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Home Archive for category "Customer Service"

“We really view each (telephone call) as an opportunity to build the Zappos brand.”

Whatever happened to customer service?  Everybody pays lip service to it, but very few actually deliver it.  More and more often, when you go to a company’s website looking for a phone number, you will be disappointed to find there isn’t one.  Apparently, they don’t want to talk to their customers.  Instead, they provide a

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That’s your competitive advantage? Really? You sure about that?

We have talked about ”competitive advantage” here before, but it’s been awhile and it’s an important concept that bears repeating. Jaynie Smith is a consultant, best-selling author, and keynote speaker. She is also CEO of her company, Smart Advantage, Inc.  I heard her speak about competitive advantage before a group of a dozen or so

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“Much of what we call management today consists of making it difficult for people to work.”

Noted business author and keynote speaker, Dan Pink, talks about motivation . . . a lot. He talks about what motivates us and what does not.  He talks about which motivators work and which do not.  One of his favorite topics is “if-then” motivators.  “If you do this, then you’ll get that.”  Those motivators grew

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A good customer/supplier relationship is essentially a partnership

Life is all about relationships, not the least of which are business relationships. We must build relationships with business peers and advisors, with employees, with our vendors and suppliers, and of course, with our customers. But what sort of relationship do we enjoy with our customers? While many like to think they’ve forged a “partnership”

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“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”

Fast Company magazine recently hosted the “Fast Company Innovation Festival” and invited fifty executives, not only from large well-known companies like GE and Nike, but also from relatively obscure companies like Grey North America and Birchbox, to attend.  The only common denominator shared by the participants was they all came from companies known for being

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Best Places to Work in Illinois 2015

As it has for the past 10 years, the Daily Herald Business Ledger has published a list of the “Best Places to Work in Illinois” for 2015.  The “Best Places to Work” program is managed by the Best Companies Group (BCG) of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  BCG administers this program not only in Illinois, but in many

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Don’t sell goods or services. Sell solutions.

It’s always been tough to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace, to give customers reasons they should do business with us instead of our competitors.  And now thanks to the internet, it’s gotten even tougher.  At one time, there was some mystery, some mystique about what we did and how we did it.  No more.  People

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“Delivering Happiness”

Zappos, for those of you who haven’t heard of it (I hadn’t), is an online retailer with a reputation for world class customer service.  It started out selling only shoes but has since branched into lots of other stuff as well.  It went from a startup to $1 billion in sales within 10 years.  Anyway,

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Culture, smulture . . . who needs it?

Brand and culture.  Two sides of the same coin.  Your brand is the outside world’s perception of who you are.  The only question is, is that perception the one you have intentionally put in place and nurtured, or is it the one your market has bestowed on you by default.  Likewise, your culture is how

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Time to audit your products/services?

Last time, we talked about the importance of knowing profitability by customer, but what about the products and/or services you sell?  Do you know which lines of business are the most profitable and which are the least?  You may think you know where your profits are coming from, but do you really?  Are you sure? 

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