Tag Archives: culture

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Dennis Gilbert Masterclass virtual customer service

Masterclass : Customer Service Culture

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Masterclass : Customer Service Culture

Starts in:

 

Are you building or contributing to the development of a culture of service excellence? Service has never mattered more. It’s true to get your customers back, and it’s true to forge new relationships. Whether your opportunities are B2B, B2C, or in some cases both.

You also cannot forget about the importance of a culture of service internally. Your staff and team absolutely need to be culturally connected to serving each other.

While it may start within a small group or department, a true culture of service includes everyone in every aspect of the organization.

Does it sound like a lot? It is, and this masterclass will help you immediately start making a greater impact.

CustServ Dennis Gilbert Masterclass

 

Developing a culture of service means you’ll have employees who:

  • are fast and effective at solving customer problems
  • respond appropriately with courtesy and respect
  • place value on the customer experience not on quick fixes
  • recognize lifetime value and are devoted to maintaining relationships
  • deliver customer experiences that compel customers to refer your business
  • And so much more…

The customer experience begins within the culture of your organization. Teams that understand and value both internal and external customer service will always be more effective at demonstrating these values to the external customer. After all, when your employee teams focus on the customer experience there simply isn’t much room for drama, poor attitudes, or lackadaisical approaches to products, services, and sales.

During this masterclass, participants will consider the aspects of creating a culture of customer service by examining foundational skills and how to apply them. There will be a specific emphasis on the concept of each individual improving their customer service skills and the workshop will close with an activity that reinforces the development of these skills as a cultural practice.

 

Session one: Understanding culture, building strong impressions, exploring habits. (90 Minutes)

Session two: Expanding habits, internal and external customers, culture development. (90 Minutes)

 

Are you committed to making a difference? Now is the time.

 

Where: From your own device. For best results, you’ll utilize a webcam type device (and speakers or earbuds) to connect to the seminar. Optionally, you can listen in and interact through questions without a video connection.

When: October 28, and November 11, 2020, both starting at 10:00 AM (Eastern U.S. timezone) 90-minutes each.

Who: Employees at all levels, front line staff, back-office support, customer support, technical support, team leaders, and all levels of sales and support departments. It is also critically important for supervisors, managers, and business owners who want more emphasis on building a customer service culture!

Each participant will receive:

  • Two, ninety-minute sessions of high-quality (virtual / webinar) instruction
  • Digital course materials, which will serve as a reference guide for on-going development
  • Certificate of completion

 

This virtual (Zoom) seminar will be presented by business consultant and national level speaker, Dennis Gilbert, CSP.

Dennis Gilbert

 

“I delivered my first live, on-line virtual training program in 2009. Much changed since then, and the content and delivery is now better than ever. Make no mistake, this program is not a freebie teaser. It is a specially developed live virtual training (webinar) that is jam packed with tips, techniques, and most of all, value.” – Dennis

 

Cost: $199 per participant – one ticket buys both sessions!

Act Now! 

Register now for $199 $189

Register Now

Thanks for looking and for supporting small businesses!

 


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caring gracefully

Caring Gracefully Is In Short Supply

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Caring gracefully may be exactly what your organization is missing. Are you stuck between offerings and volume? Are the big box stores or eCommerce sites rattling your cage?

How will you compete?

The best way to get more is to bring it all to scale. Scaling your product and services is the best way to get bigger and often, yes, get better.

Where will you invest? Time, money, or people? Perhaps all of those?

Scaling not Failing

The small mom and pop restaurant will often fail when they try to expand. The small repair shop struggles to compete with the franchised option. And your product on shelves in Walmart, Best Buy, or available from Amazon may attain a different scale when compared with the small retail shop or static webpage.

The difference may come from the investment that many leaders overlook. The investment is in driving purpose which drives caring.

Many organizations and businesses insist that they are family-oriented. They insist that working in one of their shops, warehouses, or production facilities is just like being part of a big family.

Is it true?

Caring Gracefully

Talk is cheap and true caring comes with a price.

The price is the sacrifice that people make when they care more.

It starts with a well-defined purpose. Achieving the metric matters but it isn’t achieved in dollars and cents. It’s achieved when people care enough to push more, push harder, and pull it off.

A deeper level of caring means everyone understands why quality inspection seeks perfection and not just to be good enough. It’s why packaging matters and the brand is built from a reputation not the size of the facility or number of locations.

People who work together for a common cause, who are smart, value learning, and want to do the job right are far more likely to achieve more than the competing organization that cares less.

The small shop or the multimillion-dollar franchise. The retail store or the eCommerce site. Caring gracefully matters.

Buying state-of-the-art equipment is one price to pay. It will never be enough to beat a team that invests in purpose and caring first.

It’s often hard to find.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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emotions guide

Emotions Guide Your Work, Good or Bad

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Do you recognize how your emotions guide everything that happens next? Emotions are tightly connected to your culture whether it is realized or not.

Leaders sometimes suggest you should remove the emotion in order to make a good decision.

Certainly, there are times when that may apply. Yet, there are other circumstances or situations where emotion is what creates forward energy.

Buy-in, persistence, and motivation may all be linked to emotions. Passion for the work and caring about the customer are also connected to emotions or feelings.

Emotions Guide

Many businesses face change. The thought always is, get buy-in for the change effort.

It is easy to quickly reject the suggestion for a new path in the meeting. It may be easy to bring up all the obstacles and roadblocks in the path of making a new direction work.

Sometimes, great ideas are quickly put to rest by eager naysayers.

At the same time, ideas that gain traction are also connected to emotions.

When it seems like a good idea excitement builds, commitment develops, and those involved are emotionally connected. When people are connected at that level, they don’t want to see the project fail and they’ll work hard to overcome any obstacle that may sabotage success.

After days, weeks, or years of commitment to a path or system, people are emotional. They have witnessed the success, poured their heart into keeping it alive, and have satisfied hundreds or multiple thousands of customers.

It would have been easy to reject the system when it was only a thought. Once it comes to life is it also connected to emotion.

Sticking to a path, an idea, or even an employee is emotional.

Good or bad.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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leadership balance

Leadership Balance, Find the Middle Ground

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Harmony is typically not found in extremes. Regardless of which end. Leadership balance is where the best results will develop. Are you finding the middle ground?

Too many meetings, or too few?

Too strict and authoritarian or too soft and too lenient?

Are you too congratulatory and appreciative or too subdued and neglectful?

Everything in leadership is about finding the right balance and balance is often hard to achieve.

Culture and Community

In the workplace, the environment and culture are often suggested to be about creating a community. The community works best when everyone can find the right balance.

Unhappy communities often seek a form of asylum. They prefer to retreat, withdraw, or to be left to their own devices.

Differences are more notable and not embraced in unhappy communities. Instead, people feel divided and seek a safe space.

Often, they leave the community. Heads down and defeated they are disconnected and weary, physically, emotionally, or both.

A focus on self, defeats communities and builds an unhealthy culture.

In contrast, a quest for balance is a generous act.

Is there balance in your leadership?

Leadership Balance

Leadership is artful.

There are a few small pockets of people who believe that leaders are born. The educated population largely believes that leadership skill is developed and that great leaders are made.

The toughest challenges of leadership may not be about risk, vision, or processes and systems. The toughest challenge may exist in how leaders choose to set navigational examples, inspire, and build community.

It is a generous dance with balance.

Communities often don’t respond well to force.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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tactical emergencies

Tactical Emergencies May Be Holding You Back

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Do you spend a big chunk of your day [metaphorically] fighting fires? Is it time to change the approach? Tactical emergencies happen, but when they are the norm there should be corrective action.

We could start with hiring practices, or we could jump into training approaches, and then we could even jump into egos, systems, and most of all strategy.

Do you have the best approaches to work or are you just getting through each day?

Every time you are fighting a fire you have temporarily abandoned strategy. Whether it is five minutes, five days, or five weeks. Both strategy and tactics are important, yet both require balance.

Are you doing too much tactical?

Tactical Emergencies

Workplace leaders are often out of balance. They feel trapped. Trapped in picking up the pieces for production or performance failures that are happening all around them.

What do they do?

They put out fires with little afterthought of how it started, why it started, or especially why they are continuing to pop-up.

In order to regain balance, they need to do something different. They need to stop the cause of fires.

Misbelieve 1 – No one is capable of providing the oversight that I provide. That is why I’m here. I’ve worked my way up by being the one who fixes everything from a hiccup to a catastrophe. Checkpoints: ego, training, aged cultural systems, or values.

Misbelieve 2 – Training takes too long and no one cares enough. There isn’t enough time. We need to get the people working not training, after all, we have a schedule to meet. My job is to pick up the pieces. Checkpoints: training is an investment, not a direct expense, culture, purpose, and long-term strategy.

Misbelieve 3 – It’s been done this way for years. That’s exactly how we’ve stayed in business. It’s hard to find new talent. Checkpoints: strategy, technology investments, skills, culture, business reputation.

Sometimes it feels like the only way to get out of a hole is to dig. Sometimes while you are digging you misunderstand how you got into the hole in the first place.

Being more strategic and less tactical may be much more effective than showing up with a helmet, an axe, and sirens blaring.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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workplace norms

Workplace Norms and What Is Different

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Do you fall perfectly in line with the culture at your workplace? Are you following the workplace norms?

Many organizations hire for fit. Fit is often viewed as the most important attribute immediately following a handful of specific skills.

Do you feel like you fit? What is the real narrative of the culture?

Fitting in has value. So does, a different opinion. In many cases, something different creates more value not less.

Need Not Apply

We must remove some variables.

A person who is against alcohol consumption probably isn’t right for a winery or liquor store.

The same may be said about gun shops, vape stores, or your local specialty meats store. If you are strongly against, you probably don’t fit.

What about someone who loves to go fishing instead of playing golf. Someone who loves tiny homes instead of a mansion, or who drives a junker car instead of a brand-new BMW?

Why does any of this matter?

It matters because decisions connected to your personal preferences or taste, should not necessarily count you out for being valuable to the organization. Strong differing values and beliefs may not work, but otherwise different may be just what the organization needs.

What are the workplace norms all about then?

Workplace Norms

People often want to hire people who are just like themselves. The belief often is that if we agree on nearly everything, the work will be easier.

The prominent thought is that it will allow for greater success, more efficiency, and fewer people problems.

Don’t confuse easier with better, or success with fewer problems.

The leadership team at Blockbuster must have agreed with each other. The same might be said for strategy developers at Sears, KMart, or Radio Shack.

You may not be in love with technology, you may not understand why some co-workers ride a bicycle when they have a car, and perhaps you can’t imagine why anyone would eat brussels sprouts, yet it may not be relevant for doing the best work.

Workplace culture enjoys a special dance with empathy. Empathetic cultures embrace many differences and use those differences to form special bonds with the organizational mission.

A football team isn’t made up entirely of quarterbacks. Healthcare doesn’t only hire nurses. And the construction company probably needs an accountant.

Fit is often really a frame that is often misinterpreted as meaning, “Just like me.”

What is different may be exactly what you need.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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describing culture

Describing Culture Gets Easier Once You Understand

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What is the culture of your organization or team? Is it well defined and can you easily explain it to others? Describing culture may have its challenges, but if you can’t identify what it is no one else will understand either.

People often want the short version. The short story. Sum it up for us because we don’t have much time.

Yet we would seldom laugh at a joke told if we were only told the punchline.

Interests and Understanding

People seem to be most interested when they like something.

They’ll discuss their hobbies, their quest for a new or remodeled home, a new car, or an elaborate vacation. They’re interested because they like it.

Not everyone may like what they like. Someone may believe you buy a car and run it until it does, a different person may believe that you should always trade it in within a two-year window.

It’s true for hobbies, vacations, and the choices made for what you call home.

Not everyone agrees, yet most people can respect why it might be important to someone.

What about your workplace culture, can you describe it?

Describing Culture

It isn’t always about trying to make someone believe what you believe. Sometimes it is about making them see what you are seeing.

Once others see it, they have a new choice. A choice to believe. Even if it isn’t their thing, they may be able to feel it. That is where the belief begins.

Shaping a culture is visionary. It is often fluid; it twists and morphs across time. It’s probably not exactly what is written in the strategic plan, it is probably not exactly what is illustrated in the company video.

You can tell it to everyone. Tell them what it is and how it will be.

Yet, what they feel will become what they believe.

If you’re going to have the culture that you desire, you’re going to have to work on understanding what the people of that culture feel. What they feel begins with what they see.

It’s not about the formal description. It’s not some fancy words, some clever jargon, or the video on the website.

You can suggest a joke is funny. Telling someone to laugh at the punch line doesn’t mean that it is.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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workplace interpretations

Workplace Interpretations Drive Outcomes

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What are your workplace interpretations? Everyone has some. Have you considered how they drive outcomes?

It’s 2020, and we’re in the middle of a U.S. presidential election. There are lots of opinions, concerns, and hopes about what will happen next.

One person watches a democratic commercial and gets angry, a different person watches the same commercial and gets excited.

Republican commentary comes on the news. Someone will say it’s all lies, someone else will cheer for more.

And that is just connected to the election. There is more.

An on-line shopper observes a back-ordered item and believes the item has sold so well, it’s out-of-stock, what a great product and a great company. Another shopper a thousand miles away sees the same item but believes the company is lousy because they can’t build the product.

A restaurant franchise owner sees cars backing up on the street to enter the drive-through window of her establishment. She gets really excited. A passer-by sees an accident waiting to happen and believes the owner is making too much money.

The difference is in the interpretation.

Those interpretations will also condition what happens next.

Does it happen in the workplace?

Absolutely.

Workplace Interpretations

People come to work every day. They show up, follow a routine, take a deep breath and dive in. Some may drag around for a while. Slow to get started, hesitant to give their energy.

One person will see a batch of new customer orders and be excited about the opportunity. Yet, another person will see the batch of orders as the worst part of their day.

One person will see the meeting with the boss as worrisome and stressful. Another believes it is a great opportunity.

Someone will watch the clock eager to get away from work at the end of the shift. Another worries that there is not enough time in the shift to satisfy every customer.

You will interpret something today. You’ll be energized and excited, or you’ll be stressed out and maybe a little angry.

You’re part of the culture and will help create what happens next.

Which part would you rather be?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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friendly competition

Friendly Competition, Is It Really Friendly?

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Are you up for a little friendly competition? Will everyone play by the rules?

In the workplace, sales teams will sometimes do this.

Who is having the best day, week, or month in sales? Sell the most and you win a trip, get a special parking spot, or maybe you receive a nice bonus.

It works for other areas too. Safety records, attendance, or any key performance indicators that are measured for improvement.

A little friendly competition can certainly be motivating, challenging, and break new ground. It can spice things up and achieve some great results.

Is friendly competition truly friendly or are there rule-breakers, guideline manipulators, and short-cut takers?

Would you consider that to be part of the competition?

Friendly Competition

The desire to compete, to win, to prove excellence or highest performance motivates many.

Competition can also invite pressure, the pressure for greater performance or to get recognized as above average.

Pressure might imply pushing. Getting pushed, being pushed, or risking it all for victory.

We often use the word push. Push harder, do more, get better, or stronger. Conceptually, pull is a better method.

When the pressure to achieve becomes so overwhelming a win at all costs might develop. Sometimes, people believe they need to risk it all to achieve.

They try short-cuts, end runs, and they may try to cheat.

Cheating isn’t friendly competition. It shouldn’t be part of the process.

Your highest integrity and most loyal team members won’t sacrifice their character or reputation by resorting to cheating. Unless of course, the possibility of better results outweighs the risk of getting caught.

Competition and cheating have been around for a long time.

Do you want a culture of integrity?

When you start the competition, what will be the rules? How will the rules be monitored and enforced?

Promoting competition with “no rules” means you may be weakening the integrity of your organzation.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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workplace seniority

Workplace Seniority Has Lost Its Appeal

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Does workplace seniority matter? It seems that like a fairy tale, once upon a time it did.

There are as many flavors of job promotion philosophy as there are Baskin-Robbins ice cream, and then some.

Certainly, labor unions may have something to say about it. Aside from any organized labor structure what is the vibe on seniority in the workplace?

Is it a thing, or is it gone?

Organizational Purpose

Let’s get really clear. Whatever organization you work for, it is probably not in business to see that you get a promotion.

Employees are valuable. I’ve written many times about the importance of the human side of work. Workplace culture exists because of the collective psychology of work. It is always based on members of the group. It’s a human thing.

The importance of caring for organization members is vital, yet, can it be taken for granted?

Google doesn’t sell cellular phones because they are in the search engine business.

Dell doesn’t sell PC’s because they are trying to provide value for an accounting software package.

John Deere doesn’t sell new tractors because they are a collector’s item.

It is important for every employee to remember why they are there.

I’m fortunate to speak with many mid-level organization employees. Many of them are frustrated with their career.

My first question often is, “What do you want to do for your career?” And the response often is, “I’m not sure.”

It’s not unusual to not be sure. It is unusual to excel to greater levels when you are not.

In fact, by today’s standards, it may be unusual to keep your current position if you expect a permanent status quo.

Workplace Seniority

Many employees grow stale and stagnate while they expect the organization to take care of them. Yes, years of service matter, and yes, long-term contributions matter.

Yet, the organization is not in business to see to it that there is always a path forward for the employee. The path forward is about business. While these lines may occasionally cross, there typically are no guarantees.

Often the best thing you can do for your career is to figure what you want to do and what matters most for you personally. Then figure out how that knowledge and those skills can provide value to a business.

You may have to re-tool. Gain new skills, repackage yourself, and show a different kind of value.

Just because you have been around for a while, doesn’t mean that it is owed to you.

That is just a fairy tale.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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  1. Management and Leadership Certificate (Virtual Training) Evening

    October 22 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  2. Masterclass : Customer Service Culture

    October 28 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

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