Customer Service

3 Things, in the Right Order

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I was just reading the June issue of Mensa Bulletin, the magazine of American Mensa (whose standards are clearly much lower than you’d think), and in it is a feature about the best advice its members have ever received. One in particular, submitted by Bernard Kitt, Ph.D., caught my eye. He writes:

There are only three things to remember:

  1. I will be happy
  2. I will make some money
  3. I will make other people happy

One hundred percent of the people ...

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Have You Set the Bar High Enough?

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How good is good? Consider the Beatles’ Let It Be album. It contains three #1 hits: the title track (Let It Be), Get Back, and The Long and Winding Road, along with several other wonderful songs (e.g., Two Of Us, Across the Universe, and I’ve Got a Feeling); the album itself went to #1; it won a Grammy for Best Original Score (since the album was basically the soundtrack to the movie of the same name),; and, if all that ...

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How Much Are Your Blinders Costing You?

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Don’t look now, but you may be going through life with blinders on. Actually, we all are to some extent—some of us more so than others. What do I mean by this? Well, I grew up in Amish country, where horses and buggies are a common sight. Because horses have amazing peripheral vision and are easily distracted, the Amish put blinders on the horses so that they can only see straight ahead. This is a very good thing for a ...

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How the Little Guy Can Win

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Say you run a small business. (Go ahead, say it: “I run a small business.”) And say you’re competing against one or more big players in your industry. (Ditto.) Is there any way you can come out ahead in such an uneven battle? Is there any way the little guy can win? Yes, there is—but not if you try to beat the big guy at his own game. You have to play a different game. It’s how underdog basketball teams ...

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Office Politics Made Simple

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“Office politics” has gotten a bad name, but it’s really nothing more or less than the informal communications network of an organization. At the first TV station I worked at, there was a guy named Rick who had really figured out this network to the nth degree. He had determined who the key players were in the organization, and who had influence over these key players (for example, the General Manager’s adminstrative assistant had influence over the General Manager). He ...

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What Are Your Customers Really Telling You?

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At a conference I was speaking at, one of the other presenters was talking about customer service. He showed a photo of a storefront he had once seen; it was a small, mom and pop candy store. Taped to the front window was a hand-made sign on which was printed, in large, angry letters:

NO, WE DO NOT SELL ICE CREAM!!!

This conference happened several years ago, and although I don’t recall the name of the other presenter ...

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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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