, and it is even true technology sectors. Logically you may be right. Does that mean that anyone will care? Perhaps not when you recognize that buying, starting, or staying is emotional.

Pull More Than Push

Many businesses market through the push. Push the product out, push the concept, push why a buyer should care. Just because you are pushing doesn’t mean that anyone will pay attention. It doesn’t mean that they will spring into action. Most of all it doesn’t even guarantee that they will listen.

Being right is not the point. It never was and it likely never will be. If you are pushing your ideas with limited results, you may have to think differently. Start thinking about how you will pull.

When people are pulled, drawn in, and attracted they’ll follow, they will be more likely to listen, and they’ll actually consider caring.

Being right was never enough. If you want to close the sale, enhance the deal, and earn the respect and attention your product and service deserves, make sure being right is not your strategy.

– 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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framing organizational culture

Framing Organizational Culture

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It isn’t uncommon, most things that we do begin or are contained within a framework. Metaphorically and literally, we know the importance of strong foundations. How are you framing organizational culture?

We’re in a service economy, and that isn’t anything new. More and more of the Fortune 500 companies are representing a service-oriented sector. It has been transforming for decades.

Service Connections

What are you or your organization doing to for positioning? What frame are you operating in?

Even the manufacturing sector is developing more components of their business that includes a service connection. What are you leveraging?

This isn’t a think outside of the box story, but it could be.

Frames That Fit

The biggest problem I often encounter with businesses and organizations who are struggling to align with a better is culture is that they don’t realize the problems that they have. Alternatively, they downplay the importance of recognized problems because they proclaim they don’t fit.

A manufacturing company often believes that the most important thing that they do is manufacture. Anything that detracts from the production process is unimportant. When challenged by internal or external forces they resort to proclamations that they are a manufacturer and this is how it works. That’s a frame.

Framing Organizational Culture

Frameworks give us a space to work in. They help us constructively manage the space. We only deal with so much at a time in our online browsers, a book has a manageable limit to its physical size, and the artist has the limit of the canvas. Hard of soft, real or imagined, we operate within our frames.

Perhaps the first thing that any organization should do is constructively remove the frame. A culture that fits within the service economy probably has different boundaries. The more traditional the business the more they are going to have to color outside of the lines.

Sometimes the best brainstorming requires us to forget everything about who we are and focus more on where we want (need) to be.

– 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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service economy customer service appreciative strategies

Service Economy Customer Service

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Ask anyone if they believe things are changing and you’ll probably get some strong responses. It is not uncommon during business discussions for me to hear stories of shifting priorities, new strategies, and the pursuit of providing more customer value. What about service economy customer service?

Are we in a service economy? You bet, not only will most CEO’s or C Suite executives confirm this, but it really isn’t anything new. Consider that for decades our economy has been shifting. Spinning out of the 2007 – 2009 era recession this trend intensified.

There are more service related businesses on the Fortune 500 list than perhaps ever before. Does this mean that those not in a traditional service sector are in trouble? Not necessarily, but it most likely means they are going to have to change, but how?

Service Economy Shifts

In a service economy, you are likely going to have to be thinking more about customer service. Everything is going to have to shift. This is critical for all sectors, but the biggest transformation may exist in manufacturing and industrial sectors.

Many manufacturing and industrial sectors sell through distribution channels. They may also hire out-sourced sales representatives. Often, their organizational culture has emphasis on the processes and systems that produce goods.

All of this is understandable and critically important, but in a strengthening service economy is it enough? Perhaps, but some of the trendsetters are looking for new strategies.

What works well in a service economy? Subscription based pricing is one approach. Magazines, newspapers, and record (music) clubs pioneered this approach with a lot of success.

Examples of this are well known in some sectors. Software products for example, you once bought a license for life, now you buy it for a year or monthly recurring charges. Website retailers do it through easy reorder, or scheduled monthly shipments, and there are many other examples.

Service Economy Customer Service

What this all means is that in a service economy your best opportunities for gaining market share exist in customer service, it is no longer a department. In fact, it never should have been only about a department.

You should be thinking about not just doing things differently, you are going to have to think about and implement different things.

It is service economy customer service.

– 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 value

Difficulties Are Customer Service Value

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Habits are the basis for most of our work. Individually or organizationally, we tend to be creatures of habit. If we want to improve, we know the story of replacing bad habits with good ones. Do the challenges we face really create customer service value?

The path of least resistance may be the easiest one to follow. It may also be the most crowded.

Easy or Difficult?

Most people probably go for the low hanging fruit. It is the easiest to pick, uses less energy, and it may produce more than what we need or can consume. Organizations love low hanging fruit, and will pick it all day. They often end up in the path of the many.

It is hard to sell in a crowded market. Unique feels risky and is harder work, but it is probably where there is the most value.

When your business does more than what is average, more than where the crowd goes, and pursues beyond the low hanging fruit it may become unique.

In a service-based economy, where do you want to be positioned? It seems that standing out in a crowd may make the most sense.

Customer Service Value

The customer experience you create likely won’t provide great value when it is just like all the rest. Having exceptional levels of service will not be the path of least resistance, it is not picking only the low hanging fruit. Standing out will take resources, time, and will be difficult to maintain.

When we consider what is the most valuable, it is probably connected to what is scarce, not abundant. Being average is easy. It is plentiful and abundant.

Habits form the basis for our work. They are directly connected to the culture. If you want a culture that thrives in a service economy, you are going to have to be unique.

When you do the difficult work, you’ll stand out from the crowd. You may also be recognized as highly valuable, not because you are one of many, but because you are scarce.

What do customers see in a service economy? They often see little need for loyalty in a market where there is abundance.

Competing on price is a model. So is providing the most value.

– 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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tell your customers #custserv

What Do You Tell Your Customers?

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Ask five businesses about the quality of their customer service and you’ll get four positive responses. This is often true, until you dig a little deeper. What is really most important is that your customer service is not what you say it is, it is what your customers feel. What do you tell your customers?

When I ask businesses about their customer service, I often get some of these reactions:

“We occasionally survey our customers, responses aren’t always perfect, but we’re doing pretty good.”

“Our service department is doing well, the manager of the department has built a great team.”

“Trust me; if we screw up, our customers let us know.”

A Service Economy

In a service-based economy, your customer service can’t be about a department. It certainly can’t be about a survey that represents a subset of all transactions, and absolutely, positively, not all customers will tell you about shortcomings.

Testimonials are wonderful and very popular on websites. Job references are important when you are looking for a new job. Asking the staff a restaurant what is good today may improve your comfort for a choice. Do you believe that in any of these cases you will get an unfavorable reaction? It happens, but it is unlikely.

I remember that in the fourth or fifth grade I was required to do some type of show and tell experiment for the class. I cooked up a really cool trick with a glass of water and a piece of cardboard. Certainly, the teacher probably helped me.

The show and tell trick went pretty well, I don’t remember what I said, but I remember how it worked. Do you think the class cared much about what was said? Probably not, because the best part of show and tell is usually the show, not the tell.

Tell Your Customers

The customers that respond to your survey, the ones that give you the testimonial, and even the ones that let you know when you’ve screwed up are all important.

What you tell your customer base, your tribe, or your community has value.

All of that is great, but it is nothing when compared with what you show them.

– 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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