I recently watched the 2000 movie “Pay It Forward,” starring Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey. In the film, a young boy is given a school assignment to find some way to change the world. He develops the paying it forward concept in order to set forth a chain reaction of good deeds. Watching this old film caused me to step back and to reexamine my life. I thought, “Am I fully integrating this idea into my daily routine?” What does it mean to “Pay it forward?” Paying it forward is a constant state of doing what is good. It involves doing a good deed or random act of kindness without expecting or hoping for anything in return. Someone does something nice for you, and in response, you don’t repay the person who did something nice for you – Instead, you do a nice thing for someone else. This also helps to give one good Karma. […]
Last night my kids and I rode the elevator to The Eagle’s Nest, a revolving restaurant on the 14th floor of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis. The maître d’, Leander, happened to ride with us to the top, and I told him we planned to just have dessert. “There’s a banquet going on now, so let me seat you at a regular dinner table!” he said. My kids were casually dressed in cutoffs and t-shirts, and I felt a twinge of self-consciousness as we walked by the swank white tablecloths and shimmering wineglasses. For the next hour it was like—well—sitting in a warm nest—while we enjoyed our two desserts. Several different members of the waitstaff came by our table (with delighted smiles) filling our water glasses, asking if we needed anything, answering our questions about the mechanism that twirled the restaurant. Then, as we boarded the elevator to leave, I noticed a sign by the exit that said, “Proper attire required: no t-shirts, cutoffs, sleeveless t-shirts permitted.” […]
I ate brunch at Max and Benny’s in the Chicago area this weekend, and ordered a Greek Omelet and a bagel. When my meal arrived, the server also presented an attractive little shot glass of creamy pink stuff. Here it is: It elicited all sorts of oohs and ahhs from my family and everyone wanted to know what it was. It was pleasing to the eye, unexpected, and a tasty sweet contrast to my rich and salty omelet. We talked about it several times throughout the meal. The sheer delight of this little smoothie lingered and I began thinking about it from a business perspective. The effect of this sweet treat was huge. The food was great, but the little smoothie was EXTRA. I thought: I didn’t order it and I didn’t ask for it, but the bonus part made me feel special – like they cared about their customers. My appreciation for Max and Benny’s grew tenfold that morning, all over a simple smoothie. In contrast, that afternoon I went to a chain for coffee and a pastry. While there I got up from my table three times requesting a plate, three forks, and that they microwave my stale pastry back to life. The two experiences made me think about what excellent customer service really looks like, how you provide it, and what a powerful impact it can make. […]
Changing office locations has been an interesting experience. When taking part in a re-location you often prep for the change in commute, making sure your boxes are packed and labeled correctly, but you often don’t consider the transformation in office culture. Sure, having a shiny new building with new office furniture is appealing, but it often overshadows what really is important in a work environment. At our previous location we had small box like cubicles that were very close together, which in a support environment was a huge advantage. When taking calls and troubleshooting issues, it’s easier for everyone to be a part of a major issue that may take place and learn how to support it. In our new home, our cubicles are the size of small apartments, which are beautiful and we are lucky to have, but they create barriers to communication. This may help with productivity to a certain extent (lessening the amount of “water-cooler” chit chat that may occur); however, it may hinder an overall link between what knowledge my co-workers and I can share with each. […]
I was traveling to a client site when I got the news that my father was moved to a nursing home that could care for him effectively. I was asked to be home for a first meeting with hospice the next day. Little did I know that in the next few hours, I would be serving a client that would have an immediate impact on those last few days of my father’s life. My client was Hill-Rom. Hill-Rom is a provider of medical equipment, hospital beds, etc. My job was to implement our company’s software, a vendor management system (VMS) that would streamline their contingent labor processes and help manage vendor quality and performance. […]
Using specific strategies such as listening, empathizing and pausing, you can transform an angry "barking" customer into a satisfied "wagger" and produce the secondary benefit of building loyalty, good will and referrals.
A new year is near and the dotStaff™ Support Team is beginning our review of metrics to determine our objectives for Service improvement in 2011. One of our team members felt strongly that our number one priority should be to reduce the average hold time that inbound callers experience when calling our support center. In [...]