Customer Service

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

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So…where are you going to be when the recession ends? Because it will end, you know. Not that there’ll be a specific date, like V-E Day (that’s Victory in Europe Day for you kids in the audience—May 8, 1945, when Nazi Germany surrendered, ending the European portion of World War II; also for you kids in the audience, World War II was a big, big war that happened before you were born). But at some point the economy is going ...

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Somebody’s Gonna Win…Why Not You?

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Every college or university has its share of freshman-level courses. You know, the huge “intro” courses that start out with 300 or so students—and end with maybe 100? Most of the students who drop these courses do so for one of two reasons:

  1. they find the course material stultifyingly dull, or
  2. they find the course material inordinately difficult.

That’s the way it should be. These courses are designed to “weed out” the serious students (in that field, at least) from the dabblers, the ...

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Developing Multiple Streams of Income

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To my continual astonishment, I get word from time to time that my book, The 5 Best Decisions the Beatles Ever Made: A Handbook for “Top of the Charts” Success, is being used as a textbook in some college and university business courses. The astonishment is not because I think it’s a bad book—it’s not—but because I didn’t write it with academicians in mind. I wrote it for the managers, supervisors, and leaders who are actually out there in the ...

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Can You Be #1 in the World?

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A number of years ago I was conducting an all-day workshop for Philips, the consumer electronics and healthcare giant, and I found out that one of their core principles was to not be involved in any business that they couldn’t be #1 or #2 in the world at. Now, for a large company like Philips, this is not an unusual principle. Many global businesses have adopted similar goals for themselves. My question is this:

Why is it that so few small ...

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How to Keep Your Customers Happy

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If your focus is on meeting your customers’ expectations and making them happy, you’ve already lost. In today’s competitive environment, you have to exceed their expectations and make them ecstatic. Hopefully, this doesn’t come as shocking news to you. People much smarter than I have been saying it for several years now. (For the record, people much stupider than I have been saying it also, but do we really want to focus on them?) So we all know that to ...

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A Crucial Trait

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There is one trait that the Beatles had which cemented their allure to the world. True, there were many elements that put the Beatles ahead of the competition; we’ve talked about several of them in previous postings, and we’ll be exploring more in postings to come. But the trait we’re going to talk about today may have been the most important (or at least in the top three). Without it, they still would have written amazing songs that would live ...

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Are You Better Than Nothing?

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Whatever business you’re in, you’re selling something. It may be a product, it may be a service, but you’re selling something. And my guess is that you’ve got competitors who are also selling something—probably something identical or very similar to what you’re offering. It’s your job to convince your customer that you—your product, your service—will be the best solution for their needs. But if that’s all you do, you may very well fail. Because it’s no longer enough to convince ...

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What Are Your Assumptions Costing You?

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I just got back from a speaking engagement in DeFuniak Springs, Florida (“Home of the Second Roundest Lake in the World!”). I spoke there on Saturday night, delivering my signature keynote presentation, The 5 Best Decisions the Beatles Ever Made…and Why You Should Make Them Too! Because of a combination of inclement weather and a mix-up in the printed schedule, attendance was much lighter than we anticipated. Let’s just say that well over 200 of the 300 available seats were ...

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Details, Details, Details

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I just listened to Strawberry Fields Forever again, for what must be the thousandth time, and I heard a harmony I had never noticed before. That’s one of the things I love about the Beatles’ music: there are so many layers, so many little details, that you can listen to it over and over again and still hear something new. That’s one of the reasons so many of their songs sound as fresh and exciting today as they did forty ...

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What’s Your Focus?

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I have a friend who is really struggling in his business right now. He works for himself, and when the phone was ringing life was good. But the phone hasn’t been ringing for a couple of years now, and he doesn’t know how to turn things around. He said to me the other day, “I’m doing everything I can think of, putting in ten hours a day trying to build the business, but nothing seems to be working.” And it’s ...

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