Tag Archives: reputation

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remember endings

Remember Endings Follow Beginnings

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Excitement for the beginning is great. It unleashes the energy and gets things rolling. Every customer order, every project, and even your career has a beginning and an end. Remember endings have just as much importance as the beginning.

When things start, it is often hard to keep in mind that things will end. The optimism and excitement of the beginning often gets everyone engaged in the flow. Flow means momentum and momentum is hard to stop.

After the Beginning

Your latest personal technology device is super cool on the first day or week. Eighteen short months later and it has often lost some of its luster.

It is similar for a new outfit, a pair of shoes, and a car. Awesome at first, but later not so much.

Certainly, it is similar for your job or your career. Even the greatest start is followed by an ending.

Unless it is the finale of something great, like a fireworks display, the end is often not desirable or attractive. In fact, it is a distraction.

At the same time having the foresight and recognition that often even the best things come to end is important for your career.

Remember Endings

Endings follow starts.

Starts are important, so are first impressions. Yet across time impressions and opinions often change.

How you navigate between the beginning and the end will continue to shape your reputation and your personal brand.

How you end will be remembered.

While you’re navigating your day keep in mind that what you do becomes part of the reputation that follows you. The beginning, the journey, the end.

It’s true for this day, and every day thereafter.

-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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Trusted connections

Trusted Connections In a New Age

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Are you apprehensive about taking the call, accepting a friend request from someone you don’t know, or opening an email message from an unknown sender? Trusted connections are more important now than ever before.

In a New Age

Occasionally I will take a call from an unknown, no caller identification, inbound telephone call. It is always a moment of risk and uncertainty.

Absolutely, I won’t know who is calling until there is a form of introduction on the call. I’m often listening for the connecting click, a familiar sound that means I’m being routed to telemarketing agent.

Sometimes as a voice begins speaking, I’m uncertain if it is a real person or a bot.

For pictures or social media, there are apps that apply filters, enhancing lighting, and change our appearance.

We have to be careful of fake products, imitations, and illegally cloned merchandise. Is the Louis Vuitton real, or a very cleverly produced imitation?

Even our food is becoming different. Is the Impossible Burger really possible?

Technology is writing a new script. People call it AI, or perhaps machine learning. Some experts will advise that those are two completely different concepts, yet socially people toss around the words synonymously.

Trusted Connections

Today your brand, your image, and your reputation will matter more than ever before. Trust is becoming more nebulous and at the same time more important.

In the workplace, we often consider the trusted advisor, the political currents around the office, and the latest message about benefits or policy from human resources. Are these trusted connections?

Marketing programs test the limits, shift your thinking, and make you wonder if there is a disclaimer in the fine print. Are these real users, or only a paid actor? We know the answer, but only when we pause to think it through.

If one thing is going to matter more tomorrow, it may begin with trust. The suggestion is that connections and community represent our future.

Who will you trust?

-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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short steps

Short Steps Create the Long Run

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People agonize over the blunder of a poor word choice in the meeting. They cling to a mishap, some moment of failure, and the fear of a tarnished record. Short steps which create the long run story.

Quick Hits

Social media, the text message, or an email. Easy for people to state their mind, take a risk, type things they would never say out loud. A picture, video, or GIF to express the emotion.

Some things we hope are quickly forgotten; others become part of our story.

You have to eat the ice cream cone with a certain amount of haste, otherwise it will melt away. Fresh bread, a warm sticky bun, or the tomato soup lose something when not consumed in the short run.

In leadership seminars I often suggest that leading through fear is a short run game. Fear may spring people to action but it lacks in building commitment and loyalty. Inspiration is a better choice.

Short Steps

Who we become is a long run game. It is built across time. It is representative of many short steps accumulated as an image, a legacy, a career.

Behaviors, reactions, and social media posts. A text message or an email. Most of these things are thought to be short term. The impression is that they will hit and go away.

The awareness point is that these short steps, the ones you take every day, become representative of your long run game.

Do you sacrifice the future for the result of the right now, or build the future one step at a time?

The short run game matters. Good or bad the outputs become the predictor of the long game.

The desirable motion is forward, yet people are looking back to predict the future. It brings a whole new awareness to what you’ll do next.

-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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business reputation appreciative strategies

What Is Important For Your Business Reputation?

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Businesses spend billions of dollars each year on marketing and advertising. Much of this effort is to build their brand. What is important for your business reputation?

Today we have a service economy unlike any other time in modern history. Media and connections often form our first impressions. What matters most?

Shape Reputation

Most businesses believe that they shape and control their reputation. They believe they do it from clever and impactful marketing and advertising campaigns, and ultimately what their product or service delivers. All of this is important, but it isn’t the whole picture.

Clients, customers, and your market will always enter the scene with bias from past experiences or what they saw in their social feed. In a sense, most businesses, like books, are often judged by their cover.

This is true for individuals, as well as businesses. It is true for sales and marketing professionals, the front line, and the C Suite.

What Happens First

First impressions are powerful, and many experts talk about the moments you have, measuring them in the number of seconds.

Ultimately, your reputation may be influenced in not only those first few seconds, but also what you become known for.

The person with the muscle car speeding through the parking lot is a motor head. A person in professional business attire is a corporate executive, not a well-respected (brick layer) mason. The college math professor giving a presentation about social media is not a professor, but a social media expert.

The 5-star restaurant that caters the upscale wedding runs the risk of becoming known as a caterer, not the best dinner spot in town.

True for individuals, true for businesses, we should know by now that perception is reality.

Your Business Reputation

You can try to buy your brand and your reputation through a marketing budget, but conflicting with every dollar spent is what lies under the surface.

The business who says they have exceptional customer service but doesn’t deliver will eventually be found out.

Perhaps the best way to build your business reputation is to become it. It isn’t an image you buy. Authenticity matters more than dollars spent.

What you do first may be what you become known for, all the while remembering that bias, stereotypes, and media influence will help your target market decide.

– 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 reputation appreciative strategies

How to Improve Your Customer Service Reputation

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Your reputation precedes you. At least that is what we’ve heard. What is your customer service reputation? Do you know, and if so, how would you improve it?

Reputation may come in many forms. Some quickly draw thoughts of the negative, bad, or vulgar. Reputation can of course be something great.

Knowing Your Reputation

There are many ways to learn more about your customer service reputation. You might compare and contrast with the competition, launch a survey, or when you’re really doing the right kind of work you may consider just asking.

Reputation is much like trust, it takes a while to build it and it can be tarnished in an instant. Reputation in customer service circles may also be directly connected to loyalty. If your business builds true relationships, that is part of your reputation. No relationship, no loyalty.

The reputation of your business is delivered by anyone (and everyone) who interacts with a customer, internal and external. Every touch point (or a lack of) will condition your reputation. It is what people expect you to do now, and a brand promise on what you’ll do next.

Your reputation is truth in the quality of workmanship, integrity, and ethics. It is what you deliver even when the going gets tough, and when no one else is looking. Like trust, and even respect, the deepest form of it is earned, not given.

Customer Service Reputation

Here are three considerations for improving and building a solid customer service reputation:

  • Think give. This doesn’t always have to be costly or require materials. When you give and give and give until you think you can’t give anymore, give something extra. In (all, but especially in business) relationships, often this is not material things, but expressions and gestures. Material niceties are great too.
  • Action guidelines. Any person, place, or thing that touches the customer is of course a touch point. Businesses sometimes take for granted the actions or behaviors involved with every touch point. Have guidelines that every employee knows, understands, and performs accordingly. A communication guideline is always a good place to start.
  • Longevity. Doing something great once is a good idea. Doing something great again and again across time is what will earn your reputation. Consistency is a factor for trust. It will also be a factor for your reputation. Remember it is built over time and can be lost in an instant.

Many people set out in their careers to earn a living. A business should be focused on earning their reputation.

World of mouth can be your best friend. It can also be your worst nightmare.

Make [earn] a lot of friends.

– 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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digital footprints

Digital Footprints, Brands, and Reputation

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There are at least several kinds of social media users. Perhaps all of them have an impact on brands, reputations, and culture. Have you considered the impact of your digital footprints?

How would you define your activity, what type of user are you? Here are three:

Bold. Those who share often and share anything, they are seemingly immune or care free about potential consequences or the impact to others. Positive or negative, ignorant or arrogant, they are making digital sound.

Careful. Those who live in absolute fear of sharing but secretly want to share much of what hits their feed. They share some but only with the feeling of great risk. They watch their posts in anticipation of acceptance or rejection and often worry until they post again.

Shy. Those who watch secretly, they stalk, creep, and are voyeurs of the system. Nobody really knows they are there and only a few would care if they realized they were.

Computer Forensics

The idea of computer forensics became widely known in the early to mid- 2000’s. People who post may recognize the permanency of their actions, or not. Everything posted enters in the chance for a cultural shift or the probability of influencing a brand.

It doesn’t matter much about the type of user, playing fields are leveled and volume is affected perhaps only by the number of followers. It might be the Presidential tweet, the suburban work from home mom, or the guy in the bar before noon.

Your brand, your reputation, or the culture of your environment exists today in part by the digital trail left behind by those who engage. You have little control over others actions or behaviors. The passer-by, the troll, or the person with digital rage all affect what happens next.

Digital Footprints

People often believe everything that they read, with the right script and implied emotion a post may go viral. Positivity seems to spread but negativity carries more drama and increases speed.

Sharing something that you care about feels important. It is rooted in your values and beliefs. It may be challenged by the bold, studied by the careful, and avoided by the shy.

Digital footprints affect culture, brands, and reputations.

It may answer this question: If a user makes a post on the worldwide web but no one reads it does it still make a digital sound?

Post well, share well.

– 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 ethics appreciative strategies

What Are Your Customer Service Ethics?

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Ethics can be a controversial subject. What seems perfectly fine to one person might be extremely wrong to another. Do you think much about customer service ethics?

People sometimes believe it is okay if it is a small thing. It might be the little white lie or the dirt swept under the carpet. In other cases, it might be connected to the concept of a baker’s dozen or getting a take home container after having a full meal at the buffet.

What do you think, are people and businesses ethically challenged?

Observed Ethical Challenges

Make a cake and you might hide the imperfections with extra icing, seems sweet enough.

What about the chicken nuggets left over from the lunchtime rush? Did the cook notice or simply not care? Perhaps it is about profit, no nuggets wasted.

The same might be true for the aged lettuce tossed into your salad or cleverly hidden under your sandwich bun. A few pieces here and there, no one will notice.

Ethics exist in customer service. Sometimes they are cleverly disguised in the sale. Other times there is hope that it simply goes unnoticed. Besides, if discovered there is an apology to make things right.

Is this the food you want to eat? Is it the product you thought you were buying, or what you expect to find inside the brown box on your doorstep? No customer wants this surprise.

You Are What You Build

In life, you are the product of your habits repeated over and over again. The same is true for your business reputation. You are the product of what you deliver over and over again.

You might sweeten the cake sometimes and get away with it since icing seems like an extra. Few would probably find fault or feel short-changed.

Cold nuggets and brown lettuce are never a good idea. Some might complain, but many others will just go somewhere else the next time.

Customer Service Ethics

What you try to hide or pretend to not notice might get you through the day. After all, if no one says anything did it really happen?

The successful shop, the one that cares and is ethical, is not sweeping anything under the carpet.

They are not building it for today. They are building it for today and tomorrow.

Their customers come back and refer others.

– 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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workplace drama

Workplace Drama and the High Costs Associated with Managing It

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Ask anyone in middle management or a front line supervisor about workplace distractions and you’re likely to hear about the drama. In what ways is negative and harmful workplace drama costing your organization?

Often front line staff view drama as just a part of their workday. In fact, some of them might be directly responsible for its existence. As a society we might get entertainment value from drama, in the workplace it often isn’t much different.

Management often chooses to ignore drama. It is true that sometimes ignoring it will help it to go away. If the drama doesn’t get any attention, if no one reacts, it might fizzle to nothing. In other cases, it might get louder.

Workplace Drama

What is drama costing your organization? Here are five of many problematic outcomes of workplace drama:

  1. Absenteeism and turnover. Certainly, drama easily connects here. Often someone is the aggressor, which might mean someone else is the victim. No news here, it causes absenteeism and turnover.
  2. Sabotage. Unfortunately, as the drama or conflict escalates so do the consequences. Unfortunately, employees may decide to sabotage another’s work or effort. In some cases, retaliation might be against the entire organization. Extreme drama might also invite theft or other ethical challenges.
  3. Reduced efficiency. When employees become more interested or more focused on the drama it is at the expense of productivity. Water cooler chats might increase and become unproductive. So might texting, emailing, and strategizing for the next (non-business) moves.
  4. Customers and clients. Nothing that takes energy away from serving the customer is probably going to end well. The ill effects of internal drama always affect the customer. In some of the worst cases the drama becomes about the customer. A loss most businesses can’t afford.
  5. Reputation and growth. Most organizations aren’t designed to plateau, the plan is for growth. While all the drama is taking its toll on the energy and excitement of progress, the organization becomes stuck or stalled. Worse, it might begin to decline.

Avoid the Costs

Drama might be entertainment in the movies or on reality television. Workplace drama likely has a cost that you want to avoid.

How your organization defines itself is based on culture. Culture is based on the ideologies and behaviors of its people and the decisions that are made.

Drama is a choice.

– 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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Customer Service is Winning

Why Customer Service is Winning

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Some organizations view customer service as an expense to minimize. Customer service is not about a department, it is about a culture. Delivering exceptional customer service is winning.

Winning to Lose

Businesses might sometimes be brutal with sales efforts. The pressure from management or the business owner creates pushy behaviors from account executives or others whose job performance and paycheck depend on closing the sale.

An intense focus on the close of the sale without a similar focus on the customer likely has a cost associated with it. When the push is too hard, it becomes a shove. People seldom forget a shove.

You might win the sale today but this win might become a loss since it is at the expense of no sale tomorrow.

Big city or small town you’ll rarely only interact once. The reputation you’re building is important. Future decisions to buy goods or services will be at stake. Your individual presence and the culture of customer service you’ve demonstrated will always matter.

Customer Service is Winning

Here are a few things to remember about why customer service is winning:

  • Reputation. You’re not just managing today’s transactions your building tomorrows reputation. This reputation will be a factor that is discussed anytime someone mentions a need for what you provide.
  • Trust. People engage with trusted resources. Consider that trust is earned, not just given. Price always matters but trust is part of your value. Even in transactional sales trust will play a role.
  • Connection. Beyond trust is the connection. It will only be a one and done if the perceived value is low. The service you provide might represent part of the sales team you never realized that you had.

Culture Matters

Customer service is never about a department, it is about a culture.

Most organizations will tell you about their exceptional levels of customer service.

It’s not what they tell you that really matters. It’s what they show you.

– 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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