Customer Service Week

Photo by verticalpharmacy on flickr.

89%

That’s the number of consumers who switched to a competitor after a bad experience.

86%

That’s the number of consumers who will pay more for exceptional customer service.

These statistics from Harris Interactive emphasize with numbers what we all know:  customer service matters.  We are more likely to stay with a company, to recommend a product, or to buy more services from companies who do it well.  And, when we have a negative experience, social media can become an outlet for frustration.

I’m a believer that everyone in a company is in customer service.  Decades ago, Peter Drucker said, “There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.”  Servicing the customer is central to success.

Crime Writer Jo Nesbo on Phantom

Jo Nesbo is one of the world’s top crime thriller writers.  His books have sold millions around the world, but his popularity in the US is only now skyrocketing.

With Martin Scorsese directing a film of The Snowman, and more readers discovering his work every day, it’s easy to see the trajectory ahead.  (Readers of this blog may recall that this book cover was recognized as a top book cover for 2011.)

Next week Jo’s newest book will be released, again featuring his main character, Harry Hole.  Phantom will certainly soar to the top of the fiction lists and spur sales of his previous books.

Jo lives in Oslo, but I had the opportunity to meet him when he visited New York.

5 Steps for Helping You Keep an Open Mind

Photo by s_falkow on flickr.

You are perched high above a courtroom, wondering how you got into this position.  You pinch yourself thinking, “This is a dream!”

You watch as the prosecutor stands up and addresses the court.  The evidence is overwhelming.  The facts are clear.  The accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and should be locked away for years.  The attorney begins to outline the evidence, building the case block by block.  You watch a videotape of the crime.  You hear the witnesses testifying one by one.  Finally, the prosecution rests its case.

The defense attorney stands up, adjusts her suit and begins to say, “Good afternoon,” when you hear a voice thunder, “Enough!  I’ve heard enough.  Let’s not waste any more time.  Guilty.  Ten years in prison and no parole!”

The courtroom is stunned.  After all, what judge would possibly issue a sentence before hearing both sides of the argument.

Who would do that?!

The answer?  YOU.

And me.  We all do it.  We make judgments before hearing both sides.  And nowhere is that more obvious than in the middle of election season.  Do you:

Change Your Day With A Deep Breath

Photo by dfbphotos on flickr.

7 Benefits of Deep Breathing

 

We’ve all said it.  “Take a deep breath.”

When the kids come running in the door, breathing heavily and launching into a story a mile a minute.  “Take a deep breath.”

When someone is panicked and trying to tell you what happened, but she is obviously under duress.  “Relax.  Take a breath, then tell me.”

 

“When you own your own breath, nobody can steal your peace.” -Unknown

 

When he storms into your office with a voice just beneath a yell, red-faced and angry about something someone did.  “Before you tell me another word, take a deep breath.

But the real benefit comes from breathing before a crisis or stressful event.  A deep breath almost at any time can change your mood, improve your day and help you achieve more.  I don’t always remember to do it, but when I do, my day is more relaxed and I have a better and calmer presence.  As a singer, I know that I feel better after singing a difficult song.  The reason may very well be the forced deep breathing from the diaphragm.

Some of the benefits of practiced deep breathing:

3 Steps to Building Your Online Presence With Ron Edmondson

Ron Edmondson is quick to tell you that he is first and foremost a pastor.  And, while that is true, he also has a strong online presence that uniquely qualifies him to talk about social media.  His leadership blog is widely read, and he is active on Twitter and Facebook.

I met Ron online through Twitter, and we began discussing various leadership issues.  Just north of Nashville Ron started one of the fastest growing churches in the U.S.  He recently moved to Kentucky to lead another church.  Before he joined the ministry, Ron was a business owner.  His experiences running a small business, starting and rapidly growing organizations, and leading online were all topics I wanted to ask him in person.

In this nine-minute interview, we discuss:

  • The similarities and differences between leading a business and a church
  • How he has grown a church through the use of technology and social media
  • Why he was an early adopter of the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging
  • How he found his “blogging voice”
  • Mistakes he made along the way

I especially appreciated Ron’s advice to leaders who want to start building an online presence: