Critical Business Relationships

In my seminars on Customer Caring I talk about something I call the Work-Relationship Tripod (sm). As many of our businesses are consciously moving from being “transaction – based” to being “relationship – based,” it’s important to understand the interactions of relationship in business. Imagine, if you will, that your business sits on a tripod (or even a three-legged stool.) Each leg of the tripod represents a different set of relationships: External, Internal, and Inner. All of the legs need to stay in balance, in order for the business on top to be in balance.

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What’s happiness got to do with customer care and loyalty? Everything. The level of happiness you feel is largely in your control. When you’re happy it’s much easier to create happiness for the customer. According to Martin Seligman, the founder of “positive psychology” with whom I studied to become an Authentic Happiness Coach, there’s plenty of evidence being happy has far reaching business benefits.

Is Workplace Happiness a Business Decision? 8 Tips That Will Increase “Business Resilience”

Want a more positive workplace where you and your co-workers feel happy and motivated? Want to make customers happier so that their loyalty – and your profits – grow? Want to work more efficiently and effectively and improve your health? Authentic Happiness Coach and Customer Loyalty expert JoAnna Brandi shares tips for transforming these wants into “haves” Her overall message: Happiness creates resilient employees who, in turn, create resilient, thriving companies.

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If you are a customer facing person, you know that there's never been a time when great customer service mattered more than it does now. The economy is recovering, but consumer confidence is still down, and the customers who are buying have scores of choices of where to buy and how to buy. And now, almost every product and service out there has been "commoditized" so it's hard to determine who actually offers the best value (and so, many people just shop based on price alone.)

7 Things Every Customer Facing Person Needs to Know Now

The “Get Real” Guide to Having a Good Day Every Day

By JoAnna Brandi

There’s never been a time when great customer service mattered more than it does now. The economy is recovering, but consumer confidence is still down, and the customers who are buying have scores of choices of where to buy and how to buy. And now, almost every product and service out there has been “commoditized” so it’s hard to determine who actually offers the best value (and so, many people just shop based on price alone.)

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Are We Having Fun Yet?

If you’re too busy to laugh, you are entirely too busy, according to “fun” expert Matt Weinstein, Founder of Playfair, in Berkeley CA. Matt, who has built an entire organization around the concept of play at work, believes the company that plays together, stays together. The intentional use of fun on the job can help improve employee morale, increase productivity and create a more people-centered corporate culture.

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I know there are popular books out there telling you not to sweat the small stuff – but I’m telling you that when it comes to your customers – you should sweat. Walt Disney once said, “There’s no magic to magic, it’s all in the details.” How right he was.

Sweat The Small Stuff

I know there are popular books out there telling you not to sweat the small stuff – but I’m telling you that when it comes to your customers – you should sweat.

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So yesterday when I got off the phone with my phone company’s tech support service and when I bought some light bulbs at the drugstore and when I called to have a package picked up and asked for water with lemon at the restaurant the other night and I got that same response, “No problem,” “No problem,” “No problem,” “No problem,” “No problem,” I let out a rather loud shriek.

The Problem with “No Problem”

It was late morning and I was in my hotel room getting ready to speak and then to travel on to my next engagement. It was a long flight and wanted to be able to change into my travel clothes before getting on the plane. Knowing what a hassle that can be without having the convenience of a hotel room, I called down to the front desk to ask a favor.

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Through The Eyes Of The Fish

One summer, I went fishing with a friend. We rented a canoe and ventured out into a lake at dusk. If truth be known, I was mostly watching, not really fishing. But my friend was very serious about it. As dusk turned to darkness he opened his tackle box and began searching for a new lure. I watched, curiously.

Up until that moment he’d been using a yellow lure. He explained, “It’s time to switch to a black lure.” This mystified me almost as much as what I was doing in the middle of a lake, in the dark, fishing.

I had to ask, “Why would you use black lure in the dark, in what now looks like a black lake?”

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Turning the Cycle of Failure to the Cycle of Success

While talking with a friend recently the subject turned to management skills and motivating people. I had just returned from a conference that covered that topic so I began talking about some of the successful motivation programs that had been discussed.

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Isn’t it ludicrous to believe that we could ask workers to care about customers if they don’t feel cared about? Isn’t it crazy to think that we can ask people to take “ownership” of the customer and the customer’s problems; if we don’t take ownership and create a workplace where people can feel their sense of self-worth grow? And where they can learn and develop as people as well as performers?

Customer Care and Employee Care Go Hand in Hand

I just returned from speaking at another Inc. Magazine Conference on Customer Service Strategies. I enjoyed three days of learning and networking with some of the best and the brightest minds in the field, and in the entrepreneurial community. There was one thing in particular that was so rewarding for me this year. The absolute recognition and affirmation in almost every session that I attended that without creating an environment where the workers feel valued and good about coming to work, you cannot even hope to deliver a level of service that will build true customer loyalty.

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Use Values to Pull Your Team Together

No doubt today’s leaner organizations can benefit from the power and synergy of teamwork but all too often it’s become fashionable to call every group a team. Organizations rush to anoint departments and committees alike, “teams”, and then sit back to wait for the results, which, without the right kind of training, are disappointing. Fact is, few people really know the difference between a group and a team, or, for that matter the difference between a team, and an effective, high performance team, which takes full advantage of the combined intelligence, energy and enthusiasm of its members to reach their agreed upon goals.

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If, for a year you took your focus off what was dropping to the bottom line do you think your business would fall apart? What would happen if you stopped TRYING to make money? If, for one whole year you didn’t think about creating profit? Do you think your profits would naturally drop? Well, that depends. It depends on where you put the focus when you take it off of making profit.

Focusing on Creating Value

What would happen if you stopped TRYING to make money? If, for one whole year you didn’t think about creating profit. If, for that year you took your focus off what was dropping to the bottom line? Do you think your business would fall apart? Do you think your profits would naturally drop? Well, that depends.

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