|JJ's (Feb '05) Tips in this issue:
1. Putting the Heart Back into Business & Making a difference
2. JJ's Favorite Quotes
3. Tele-Coaching & Tele-Mentoring
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.
What can managers do to put the heart back into the business environment to enjoy working more, and ultimately create better service and increased sales?
This is a theme close to my heart! I chose to work as a speaker, trainer and consultant in the corporate market many years ago. When asked why I chose the business market rather than education, religious, medical or other markets, I always said "I chose this market because I want to put the heart back into the corporate environment and make a difference."
For twenty some years my learning curve has been shortened by participating in the National Speakers Association programs where I learned the many skills needed to accomplish my goal. Without that organization and the people in it, especially mentors like Jim Pancero, Michael McKinley, Joe Charbonneau and Glenna Salsbury, I would not even be in this business and feeling I was making a difference.
Some of you on my newsletter list go back to when you were students in my personal development and modeling school that I founded in San Jose, California. Now you are managers, owner and supervisors putting your hearts into making a difference in your present work.
You know you have made a difference when years later people are still remembering and practicing what you taught them, and they stop to tell you how glad they are that they had the opportunity to learn from you.
Individually and collectively we influence others (employees and customers) every day by the way we treat them. The greatest motivator is the person just above us. The manager or supervisor has an umbrella over a group of people and their way of managing and guiding will make a lasting impression that reaches out to the daily interactions with customers. This is their way of putting the heart back into the business environment.
Many of the environments I have encountered have been created by upper management people who were only operational and process focused. They were lacking the people skills and customer service/sales management skills. In each case, after evaluating their environment to discover the gaps and miscommunications, I was able to guide them to put the heart into their interactions and create balance that was missing. It truly made a difference with their employees, customers, service, and sales.
The Director of one such company called my office and said, "I hear you help contact centers and companies improve their customer service, sales and customer satisfaction. Will you help us as we are on the verge of being outsourced?"
He said they were confronted with a reduced budget, high turnover, low morale, long waits with a high abandonment rate, and surveys from internal and external customers saying they were not happy campers at all.
He told me he wanted to work with me every few months to create and develop his helpdesk call center and 8 other teams into a well-oiled team giving World Class Service within the next year and a half.
The division had been poorly managed and was now in the hands of this high-ego and seemingly heartless Director who was pushing everyone's buttons. His people skills and soft skills were sorely missing as he fired people right and left.
He did know he needed help, so he asked his help desk manager who she would recommend. She had seen several of my call center and help desk programs at conferences and had been trying for 3 years to get the former Director to approve my working with her groups. The new Director hired me for soft
skills and skill building training for the 3-tiered help desk immediately.
Evaluating of their Environment:
After conducting one-on-one confidential interviews, silent monitoring and giving feedback to the Director and Manager, it was obvious that the other 8 teams in the division were all operating as islands. Their soft skills, teamwork and cooperation were missing, and their 3000 internal customers and external customers were being negatively impacted by it.
We started small with soft skills training for the help desk, and building bridges to the other teams that the help desk teams were dependant on to do their jobs.
After evaluating the environments of the other 8 teams, mixed-team soft skills training was given to everyone else in the division. Most had never met people from the other teams, and they gradually began to work together better.
When all the teams heard the feedback from the interviews during the seminars, everyone realized how much more important they were to the process of taking care of their customers. They were each other's internal customers, and should be treated the same as external customers.
We continued with mixed team seminars (help desk included) to build stronger bridges to the teams. We did "Teams Working Together," and finally "Teams Meeting Challenges Together." They were very interactive with teams telling other teams what their challenges were and what the other teams could do
that would help them eliminate those challenges. Then they would ask the other teams what they could do to help them eliminate their challenges.
In the meantime, the Director was receiving one-on-one executive coaching on soft skills and managing with heart to get better cooperation. He also needed to learn how to earn their trust, and to give praise when it was deserved.
Management and coaching training was given to the 9 Managers as well as one-on-one executive coaching. They gathered the courage to clean house, and to feed and weed their staffs until they had well-oiled small teams.
When all 9 teams were functioning on the same level with the same goals, they had decided on together, and the Managers and Director were leading their teams with excellent soft skills, World Class Service began to be apparent.
Their customer surveys reflected the changes. Everyone noticed the attitude of the division had changed. There was no more finger pointing or them or us attitudes, and from the top down, everyone seemed to really care about the customers in every interaction.
Remember, nobody CARES how much you KNOW about anything until they know how much you CARE (about them).
This is when they could say, "We are putting the heart back in the corporate environment, and we are MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
You too can shorten your learning curve on improving company and department images by setting realistic and achievable performance goals in the people skills, customer care and personal commitment areas. You can also learn to avoid the communication gaps that undermine performance. Look for gaps between management and front line staffs, teams, and between marketing, sales and the call center.
You can and will make a difference!
JJ's FAVORITE QUOTES:
"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Winners must learn to relish change with the same enthusiasm and energy that we have resisted it in the past."
- Tom Peters
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."
Tele-COACHING & Tele-MENTORING
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