Can Your Employees See the Details Critical for Delivering Innovative Service?

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This week we celebrate Veteran’s Day and we deeply thank all those who have served for their service! We both had the distinct honor and privilege to serve our country. Chip is a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran. 
New arrivals to any combat zones quickly learned that the difference between a veteran and a novice was far more than war stories. They had an expression for it on the front line in Viet Nam: “grunt eyes.” Grunts were the enlisted ranks of the infantry–low rank, little prestige, people whose job description started and ended with the simple requirement to, “Do what the ‘old man’ tells you to do.”
Those with “grunt eyes” were able to see things a new in-country recruit would completely miss. And there was little correlation with rank. Whether you were a captain or a private, you only acquired “grunt eyes” in the field, paying attention to every sight, sound, smell, impulse, clue, and condition that[…] Continue…

Do You “Love Up” Your Customers Every Day?

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Last week was National Customer Service Week. We hope you had many special activities planned to “love up” your customers during this special week! However, it is not really about what you do for customers during one week or one day a year is it? Absolutely not! In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace where customers’ expectations keep increasing it is about how you love up your customers every day and every interaction!
Stew Leonard, Jr. CEO of Stew Leonard’s Dairy Store headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, is about as energetic about customers as anyone you can find. He rushes around his stores glad-handing customers, soliciting their feedback, ringing up sales, helping lost-looking customers find what they’re in search of, thumping employees on the back, and generally energizing everyone in the place. When he speaks to groups, as he often does, one of his favorite phrases is, “Ya gotta love that customer!”[…] Continue…

Innovative Service Requires a Culture of Trust!

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“Would your work practices change if your son or daughter was watching you in order to learn life lessons?” my business partner, John Patterson asked a group of senior leaders.  The company was famous for its profit at any cost mentality and had indicated a desire to become more customer-centric with a long-term view.
A major conflict had emerged when one of the senior leaders wanted to implement an opt-out product.  Opt-out means a current customer is sold a product or service they did not request and is required to proactively let the company know they did not want the product or service.  Many customers do not micro-manage their monthly statement and thus fail to catch the added fee.  Once they do, they scream at the call center.  Tricking the customer might generate short-term profits but it clearly is not customer-centric.
The incident launched a discussion about the relevance of an impeccable character among leaders of an organization. […] Continue…

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