Customer Loyalty

I still encounter bad customer service even though we live in such a competitive business world. And many times the level of customer service varies from person to person in a single organization. Don’t these guys know good customer service is the lifeblood of their businesses? You can offer promotions and lower your prices, but unless you can get some of your customers to come back, your business won’t be around for long. Trust me on this one!

Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers.

In our lives, most of us would like to believe that the more someone knows us, the more that person will like us. Have you heard the phrase “To know me is to love me”? This is the essence of customer service.

Without customers there would not be a business. Excellent customer service results in increased sales, satisfied customers and greater job satisfaction for employees. High quality customer service helps to create customer loyalty. Customers today are not only interested in the product they are being offered but all the additional elements of service that they receive from the greeting to the help they receive to the way their complaints are dealt with.

For God’s sake answer your phone with a nice greeting and pleasant tone. Listen to your customers. Listen to what I have to say. Deal with complaints. Don’t give me the run-around. Be helpful – even if there’s no immediate profit in it. Train the staff to be consistent, always helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable. Take an extra step and show actions. And always throw in something extra to sweeten the deal.A

If you apply the above rules consistently, your business will become known for its good customer service. And your gain is nothing but customer loyalty. How sweet is that?

In the Zone!

No, this is not about Britney Spears. Remember when you had to write term papers. Sometimes it was murder to get started, so you did everything imaginable other than actually write the paper. And when there was no more time to kill, you started to work. Surprisingly, something changed. You found that it wasn’t so hard, the words began to flow, and you were getting your thoughts across. You were producing pages without pain. You were in the zone; you found your tempo and flow.

Athletes talk a lot about being in the zone, that magical place where mind and body work in perfect sync and movements seem to flow without conscious effort.

When everthing comes naturally, easily, and seems to flow, that’s when you are in the zone. What a wonderful magical place it is, being in the zone.

Lack of intellectual acuity!

He’s a few clowns short of a circus. A few fries short of a Happy Meal. An experiment in Artificial Stupidity. A few beers short of a six-pack. Dumber than a box of hair. A few peas short of a casserole. Doesn’t have all his cornflakes in one box. His wheel’s spinning but the hamster’s dead. One Fruit Loop shy of a full bowl. One taco short of a combination plate. A few feathers short of a whole duck. All foam, no beer. The cheese slid off his cracker. Body by Fisher, brains by Mattel. Couldn’t pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel. He fell out of the Stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down. An intellect rivaled only by garden tools. As smart as bait. Chimney’s clogged. He doesn’t have all his dogs on one leash. Doesn’t know much but leads the league in nostril hair. Elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top floor. He forgot to pay his brain bill. His sewing machine’s out of thread. His antenna doesn’t pick up all the channels. His belt doesn’t go through all the loops. If he had another brain it would be lonely. He’s missing a few buttons on his remote control. No grain in the silo. Proof that evolution “can” go in reverse. Receiver is off the hook. Several nuts short of a full pouch. Skylight leaks a little. Slinky’s kinked. Surfing in Nebraska. Too much yardage between the goal posts. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer. The lights are on, but nobody’s home. 24 cents short of a quarter.

What does this all mean? Simple,  he is lacking intellectual acuity!

First Impressions

No matter how much we might think that we are non-judgmental every one of us is ‘guilty’ of making first impressions about people. It can take as little as 3 seconds for us to make an initial first impression about somebody we meet for the very first time and this is whether we do that consciously or sub-consciously.

In business, what’s challenging is that people will often make a first impression about you even BEFORE you’ve actually met. It’s all based on the subject of perceived status and business hierarchy. Most business people will often know the job title as well as the name of the person they’re going to be meeting, before they’ve even met. As a result, they will likely form an initial impression of a person, simply based around their ‘status’ within a company. Usually if the person you’re meeting is in a higher ranked position to yourself, you’re already likely to be thinking that this is a person worth getting to know as they could be a valuable contact. If they hold the same or similar status to yourself, then you’ll think them worthy of your time. However, if their status is below that of yours, then you’re far more likely to keep them somewhat at a distance or, at best, tolerated. Yeah, this may be the extreme but, nevertheless, it does occur and does demonstrate just how important first impressions are. Trust me on this!

OK, “So how do you make a good impression?” you may ask.  Firstly, the way you dress is very important. Your grooming, the watch and the jewelery you wear and the car you drive and its usually either one or several of these aspects which is likely to form a part of a person’s very first impressions about you.

Secondly, the way you carry yourself, the way you speak, move your eyes, gesture with your arms or hands – all of these will be giving off signals for people to create their own first impressions of you. Even when you speak, whilst this will be a more clearer indication of the qualities you have as a person to do business with and will, to a large extent, enable people to form opinions about your intelligence, knowledge, skills and experience in a particular field, it’s often the WAY you speak that will be remembered more than WHAT you actually say. Having polite manners, showing courtesy, being positive and energetic, coming across as reliable, honest and trustworthy and even smiling all help to give off a positive impression too.

It’s always a good idea to get a feel of what is and isn’t appropriate etiquette within your own specific environment to gain a better idea of how to create a positive first impression as it will often be this that will ultimately determine your success or failure.

2016 Life Lessons!

As 2017 approaches, it’s that time of the year to look back and search for lessons we’ve learnt during this past year. It is impossible to go through a whole year and not learn something new about yourself and about the world around us. Here’s my list:

  1. What you feel is what you attract. The Universe is listening to us. Let’s fill our lives with positive affirmations and reap the rewards.
  2. Enjoy life. This very moment, is my life. Life is not between the moments of your birth and death. Life is between now and your next breath. Right here and right now is your life.
  3. A lifetime isn’t very long. This year we saw the passing of many people. Life is now, so whatever you need to do, start doing it today. There are only so many tomorrows.
  4. Make time for family. Family always comes first, always.
  5. Be kind. Small acts of kindness can make the world a better place. Kindness is the only investment that never fails.
  6. Check your emotions. When you’re dealing with a crappy situation, it’s very easy to let emotions get the best of you. Learn to check them between the lines.
  7. Respect your gut feelings. Gut feelings come from your so many years of experience … don’t ignore it. It comes from your soul.
  8. Learn to let go. People who are controlling have a hard time moving through the world. Let go. It’s simple.
  9. Let them be. Some people live in La La Land. Let them be as they belong there :-).
  10. Show up mentally and emotionally every day. If your body will show up, your mind will show up too. Have blind faith in your goals, follow it with passion and with purpose.
  11. Live life on your terms. Put you “honest” opinions out there. When you put yourself out there, you’re going to get judged. Ignore the negativity. Only God can judge you.
  12. You can say “no”. Saying no does not make you selfish. Look at your time as being one of the most precious things in life.
  13. Never stop learning.  Read more books, go to more conferences as learning never ends. Learning is earning!
  14. Make health a priority. Exercising, working on our mindset and eating healthy. They are all tied in together to help us live a wholesome life.
  15. Bless everything you do. Let’s be grateful. Our attitude toward life will determine life’s attitude toward us. The more we express our gratitude, the more we have to be  grateful for.

2016 has also been a year of distressing news, cruelty in many parts of the world, good people dying and the list goes on. If we were to pause and reflect on the good moments though, I think we’d find there are always more things to be grateful for than ever.

Until this time next year … Let’s make everyday count. God bless you.

Happy New Year! Lessons Learned…

New Year  marks a new beginning. New people to meet, new adventures to enjoy and new memories to create.

But first let me take some time and be grateful. Be grateful for all of the people that I was able to serve this year, be grateful to my family, be grateful that you are still alive and can walk and talk. Be grateful that that I have my health, and for life itself.

Now, as the New Year approaches, it’s time to look back, appreciate life, and also search for lessons we have learnt this year. It is impossible to go through a year and not learn something new about yourself and about the world around us.

Here’s my list of 15. As per previous years, I pass this list on to you with the simple hope that it may make you think!

  1. Enjoy life. This moment is my life and it is between now and your next breath. Spend it in full, in kindness and in peace, with your loved ones. I have seen and gone to too many funerals this year. Every day above ground is a good day, so let’s enjoy very minute of our lives.
  2. Life is not a roller coaster but a set of railroad tracks….at any given moment there are negative, discouraging, upsetting things that are passing through our lives; at the same time there is a ‘track’ going through our lives of positive, exciting, rewarding things. The choice we have every day when we wake up is which track are we going to focus on. Rick Warren (author of Purpose Driven Life)
  3. The purpose of your life is to truly live before you die, and the purpose of business is to fund that perfect life. Always find “me time” and family time.
  4. What I focus on shows up more in my life.
  5. Be kind. Small acts of kindness can make the world a better place. Kindness is the only investment that never fails. Be the change you wish to see in the world (Gandhi), as hard as it may seem.
  6. Don’t procrastinate. When you procrastinate, you become a slave to yesterday. Be proactive. Have a purpose.
  7. Learn to let go. People who are controlling have a hard time moving through the world. Let go. It’s simple.
  8. No one succeeds alone … be open to, and grateful for the wisdom, learning and assistance of others
  9. You become like the 5 people you hang out with, so hang out with people who are worth it.
  10. Check your emotions between the lines. When you’re dealing with a crappy situation, it’s very easy to let emotions get the best of you.
  11. Check your ego. Don’t fall in love with being famous, fall in love with the work.
  12. It’s my opinion. Put you opinions out there, haters and all. When you put yourself out there, you’re going to get judged and people are going to try and put you down. But you have to put yourself out there anyway. Only God can judge you. There was once a time when I walked into a room and I wondered if people liked me, now I walk into that room and I wonder if I like them. 
  13. Learn to say “no”. Saying no does not make you selfish. When I used to say no to people when they requested pretty much anything they requested of me, I would feel like the worst person in the world. I’ve done some serious internal work this year to let go of that and look at my time as being one of the most precious things in life.
  14. We play by my rules. If you want to play with me, in my courtyard, then you play by my rules, or we don’t play out all.
  15. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. Always upgrade and live large.
 Here’s wishing you the love of friends and family, and peace within your heart. May the New Year bring you bright hopes, new success and also many new reasons to smile. Happy new year! Happy 2014!

Customer Service! Miracle!

These days everything can be duplicated, made better, bigger and even cheaper. So how do you add value to what you do?  What’s the icing on the cake? We know that for every Coke there’s a Pepsi, but they’re not the same.

Going way above and beyond the call of duty to help a customer, because you feel it is the right thing to do, without any expectation other than a satisfied customer is what I’d like to call a “miracle”.  Customer service is not about what companies or shops or restaurants… do. It is what people do, people who care for customers. And if you are one of those exceptional individuals that provide such miracles, and with a smile :-), well my friend, I salute you!

Customer Service is front line innovation. That is, when a service sector customer-interface employee is empowered to, or empower themselves to use their knowledge and networks to solve problems without management involvement. Innovation in the service sector should not come from above but from below (Yes, really!).

Inefficiencies in the service sector are almost always in response to something unexpected. When service workers confront an unexpected situation, do they a) seek a manager to deal with the non-standard variation or b) use their knowledge and the knowledge of those around them to troubleshoot and resolve?  The “miracle” is when you do (or find) the latter. In such events, the value delivered to the customer and to the organization in immeasurable.

Most businesses really struggle to develop something uniquely valuable about their services.  Take a look around you and look at lawyers, accountants or agents per se that are operating in your community. They all seem so similar. They all have same slogan, use the same cliché promises, offer more or less the same services, advertise in the same ad-infested papers, and thus make themselves all-but invisible.

One way to really stand out and make a great name for yourself or your business is to provide genuinely exceptional customer service. Offering exceptional customer service is one of the best ways to retain your existing customers and develop new ones at the same time. It’s a super high leverage activity. People universally adore being looked after and being made feel special. You can call it a human weakness, but really, if you want to plug your business into the power of word of mouth marketing, this is a superb place to start.

Let me highlight that customer service excellence is rare today. It is so rare that when you provide it to people, they tell everyone.  In other words if you become one of the few people that takes breaths away with your customer service, your business can generate stacks of powerful word of mouth publicity.  Our city is filled with obnoxious and arrogant people running their businesses, so you will stand out if you provide the level of customer service that is lacking in today’s market.

Now, promising exceptional service is easy — the CHALLENGE is providing it!

— By Kory Gorgani. Printed in Roya Magazine. September 2012 Issue.

2011 Life Lessons!

It’s that wonderful time of the year when we can relax, celebrate our faith, and be with our loved ones. It’s also time to pause and reflect on the year we’ve just had.

Some people look back and compare their achievements against the goals they had set in January but that may be disappointing for some and may also be discouraging too.  In my opinion, we should look back, search for lessons we have learnt, and appreciate how much we have grown. It is impossible to go through a year and not learn something new about yourself and about the world around you.

Someone once said “every single day above ground, is a gift”, and how true that is. When you unwrap and open this gift, you will find lots of things — things that you love, things that you might not like, and even things that might leave you wondering “why me?” Whatever you find, allow yourself to be surprised and go with it. Then when you look back, appreciate the lessons learned; they will prepare you for a much better start for the new year.

So, today I’d like to take some time and be grateful. Grateful for all the people I was able to serve this year. Grateful that I was able to provide a living. Grateful for my health. Please join me, let’s take a deep breath, let the air fill our lungs and slowly exhale … we have life … let’s enjoy … let’s be grateful.

So what did you learn in 2011? Here’s my list of 30.

  1. Your health is your life.
  2. Your spouse is your best friend.
  3. Good things happen to good kind-hearted people. Be good, be kind.
  4. Most of the time what you are looking for is right in front of you.
  5. People deserve a second chance, but never a third.
  6. Stay away from negative, two-faced people. They are energy vampires.
  7. If someone talks behind others, they also talk about you. Stay away.
  8. Take lots of pictures.  Someday you’ll be really glad you did.
  9. Kindness, honestly and hard work go hand-in-hand.
  10. Hatred is a disease. Hating causes stress and stress is the leading cause for serious illnesses.
  11. Forgive and forget, and if you can’t, delegate it to your God.
  12. The purpose of your life is to live before your die, and the purpose of business is to fund that life.
  13. Adopt a “plenty” mindset and watch what happens next.
  14. My job is all about service and servant leadership. Not subservient, but serving others so that they can achieve their goals.
  15. My clients love people who consult with them and provide them with options.
  16. What you focus on, shows up more in your life.
  17. Every now and then find some “me” time. Not every day is for climbing mountains.
  18. Learning about yourself is a non-stop life-long education.
  19. You can achieve anything you put your mind to.
  20. Letting go of stress and unrealistic expectations is the start of manifesting an enjoyable life .
  21. Be open to miracles occurring from unexpected sources.
  22. Ongoing action is key to success. People have no difficulties with dreaming big but keeping up with their actions is much more difficult for them.
  23. Go with what is right for you. Do what you LOVE.
  24. Our attitude toward challenges and our response allows our soul to be strengthened like that of a diamond.
  25. Trust that feeling in your Gut. Trust yourself.
  26. You always have a choice. Even when life isn’t panning out the way you want, you can choose how to respond.
  27. Everything will be fine in the end. If it’s not fine, it’s not the end.
  28. Comparison is a deadly disease. A little competition is healthy but know this – there is no race, you will not fall behind, there’s no one to catch up to, you have all the time in the world.
  29. Be the change you want to see in the world! -Gandhi
  30. Happiness never decreases by being shared. -Buddha

Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and best wishes to  you for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

Life, like a box of chocolates?!

“Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get,” said Forrest Gump. Is life really that unpredictable? In life, most of the time what you are looking for is right in front of you. So how do you get the chocolate you want when you have an entire box to choose from? 🙂

What if I were to tell you that you have much more control over your life than you think you do? What if I were to tell you that your life is created and designed by you and by your beliefs?

Deepak Chopra says “We think we live in the world, but the world lives in us.” All of us may live in the same world but how we view it and the choices we make is based on our programming and how we observed life as children and then as adults. We make choices based on our familiar past and life can become exactly as the template we’ve designed.

OK, back to chocolates. You get hard ones, soft ones, nutty ones, sweet ones and of course the ones that nobody likes and always get left in the bottom of the box. What chocolate best captures your life? As for me, I’m still having fun and enjoying myself, but I’m also starting to get older, more serious and hopefully wiser. I’ll classify myself as a dark chocolate melt-away <wink wink>.

A good friend once told me: “every day is just a day, full of different colors and what ever the color, why not make it colorful like a rainbow with your talent for yourself, family and friends?”  This should be the mindset we adopt everyday in facing the world as life is like a box of chocolates. When you open the box, there could be multiple rows and sometimes different shapes and flavors. They may or may not look the same, and yet you know they are all filled with delicious yummy stuff, some with caramel, some with cream, some with coconut, and some with nuts. So, next time you take one out of the box … just think in what other way can you enjoy it? That’s life, enjoy it, and make it count.

2010 Life Lessons …

Here’s a list of 30 life lessons I learned in 2010.

  1. Your health is your life.
  2. Your spouse is your best friend.
  3. Bad things happen to good people too.
  4. If you are going through hell, you should keep going.
  5. Laughing, crying, joy and anger… all are vital, and all make us human.
  6. Good things happen to good people. Be good.
  7. Time heals all wounds… regardless of how you feel right now
  8. Most of the time what you are looking for is right in front of you.
  9. People come in to our lives for a reason, and for a limited time. Heed the message they bring.
  10. People deserve a second chance, but not a third.
  11. Stay away from negative, 2-faced people. They are energy vampires. Choose your friends wisely.
  12. If someone talks behind other people, they also talk about you. Be careful.
  13. Take lots of pictures.  Someday you’ll be really glad you did.
  14. Purposely ignoring the obvious is like walking backwards toward the enemy.
  15. Motivation comes in short bursts.  Act while it’s hot.
  16. Uncertainty is caused by a lack of knowledge.  Hesitation is the product of fear.
  17. Chance is a gift, so act on chance when given the opportunity.
  18. Kindness and hard work will take you further than intelligence, although both go hand-in-hand.
  19. Stepping outside of your comfort zone will put things into perspective from an angle you can’t grasp now.
  20. The purpose of your life is to truly live before your die, and the purpose of business is to fund that perfect life.
  21. No one succeeds alone. You should be open to, and grateful for the wisdom and assistance of others.
  22. There is enough money and business out there for everyone. With an “scarcity” mindset, you will only attract scarcity. You should adopt a “plenty” mindset and watch what happens next.
  23. My job is all about service and servant leadership. Not subservient, but serving others so that they can achieve their goals.
  24. My job is also about “prospecting”. Every single day!
  25. You should provide the kind of service to others that you’d like to receive yourself.
  26. Your income is the average of the 5 people closest to you. If you want to raise your income, you should hang around with people who make more than you do.
  27. A referral is sending someone you care about to someone you trust. If I want more referrals, I should  become a person of high trust.
  28. My clients hate salespeople, and love people who consult with them and provide them with options.
  29. What you focus on, shows up more in your life.
  30. You should be the “change”, you want to see in the world. (I’d like to live by this Gandhi quote every day)

So let it be written, so let it be done.