JJ's Tips in this issue:

1. Retaining Internal & External Customers
2. Reader's Response On March Newsletter
3. JJ's Favorite Quotes
4. Tele-Coaching & Tele-Mentoring

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In my March newsletter you read about my 12-day honeymoon cruise aboard the Holland America m.s. Zuiderdam to the Caribbean out of Ft Lauderdale, Florida.

The important parts written in that newsletter were:

"Talk about customer service, this year-old ship, housing over 1800 passengers for seven days, gave the best customer service I've ever seen!

The Zuiderdam cruise ship's extraordinary service didn't just happen because they hired nice people. They hired hand-picked people from Indonesia and the Philippines through their governments, and trained them and retrained them in the 5-star Holland America way.

They didn't settle for people with mediocre attitudes to serve as their crew. They selected people who were dedicated and committed to personal and professional growth and were eager to learn how to give extraordinary service in order to launch themselves into a service career."

*****

Several responses came in from the March newsletter's Situation Question and Solutions. It brought up the question of how to predetermine that your staff will consistently represent your company well. One response appears in our SITUATION QUESTION this month. Read on.

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Use the following tips as training tools.

Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.

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SITUATION QUESTION:
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A reader wrote:

"Thank you for including me in your E-mails. I would like to comment on this topic.

Holland America made a great choice picking people from those countries - they are more inclined to provide exceptional customer service due to their culture and traditions. Also, it is an opportunity of a life time for most of them because the money they are making on this job is far greater than they could make at home. Since there is a lot of competition for the jobs, those selected try harder.

It is not quite the same here. There isn't that much competition for those jobs, nor are they compensated well in most of the cases.

My biggest issue is that companies engage in the pursuit of cutting expenses, often by cutting benefits and providing a more standardized service to customers.

This does not give employees a chance to participate in the decision-making process, and it kills their initiative, creativity and thus, their happiness in the job. This subsequently affects the quality of customer service.

I found that companies spend more money on controlling and suppressing their people than giving them incentives and accolades for a job well done.

Investing in employees' happiness is far more profitable than investing in the means of monitoring them.

Employees will monitor themselves far more sufficiently if they know they work for a great company that treats them right! If employees do not feel that the company cares about them, or that they can make a difference there, they will not be the company's cheerleaders.

The companies that adopt this approach will lose revenue and clients even when they have hired the best candidates for the job. My former employer is a good example of this.

It would be great if you would address this so managers would treat front line staffs with more consideration. Why don't they know that great customer service starts with treating internal customers (employees) well?"

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SOLUTIONS:
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Employees will ultimately provide great customer service to your customers when they're hand picked, well trained and treated with a great deal of respect and consideration.

I've found that many managers, and especially first-time supervisors have not been given any or much management training. Here in lies the problem, they don't know how to be good managers. Managing people well takes skill and a certain amount of experience.

If you don't have a mentor to guide and teach you, you might get your company to supply group management training or individual telecoaching to get you up to speed.

Learning from other peoples' experiences and gleaning insights from many sources will help you shorten your learning curve.

Many of the solutions given in the March newsletter emphasize working on yourself as a manager first, and then getting in your internal customer's shoes to feel what they're feeling and thinking.

(See the March newsletter by clicking on http://www.jjlauderbaugh.com and scrolling to the bottom of the page to Newsletter Archive.)

Then get your ego out of the way and work as a team with your front line staff. Ask them their opinions and let them be a part of the decision-making process. Often they know how to improve their service, environment and how they're managed to produce the best results. Let them help you to be a
better manager.

Let's thank the reader who submitted the Situation Question today. She made us think about the people who report to us and if we're meeting their expectations. We need to ask ourselves and them if they're finding happiness in their jobs, and if they feel they have received freedom and motivation to truly make a difference with our customers.

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JJ's FAVORITE QUOTES:
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The Good News:
More call centers (95%) are monitoring customer contacts for quality than ever before.
(ICMI's Monitoring Study II Final Report)

The Bad News:
Customer Satisfaction has decreased as much as 12% in the past 6 years.
(University of Michigan Business School's American Customer Satisfaction Index)

This good news/bad news scenario has serious implications for call center managers. You're spending time, effort and money monitoring and coaching your agents' performance. Are your customers realizing the benefits of your monitoring and coaching program?
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"If you want to move people, it has to be toward a vision that's positive for them, that taps important values, that gets them something they desire, and it has to be presented in a way that they feel inspired to follow."
--Martin Luther King

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Tele-COACHING & Tele-MENTORING
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IN 2004, DO YOU WANT TO IMPROVE?

Customer service or sales?
Inbound or outbound call center sales and service?
Dealing with irate internal or external customers?
Motivation and growth of your people?
Leading and Coaching your staff?



TRY our one-on-one Tele-Mentoring (phone coaching service) that is available to business owners, executives, managers, supervisors and staff members.

Call for your FREE CONSULTATION now! 800 500-9656 or 408 866-7673

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EVALUATION OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT:
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Have you had an Evaluation of Your Environment lately so you could receive suggestions on improving it? (It's like the doctor's check up, you often don't know you need it, until after you've had it.)

http://www.jjlauderbaugh.com/about.html


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ABOUT JJ:
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JJ Lauderbaugh, CPCM
408 866-7673 or 800 500-9656, 189 Altura Vista Dr., Los Gatos, CA 95032.

JJ works with companies that want to give exceptional customer service to increase sales, and with Directors and Call Center/Help Desk Managers who want to improve human performance.

She's an international speaker, trainer, facilitator and certified management consultant (CPCM) on customer service management, specializing in performance improvement, call centers, up/cross selling and outbound calling.

For training resources, free articles, tips and streaming video, go to our web site at

http://www.JJLauderbaugh.com

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Copyright and Reprints:
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Reprint permission is granted when the following credit appears:

JJ Lauderbaugh, CPCM, Lauderbaugh & Associates, Inc., 2003. Reprinted with permission from JJ's Tips, a monthly internet newsletter. For your own personal subscription, E-mail: jj@jjlauderbaugh.com.
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You can make a difference! Send your questions and comments as they are always welcome.

Thanks,

JJ