Addressing an influx of complaints

I was interviewed today by a reporter writing a story on what businesses should do when they have an influx of complaints. Here are my responses to her questions. What to do if you have a sudden increase in customer complaints? At the first sign of an influx, increase staff (overtime, engaging part timers, borrowing … Read more

Do your policies punish your customers?

I love the Elephant Bar restaurant. They have yummy, fresh food for reasonable prices and cheerful, efficient servers. I love that they list the calorie count after each item. And I especially love their half-price appetizers during happy hour.

So imagine our confusion when meeting friends there for an early dinner and asking if we could order the appetizers in the restaurant. We were told we could go to the bar and order and pay for them, then bring them to the table in the dining room.


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Retailer Shows Stellar Service Creates More Sales

I hate to shop. I’m an in-between size and find it difficult to find what looks good at a reasonable price.

Years ago I discovered the services of department store personal shoppers. They don’t cost anything for their services and aren’t high pressure. In fact, I’ve found they actually save me time, money, and many headaches. And I generally walk out of the store with items that fit and I can use.

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Are you measuring the wrong things?

The very helpful SunTrust Mortgage customer service rep was the epitome of professional. She was pleasant, thorough and genuinely wanted to help me resolve my problem.

However, the SunTrust computer system wouldn’t let her.

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Creating disengagement

I serve on a volunteer committee that’s been meeting every two weeks for 4 months. In my 30 years of volunteering for this organization, this is the most frustrating experience to date.

We have another meeting today. I can’t believe how I’ve gone from fully engaged to now not caring what happens. I’m attending just to fulfill my obligation but I’ve recently considered resigning.

So here’s a recipe for how to turn someone from fully engaged to a hair’s breadth away from exiting.

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Management lessons from a shepherd

“A shepherd?” you ask. “Really.”


Well, Don hasn’t been a shepherd his whole life. Just the last 15 years. Before that he was a manager at IBM. He learned a lot about managing over 30 years. Now he applies some of his lessons to shepherding.

Like what?

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Avoid creating disappointed customers

The young woman behind the Panera Bakery counter was perky, friendly and efficient. “Great job on hiring,” I thought to myself. When I added a Diet Coke to my salad order, she smiled and handed me a glass to take to the self-service soda center away from the counter.

When I arrived, a sign was posted on the Diet Pepsi (not Diet Coke) dispenser: “Temporarily out of order.” “Hmm,” I wondered, “How temporary do they mean?”

I flagged down a managerial-looking woman. “When might the Diet Pepsi dispenser be fixed?” I pointed to the sign.

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Join me for a free webinar Sept. 15

I’m excited to be conducting the very first webinar ever sponsored by Toolbox for HR — and you’re invited to be my guest!

“Effectively Growing Your Key Talent: Are You Sunlight and Water or Just Manure?”

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“13 Tips for a More Productive Life” free webinar

Are you feeling crunched to get everything done that you need to do? Would you like some tips on how to streamline your work flow? Join Rebecca for 13 tips for a more productive life. She practices what she preaches — she released 17 books last year and is such an exemplar that Microsoft retained … Read more

“Managing to Turn Upset Customers into Loyal, Delighted Clients” Webinar

As an executive or manager, you know not everyone is 100% happy with your product/services. You know it’s your job to create strategies and encourage staff behaviors to turn unhappy customers into delighted ones. But how do you do that? What can you do as a leader to ensure your people are treating your disgruntled customers in a way that not only turns them around, but also creates strong loyalty? How can you coach your staff to calm upset customers and convert them to thrilled advocates?

Upset customers are a part of every business. If they are responded to promptly and professionally they will become some of your most loyal customers.

How do you make your upset customers happy? What can you do to ensure upset customers will return, be satisfied, and refer others to you? It’s the little things that pay off big. We’ll discuss what upset customers want, how to calm them, and how to retain their business.

In this brief program, you’ll get an executive briefing as well as some specific tools to apply.

This program is not designed for front-line staff, but will go through some concepts you can share.

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