Excellence Vs. Mediocrity

So we all know how hard it can be to get ahead.  


The long hours, hard work, and grueling repetition to try to reach near-perfection. 


Even then, of course, we need G-d’s mercy and blessings and a measure of good luck to succeed. 


Also, by definition, not everyone can be “the best” at everything. 


I suppose the expectation for most people is that they try at least to excel at the things that they need to do or are most important to them, as well as maintain work-life balance. 


In this light, it was interesting to hear a story recently about mediocrity (and not excellence). 


When asked to step up on the job, one person responded in the negative saying:

C’s get degrees (too)!


Of course, this must have sounded pretty shocking and off-putting. 


In other words, they weren’t going for the “A” or even a “B”.  A “C” grade was fine for them–as long as they didn’t completely fail with a big “F”.


Who knows what circumstances may have led this person to settle for mediocrity–just wanting to pass.


Perhaps they had serious personal or family issues–and had good reason to be taking a step back (for a while). 


But I think there could also be more tactful ways to say it too–like explaining if there were mitigating or challenging circumstances in their life right now. 

If there really wasn’t mitigating circumstances and the person was just “slacking off” or didn’t care, one has to wonder why–are they just “milking the system” or is there something more fundamentally wrong?


C’s get degrees, but to me the real question is: Are you doing your best given your particular life circumstances?  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Say YES!

Really liked this sign on my colleague’s desk.


It says:

Start With Yes


I remember an old boss who used to say:

Don’t make me get through no to get to yes. 


The idea as another colleague put it is to:

Keep a smile on your face and your focus on the customer; everything else takes care of itself. 


Basically, it’s all our jobs to make sure that the customer’s needs are being met. 


That doesn’t mean that we don’t need to differentiate between requirements and desirements or that we need to deliver the yacht in the first go around.


As a 4th colleague put it:

The customer is in the water. They want the yacht. But I can give them a boat. It gets them to where they want to go, and they no longer need to swim. We can work our way up to a yacht.


Good analogy analogy and good things to keep in mind for customer service excellence! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Customer Service No-Nos

From No To Yes.jpeg

So if you’re in customer service…


The answer is easy. 


It’s always got to be YES. 


– Any less is a big No-No!


The customer’s needs are paramount.


Their satisfaction is your goal. 


So your job is to figure out how to get from no to yes!


You’ve got to problem-solve and figure it out. 


And it’s not enough to come up with any old solution.


When I said to my colleagues the other day:

“There’s a solution to every problem.”


Someone joked and answered back:

“It’s just that the customer may not like it.”


And I responded:

“Well then that’s not the solution you are looking for!”

You’ve got to go back to the drawing board and get to a legitimate yes. 


Of course, it can difficult, especially when at times you deal with some challenging customers and problems.


But listen, this is the customer service field and in the end, the customer experience should be WOW fantastic!


It’s the customer that is depending on you to come through for them and their mission. 


Doing your job isn’t just a matter of reading off of some cue card or playbook. 


This is real life with real consequences. 


If you can deliver, the customer will be able to do their jobs, and they may even sing your wildest praises–wouldn’t that be rewarding? 


Customer service means getting to YES from the earliest possible moment in the interaction, meaning it, and legitimately delivering on it–no other questions asked.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Getting To Yes

Customer Service.jpeg

I thought this was a good and important customer service principle:

“Don’t make me go through NO
To get to YES.”


When it comes to customer service, the default for reasonable requests from good customers should always be YES!


We can either make the experience miserable for the customer and leave them fuming, never coming back, and bad-mouthing us or we can make it fair, easy, accommodating, and a WOW experience!


Why not build your customer base and reputation for excellence rather than erode it? 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I Like Working Here

Monsters

I got some bad news and really good news from a colleague at work this week. 


The bad news was that he was concerned that he hadn’t gotten the raise that he wanted from his company for the last number of years.


The good news was that he said that despite that, “I and everyone else on the team really like working here–it is a special group.”


It was funny, because recently someone else from a different office stopped me on the elevator when I was getting off on my floor, and she points and says “everyone says that is one of the best groups to work in!”


I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear this feedback.


And while I certainly know that “you can’t satisfy all of the people all of the time,” it was especially meaningful to me to hear this on such a fast-paced and high performance team–where people routinely seem to not only pull their weight (and more), but also pull together. 


As to the raises from this gentleman’s company that is a separate matter, especially as I understand that we all have bills to pay, but in terms of a good work environment and inspiring team that is something that also means the world to me. 😉


(Source Photo Andy Blumenthal)

Service From Yourself

Service From Yourself

I was so proud this week to see some true customer service excellence from a colleague.

Someone had run out of toner and they had put in a help desk ticket to get it replaced.

In the meantime, there was a large order of toner on order, but it was still a day or two out from delivery.

So my colleague responsible for this area took his own toner out of his printer and gave it to the person who was out.

I got a wonderful email thanking us for the unbelievable customer service.

Honestly, there are other printers that the person could have used in the meantime, but this person went above and beyond to keep the customer working and happy.

Great lesson in customer service and exemplary behavior here. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)