Tag Archives: customer service

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emotional purchases

Emotional Purchases Impact Nearly Every Decision

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Will you make some emotional purchases in the next few days? What about across weeks, months, or even years? What you buy is more often connected to emotions than what you may realize.

Do you own a car, a home, or a bunch of really cool tech gadgets? What about collectable items, a bit of candy, or some jewelry?

There is a big difference between what you want and what you actually need.

Wants and Needs

Take an automobile for example, what are your needs? Are your needs transportation or is it the luxury and class of how you get from point A to point B?

If you need transportation, then perhaps the least expensive means of travel will suffice.

You may be able to make a claim that you could walk. Many urban dwellers do not own a car. They may not need one.

Yet, all across America and many other countries, an automobile is a significant purchase considered as a need. It may represent status, comfort, or it may be able to haul eight passengers even when much of the mileage driven is only one or two persons at a time. What is needed?

Do you need jewelry? What about a thousand-dollar pair of shoes, do you need those?

Do you need soda, wine, or sports drinks? What is the real need?

Emotional Purchases

Every day people are making choices that satisfy something beyond need. There is a want or desire that is involved. There are emotional choices connected to status, ego, or lifestyle.

Much of this all appears to be normal. So normal that it almost seems like a stretch of the truth to consider the difference between wants and needs.

Do you have a closet full of some things you barely use? Do you regularly throw out food that you could have consumed if you made different choices?

Many of the things people buy are not needs. They are wants. The purchase satisfies some emotional desire, not necessarily a survival type of need.

Humans are driven by emotions. It is true for the decisions you make about the work that you do, to earn the money that you earn, to buy the things that you want.

While there are some basic life needs, much of those needs are distorted by your wants.

Great marketers and sales teams understand the emotional desire for products and services. It’s is a leadership trait that is commonly underestimated or not fully utilized.

People are often not paying for what they need, they’re paying for something more.

Something that they want.

-DEG

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


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stopping pain

Stopping Pain Always Directs What Happens Next

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You may not even realize it, yet it is part of the goal. Stopping pain is what businesses do for their customers. They do it internally for the greater good of the organization, and if they’re really generous they do for their community too.

What are the problems?

They are the areas of pain. Often, they reoccur, stop the flow, and make managers and the CEO lose sleep.

The customer purchase is likely connected to an emotional choice. Rooted deep in their decision there are often some pain points. Even when the product or service delights there is almost always room for more.

New features, bugs fixed, or a problem solved.

The goal for most productive things in business then might be classified as stopping the pain.

How would you stop the pain? A miracle drug? An underground top-secret cure?

Stopping Pain

You can start by asking the right questions.

What keeps you up at night? (an oldie but a goodie)

What would make you use this product more?

Does it help you achieve your goals?

Stopping pain is your first priority. It what makes dreams come true. It builds success and shares in the process of what you tell yourself about what comes next.

You may also want to understand how it helps others. How it might change the outlook for families, financial futures, and make everyone look good.

It’s always connected to emotions and sometimes to social norms. People like to look good, feel smart, and be thrilled.

It is exactly why cost or price should be the last part of the discussion.

-DEG

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


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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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restoring confidence

Restoring Confidence Means Creating Certainty

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Are you good at restoring confidence? Do you believe that confident employees and customers matter?

A lack of confidence means worry. Worry means hesitation, procrastination, and delays. Delays within employee teams and delays in meeting the expectations of the customer.

Many people are facing new challenges when navigating the workplace. And now, more than ever, more people are working from home (WFH), and as such workflow and communication have changed. Certainty is at a premium and uncertainty is commonplace.

Timelines, metrics and measurements are keys to successful navigation.

When the boss asks, “When will we get an update on the project?” or when the customer asks, “When will my order ship?” how do you respond?

I’m waiting on one more piece from the team, we’ll have something together soon.

Your order should ship out by Friday.

Neither response makes an exact commitment. The unknown is hard to navigate.

Certainty builds confidence.

Restoring Confidence

A common reaction is to stretch the truth, be vague, and hope everything works out for the best. In reality, everyone is being short-changed.

People beg for transparency, truth, and certainty. In most cases, this is a transaction. It’s a transaction that can have the outcome of restoring confidence or the outcome of uncertainty and disappointment.

When we reassure with direct, not dodged, or fuzzy answers, we have a chance to change the level of confidence, certainty, and even manage the disappointment.

Better to say that the project will be finished by the end of the day tomorrow, or the order will be on the truck on Friday. Wiggle words don’t sound the same as a certainty, and its especially unlikely that they will restore confidence.

-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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customer hustle

Customer Hustle, Is That What Sells?

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Energy is contagious and often inspiring. Business minded people often like the idea of fast-paced, work-hard, play-hard, and win. Is it all about the customer hustle?

The act of hustling generally has a stigma of negativity. It may be perceived as trickery, deception, or even fraud. Largely though, in business circles, it represents a feeling of move fast, solve problems, and achieve goals.

Why is there so much focus on the customer hustle?

Time is a precious resource and when people know what they want, they want it now.

They don’t want to place an order for a car and have it delivered in six or eight weeks. When they want an ice cream treat, they expect to find it, quickly and conveniently. It’s true for getting a pizza and it’s true for an order from Amazon.

Customer Hustle

When a business fulfills a customer need or desire, it wins. It is expected to be replicated, modeled, and the competition works hard to exceed the previous best experience.

The moment anyone clicks anything on-line it starts a reaction. Search engines favor it over others, the word spreads, and action happens.

Speed seems to matter most. Timely means immediate.

The unfortunate other side of the customer hustle is that it is a short-run game.

Short-Run or Long-Run?

Short-run works okay for McDonald’s drive through, or the local pizza shop, but not so well in long-run products or services.

A dentist should be thorough, accurate, and complete, no exceptions. It’s a long-run game.

An expensive automobile or home, same thing, it’s a long-run game.

Yet it is often about the war of clicks. Fueled and offered to the public via a friendly search engine algorithm.

Does the long-run game still sell?

What’s Selling?

People talk about home appliances and suggest that they aren’t built like they once were. The same is often true for heavy equipment, electronics, or a garden tool .

The pressure and force connected with the customer hustle has driven a mind-set of fast and now, instead of good and lasting.

What is connected with the work that you do?

Is it built to last, or built for right now?

We don’t seem to find both.

It’s often a hustle.

-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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typical workplace behaviors

Typical Workplace Behaviors Tell Us About Culture

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McDonald’s has a typical hamburger. Not a great deal different from Burger King, Wendy’s, or Carl’s Jr. Similar things tell us about what is typical. Are there typical workplace behaviors?

You bet.

In some communities the typical workplace behavior is far different from others. Pay scales may be different, opportunities are different, and the talent pool, well, it’s different.

In all cases we identify what is typical. We look at the norms, the behaviors and the values and beliefs. Once spotted, we label them, typical.

Typical for Culture?

Many organizational cultures talk about competition, efficiency, and quality. Some embrace sports teams, political currents, or even religious pathways. It may not be typical, but it is typical for those organizations.

Setting aside any legal aspects, the people are at free-will to determine what culture looks like. Management always has expectations, are they good role models?

Certainly, there are always outliers. There are the extremes. Extreme complacency, revolt, or even fast-trackers. Yet, the masses seem to make up the true definition.

Hard chargers often don’t like average. Those on the victim side of the scale don’t really high-performers. Every culture has a definition though.

How would you define yours?

Typical Workplace Behaviors

When you know who your organization really is, then it is much easier to define the customer. It is better for focus, commitment, and overcoming adversity.

Being on the same page, and, all in it together, takes on a more intense meaning in practice.

You should ask yourself, “What am I role modeling?”

Your brand depends on it.

So do your customers.

-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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glamorous resiliency

Glamorous Resiliency Keeps Everyone Going

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A picture is worth a thousand words, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Having glamorous resiliency is important, especially when the chips are down.

What is your posture when navigating the rough waters?

The U.S. economy churns largely due to small businesses. It’s often hard to define a small business. Many believe it is those businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

When you try to find a concise definition, it is challenging. It may depend on the sector, it may depend on the size of the sector, and usually it is based on the number of employees and total revenue.

Small businesses represent the U.S. economic engine.

There is beauty in small business.

Glamorous Resiliency

Often there are fewer rules, politics and cliques are less intense or non-existent. Opportunities for fluid approaches, innovation, and employee flexibility are often greater.

Many small businesses run as they see fit. If it doesn’t fit, then they shift.

They are all fulfilling the needs of the customer.

This makes customer relationships better. They have stronger interactions, more meaningful conversations, and often the help is there exactly when the customer needs it the most.

Small businesses may sometimes be described as disadvantaged. They are known to be harder to scale, less resilient in the face of adversity, and less attractive for on-boarding the best talent.

In reality, this is exactly what makes them more attractive.

In life or in business, recognizing that your disadvantages may actually be your competitive edge, brings an entirely new range of opportunities.

Be glamorous.

Be resilient.

-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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takeover message

Takeover Message and The Service You Receive

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Have you ever been part of, or the victim of the takeover message? This is the message you see on the hand written cardboard sign at the store that is about to have a new owner.

I’ve seen plenty of these signs.

Bear with us while we clean up our mess.

Now under new ownership.

New management means a new attitude. Coming soon!

The same may be true for the new boss, the new employee, or the recently reconstructed team.

Why do people feel that this message is so important?

Sending the Signal

In simple terms, they want to notify onlookers that things are changing and whatever happened before will be a better experience now.

Yet every time we make an attempt to change, give it another try, or correct a wrong doing, we’re really doing the same thing. Of course, if the previous owner, boss, or employee teams resisted change, perhaps nothing is new.

When we start a conversation with an old friend we may ask, “What’s new?”

We make the assumption that the normal is complacency, the status quo, and the same old stuff.

Should we have a takeover message?

Takeover Message Failed

Recently, I walked into a small privately owned business to buy dog food. The store is not in a convenient location but I like the store and my dog eats a special brand.

The shelves were completely empty. Employees were present, but that was about it. Some hand written signs indicated they are in the process of selling the business. I saw the same signs two months ago.

Nothing says poor management or poor taste, like the message of, “New management coming soon.” Both old and new management are losing in this endeavor.

Every day we have a chance to make a difference. The takeover message is really just a stall, and it could easily become a stop.

As always, your actions and behaviors will speak louder than your words.

Make the changes. Make today better than yesterday. Isn’t that what everyone expects?

-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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service expectations

When Service Expectations Get Set

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Who decides about the quality of service? Hint: The customer. When do service expectations get set? Hint: Usually long before the product or service is received.

Are you conscious about expectations and outcomes? They matter for service, they matter for workplace change, and they will matter for everything connected to your culture.

Service Expectations

Traveling on Interstate 80 you can go from New Jersey to California. If you take this journey, or only some of it, and you’ll see road signs and billboards. Some of those will be for rest stops, food, and fuel.

If you make a choice to eat at a restaurant franchise, you have an idea of what to expect. You’ll make your decision to enter the establishment with your expectations already set.

If you make a choice to eat at an unknown restaurant, perhaps a mom and pop, upon entering you may not be sure what to expect. You’ll decide on your expectations quickly though, it often starts with the sign along the highway.

This is true for nearly everything about service.

It is why we decide we’ll trust some websites and others not so much. It is how we’ll make decisions about the shoes we buy, the clothes we wear, and the car we’ll drive. The expectations are set long before the sale.

Beyond products and services, it applies to your workplace too.

Connecting Service Internally

Certainly, in the workplace there are internal services. We know we can trust Sally with the project, yet we’re still not sure about James.

We’ll use our senses, our intuition, and our life experiences to decide.

The change handed down from the C-Suite will feel safe or it will feel conflicting. Work teams will decide to embrace it, move it forward, or perhaps slow it down.

It is true for the exit we’ll take from the highway. It is true for the change we need in the workplace.

Service expectations are the best predictor of outcomes.

-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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conversation starters

Why Conversation Starters Still Matter

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Do you still use conversation starters? Do you have enough interest, time, and determination to own the launch of a discussion? Many people seek the pattern of ease instead of the pattern of meaningful.

It isn’t new, it has been happening for two decades. It is the shift of convenience, the effectiveness of time, and the lower price that is driving change.

What is Traditional?

Most fast food restaurants still have inside dinning. Yet, the drive through is popular.

Many traditional retailers have shipping services while they still maintain some presence with a store front.

People movers in airports are popular, yet some people still walk to either side.

In some circles there is the argument against reading. “Who reads anymore, I just watch a video.”

We don’t have to physically run and hunt to get our food. Yet some people still do both.

In modern society, convenience often stands out when compared with the traditional.

Conversation Starters

Communication is not losing its effectiveness so much as the options for delivery are vastly increasing.

As the societal value of convenience, ease, and the selfishness of control slowly erode traditional systems will conversation starters still matter?

Some people still want to dine in the restaurant, even for fast food. Some still enjoy the experience of shopping in stores instead of using a computing device. Reading still matters to many and some believe it is the most valuable path to increasing intellect.

Conversation starters still matter for the feeling of belonging, security, and what most believe to be important for survival.

Society will change, so will the scope of conversations. It is hard to imagine the shape of tomorrow without starting a conversation.

-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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