In Customer Service Does the Second Impression Count as Much?? Sir Richard Branson Says Yes!!

Sir Richard BransonSir Richard Branson (of Virgin) says that although the first impression counts in customer service, so does the second one — and the second one is when the customer is calling his company because of a problem!

Are your staff trained to handle issues especially when things don’t go as planned? I’ve worked with airports for many years and, as a former flight crew member, know that this environment is prone to things going wrong. There are just too many different companies involved in making an airplane park, pull up to a gate, unload, load and then soar off again. Sometimes 20 different stakeholders with competing agendas must cooperate to make it happen. Unfortunately, the customer always gets the brunt of the service breakdown, regardless of who caused it.

Whether the issues are mechanical problems, baggage belts breaking, power outages, bad weather, shortage of supplies or cost-cutting measures – everyone gets grumpy, both employees and customers. The more people feel they can’t do anything about things, the more frustrated everyone becomes — and believe me, the customer won’t come back. How an employee effectively and positively handles the day-to-day “oops” (regardless of who caused it) always leaves a better impression than if everything had worked as planned. This is called the Second Impression that a customer has of your company and if it is handled well – they give your organization an instant testimonial.

How Does a Company Create the Wow Factor?
Companies come to me all the time asking, “How do we get our staff to create magic moments, go the extra mile, WOW them, or – as said in a famous training video – Give em the Pickle™.

One of the best ways to create this magic is to get your employees focused on making a great Second Impression by finding “3rd ways” to solve the problem. Even if you can’t wave a magic wand to make it happen, there is always something else that can be done.

Take airline delays for example: I witnessed one smart customer service airline employee make an announcement by asking how many people “wished they had more time to read?” (It was done with fun in mind and to try to change the mood of the delay). He then simply said that this delay gave them the gift of having more time to read, and then he let them know the book store was just down from their gate (he created a third way to solve the problem). He also mentioned that the newsstand had Nicorette™ gum for those who could not get out of the airport for a cigarette. The customers actually complied and went to the stores, and I’m sure the retailer was very happy.

How are your staff handling the oops situations? Do they know how not to say “No” to a customer; but always think “what else” or “what other options” could I suggest with this predicament? Can your staff think creatively?. This is a culture that can be taught to your employees, and there are many training techniques that can be used to create this culture.

If you’d like more information on how to create a great Second Impression or to bring the “I Can Fix That” keynote to your upcoming meeting or conference, contact me today:

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Is The Apple Store Customer Service Secret Really Out?

Apple Customer ServiceIt was so simple when I read it. In fact, it was such “primary” introductory Customer Service Skills that I couldn’t believe they even used the acronym and got their staff to buy in without rolling their eyes in the classroom. But if this is such common sense for customer service delivery, why is it still not common practice elsewhere?

Apple’s customer service secret to success is:

Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome.
Probe politely to understand the customer’s needs (ask closed- and open-ended questions).
Present a solution for the customer to take home today.
Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns.
End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.

I truly believe the secret is NOT just in “training staff in customer service”. The secret is getting your staff to consistently deliver it by buying in to your culture of care.

What is your “customer service culture”? Do you even have one, besides a page in your orientation manual? Without a strong customer service program, you won’t keep customers in today’s competitive environment. If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business and therefore no need for marketing, human resources, operations, or accounting departments.

Guess who a Customer Service culture starts with? You guessed it: the leadership, and more specifically, the CEO and/or the owner of the company with their senior team. One has to take the time to have a vision, gather commitment and define the scope of what your Customer Service and Culture of Care looks like. I help organizations all the time define why they exist. Why does the customer show up, buy from you and continue to tell everyone about you?

6 Ways to Create Your Culture Of Care

1) Define why your company exists in 3-5 words. Ask, what are the top things your customers absolutely require and expect from you? For example: McDonalds = Consistent, Affordable, Clean and Efficient. Their employees know the decisions they make are based on these 4 words and the importance of the delivery systems in place.

2) Design and deliver Customer Service Training that is customized. These include your typical touch points to deliver excellent service as well as where to up-sell additional products and services.

3) Ensure that training is designed with exercises that are based on “your” customer interactions with your key messaging, brand and culture around your 3-5 words and other areas you want to embed.

4) Train your leaders in programs that are customized specifically for you. Include leadership and supervisory skills that are based on your own company’s culture of customer service. Sending managers out to other generic supervisory and leadership courses often end up with just the “flavour of the month”.

5) Train all your staff to be solution oriented, internally and externally. If you trace service breakdowns that are happening in the accounting department, you will see the customer (external) is probably also suffering from the effects of the breakdown (internal). The keynotes and a large component of my Customer Service Training is focused on leaving participants with an “I Can Fix That” mindset. We’ve found that the company or organization can soar when everyone is “Finding 3rd Ways”, troubleshooting service breakdowns and ensuring that problems are resolved, especially when things don’t go as planned on a day-to-day basis.

6) Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate, share and reward success as your scores improve.

If you always remember to fix the customers’ problem(s), and you do this on a consistent basis, you will easily beat any competitor and have customers coming back and referring you for life.

The difference is in the way you set up your standards and not only teach in initial training and orientation, but also bring them in for refreshers to deal with service breakdowns and generate possible solutions. Your staff actually know what could be done, but often don’t tell management; they just get irritated and often stay stuck. The sessions I customize for clients generate a plethora of ideas and solutions for “3rd ways” to fix customer challenges. Some are so easy and immediate that you wonder why you never thought of them.

APPLE went much further than these elementary skills — just ask any business, teenager or the parent who is buying these little expensive computers for them to carry around. Most kids insist on having an Apple device these days (witness the soaring sales of iPhones and iPads). Apple – as many now know – searches websites, blogs, and comments on social media to learn what people dislike about their devices, what they want and then SOLVES those problems in their products. They then market the solutions to these problems. After you buy; they want to continue to solve your problems. They know that, in this competitive environment, the cost of not creating a culture of care through training and leadership is far more expensive than the cost of implementing it.

What is your Customer Service or “Culture of Care”? If you need help in getting started, revising your existing plans, or just to enhance your customer service levels, call or email me today to find out how our customized consulting (facilitation, needs analysis, summary and reporting), keynotes or training services can help you move to the next level:

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What Colombia taught me about transforming a “Culture of Care” and Customer Service


I had the honour of speaking in Bogota, Colombia, last week to approximately 200 business leaders. I decided to add some extra days to my travel and venture to Cartagena as well. Everyone I spoke with said, “Be careful … are you sure you want to go there? … It’s not safe”.

The good news is I felt safe the entire 8 days of my trip. The feeling lasted until I had to depart on a Canadian airline flight back home to Canada. At the boarding lounge, I was told by the airline that my suitcase in the luggage hold would be inspected by the Policia. Now, being in a foreign country where I did not speak a word of the language (something I’m planning on correcting), we could not communicate well enough for me to completely understand why I was holding up the entire aircraft full of people. Did this happen often? Were people regularly left on the plane for an hour or more?

I’m still amazed that neither the airline agents nor the Police were upset with me as I became a little more panicked as the minutes ticked by. (My travel companions were already on the flight as I had insisted they go ahead. Little did I know that they were at the front of the aircraft with the pilot refusing to fly if I did not get on.) The interesting thing is that both the airline representatives and even the Policia used the international language of smiling and nodding to calm me down while waiting for my suitcase to come up to the bridge — which took about an hour!

After a very intense search of every seam in my packed clothing (including the bag of Juan Valdez coffee beans), I was allowed to get on the bus that took me over to the aircraft and I arrived to cheers as I boarded the flight. No one seemed upset that I’d held up the plane, and my travel companion was delighted to see me come down the aisle.

I thought deeply on the flight home, “What was different here?” I’ve traveled almost the entire globe as both an airline crew member for seven years and as a professional speaker for the past 13 years. I’m on airplanes or in an airport sometimes up to nine times per month, so I constantly assess the level of customer service at each hotel, airline, airport, restaurant, retail chain etc. I teach, train and help organizations transform teams into a culture of care, especially in the travel industry.

Why was everyone I met in Colombia friendly, helpful and even seemingly delighted that we were visiting their country? Why were there so many police around the city, at entrances to the hotels, tourist areas, on the streets, in the airport? (We even got stopped by the Policia while in our taxi.) At first, I was startled by the amount of security forces I saw; but I soon realized that this is a country that is desperately trying to change its reputation and brand as a safe place to do business and travel to. I thought, Wow! Am I right in the middle of the transformation? Are they truly trying to create a sense of safety (and yes, actually succeeding in making it safer)? Is it perfect? Maybe not, but I could sense they (the government, businesses, the people) are seeing hope and trying. It appeared to be a country dedicated to changing its reputation to a culture of care. It confirmed to me there are economies that are coming out of the ashes globally and they are working hard to catch up.

With the vast amount of natural resources now becoming accessible (oil, mining, agriculture), along with a country that is trying hard to change, investors from around the world are flocking there to not only get a return on their investment, but also to help put in much-needed infrastructure (roads, bridges, water/sewer and gentrification of neighbourhoods). With this objective, they are bringing jobs to a population that has been riddled with high unemployment and political strife. I believe there is a culture of care embedded in the people of Colombia, but it will continue to take the right leadership to ensure the hope and safety of both visitors and its own population takes hold.

I often ask readers who care about customer service and creating a “culture of care” in their environment: Has a transformation happened, is it happening, or does it need to happen? What would you have to do if you wanted to improve, and how long do you think it would take to achieve the next level of service to continue to hold or gain your market share?

How long will it take to fully change the culture of Columbia and ensure the world knows about it? We’ll be watching carefully.

By the way, if you are going to Cartagena, stop by this restaurant. We stumbled upon it in the old historic town, left at the bottom of the stairs of the Cafe del Mar. It’s called Salou, and we had a beautiful Sea Bass and Coconut Rice dish (specially made in Cartagena) that was to die for. We learned the owner and head chef was trained in my home town of Vancouver, British Columbia. Visit:

To book safe and great customer service tours while in Cartagena, use Gema Tours (American Express Travel Services). Visit:

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Never Reprimand Your Customer

Teach Them By Using The “Knock It Off – Nicely” Technique™

One of the hardest things a company has to do is train their staff to deal with customers who don’t know how to use their product or service in the intended way. If the staff don’t know how to correct the customer eloquently, they actually appear to “reprimand” the customer. It typically happens when the customer is new to the service or product. The product or service may not be new, but it is new or unfamiliar to the customer somehow. I’ve seen many service providers (staff) who hate “stupid” customers and have a tendency to handle them by showing frustration. I always teach that there is no stupid customer, just a skill or information gap. A customer service expert finds out what the gap is, then reaches out to help or teach them. I often see staff members scold (tell them sternly how it should be done or just why it doesn’t work that way), or chastise or even use sarcasm to get their point across. All this does is ensure the customer leaves angry and often never comes back, which is very costly. Even if the customer figures out they were wrong, the emotional damage to the customer experience is in most cases unforgivable. (Who wants to use a company where their staff embarrassed you, even if you were wrong?)

Every company has instructions, menus, rules, regulations and a particular way to use or order their product or service. Here are some examples I’ve witnessed in the last three months.

1. Example of air travel restrictions. I witnessed security guards at airports “instructing” (actually, using sarcasm) towards a person who had not flown since the rule changed years ago about allowable volume of liquids and gels (less than 100 ml, 100 grams , or 3.4 oz depending on which measurement system/country you use). And the containers also have to be readily accessible in a clear 1-litre bag. That is a lot of information to teach the millions of people who travel every day. Just check out the CATSA or TSA website; you have to read virtually a manual just to figure out what you can and can’t fly with. (In the incident I saw, the customer had an expensive bottle of duty-free alcohol purchased earlier in his travels and he was now connecting to another flight. Boy, did he get in trouble from the officer who promptly took it away, and not without a fight – no options were offered.)

2. A coffee shop employee instructing a customer what was a “tall” versus a “small” didn’t go well. The unfortunate senior gentleman was so confused about the size; in the end he just wanted a cup of coffee.

3. The best example of poor instruction (a reprimand) was a flight attendant actually yelling at a customer that his bag would not fit in the overhead bin. After much fuss – and the passenger becoming red in the face trying to push it in – she finally let him know sarcastically, if he “just put the wheels up and in backwards, it would fit”. I thought, why did she not just let him know this in the first place instead of getting in a tussle? It would have been much easier for everyone if she had simply made an announcement to explain how bags would best fit for this aircraft type. Instead, now all the passengers in the surrounding rows were mad at the flight attendant and the entire airline; they felt like no one cared. (Heck, customers are still mad about paying for a checked bag so they now bring it on board and we all take the delay, but that’s a topic for a different article.)

So how do you teach your customers what you need, without reprimanding them? Let’s help put your staff at ease with a technique, and your customer will actually feel cared for even when they are doing something wrong. I call it the “Knock It Off Nicely” Technique™. It goes like this.
1. What: explain what the issue is.
2. Why: share the reason why it is a problem for them.
3. How: teach what other options might work (try not to use can’t, no, won’t or don’t).

Using our first example about air travel restrictions, here’s how to use the technique:
1. What: “Unfortunately, since 2006, there has been a restriction on liquids and gels over 100 ml in carry- on luggage.”
2. Why: “This was due to increased security threats.”
3. How: (Teach what a customer CAN do instead of telling them what they can’t). “The options are to discard the item(s) here, try to re-check them with the airline (a knapsack can be purchased at newsstand), store it in the Baggage Storage area if you are connecting back this way, or donate it to someone in the airport (perhaps the person who dropped you off).” When I worked with security screeners in the past – they came up with about 12 different options.

There are a couple of main points when you are correcting customers:
• Rule #1 – Don’t use the word “you” (focus on the problem, not the person); and
• Rule #2 – ensure customers are informed about the issue (the what), why it is a problem, and teach by suggesting (options) how the problem could be fixed. If you do this, you are teaching. If you miss the why and the how, you are just reprimanding.

Have your teams face the challenge of “teaching” where you see customers just not understanding. Write your own scripts to fix the problem.

If you feel your staff would benefit from learning this technique and many other skills we offer, which help organizations become #1 in Customer Service, turn staff into Customer Service Experts and transform teams into customer care crusaders, contact us today regarding our customer service training programs:

Aloha Spirit

Sunrise Haleakala

Top of Haleakala Crater - Sunrise - Have you ever felt on top of the world?

Is the “Aloha Spirit” of Hawaii really just
great Customer Service in disguise?

If you’ve ever experienced the Hawaiian islands, you’ll know and have heard all about the “Aloha Spirit”. The Aloha Spirit usually conjures up visions of flowers, surf, sandy beaches, tropical drinks, warmth and relaxation, but so do many other locations in the world. So what is it? Is it about the way you are welcomed and treated by everyone? Is this truly what Customer Care is about?

I’ve been going to these Islands for 30 years. I’ve traveled the world. I’ve pondered these questions frequently as I return now so often: What is the magic of the Hawaiian islands? What is the Aloha Spirit? Why does it generate such great vibes if you’ve ever had the pleasure of walking on her shores?

Honestly, compared to other destinations – and I travel a lot – I’ve noticed almost everyone holds doors, readily give directions, smiles, greets you (even the housekeeping staff when you meet them in the hallway). If you smile, they smile back even greater. I don’t believe they do this because they are constantly reminded they depend on me (the tourist), it is just the Hawaiian culture. So, can other organizations create an Aloha Spirit?

Why Does the Aloha Sprit need to alive & well in Hawaii?
Those in Hawaii delivering the services to tourists could single-handedly put their economy into turmoil if they chose to stop treating their customer extremely well. Why does the Aloha Spirit need to be alive and well at all times?

You Have to Fly – You Can’t Drive
These islands and their population are very dependent on tourism and the suppliers that support it. They are all integrated and inter-dependent – and if they are not delivering “good customer service”, people don’t readily go; it can be too much of a hassle. The Islands’ biggest problem is access to the islands. You have to get on an airplane, you can’t drive. Hawaii Tourism Authority and the airports must constantly try to attract and convince airlines to bring passengers. Travellers are completely dependent on the airline carriers.

Even Inter-Island – No Ferry, No Driving
For many travelers, it can be a complicated process, deciding on best airfares and schedules, accommodations, car rentals, activities, what to bring, what to wear, ground transportation. And what about connections to outer islands once you get there? Especially if you are traveling from outside of the United States or Canada. Last time I checked, there was no Customs agent to clear you at the outer islands when you land, which forces you to land in Honolulu first and then grab a connection. This adds costs for flights and adds up for a family fast. However, somehow most people seem to budget or decide it’s worth it. Why? I believe it’s the service of this integrated environment of suppliers, and not only the greetings but everything else you get in this integrated system to help the traveler, such as: the Aloha Spirit which is even seen within the police (just behave yourself and go down to watch the festivities on Halloween night on the main strip in Waikiki – it’s even safe enough to walk home alone at midnight); one doesn’t get sick on the water (thanks to the city engineering); the laws are typically easy to understand and are upheld; and the money exchange is easy. Top it off with a floral lei (even if you buy it yourself) and you will find yourself getting into the Aloha Spirit.

I go because as a customer, I feel welcome every time. Today, I wish everyone some Aloha Spirit. Can your organization build the Aloha Spirit? I believe they can with the right leadership, the right messaging and training. I’ve seen cultures change firsthand with the clients I’ve worked with.

If you want to see some great places to visit, even as a virtual tourist, here are….

My favourite Aloha locations to visit:


Sandy Beach – Don’t swim here without your flippers –

Haunama Bay

Of course Waikiki – No need to rent a car unless you want to tour the island (and a little Hawaiian music to go with it). Don’t tell Enterprise I told you not to rent a car. However I’ve found them the best customer experience on the island to rent from.

The Big Island – Hawaii

Volcano National Park

Akaka Falls

Geothermal Pools


Poipu Beach Park

Waimea Canyon (The Grand Canyon of Hawaii)

Napali Shores (17 mile Hike (Take a guide and camp one night)


Haleakala Sunrise (Your Bucket List Must)

Mamma’s Fish House (Food and location – Excellent) Just watch the Intro – Fun!!!


For more information on how Elaine can help your organization with Customer Experience training and keynotes visit:

Tips on Customer Care When Handling Alec Baldwin Situations

I’m amazed at the media buzz with Alec Baldwin.  If the flight attendant had used this technique (Knock it Off Nicely Technique)….she may have gotten Mr. Baldwin to cooperate somewhat more cooperatively.  Temperaments of all kinds of passengers are what Flight Attendants experience on a daily basis. I even train enforcement officers to use this technique below.  People basically don’t like being told what to do. Enforcing regulations is tough.  Especially when you have the “responsibility” to enforce them but not really the “authority” to do anything about it -most have to call Police, which then gets time consuming and messy.  The Knock it Off Nicely technique basically goes like this:

a) What

b) Why

c) How

a) (What) I’m sorry sir, but all electronic devices will need to be shut down before take off.

b) (Why) there is a strong risk that they could interfere with navigation devices as we taxi and the pilots need to communicate with the tower.

c) (How) We’ll need all “texting and electrical devices off” in the next 30 seconds and it can resume (name the time when they can). (give them options).

Those who have the responsibility, but not the authority (aka they can’t make a physical arrest – they have to call someone to do this) – get caught in this all the time.  It’s a double edge sword.  It’s like someone going to the bathroom during the seatbelt sign – (by the way you can go the bathroom – but you are at your own risk – and it can be risky if you do hit a huge pocket of turbulence). The flight attendants by regulation just legally have to warn you.  On the electronic device issue, unfortunately as soon as the flight attendant takes their jump seat I can’t tell you how many people bring their devices back out and it is frustrating as a passenger to see people do this.

With Mr. Baldwin’s account, it sounds like he was in the bathroom at the time, so I’m confused, if he was in the bathroom, hopefully they had not pushed the airplane back yet, because if they had not pushed back,  he could technically have a few more minutes to use his cell phone. (Electronic devices to my knowledge as I fly 5 – 8 times a month – don’t need to go off until you are ready to move).  Did he delay the flight because he would not come out of the bathroom as he was playing games on his cell phone – and delaying the flight.  In that case, if he is going ballistic, delaying a flight for anything other than a medical emergency, there is a security issue and a passenger should be removed by the proper authorises.  The flight attendants should call for immediate back up to have this done. Often this situation can be circumvented if you “Don’t Come to the Fight” (another technique I teach, but don’t have time to go into right now).

Of course I was not there, so don’t know all the details, however in situations like this, these techniques have been known to work exponentially well.

To recap: If you only tell them “what” it comes out as a command, miss “why” they think you are picking on them, miss “how” or what their options are – you miss the opportunity to be professional (competent) and (courteous).  I used to be a prison guard in an all-male maximum security prison (and was a former flight attendant) and I know this technique works.  I get customer service staff to write their own scripts in my keynotes and training.  They are amazed how easy and powerful it is.  P.S. You are not allowed to use “You”.

The 3 C’s of Service – Miss One and You Might Not Get the Customer Back

excellent service

Do you know your customer expects 3 basic things when they make a purchase with your company?

These are  3 essential elements to include in your customer service training

Courtesy, Competency and Concern and they are all interdependent.  One without the other – and you have a problem.

Let’s explore these 3  C’s when we are the customer – Courtesy, competency and concern.  First, Courtesy, we all know when it doesn’t happen and you feel it.  How many of you have had someone who was abrupt, rude or disinterested?  The product or service worked as planned and the employee could fix the problem efficiently (Competent), they may have shown some (Concern) that you at least got the product or service.   2 out of 3 isn’t bad, so you’ll probably accept it, not necessarily leave, but you will remember that they were short or indifferent and you probably won’t rave about it to anyone.

We all know what incompetent looks like – they just don’t have the understanding to offer solutions to the issue or they can’t work the software properly, or the product and they fail to ask for help internally and learn – they just say sorry!   Or worse, you get pushed around to another department.  They lack any Competency.  Believe it or not, the employee is often as frustrated too. Those companies with well trained staff and outstanding order entry or escalation processes get rave reviews and raving fans.  At the end of the day as consumers, we just want resolve.

The final thing we want as customers is at least someone to give a darn – be Concerned.  For example, Show some empathy to my plight.  Keep me informed, tell me that the airplane is not moving because of a mechanical problem, or you are working on fixing the software and when it might be fixed.   At least show some understanding that I’m not going to get what I need at the exact moment that I need it.  (Even if it is that someone will be with me in a moment).

How many of you recall someone who was really efficient, never spoke to you except to take your payment, or worse didn’t even look at you.  Some airlines still do this as they pass your boarding card under the reader.  They are competent and as fast as heck, but really don’t care if you use their services or not – they forget that we (the customer), are the one’s paying for their dinner tonight.

If your employees are great at one, but not all 3 – your complaints can rise, and your profits go down.  Do they know the importance of all of these.  Courtesy, Competent and Concern.

Do Your Employees Know Why You Exist – Are They Delivering on that Promise?

great customer serviceEvery business exists to deliver key customer expectations.  You can call it brand, but it is what founders have typically identified as a need when they first started the business, service or product in the first place. Often it gets diluted, and employees become scattered in what they attempt to deliver.  They just show up – but don’t really SHOW up.

I always ask in a needs analysis, can your employees or your Executive name off 3 adjectives why you exist.  For example; McDonalds Restaurants was invented to deliver: Efficient, Consistent, Affordable food services in a CLEAN environment.  They have now renovated numerous locations to get back to that “clean” feeling they were known for.  Yes, they’ve added salads to their menu, (and thank you from a Mom who works hard to maintain a healthy weight), but I often still don’t go to McDonalds for a salad, and I do enjoy dropping in on the Golden Arches because I’m fairly certain once again, they will have a clean bathroom, no matter where I’m traveling.

Westjet Airlines is another example.  They know why they exist and continues to grab market share – in fact they “Care”antee it.   Their employees know why they exist; To deliver: On-time, Affordable and  Friendly (actually often funny too) service.

Once employees and the management are clear on what they deliver and how they are different, they strive to enact it in their daily service delivery or how they manage employees and the business.  They actually influence each other, and will support or nudge one another to ensure it happens.  It’s magic when I see it happen and they often win awards and profits soar again.  Ask yourself do you know why you exist?  Name it now if you can.

Engage Your Staff in Customer Care – Do You Know How?

Customer CareThe quality of customer care shown to your customers by your staff will impact your reputation in either a negative or positive way. Customer care is the hallmark of your business.

How do you train your staff to deliver exceptional customer service?

Tell your staff how to treat your customers and they will try, but not always deliver on the promises.

Engage them in ways to delivering or exceeding expectations and  resolving customer issues as they occur, and you will witness them actually doing it time and time again.  You see the number one motivational factor in the workplace is not necessarily money.  Mind you, if you take it away, they may not show up. However the number one motivational factor is actually CONTRIBUTION.

The ability to contribute – to make a difference is energizing.  In fact, it is the meaning of life – why are we here?  To make a difference (big or small).  It just feels good when someone can “Fix it”- such as your reason for wanting a product or service in the first place, or if you have a complaint.  This is regardless, whether you are giving it, or receiving it.  It just feels good.  That is why employees like working for winning companies that look after their customers and deliver on their promises – a certain pride is exuded when they hear their friends and family say – Oh, they’re the best.  In fact without great service you may not last long.  Competition is fierce.

How to do engage them.  Either hire an expert facilitator, or do it yourself if you can manage the multiple ideas that will come up and get your staff involved in the process.  This can be done by facilitating ideas in meetings to finding new ways to deliver services or products, or reviewing typical and ongoing customer service breakdowns and their possible solutions.

Note: Don’t point anyone out – keep the scenario as generic as possible and focus on the solutions.

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