The Time To Be Outstanding Is NOW!

As our heavily damaged economy slowly comes back to life, I can’t imagine a more critical time to stand out.

Said differently, it’s time to … be outstanding.

Is your organization there? If not, what needs to change?

Bottom line, success will be driven by where paying customers choose to spend their money. As in pre-Coronavirus days, they will vote with their dollars — and feet.

We must be as excellent as we can possibly be. No organization can afford to lose cash-carrying customers. Of course, it will happen since our organizations are made up of humans and humans make mistakes.

Don’t Make These Mistakes

We asked people for examples of “customer service” so poor that they never returned to the organization. Here is a handful of the responses:

  • Car dealer: Pushy salesperson using 1970’s strong-arm closing tactics.
  • Hair salon: Stylist left chemicals in the client’s hair too long while on a cell phone. Hair had to be cut off.
  • Wireless carrier: Billed customer three times after payment made.
  • Fast food: Manager and assistant manager using foul language at the counter.
  • Satellite TV: Complete apathy on a phone call regarding customer problems.
  • Doctor: Ego/haste caused misdiagnosis of child’s illness (non-life-threatening).
  • Golf course: A remark made by an employee that felt insulting to a member.
  • Autobody shop: Overcharged by a large amount, didn’t stay within the estimate.
  • Gas station: Cheap gas advertised outside but the price could only be obtained by paying inside—and maybe buying mints, coffee, and a newspaper.
  • Health club: Messy, dirty, cluttered.
  • Tailor: Cold, condescending tone. Never greets the customer.

Accountable Questions

Very few buyers in any market have no choices or options. It’s a good time to pose questions that can only help us get better. Here are a few:

Are we at an outstanding level of performance now? If not, why not?

What in our organizational culture needs to change?

How can I help my team improve?

What action can I take today to serve my customers?

How can I learn new skills to succeed in this new world?

Becoming Outstanding

We wrote Outstanding! for times like these we just didn’t know it at the time. ?

After working with thousands of organizations since entering the training industry in 1986, I’ve formed lots of opinions and that’s what Outstanding! really is a collection of my opinions. Opinions, though, based on real-life experience.

Peruse these chapter headings to discover what outstanding organizations do

  1. Be Fast
  2. Be Humble
  3. Keep the Mission “Top of Mind”
  4. Get Actions in Line with Values
  5. See Everyone as a Customer
  6. Fight the Fat–In Good Times or Bad
  7. Give People Tools, Not Slogans
  8. Make Meetings Meaningful
  9. Speak Up!
  10. Set the Cultural Tone
  11. Don’t Speak in Code
  12. Value Ideas over Politics
  13. Forgive Mistakes
  14. Compete with Competitors, Not Each Other
  15. Do What You Promise
  16. Hire Character
  17. Believe or Leave
  18. Make No Excuses
  19. Celebrate
  20. Be Flexible: Put People Before Policies
  21. Succeed with What You Have
  22. Work!
  23. Remember, People Want to Win
  24. Never Forget Who Pays the Bills
  25. Manage!
  26. Stand Behind Your Stuff
  27. Develop Managers
  28. Let Every Player Count
  29. Speak Well: Make the Right Impression
  30. Choose to Change
  31. Have the Right People Make the Right Decisions
  32. Elevate the Conversation
  33. Fire Customers! (If Necessary)
  34. Train
  35. Encourage One Another
  36. Listen in All Directions
  37. Coach, Moment to Moment
  38. Be Coachable
  39. Someone Needs to Be the Boss
  40. Seek No Culprits
  41. Skip the Vision Thing
  42. Treat Vendors like People
  43. Stay Alarmed
  44. Tend to the Little Things
  45. Put Performance Before Titles
  46. Don’t Stagnate: Turnover Can Be a Good Thing
  47. Try! Risk! Grow!

In the end, it’s always worth the time, effort, and energy to become outstanding. As we move forward beyond these Coronavirus days, let’s be the best we can be.

Is your organization ready? Are you?

Outstanding! … 47 Ways to Be Exceptional is available here on Amazon.

Hardcover copies of Outstanding! available at our store.


2 Responses

  1. Hi, Would you please send me more information on what you are referring to for 41. Skip the Vision Thing?

    1. Nancy, excellent question. No one can see the future. Better to invest time with people learning the MISSION because the MISSION is WHY we exist. Purpose – both the organization’s and our own – can drive us forward and truly give life and our work meaning. Hope you grab a copy of “Outstanding!” today!

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