Monthly Archives: Oct 2015

Customer Service Networking

Networking: The Rules! Mastering the Challenge and Gathering New Business

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Do you run screaming from the room when someone mentions going to a networking event? Are you one of the many who have to work up the energy, get into the right mental space to attend a networking gathering?

The last three, five, or ten have not resulted in any new business for you. Are you thinking it is a waste of time?  Think again.

‘Connecting’ in business has a different context than in the social milieu of today. Connecting with people for business purposes means seeking new contacts through business associations, social networks and community contacts. Once you’ve made contact, find out what they are focused on, want, need. Done well, can mean big success. Read through to the end of this article; then assess what you have or have not been doing for networking with the little quiz at the end.

Most people have trouble getting into the swing of networking; but it is worth your while in almost any business to spend time stepping up to this plate, and up to the challenge – effectively.  Face-to-face meetings are still the best opportunity to gather new business, despite all the online access to people and other networks.

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Motivation

Commitment and Loyalty in Business for Business Owners and Executives

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The terms ‘commitment’ and ‘loyalty’ bring to mind a lot of different perspectives for people in business: the terms are most often used in relationship to the hiring and retention of good employees, and also in reference to gaining and growing a faithful and sustainable customer base.
Seldom are these terms used in reference to the owner or executive of a business. But the truth is, commitment and loyalty to your own company, its mission, and the vision you had when you began, is one of the requirements of successful business, part of the process, the obligation, and ongoing challenge.

“Something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment of greatest accomplishment. As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility, and commitment.”  – Ross Perot

Tough customers, complaints, scheduling and production problems, and slipping service standards, are all potential plagues for the average executive. If you forget the vision, or the vision no longer fits the market reality, it’s time for change.

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Leadership

The Abrasive Boss: Business Impact, Cost, Survival and Intervention – Part II

The Abrasive Boss
Tangible and Intangible Costs

One of the primary clues that you have an abrasive boss in residence is a high turnover rate among employees, and long term employees are there because they can’t afford to quit, but are often into what I call the R3 mode – resist, resent and revenge.  Productivity is often below standard. (A side note: Abrasiveness can also be a characteristic of staff whose behavior is just not being handled by the boss. This situation can also result in unhappy employees, R3 mode, and increasing turnover.)The problems: the work keeps getting interrupted with resignations, hiring details, orientations for new employees, and sick days for illness or injuries on and off the job among the longer term employees.  Doesn’t matter where you are: high turnover = low morale.

The real problems begin to occur as gradually, the ‘soft’ expenses begin to rise and encroach on the profit margin. The cause: reduced teamwork; training time costs as in- house staff are pulled away from their regular duties to train new employees; close to a six month lag time in maximum output as new employees get up to speed; employee payouts as they leave and, increasing sick days and lost work days among those who stay, adding to the tally of decreasing output.  Doesn’t matter where you are: low morale = lowered output.

The slide to left side of the ledger is often insidious. Unless someone is paying close attention, it may not be noticed until it is a challenge to financially manage a turnaround.  Because the costs are ‘soft’ costs when a part time employee or short-term employee leaves, an organization may not actually cost out the actual expense. This is a mistake. The costs are real in real time.  More companies are now paying attention to those costs, but not always diagnosing the right problem.

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