Lousy Customer Service Starts At The Top

O book

Silly me.

Every time I think the corporate world has a handle on this “customer service” thing, I hear an anecdote like the one below.

When we wrote Outstanding!—which Dave Ramsey endorsed because he knows how critical it is to not be mediocre—we included at least five chapters that today’s story could have fit into:

Never Forget Who Pays the Bills

Put People Before Policies

Management Sets the Cultural Tone

Keep “The Mission” Top of Mind

Get Actions in Line with Values

But, since Outstanding! is already written, we’ll use it in this QBQ! QuickNote.

In response to our Outstanding Customer Service: Seize the Moment! blog published recently, Paul sent us his story …

Outstanding Customer Service: Seize the Moment!

outstanding customer service happens in moments

As dinner wound down at the well-known steakhouse, our server, Joey, brought dessert and coffee. Now, just so you know, each of us in our party of four loves coffee, preferring it black and DARK.

As Joey walked away, though, we peered into our cups and expressed a collective, “Yuck!”

Have you heard the “hot water with a brown crayon dipped into it” phrase? That’s what we’d just been served.

At $2.95 per cup!

I waved Joey over to express some disappointment and get our small problem solved, but it wasn’t long before I realized I wasn’t going to get what I wanted.

Was he rude, snippy, or combative? No, not at all …

Don’t Get Fired … Be Outstanding!

Happy 2015 to all! Our first blog of the year is longer than usual, but worth reading and applying. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

3D Fired Button Click Here Block Text over white background

“Do people fire companies? Yes, they do!”

That was the beginning of an email sent to me by Steve Chamberlin, an executive with Husqvarna. The statement became the theme of our Outstanding! book.

Essentially, we maintain that people fire organizations—but they don’t fire the outstanding ones.

When we wrote the book, we used lots of stories, never knowing that later we’d stumble across one of the clearest examples ever of what happens when organizations are not outstanding.

Our story comes from Michael Miller and his wife, Casey, who run their own business—SunPrairieFilms.com—where being outstanding is imperative for success.

Here is their email to a credit union they left after only a couple weeks. As you read it, ask yourself—and discuss with your team—this critical question:

Ansel @ Alamo: Accountability in Action

Michael Pemberton is president of UNIQUE Paving Materials. UNIQUE employs 40+ people and has been adding value to our economy since I was a one-year-old. That’s 55 years!

Like others who carry his title, Mike has spent a night or two worrying about the success or failure of the organization. He knows that if UNIQUE goes under, not only would it be a disservice to its paying customers, but more than 40 people would be unable to feed their kids, pay their bills, and build their life savings.

So when a guy like Mike sends us a story about serving customers that’s meaningful to him, we think it can be meaningful to all. Enjoy!

“Sorry, that’s our policy” = FAIL!

“Organizations that put polices before people fail everyone.” Outstanding!

Have you taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)? The Millers have, and doing so has enabled us to better understand and relate to each other. Kristin is even certified to teach MBTI because there’s nothing more powerful than our QBQ! content on personal accountability combined with MBTI material in the same workshop.

Anyway, if you do know Myers-Briggs, then you will know me without meeting me when I tell you my “type.” I’m an “ESTJ.” If you aren’t familiar with MBTI, stay with me here. You see ….