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A Boss vs A Leader

The difference between a boss and a leader:

A boss thinks their opinion is the only one that matters.

A leader knows the importance of taking the opinion of others into consideration.

A boss demeans and disrespects those who can contribute to the success of the entity.

A leader understands the importance of everyone’s contribution and seeks to treat others respectfully.

A boss throws temper tantrums in order to get others to comply.

A leader is mature enough to know the importance of maintaining self-control.

A boss will enlist the assistance of “yes” people in an attempt to “shame” someone into compliance.

A leader asks questions to understand why people think the way they do.

Be a leader, not a boss. Leaders never run out of people willing to assist them on their mission. Bosses find themselves constantly starting over again.

Here’s a leadership-related article that you may find interesting – “10 Rules of Leadership to Build (and Retain!) the Best Team”.

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Core Values – The Framework for Great Customer Service

The establishment of core values for your business creates a framework from which you will operate and make daily decisions. In regards to providing great customer service, a good set of core values should include the following:

1. How we will treat each other within the company.

2. How we will treat our customers. 

In order for great customer service to flow out to the customer, greatness must be the goal on the inside of the business. How can you accomplish this you ask? Words such as honesty, respect, integrity, and a good attitude must be incorporated into the core values of your business. Maintaining an environment conducive to providing great customer service becomes easier when everyone is on the same page.

When leadership can promote and exhibit honesty, respect, integrity, and a good attitude, the foundation for a great business culture as well as great customer service is set.  When the staff experiences honesty, respect, integrity, and a good attitude from the leadership team, they buy into the core values – it’s not just words on paper, it’s actually the way things are done.

Just imagine the power of everyone allowing the core values to influence the actions of each other and the customer. There are numerous benefits to incorporating core values. Here are just a few:

A reduction in employee turnover

Employees feel valued when treated with respect. There is a sense of trust when the leadership team makes a point to be open and honest and act with the utmost integrity.

Higher level of service provided to the customer

As employee turnover remains low, the customer benefits from the knowledge and experience of a more tenured employee. The system moves a little faster for the customer as tasks are completed efficiently and properly.

A work environment open to improvement/innovation

When a safe environment exists – one open to input from the employees, ideas, and suggestions for improvement or innovation will assist in creating the best possible experience for the customer.

Customer retention rate is high

When the customer receives the benefit of the company’s establishment and commitment to live by its core values, they become loyal customers. An increase in revenue via retention and referrals creates a positive cycle for the business and its employees.

If you haven’t already, consider taking the time to establish core values for your business. They may just be your guide to long-term success. Here are a  few core value examples:

http://www.dwyergroup.com/code-of-values.asp.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/corevalues.php

http://www.whelansecurity.com/about/values.html

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Focus on the Customer

A colleague from the local chamber of commerce shared this story. She purchased a Kindle Fire from a local electronics retailer as a Christmas present for her daughter but found it to be inoperative right out of the box. Upon returning to the store with her daughter and waiting in the long customer service line, my colleague stepped to the counter to advise the store employee of her dilemma.

While speaking with the employee, she noticed that she did not have his undivided attention. He was texting while attempting to address her issue! When asked to look my colleague in the eye as she spoke, the employee advised her that he was “multi-tasking” and continued to text! I guess you all know what happened after that comment. The Kindle Fire along with the service agreement was returned on the spot. My colleague gave her daughter her phone and advised her to order another Kindle Fire via Amazon.

Customers deserve your full attention when visiting your business, whether in person, via the phone (yes, it is noticeable when you’re preoccupied while on the phone), or via chat. This ordeal is easily preventable just by exercising common courtesy.

Employees should be trained to give customers their undivided attention throughout the service interaction. If other customers are waiting, by all means, acknowledge their presence, but give the customer in front of you your undivided attention.

Utilization of one’s cell phone while on duty and especially when servicing a customer is not a good practice if you really want your customers to feel valued. Customers should be made to feel that they are important as they have multiple purchasing options available as my colleague demonstrated by advising her daughter to order another Kindle Fire online.

The fact that additional items, specifically a new laptop, were purchased as Christmas gifts along with the Kindle Fire from this retailer probably fueled my colleague’s decision to not only return the inoperative device but to vow to not make future purchases from this store.

A dose of common courtesy from the original store may have insured her return for a new PC and monitor which were purchased from – you guessed it – another retailer. I wonder how many other people were told about this incident. I wonder if that employee is still “multi-tasking”?

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He Found It! Award Winning Service

My wife found an online coupon for incredible savings on a printer at the local office supply store. Upon arriving with the coupon to take advantage of this offer, we were immediately greeted by a store employee. We advised the employee of our desire to purchase the advertised printer.

The young man attempted to scan the coupon skew number several times, but it would not register within their inventory system. He calmly stated, “I know we have this item in stock. If you don’t mind let me check to see if I can locate it.” He proceeded on his quest and returned shortly with the printer in hand.

He explained the problem – the skew number on the coupon did not match the skew number on the actual item. He thanked us for our patience and escorted us to the register for checkout.

Let’s total up this experience –

1. Acknowledged upon entering the store.

2. Employee took ownership of the situation – he searched for the printer himself after the skew number would not register in the inventory system.

3. He apologized for the delay caused by his having to locate the printer.

4. Explained the cause of the delay – skew numbers didn’t match.

5. He escorted us to the checkout area.

6. He exhibited a good attitude throughout the interaction. Guess where we’ll go for office supplies! Now That’s Customer Service!


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