Posted tagged ‘customer’

A New Year’s Resolution to Becoming an Undercover Boss

January 5, 2011

  Have you seen the new show on CBS called Undercover Boss? It is one of the best new reality shows on TV.  Sorry, no drunken cat fights, no one living in a house with too much time, money and mirrors available, no Snookie (there’s a name to make a mother proud,) and  no cheating spouses caught in the act.  Some of you will quit reading at this point and some will be relieved at the above list!

If you work in an organization that has been impacted in any way by the economy, the new year provides a great opportunity for a new perspective. On the show, the CEO of a company alters his/her looks and goes to work in the lower ranks of his company. Carefully edited to make each CEO look completely incompetent at any position, the opportunity unveils critical areas needing improvement. Each CEO seems to finish the show proclaiming it was “the best experience” of their lives.  They uncover seemingly hidden treasures called hard-working dedicated employees who usually receive a promotion or fabulous vacation when the CEO comes clean about his/her identity.

So let’s imagine you have the chance to go undercover at your own organization. What would you find? 

 Here is my challenge: Conduct business with your own company as a customer or client normally would.  Call on the main phone line, walk in the front door, encounter your employees.  Don’t look for what is working fine, rather “Declare War on your Company Comfort Zone!” says Mark Stevens, author of Your Marketing Sucks…followed by the sequel, Your Management Sucks.  (I highly recommend both books but they are tough to give out without initially offending people.)

Look for the areas where complacency has begun  to grow like a new seedling and is ready to pop its sprout of “I don’t care that much” out at any time.  What are the little areas that  have gone unnoticed but could begin to have a big impact?  We call these the Sour Notes of business.  You may or may not notice them, but enough of them put together kills your company Vibe and ruins the experience of your audience.  

Here are a couple of real-life examples of sour notes:

  • Poor telephone answering skills, no on-hold experience, a monotonous voice that communicates lack of concern
  • Sloppy construction workers that leave a mess behind
  • Doctor’s who don’t apologize when little things go wrong, like accidentally puncturing a lung in surgery
  • Websites who bury and hide customer service phone numbers
  • Any restaurant with a dirty bathroom (must mean the kitchen isn’t very clean either, right?)
  • Churches with information display windows that haven’t been cleaned in years and sun-faded promotional pieces displayed

…and these are just a few from my last week of experiencing different organizations. 

So I encourage you to go on a hunt for sour notes that are affecting the experience of your customers.  Do it by the end of the week and…

There’s a Reward for you to participate!

You will be rewarded for participating!

 For the first FIVE people who find and fix sour notes in their organization, I will send you either a copy of our newest book, “The Social Cause Diet” with 45 inspiring stories of people who volunteer time to help others, or a $500 gift certificate that can be used toward one of our three most popular workshops:

PERSONAL VIBE  Our newest Personalities Workshop!

DELIBERATE DIALOGUES   How to engage in the most needed conversations without them getting personal.

WHAT’S VIBE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  Just like a jazz band, every organization gives off a Vibe. That Vibe directly impacts your bottom-line either positively or negatively. This workshop teaches everyone on your team how to be intentional about building your company’s Vibe!

Just send me an email at jody@jazzbc.com and let me know what Sour Notes you found and fixed and either you will receive the prize of your choice listed above…or you will receive an encouraging email from me along with seeing a positive impact on your business.

I look forward to hearing from you soon! Happy New Year!

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Vibe and Wise Counsel

January 29, 2010

Business people running the raceDid you ever hear a great speaker and become so energized that all you wanted to do was to get out there and “run” armed with  your new knowledge?

We had a lunch like that today. Our three owners of Jazz Business Consulting had lunch with a man we have respected and admired for many years, Sam Beler. Sam is a wildly successful business man with a passion for God and his lost people with almost an equal passion for Jazz music. Last year, as the Executive Producer for Unity Music (his side job),  he orchestrated a Johnny Cash-like concert with Jamie Davis and some guys from the Count Basie Orchestra to be held at Angola Prison. This prison was at one time known as the most violent prison in the country. However;  under the direction of a new warden, the prison has experienced an amazing transformation in the last 15 years.  This is another story of great leadership….but back to our lunch.Unity Music Logo
Originally we invited our friend Sam to lunch to give us experienced and wise counsel in launching our new business. He asked great questions and had each of us explain what we do. Although we only were able to share slices of how our team goes in and works with leadership teams to transform the culture of organizations, Sam kept coming up with ideas on how he could help us build our company and connect us with quality people so that we could help them.  Sam loves our tag line of “Change that creates great Vibe!”  We loved his enthusiasm.
I asked Sam what were the things he did right in his early years of business building. He named three key things:
  1. He didn’t build his company alone. He started with a great partnership with a quality man…Check! I’ve got Yvonne and Roger.
  2. He built a company that was totally focused on serving clients. Check…Isn’t that a given? “No,” says Sam. “So many organizations focus on selfish motives, agendas and greed! Look at Wall Street.”  Note: Sam’s company is  an investment firm (PTLA) who grew substantially last year. Trust me, it has everything to do with his integrity, people skills and what he calls, “the Lord’s Favor.”
  3. Care deeply about your people (employees, friends and clients and family).  Be there when they need you. Your life scars are what give you the ability to serve your people with genuine heart. Be there when they experience life’s tragedies.  And be there when you can support the growth of their dreams…Observation: wasn’t that exactly what he was doing  for us?

Wow…in a nutshell. The observations of a wise, loving, smart, genuine and caring man. A man whose life had been an accumulation of experiences lived within the framework of the 3 keys above.  A wealthy man, wealthy in family, many many friends, wealthy in the amount of respect  he had from people all over the world….and richly wealthy in the size of his heart and the amount of generosity he shows in every opportunity he gets.

All three of us left that lunch knowing we had experienced a “kairos moment.” (a life changing moment). It isn’t often we get to sit at the feet of wise counsel and have someone speak into our personal and work lives this way. We also know that the greatest way we could honor that moment, was to allow it to change us, to shape our outlook and perspective on what is most important. And then to live out the lessons we had learned.

Thank you Sam….Thank you for your kindness and for sharing yourself the way you did today. None of us took it for granted as just another business lunch. It truly had life changing implications. Sam…you’re the best!

You can have your cake and eat it too!

July 30, 2009

cakeHave you ever walked into Claim Jumpers Restaurant and seen the enormous chocolate cake in the display case? And by enormous, I mean, the size of a small child? Yesterday, I had the privilege of having lunch with the HR and Sales Team from BBSI (aka: Barrett Business  www.barrettbusiness.com). It is not very often that I am super impressed by an insurance company, but this one is definitely different. Doing business with them is a lot like ordering the big chocolate cake. They position themselves as a Workers’ Comp, HR, Payroll company, but what they deliver is infinitely much more!  Because they are in the unique position of being self-insured (almost unheard of), they only take on companies that operate in a safe, smart and intentional way. Since their clients are a lower risk, BBSI is able to offer insurance rates that can be  substantially lower. In addition, you receive all of the payroll benefits (tax reporting, etc) and a smorgasborg of HR support services. I had recently referred BBSI to a client and as soon as they were accepted, we calculated that this would be an annual savings of about $25,000 a year (with no accidents). For a company that only has 25 employees, that is a lot of money….(We paid for our consulting on this recommendation alone:) Additionally, they handle and represent your company if there is any employee related legal action. Wow, talk about peace of mind!

So we ordered a slice of the chocolate cake……..and after wrestling it away from,    sharing  with Vince the Managing Director, we left full, happy, and excited about the future.

So my question to you is, do your clients feel like they have enjoyed the giant chocolate cake after interacting with your customer service? Or do they feel like they got the diet plate, just the minimum amount to get by?

Here’s to Chocolate Cake Service!

To contact BBSI for more info, call my friend Vince at 925-686-2800, ext 114. Tell him Jody recommended the chocolate cake package!