Why Great Customer Service is Crucial!

“How may I serve you?”

Doesn’t that phrase just make you happy? I hope that all of you have had the pleasure of experiencing the incredible customer service at Chick-fil-a. Every employee that works there has to go through intense customer service training, and their main focus in the training is having everyone understand that serving is what makes them different and stand out. It’s no wonder that they out perform KFC and still can close their doors one day a week.

Let me list a few reasons why you should consider training your staff to be amazing at customer service.

  1. Your employees will have purpose
    • Remind your employees of the why! Why are they coming to work each day? What impact are they making? This is a great tool to give to your people daily. You will have less burn out and give your employees purpose and drive to be great at what they do.
  2. Your customers will be happy and return
    • I walked into DSW today and within 30 seconds I was greeted with a hello and welcome. They saw me, and noticed me. I also like getting acknowledgement when I go to the gym. We want to be noticed. Make sure your staff is noticing your customers fast, that they have a big smile on their face, and that they are in the moment and not thinking about how badly they want to be done with their shift.

      People don’t follow companies, they follow brands, they follow experiences, and they always remember the way you made them feel. -Dale Partridge

  3. Your employees and customers will be your best referrals
    • To build followers you need to make sure you are creating a positive experience. The way that my husband makes others feel is truly a reflection of the type of servant leader that he is. He could be talking to a client, employee, friend or family member and he always makes sure to have that personal connection!
    • Connecting, serving and caring will make people come back and want more. When you elevate others and serve them, they feel it, and will be your biggest referrals! 
  4. Your focus will be on people and not profit (thank you Dale Partridge – read ‘People Over Profit’)
    • I’m reading the book ‘People Over Profit’ by Dale Partridge and ‘Dare to Serve’ by Cheryl Bachelder; both books have amazing tools in how to focus on people and not the profit. You know when that shoe salesman comes up to you and all they see are dollar signs. But there is a huge difference when a salesman comes up to me and starts asking questions instead of telling me about their product.
    • Get to know your people. Think about what’s best for them and not what’s best for you. People can easily sniff out the used car salesman. 
  5. You will have better sleep
    • When your team is trained well, when they know their purpose, and when they like coming to work…you can sleep easy. Putting time and effort into training your staff will help with your stress level, you will have less burn out, and your customers will be happier. You will find that focusing on others instead of yourself was the key all along.

The key to a fruitful life is finding ways to serve others daily. -Nikki Udicki

Smell the Bread!

A baker said to me recently: “I’ve lost the romance and can’t smell bread anymore.”

That is my worst nightmare! I am so glad I can smell freshly baked bread, even though I shouldn’t eat it as much.

Let’s analyze why this baker made that comment.

  1. He didn’t want to sound crazy by telling me his true feelings about bread, so he underplayed it.
  2. He has simply lost sight of how amazing bread is because of his daily dealings with it.
  3. His only motivation for making bread is to make money and pay his bills.
  4. He was having an off day and still has a fondness for bread.

Whatever his reason behind his bread comment, it got me thinking about why we lose who you are or why we hold back. 

Hesitation and fear. You can also call it procrastination. But when you let hesitation and fear make the decisions in your life, than each day you are becoming less and less of you.

  • We hesitate in telling our spouse that they are cute, funny or smart, out of fear that they may not receive it well or that they don’t think the same about you.
  • We hesitate in speaking up in meetings because we have a fear that our idea is stupid or not in line with what they are really asking.
  • We hesitate in paying our bills on time because what if we are short on money and we haven’t created a plan for where our money goes (I could really go on and on with this point because I am a major Dave Ramsey advocate). Quick quote: Don’t let your money run you, you run it!
  • We hesitate in sharing our goals and dreams, because others may not understand.
  • We hesitate in getting healthy, out of fear that we may fail and that we may have to be kept accountable.
  • We hesitate in putting others first, out of fear that we won’t get it in return.

A lot of fear and hesitation keeps us from being incredible people!

What if the baker said this instead, “To deal with bread everyday is the most wonderful thing in the world! Not only does it smell good and taste great, it brings people together! The act of breaking bread is my favorite thing in the world!!!” 

I would then say, “I”m sold! I will buy all the bread that you have!”

I also believe we hesitate in sharing our true selves because we will get opposition.

THAT’S OK!! Not everyone likes bread. I have family members that have actually said, “I don’t get the big deal with bread.”

I often hesitate in sharing the things that I love out of fear that I will fail, that people will make fun of me, not understand, and that it may sound stupid. But here it is:

I love to serve others! I love to connect with people and help them see their gifts and talents! I want people to wake up every day and chose to serve others, remind themselves daily of the things that they love, and go after it. 

Being vulnerable is hard. But when you align yourself with God’s will for your life and how He created you, then you can be confident in your daily decisions! Each day wake up and align yourself with Him! You will mess up, but don’t stay there, just make it apart of your dance and learn from it.

Fight hesitation and fear by remembering who you are and why you were created!

How to be an AWESOME leader that people want to follow

  1. Lead by example
    • Actually do what you ask others to do.
    • “Leading is not the same as being the leader. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you – not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to.” -Simon Sinek
  2. Be nice
    • We live in a very sarcastic world. Sarcasm (not always, but often), is used when someone doesn’t want to be vulnerable and show their kindness. But when you choose to be kind to someone instead of being sarcastic (even though you’re just kidding) it produces a safer environment.
    • Don’t be afraid of being nice, that doesn’t mean you’re weak.
  3. Be honest
    • I’m talking to those who have a hard time confronting. If my husband and I were afraid of hurting the other persons feelings, than it would amount to us being fake with one another.
    • You need to know how to call others out when they mess up, and when they are being awesome.
    • Make sure you have continual expectation alignment!
  4. Care
    • Know your people and give them your time.
    • When a leader shows that they care, they are communicating to their people that they matter and are important!
    • People need leaders who know them, care for them, and speak truth to them.
  5. Keep Learning
    • Podcasts rock (Dale Partridge StartupCamp, Seth Godin, Christy Wright, Dave Ramsey)
    • Read books and blogs (Jim Collins, Ken Blanchard, John Townsend, Dale Partridge, Seth Godin, Simon Sinek)
    • Ask others how they lead (Go to lunch and meet with others with the intention of asking them questions. Try not to be the one talking the whole time.)

Use these tools to improve your leadership skills and continue to rock at leading!

“The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.” -Simon Sinek

Boost Your Staff’s Morale TODAY!

How to boost your staff’s morale TODAY!

Sitting at a desk all day will physically slow down your endorphins, which will in turn slow down your productivity and motivation! The likelihood that the view from your workplace is of a beautiful mountain or ocean is pretty slim. So how do you boost your teams morale towards being motivated, productive and ready to serve your people with greatness? Well go no further because I am here to tell you!!

I love steps so here are 5 practical steps for you and your team.

1. Stand up and walk over to each persons desk and ask, “How’s your day going?”

Simple and effective. This may seem like it will take up a lot of your time but once it becomes apart of your routine you will see how effective it is. Having that interaction with your people will amount to knowing them, seeing their challenges, brainstorming with them, and a more productive team.

2.  Finish this phrase for each staff member and share it with them. “I noticed that…” 

My goal here is that you remember something that they may be stressed about, need help with, or simply to brainstorm with. This phrase can go far…”I noticed that you came in late because your son is sick, how is everything at home, do you need to leave early?” Wow, you listened, stopped whatever you were doing to talk with them, and then acted. “I noticed that you said you felt overwhelmed with that project, how can I help?” “I noticed that you had to come up with a solution for ___, do you need to brainstorm about it?” You don’t have to ask this to everyone everyday, but this should be often enough and then it will just become natural. Your staff will feel heard, cared for, and you will find that communication will go through the roof!

(1 & 2 can be done at the same time, if you didn’t catch that)

3. Know how to serve them. I am the type of person that loves little texts, notes or cards with words of affirmation or appreciation, my husband is the type of person who loves it when things get done without him asking. If he got a card he would appreciate it, but that didn’t necessarily serve him the way that he feels served. What you need to do is simply ask your people. How do you feel best appreciated?

Here are a few questions you can send out: (circle the ones you like)

A) I feel appreciated with a gift card

B) I feel appreciated with acknowledgment

C) I feel appreciated with acts of service

D) I feel appreciated with food! (Food one may surprise you)

4. One-on-one meetings are necessary. Every time I met with my boss or leader, it always was so helpful because it was a time to hear expectations again and I was able to voice my opinion just to them. Be aware of the time and make it short, but when people are actually kept accountable and cared for, they will keep coming back with great work.

5. Inspire them. Your team will notice how you treat others, how you work, and how you respond to stressful situations. Be great, remember to always keep learning, share your knowledge, and lift those up around you.

David Witt from The Ken Blanchard Companies said, “Look back at your own experience and you’ll probably discover that your best boss brought out the best in you because he or she expected a lot and also supported your growth and development. That’s the one-two punch that creates high levels of engagement and performance!”

People need leaders who know them, care for them, and speak truth to them!