Friday, April 29, 2016

May Book report

Don Kardux took a leave of absence from book reporting last month, but he is back stronger than ever with this book about customer service, something that we can all relate to.

To misquote Portia, "The quality of customer service, in American Business, is strained" so much so that when we get mediocre service we are grateful.

Can you imagine if your business provided superb customer service what would happen?

Well, Scott Brown's book "Who Cares?” highlights  his 'Six essentials of service' that when you understand and implement all of them your customers will cry out, "Mercy! Mercy! I will go nowhere else!"

As Scott says in his first chapter "The Foundations of Customer Service" "Customer Service is Caring about the people you do business with...caring is the key."

His emphasis is that you must implement all six. Picking only some of them just won't work.

  1. Essential # 1: Vision, he lists seven elements of vision but, my favorite is the                               second, "Ten things that people who care about you will do"                                        because those ten are transferable to business. 
  2. Essential # 2: Hiring, he quotes Walt Disney, "You can dream, create, design and                                  build the most wonderful place in the world...But it requires people                                     to make the dream a reality."  And Brown offers practical insight into                          the hiring process. 
  3. Essential # 3: Training, he lists ten elements of training that are critical to                                                 creating, 'Service with a purpose'. 
  4. Essential # 4: Communication, seven elements of communication and my favorite                   is the second, "Cherish your Complaints". 
  5. Essential # 5: Recognition, five elements and  of course, I like the second,                                              'It's Okay To Have Fun!' 
  6. Essential # 6: Revision, follows Deming's 'Continuous Quality Improvement' or                          my, 'Got to keep the plate spinning philosophy'.

I like this book because after thirty years of working with small to medium businesses I am convinced that Scott Brown is right "Caring about your customer (inside and out) is the key!"

Monday, April 04, 2016

Faucets and Fido

Last week I met with a new member of the Rocky River Chamber.  Ric Carpenter works in sales for Cleveland Plumbing & Supply.  I met him briefly at the monthly lunch meeting when I won his door prize..a very nice new shower head.  So I contacted him and suggested that we get together. 

First I got a tour of their new Rocky River showroom and it is truly beautiful and amazing.  I told Ric, that it will sell for him!  At lunch that day, though, I found an entirely different side of Ric that meant we could have talked forever.  He is active in dog rescue groups and from the sounds of it has been for quite awhile.  Currently he and his wife have two dogs that are rescues and also one rescued cat. 

What was so interesting about this whole exchange was that I asked just one extra question of Ric after we had talked about his work and his family.  "What do you do in the little bit of free time you have?"  That opened the door to this whole other side of Ric.

Sometimes, I have to remind myself to ask that one extra question, because I get so involved with business conversation.  I guess that is a good lesson for me to slow down and enjoy the exchange!

What surprising information have you found out about someone?