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"We Serve To Serve Again"

 

In 1933, my father opened a Sinclair service station. In those days stations like his provided a broad array of services to motorists who came to "fill 'er up", including greeting customers with a smile, pumping gas, cleaning the windshield, sweeping the floor board with a whisk broom, adding water to the radiator, checking oil and fluid levels, and offering a genuine "thank you and please come back" after collecting for the gas - which was about $0.18/gallon (around $2.50 in current dollars). All this while offering other services like engine tune ups, brake adjustments, and tire repairs.

Recently, I ran across the letterhead for Reggie's Service Station. Under the name was the tagline, "We Serve to Serve Again". That was my dad's lifelong philosophy in every business he owned and one that he insisted his employees embrace as passionately as he did. He walked the talk. He lived this philosophy in everything he did - every day!

Oh, how I long for and seek that philosophy...

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Customer Service. Competitive Edge. Scuba Diving.

In my work as a business coach, Customer Service remains the most critical element of customer and client retention. At the core of customer satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) lies the timeliness of the response to a complaint, concern, or need. The quicker the response, the higher the satisfaction. It's that simple.

When taking scuba lessons, I was taught to deal with certain stressful situations that required an expeditious return to the surface. The instructions delivered were four words . . . "Stop. Drop. Go. Blow." That meant to stop whatever I was doing, drop my weight belt and tank, go  straight up to the surface, and blow all of the air out of my lungs on the way up. The point was to not delay and to pursue the remedy immediately.

So it is with customer service. When faced with a complaint or critical situation, it is essential that those issues be handled directly and in the most timely fashion possible. Failure to do so will cost your company money, damage your...

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Millennial Miscommunication Dilemma

communication sales May 17, 2018

I am a Boomer. Growing up, my father was my business role model. Like many Boomers, as a kid, I would follow him around my small hometown as he met with customers, friends, business associates, bankers, and strangers.  He was always the first to extend his hand, greeting the other party with a genuine smile and kind word with a demeanor that was both charming and disarming. He would always emphasize how important it was to be the first to initiate a handshake because it represented trustworthiness and...it put you in control of the encounter, even if only momentarily.

Most millennials have not had the benefit of such a mentor. In most instances, they are digitally self-taught by a system designed for electronic communication. Absent are the nuances of eye-contact (Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime don't count), voice inflection, body language, and the warmth of a genuine handshake and of taking time to get to know the person who they are encountering. Immediate execution and...

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