Tag Archives: promise

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promised time

Promised Time May Be a Communication Blunder

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Is someone seeking your time? Is it a client, a customer, or maybe a family member or even a friend? Have you promised time?

It often feels like time is working against us. We struggle to get it all done, done right, and done on time.

There a pressure associated with the commitment and worse, expectations from the person who feels as if they’ve been promised.

Expectations Set

We all know the situation. If we promise something in 30 minutes and we deliver in 25 minutes we’re a hero. If we fail, and deliver in 40, 50, or 60 minutes we may be regarded as a zero.

Often it is the little things that count. The small details that add up to an overall experience. It is true with the customer and it is true with family and friends.

Across time, those experiences become the expectation. They become your brand. What you deliver and when, become a perception for others.

Experience Guides Us

In the U.S. you may be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t know about the McDonald’s restaurant chain. For nearly everyone, you have and expectation of the menu. Perhaps a burger, french fries, and a drink.

Your perception of McDonald’s is based on your experiences.

Simple. Straight forward.

When it comes to time, are you holding up your commitment?

Promised time may be one of the hardest things for us to keep.

Promised Time

The people that you work with. The people who are present in your life. They have an expectation.

You often communicate expectations.

I’ll be back in a minute.

Let me finish this it will just take a minute.

Please give me until the end of the week, I’ll send it in an email.

If you are setting the expectation there is no one else to blame when you come up short.

Promised time is your brand. Make sure you keep your brand promise.

-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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marketing promises

Are You Living Up To Marketing Promises?

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People grow tired of being fooled. It is easier to not respond than to interact with someone determined to alter your desired direction. Advertisements make marketing promises and that creates expectation.

When we call for technical or customer support, we expect to get it. Instead, we sometimes get a sales pitch.

If the resume or performance evaluation reads, “Exceeds expectations,” it sets the tone for everything that happens next.

When the mission statement suggests that the organization is successful because the employee teams care, we expect to feel the proof.

Expectations are Created

Are the marketing teams creating expectations that can’t be met? What about when Betty is having a bad day? What if Travis decides it is just good enough? Not good, but good enough, and then ships?

At the high-priced hotel, the luxury resort, or a five-star restaurant, we don’t care that much about the condition of the staff’s job. We have our own set of expectations. Exceed them, or we’ll tell everyone with a photo and a hashtag.

Does the sign at the hospital really mean emergency care, or does it mean you don’t need an appointment? When I visit the barber shop, I don’t need an appointment, I wait my turn. Is that an emergency? What are the marketing promises?

Marketing Promises

The truth of it is that every person and every organization run on emotion and human interaction. Sure bots are emerging, but because they lack the caring emotion, it may only mean more frustration.

A promise is a promise.

The technical support team solves my technical problem without trying to sell me anything. The parcel carrier puts the package on the porch, beneath the roof, especially when it is raining. A five-star restaurant has exceptional staff, and if they are having a bad day, I would never know it.

Why? Because you promised.

-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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high call volume

Experiencing Unexpectedly High Call Volume

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Call volume can be a problem. It can also be a lie. Certainly it can be both. Have you ever called for support and heard, “We are experiencing unexpectedly high call volume, please be patient.”

The next indicator of the big lie is to promote the URL that will get you to frequently asked questions or an English as a second language untrained chat support team.

Of course, as I reread my last few sentences I must consider if I am placing guilt without a fair trial.

This could prompt another question. Does your service provider or product support team have unexpectedly high call volume for months and months? I hope this signals a point well made.

Sign Up Here

This probably isn’t the service you signed up for. It is the surprise behind the brand. It is the hope and the guess of the company you’re dealing with that this call, your call, will never occur.

In the 1990’s I managed a group that provided both technical and customer support for a variety of technology products. It was a good team, but burnout was often problematic.

Humans who work support lines (telephone or even email) have one commanding issue. Nearly all, that means 99.9% of the calls they take, are someone with a problem not kudos. It is demanding work and I tip my hat.

High Call Volume

You can understand why the call center may want to stretch the truth but it may be the slipperiest of slopes. Once the process starts, it seems like a good idea to continue. Continuance often leads to expansion. Expansion leads to a bigger lie.

Their forecast is often driven down to answering one question. What is the minimum requirement for retention? What will the customer tolerate instead of how will we delight our customers?

There is a solution to this madness. Tell the truth. Start at the beginning. Create a truthful brand and live up to expectations. Provide alternatives and be sure they work well.

A staff of one may be all that is needed for a few calls a day. A staff of ten that can’t handle another call is likely not unexpected, it is the sign of an untrustworthy brand.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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successful service

Successful Service Is a Promise Kept

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Customer service goes wrong when the first reaction is to deny a problem exits. The most successful service happens when the promise to the customer is kept.

Every transaction contains a promise to the customer. This product will work, you will get fast delivery from our on-line store, pressing one will get you to technical support, and our waiting room is comfortable, you’ll be called shortly.

Customer Promises

Customer service is everywhere. Schools have students they are the customer. The barber has a customer sitting in the chair. Your cellular provider has subscribers.

It is the person who receives postal service mail, the person pushing the shopping cart, and the person channel surfing on their HD TV.

What every customer wants to know is that you’ll keep your promises.

You will educate my child, give me a great haircut, and keep my cellular network up and running.  You will also deliver my mail, keep good store hours, and give me great television entertainment at a reasonable price.

Often the root of the problem starts with the perception of a promise not kept. The first interaction conditions what will happen next. Unfortunately, often the first message received is denial that a problem exists. Denials aren’t always verbal, sometimes they are visual.

Visual Denials

The website contact page takes you only to a form. A waiting room has only three chairs, one is broken, one is a child’s chair, and one has food on it. You can watch any one of the 15 stations in your TV subscriber package but you only want one.

It could be that none of those represents the promise that the customer expected, so they’ll often take what they can get, they will accept it as is. They’ll fill out the form, stand in the waiting room, and occasionally watch the one channel in the package that they actually enjoy.

Successful Service

Successful service is a promise kept. It is not closing the sale. It is not denial that there is a problem.

Customer service is only effortless when you don’t believe the customer could ever have a problem.

– 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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front sided customer service

When Front Sided Customer Service Creates Back Sided Experiences

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Service after the sale, is that the selling point? Is a culture of service after the sale the right culture? Do you have front sided customer service or back sided? Is your customer service scale balanced?

“This should work but if it doesn’t we have an excellent support department, or you can return it.”

“This has a lifetime warranty. If it breaks just bring it back.”

One of my favorites:

“Would you like to purchase the extended warranty?”

Sometimes you will hear complaints about customer service on the front side. Often though, the mindset is to prove your worth before the sale, to close the sale. Can your culture have too much focus on the front side?

Back Sided Experiences

Quickly some may argue that you can never have too much focus on either side. On the surface that seems appropriate but is there an underlying principle, an ethical challenge, and self-fulfilled prophecy looming?

Lifetime warranties once implied that it would never break. Today, it may be more about statistics. Sell enough product with just enough quality to just enough (or more) consumers that mathematically we can cover any failures.

Is that front sided customer service or a back sided focus? The better question may be, “Is it a customer focus?”

Customer Focused

Do you give service that is just enough? Is it just enough to cover any problems or just enough to close the sale?

When is the promise so good that it is never tested?

Should the cost of the extended warranty be balanced in the price of the product? What is the failure rate?

Does anyone ever ask why he or she needs the extended warranty?

How does an extended warranty business, stay in business?

Does the opportunity to buy the extended warranty lower the quality delivered?

When was the last time a major automobile insurance carrier went bankrupt?

Do casinos payout more than they bring in?

Front Sided Customer Service

Many consumers may decide that they don’t care about these questions. It might be the very reason the expectations are lowered, the quality becomes just enough, and the best customer service happens before the sale.

For the consumer: Be very careful about the offer on the front side, it may be a signal for the rest of your customer experience.

– 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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