Tag Archives: trends

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trendy customer service

The High Price of Trendy Customer Service

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Ask about a good customer service experience and people may cite Zappos, Amazon, or Disney. Are following the trends of others the best path? Are you caught up in trendy customer service?

It seems to make sense. In life, much of what we do we learn by watching, listening, and getting hands on. Then we replicate, we mimic, and we follow the model.

Learn to tie your shoe, make a toasted cheese sandwich, or change a flat tire. We often watch, listen, and replicate.

Creating the best customer service experience may be a bit different.

Trends Are Not Unique

When we mimic, follow the model, or do what the competition is doing, the best we can hope for is to become number two.

Here is the real catch though, if every online shoe store or every theme park replicates, exactly, the best service models then the opportunity for a unique experience is less. Everything is the same or similar. It isn’t memorable.

McDonald’s or Burger King, Wendy’s or Carl’s Jr., they spend millions chasing each other and yet trying to be different.

The manufacturer that produces a pen, a silicon chip, or a plastic water bottle, may produce hundreds of thousands, all exactly the same. Good quality, a sign of trust, value, and building a brand.

When everyone is exactly the same, the lowest price wins.

Trendy Customer Service

The question more people should ask is not about how to replicate, but how to create a unique experience that makes your product or service memorable, unforgotten, cutting edge, talked about, and chased. An experience that others may find so attractive that they want to follow.

Following the leaders puts you behind. Becoming the leader advances you forward.

Certainly, we can learn from other models. Certainly, we should understand what the competition is doing. Replicating their model will always only be a path of following.

Trendy doesn’t differentiate, it’s similar.

It’s a price too high to pay.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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workforce trends

Workforce Trends Connected To Generational Differences?

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The recent newsflash is that GM is planning to layoff 14,000 US workers. Is this capitalism at its finest? Could it be a sign of uncertainty in the economy? Is this disruption in workforce trends somehow connected to generational differences?

The safest answer may be to consider that all the above apply.

There are plenty of news articles and video clips addressing the speculation about why. So far, I haven’t seen any material connected to workforce trends shifting because of the more recent generations.

What Is the Question?

My initial question is simple: Have US car sales been flattening or perhaps declining?

Ask a marketing or demographic expert involved in the automobile industry and they may confirm or deny.

I believe there may be a linkage to our generational differences. Many traditionals, the baby boomers, and even generation X, lived largely on the premise that coming of age meant getting a car.

Want to know the framework for the generations? See the chart.

Today, for the youngest millennials and the generation Z crowd, it may not be the same.

Rural vs Urban Desires

Rural USA has parents wondering why their children grow up and want to leave small town USA.

As a kid, I aspired to cut the lawn, trim trees and bushes, and one day buy a car and a house. That was the dream.

Today, as many millennials leave small town USA and head to major metropolitan areas, they don’t care about the pride of cutting the lawn or raking the leaves. They don’t want to know the basics in home repair or how to change the oil in their car.

Many of them do not want any of that stuff.

Partly perhaps, because it slows them down, puts them in higher debt, and makes their living arrangements less flexible.

Workforce Trends

Is the American Dream changing? Is it shifting workforce trends?

What are the forces applying pressure to see GM cut 14,000 jobs?

Is it just another day in corporate America capitalism? A decline in the interest for certain types of automobiles?

Is it a signpost of the differences in values and beliefs across the generations that will ultimately shift the job market?

I’m curious.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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idea strategy

Idea Strategy and Keeping The Best

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Strategy is often cited as one of the most significant factors for success. Certainly, strategy is important, without it people and teams tend to hop from one thing to the next often without any focus. How do you manage the best ideas? Do you have an idea strategy?

It Starts Early

It probably starts for us at a very young age. We keep what we want and we throw away what we don’t.

Your mother or father told you to eat your vegetables, but you may have discarded them, hoping to never see them again.

It may have happened with the coolest t-shirt, the hottest sneakers, or even trends with how we style our hair.

We keep what may be popular, what seems to fit in, or what makes a great new statement. Anything else would seem ridiculous.

As grown adults in the workforce we must navigate political climates, generational challenges, and closely monitor our career path. Does this affect what you or the team decide to do about strategy?

Idea Strategy

The choices often become about keep or throw away. It is a debate of the idea, the concept and interpretation of what will work. It may be about what is trending, hot, or the competition is now exploring.

We attend meetings and strategy sessions. Sometimes we leave there thinking, “Didn’t we suggest that during the last meeting?” or “Didn’t we bring up a few months ago?”

When ideas are thrown away, it may only be temporary. Perhaps instead of throwing them away we need an idea strategy. A method to keep them close at hand. In this case ideas are only set aside for this circumstance, at this time.

Is There Proof?

I remember my great aunt in the early 1980’s suggesting she should have kept her shoes from the 1920’s, the style was popular again.

Who would have thought you could grow to love peas, lima beans, and broccoli?

In grade school I could have never have imagined that shaving your head may one day become cool.

For strategy, keep all the ideas close at hand. Even the bad ones. What may be a bad idea today could be the hottest trend tomorrow.

-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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