Work Life Separation

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We get a quick note on the weekend.

“Sorry to bug you about work on a weekend, but I need…”

Or a text late at night.

“Hey, sorry, I know it is late, but can you send along…”

And there was an email early in the morning.

“Sorry, this is last-minute, but can you give us a call right away…”

These requests were simple. They took just a few moments of our time.

We enjoyed being able to respond. It didn’t even feel like work.

There was a time when we thought we needed work life separation.

There was a time when we thought this divide was important.

There was a time when work felt like work.

Over the past few years the work life separation wall has slowly been dismantled.

Brick by brick, the need to be distinct and have boundaries has faded away.

The work life separation wall has become a smeary, messy, blended tapestry.

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When our work, and life is about helping others, both happen at interesting hours, times, and moments.

It doesn’t feel like work. It isn’t distinct from our life. It just is.

We live and work at weird hours when there is a need. There are no office hours.

We aren’t counting the days until we retire. We just live.

We live and work in various locations, and at various times.

We meet the needs around us throughout our entire journey.

There is no longer a need for the work life separation.

The absence of that artificial barrier sets us free.

 

The Attempted Compliment

Sometimes we become hardened towards those around us, even our customers.

Prior interactions, prior conflicts, or prior assumptions cloud our current view.

They complained, they were unhappy, they were…[insert specifics here].

Now we see them and the world through a tainted lens.

I heard a story the other day.

A customer complained. They needed some assistance. They needed something corrected.

A small team was mobilized to respond.

This team was on-site to solve the issue.

The customer approached this team at the end.

The customer began to speak.

The team responded first.

“Are you here to complain again, about something else?”

But, the customer was not there to complain.

The customer was attempting to compliment the response, the team, and the work.

The attempted compliment was shut down before it could happen.

Hardness had set in.

Where have we become hardened?

Where have we missed the attempted compliments?

Take a moment today and think about what you are holding onto, and against others (including your customers), that may be getting in the way of what they deserve.

The Right Vibe

I sat and watched them interact with each other. Laughing, joking, and connecting. It was their party, I was only there because someone close is now part of this team.

I could have been the outsider, but felt completely at home.

My mind wandered back through all of the interactions I have had with various people on this team over the years.

There was something different about them. Something great.

They all had the Right Vibe.

Vibe: a person’s emotional state or the atmosphere of a place as communicated to and felt by others.

I happened to be sitting next to the owner. I couldn’t help myself.

“I have to share something with you. Over the years I have watched your team, and your people. They have a certain Vibe about them. You are in the health industry, and they all have a certain healing Vibe. You feel it when you walk in the reception area, treatment room, and even this party. Thanks for creating the Right Vibe, it is amazing to witness.”

There is a lot of talk out there now about the culture of an organization being the deciding factor on true success. Many are pointing to the culture (what I like to call the Vibe) of an organization as one of the most important aspects to foster and create.

How can you provide amazing customer service if your Vibe is negative, controlling, and overly micro-managed?

How can you provide health care if your Vibe is unhealthy?

How can you motivate your employees to care about a customer’s needs when your Vibe leaves your employee’s needs unmet?

Think about your Vibe. What is being communicated or felt by others?

It may be time to find the Right Vibe.

The Customer Service Check Box

Customer Service Check Box

The process seemed like every other company. Place the order. Wait for the package to arrive. Check to make sure that everything is in the package upon arrival.

But this company is different.

At the top of the packing sheet is this small little check box.

“Problem with your order? Let us know! You can blame:”

What a simple way to send a message to your customers.

“We may not get everything right, but let us know if we don’t. And by the way, we are also letting you know that there are actual people behind this order. People who are responsible for getting it right.”

But this check box is not just for the customer, it is for those 6 people who work there. They take pride in their work, enough to say “I am putting my name on this and call me out if it is wrong.”

What simple check box, process, or idea could send the same message to your customers?

By the way, when the order arrived it was not exactly what I ordered. You see this company always adds a little extra bonus gift with your order. So I got what I ordered and a nice surprise as well.

Think about the message that sends.

 

The Pitch versus The Partnership

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(Image Courtesy of usdailyreview)

There are a lot of ways you can sell yourself, your company, your product, or your organization.

How you sell says a lot about you, your company, your product, and your organization.

Most selling can fall into two distinct categories.

The Pitch and The Partnership.

The Pitch describes how you are going to solve the problem, provide the solution, or deliver the product.

The Partnership describes how together you will solve, build, develop, and create.

The Pitch describes all your accomplishments.

The Partnership describes how you have helped others accomplish their goals.

The Pitch pushes forward when there is resistance.

The Partnership listens when there is hesitation.

The Pitch downplays prior service issues.

The Partnership owns prior service issues.

The Pitch wants to close this deal.

The Partnership wants to make sure this deal is one of many.

The Pitch is proud.

The Partnership is grateful.

The Pitch can give you short-term success.

The Partnership can give you success over your lifetime.

When it comes down to The Pitch versus The Partnership, which will you choose?

Service Shifts

Customers are all around us.

They are both internal and external, and have needs, questions, and requests.

Sometimes we become hardened towards them.

But not always.

Sometimes we simply fall into a routine.

They have a need, we meet it.

They have a question, we answer it.

They have a request, we follow-up on it.

Routines are not bad, they are routine.

Some routines need to be disrupted by Service Shifts.

Service Shifts are when you realize that you can provide more, and meet a need that is greater than you originally expected.

Service Shifts make you pause and ask yourself a few questions.

“Is there a greater need beyond this specific request?”

“Who else needs to know this answer I am about to send this customer, client, or team member?”

“Does this really answer their specific question, or do they need a little background?”

“What else should I be providing?”

Service Shifts happen when you discover greater needs and provide deeper solutions.

Service Shifts happen when you inform others so everyone involved understands the situation.

Service Shifts happen when you create value by building relationships above routines.

Service Shifts happen when you create trust as customers see you and your operation as a partner.

How will your Service Shifts make a difference?

 

 

 

Why Customer Service Training?

Customer service training can be an interesting adventure. Some people are excited. Other people are bored, or have a negative reaction. Some of the reactions depend on how the training was announced or conveyed.

My favorite reactions came after the training was announced via email.

Mandatory Customer Service Training: No Excuses 

Below is a clip of some recent reactions.

What would the reactions be in your organization? Have you created a culture of customer service or do you train as punishment when things are not going well?

Why Customer Service Training?

Because just like any other skill, you need practice to improve.