Tag Archives: appreciation

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balancing customer service

Balancing Customer Service or Tipping The Scale

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People often suggest that most things in life require balance. Are you balancing customer service? Does the harsh outweigh the delight?

Doing your best work matters. Doing your best work and being recognized for it may feel like it matters even more. What happens when your best work is criticized?

Show Appreciation

Every day employees, business owners, and people helping other people try hard to create satisfaction.

When a compliment is received, it feels pretty good. A referral, a handwritten note, a smile, a nod, or even an email can make a difference for your day, perhaps your week. If it is really great, it may last a lifetime.

We tend to welcome comments and gestures of appreciation. Without much thought we accept the gratitude, grow through it, and work hard for more.

It makes the effort feel worthwhile. Justifies the labor and is satisfying.

No Appreciation

The other side of the coin is when we put in the labor without recognition. When we hold the door, give the smile, and lend a hand and no appreciation is shown. Nothing recognized, no gestures, and no take away.

It happens when people are judged. When biases lead the conversations, and when what is done well or done right is what was expected and for that, no gratitude.

When the extra effort, or even the required effort goes unnoticed, unrecognized, and underappreciated it feels like our work lacks value. A lack of value makes us question the reasons for the work in the first place. No appreciation, no reason to do the work.

Balancing Customer Service

Lack of appreciation is a deal breaker. It can ruin the moment, the day, and leave a lasting undesirable impression. Good news travels fast, but bad news often travels faster.

For everyone that you serve and for everyone that is serving you, is there balance? Are you balancing customer service efforts? Internal or external, are you providing motivation or disengagement?

If you’re going to tip the scale, tip it by providing more value. It’s appreciated.

-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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cost of customer service

The Low Cost of Customer Service

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Sometimes the price of progress sounds expensive and doing nothing feels like the most attractive option. However, doing nothing might have the highest cost of all. Have you considered the low cost of customer service?

You might feel too tired to brush your teeth. You might be in too much of a hurry to change the oil in your car. Moreover, who really needs the security software upgrade?

The truth is that the best time for any of those things are before you encounter a problem.

After the cavity, after the check engine light, and after your PC is locked up it is much harder. It will be much more difficult to turn the situation around and certainly much more expensive.

Maintain or Replace

Most people will quickly identify with the concept that establishing new customers is much more expensive than maintaining them. Most businesses will tell you they recognize this and that it is an underlying principle they live by. If true, what is the budget?

Is there a budget for your dental care, a budget for your oil change, and a budget for software upgrades? Frankly, it will cost less to maintain than to replace, yet sometimes these items slip through the cracks.

Cost of Customer Service

What should be in your customer service budget?

Probably many things but here are three that are often taken for granted:

  • Training. Sometimes the more we know the less we do. Conceptually we often have a good idea on how to care for the customer, but do we really do it? Training sometimes is about building, maintaining and reinforcing habits. It’s not always about discovery.
  • Appreciation. Appreciation is not a day, sale, or a clever slogan. Appreciation is a feeling. Invest some of your budget on showing your customers how much you care. It might be as simple as a thank you or it might be something they value and didn’t expect.
  • Adding Value. Yes, value is connected to price but it might not always be hidden in the bar code. Value often has a direct connection to quality and the cost of ownership. In any customer relationship, it starts with the customer experience.

Low Cost

What is your budget for maintaining customers? Your cost of customer service might be lower than you think. It will cost you less to maintain than it does to repair or replace.

Some might say, “I already know this.” If you know it, are you doing something about it?

– 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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Using Appreciation to Create Positive Energy

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Are you surrounded by positive energy? It’s probably not surprising that organizational cultures that make a conscious effort to increase appreciation are also those with more positive energy.

appreciation  appreciative inquiry

Look around long enough and you’ll find varying opinions about the use of appreciation. On one hand you have the people who prefer to manage with an authoritarian approach and on the other hand you have the people who want to be so appreciative that they forfeit any representation of authority, chain of command, or organizational hierarchy.

Should there be a balance? Perhaps, yes, there should be some balance, but many organizations fail to find the happy medium.

Like many people in my profession I’ve heard and witnessed numerous stories about workplace culture gone wrong. I’ve heard the nicknames, the stereotypes, and the banter echo through the halls and at nearly every water cooler or coffee pot meeting conveniently located somewhere near you.

I’m sure that there is plenty I haven’t heard too.

Management team members and peers alike often label those that they identify with negative energy as a person with a bad attitude. Of course it may be true, they do have a bad attitude but can this attitude be corrected or improved? Can you find or create some sense of balance?

From my experiences employees with the worst attitudes are also the employees who feel the most unappreciated. Is the management or organizational leadership to blame? They might be, but even if they aren’t they should be taking the lead to help improve and create more positive energy.

You might want to consider a few triggers for negative energy, here are several:

  • Compensation package. We know that there are many sides to this story, but the brutal truth is that compensation is a critical factor for how people feel about their work.
  • Unclear purpose. Most people will work very hard for a purpose and understanding how their job connects to the organizational mission, vision, and values is often one of the most underestimated factors in workplace motivation.
  • Anger created by fear. Authoritarian approaches thrive (which is not good) on motivating people by suggesting it is a do it or die, my way or the highway, atmosphere. There is nothing positive about scare tactics for motivation.

How can you turn things around?

One of the easiest ways to look at making a difference is to remove, reduce, or otherwise improve the trigger points.

Employees who feel appreciated are more positive. There are many ways to express appreciation and increase positive energy without focusing on pay or compensation. Much of this will require communicating more effectively to express the values and beliefs of the organizational culture that you want to build.

Three of the most critical elements for increasing appreciation are to show more respect, ask for input, and genuinely thank employees for a job well done, extra efforts, and other important contributions.

Make no mistake, leading and motivating workplace teams requires a conscious effort to build the right kind of culture. Today’s socio-economic conditions and generational challenges all create added pressure for organizations who seek to have a more positive and energized culture.

Positive energy develops from appreciation.

Give more.

– 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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3 Things That Make People Feel More Appreciated

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You’ve heard it before and so have I, people want to know that their work is appreciated, that they are respected, and that their contributions matter. If everyone knows this, then why do so many feel under-appreciated?

more appreciated

Let’s start by making sure we are on the same page with appreciation. Here are three things that when practiced, make a difference.

Show Respect

One of the biggest things that employees are giving (being paid for) is their time. Respect everyone’s time. Value their time as much as you value your own. Start and end meetings on time. Show up on time, and don’t ask someone to stay late while you exit to hit happy hour, be with your family, or other non-work related activities. They have a life too, and likely they aren’t excited about staying late or being rushed because someone else failed to plan or prepare appropriately.

Another gesture of respect is to, ask don’t tell. Ask for help or assistance, don’t tell someone to do it. Ask for the person or team to take on a backlogged project or one that is not so prestigious but still needs to be completed. Ask don’t tell, it always makes a difference.

This is simple stuff, right?

Ask for Input

When and where possible include others in decisions and setting future direction.

Think about starting conversations with things like:

  • Do you think we should…
  • How do you think our clients would react to…
  • What is most important for improving…

This should not be an exercise, but a true and genuine approach for inclusion. If you are only doing it as an exercise it won’t take long to matter as little to them, as it does to you.

No rocket science here, right?

Give Thanks

Unfortunately it is still not uncommon for supervisors, managers, or other positions of authority to demonstrate an attitude with employees that the employee should be thankful they have a job. Yes, it might often be true, but it should never be illustrated as a cultural value. You might be surprised the number of front line employees that I speak with who would jump through hoops for someone just because they know the person values and appreciates their work. Yes, you are paying them (in nearly all cases) but that is compensation, not appreciation.

You might be surprised how engaged and motivated even the most marginal employee will become when they know they are valued and their work is appreciated.

This is really straight forward, the a-b-c’s, am I right?

Why then, do so many employees feel under-appreciated?

The answer is simple. Nearly everyone knows or easily understands the approaches for making others feel more valued and appreciated. That isn’t the problem. It’s not a lack of knowledge.

It is a lack of practice.

– 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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10 Ways To Express Employee Appreciation

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Lots of organizations claim to value every employee’s contribution. They’ll often express that employee appreciation or the act of being appreciative is a core value. As a consultant, trainer, and coach I hear a lot of good stories, some of the most common underlying themes of workplace dissatisfaction seem to develop from a lack of respect, trust, and appreciation. Do you feel appreciated? What about your team?

employee appreciation in the office

Appreciation doesn’t just happen; it is intentional, but only with your good effort. The old news is, people don’t quit jobs because of the organization, they quit because of their boss. This applies not only to many root causes for turnover but also to absenteeism, unhealthy workplace conflict, and in some extreme cases even theft.

Increase Employee Appreciation

Do you want a healthy organization culture? Do you believe that you are showing appreciation for a job well done? Here are ten expressions of appreciation, use them (or create your own) frequently:

  1. That was so valuable!
  2. You did something no one else could have done.
  3. You really impressed me.
  4. This was beyond expectations!
  5. Can we clone you?
  6. That was absolutely amazing!
  7. I know you will have great success with this.
  8. I don’t know how you did it, but it is fantastic!
  9. Where would we be without you?
  10. Thank you.

Most employees know all the usual buzz phrases so try to use them sparingly, here are a few:

  1. Nice job.
  2. Great work.
  3. You rock.
  4. Awesome.
  5. Thanks.

While these are better than nothing, they are often too simplistic, are taken for granted, and do not generate lasting meaning.

I’ve heard countless stories about the manager who tries to say or do the right things but the delivery is terrible. Employees end up feeling like it is sarcasm, that it is not genuine, and provides no value.

Doing It Right

What is the difference, or how do you do it right? You have to feel it and believe it. Your level of integrity with improving employee appreciation comes from you understanding and valuing what it really means to appreciate the work or accomplishments of someone else. Truly consider what your workplace life may be like without them. What additional work load would you have to endure? What would the customer experience be like or what would your sales volume be?

Lastly, make sure your gestures, body language, and other actions align with your words. Recognize all of this in your mind first and then express why you appreciate them so much.

Always remember it is not what you intend to deliver, it is how it is perceived. Perception is reality.

Appreciate them more.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC and the owner of the registered trademark Appreciative Strategies®. Dennis is a four-time author and his latest book is titled, 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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Does Appreciation Really Matter?

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Ask ten people what motivates them to come to work every day and you might be surprised with the differences in their responses. Some will quickly state that it is money or that they need a paycheck. Of course nearly everyone active in the workforce probably needs or has some use for the money they earn, but why else are they coming to work every day? Does appreciation matter?

Appreciation leadership

Many of the leadership seminars that I deliver have a component that addresses motivation. When we start to dig deep and really ask some tough questions about motivation we often end up talking about appreciation. Sure, we have the usual conversation about money, feeding the family, and simply earning a living but don’t you think that there is something more? I know I do, and after asking some very pointed questions during many different seminars and coaching sessions I’ve learned a few things about motivation.

Sometimes it is not so much about what you know or don’t know, but it is about how you illustrate, demonstrate, and execute your leadership role day-in and day-out. You can know everything in the world about motivation, but if you don’t execute properly none of that knowledge will matter.

Truth

It’s not uncommon for me to state in my opening comments at leadership seminars that some of what we will go through during the next few hours will probably not be totally new, and there will not be any rocket science. What happens next is sometimes amazing, because now they are seeking the answer to the question that is burning in their minds, “If I’m not going to learn anything new, why I am here?” The answer is easy. Certainly there will most likely be some new items that reach out and grab them, but what will really make a difference for them, what they will learn that is new, is not so much about the content as it is about the content being applied. It will be about their execution.

Many well-meaning supervisors or workplace leaders know the best methods. They just don’t practice them. Often the higher up the organization ladder they climb or the longer they’ve been in the role, the more they forget about or lose touch with the most basic drivers of motivation, appreciation, and respect. Certainly this is not everyone, there are plenty of really great role models at all levels, but it is not uncommon to find many who have lost touch with the execution and the magic that makes the difference between being an enforcer of the rules and being a leader.

Appreciation

Nearly every workplace has its share of people challenges. Those who are in supervisory or leadership roles of any capacity have some responsibility to help manage motivation, improve employee engagement, and develop a well-respected and admired organization culture. Often people throw money at problems, and often some of those problems can be fixed with money. Not necessarily true when it comes to motivation. Sure a raise will temporarily make a difference and so will scaring them with firings or layoffs, but neither of those will build the kind of relationships or culture your team needs to be competitive today. Often, the single biggest thing that you can do is increase appreciation.

Execution

Congratulate employees for completed work, thank them personally for being committed to the team and for their efforts, demonstrate how proud you are of the work that they do and how they make a difference. Help them to understand their purpose with the organization and how important their individual contribution is to fulfilling the organizations mission. Many things are blamed as the root cause for employee dissatisfaction or turnover, but the one least discussed by the management team is the amount of respect and appreciation that each employee needs or feels.

Sometimes appreciation really does matter.

– DEG

See also: 10 Ways to Express Employee Appreciation

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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Overcommitted, Undervalued

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What many people really want is a commitment. What they expect is what you promised. When you try to express your value by showing your overwhelming commitment the best thing that can happen is that you prove your worth, the sometimes thing to happen is you prove you were overcommitted. The result of over-commitment is that you may be undervalued.

Appreciative Strategies overcommitted

 

The overcommitted administrative assistant, supervisor, or emerging executive doesn’t show value, they show incompetence. Ouch! At least, that may be the perception held by others, since their expectation was not met.

Overcommitted

An overflowing bucket lacks value; the perception is that a bigger bucket is necessary. A bucket half full lacks value, it is not being utilized or has too much waste, and an empty bucket is likely the worst of all. A bucket filled just right, the one carrying the most without any waste, not too big, not too small, and delivering exactly as promised is the most valued bucket of all.

Undervalued

Commit to doing too much while accomplishing less and you are undervalued.

Commit just right.

– DEG


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