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.
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?
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 —
- Be Fast
- Be Humble
- Keep the Mission “Top of Mind”
- Get Actions in Line with Values
- See Everyone as a Customer
- Fight the Fat–In Good Times or Bad
- Give People Tools, Not Slogans
- Make Meetings Meaningful
- Speak Up!
- Set the Cultural Tone
- Don’t Speak in Code
- Value Ideas over Politics
- Forgive Mistakes
- Compete with Competitors, Not Each Other
- Do What You Promise
- Hire Character
- Believe or Leave
- Make No Excuses
- Be Flexible: Put People Before Policies
- Succeed with What You Have
- Remember, People Want to Win
- Never Forget Who Pays the Bills
- Stand Behind Your Stuff
- Develop Managers
- Let Every Player Count
- Speak Well: Make the Right Impression
- Choose to Change
- Have the Right People Make the Right Decisions
- Elevate the Conversation
- Fire Customers! (If Necessary)
- Encourage One Another
- Listen in All Directions
- Coach, Moment to Moment
- Be Coachable
- Someone Needs to Be the Boss
- Seek No Culprits
- Skip the Vision Thing
- Treat Vendors like People
- Stay Alarmed
- Tend to the Little Things
- Put Performance Before Titles
- Don’t Stagnate: Turnover Can Be a Good Thing
- 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.
Hi, Would you please send me more information on what you are referring to for 41. Skip the Vision Thing?
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!