Focus: Customer Service

Customer service manager to dissatisfied customer:
"Suppose we refund your money, send you another
without charge, close the store, and have the
manager shot. Would that make you happy?"
View newsletter with photographs and in color

Keep us in mind if you need a speaker, trainer, or
facilitator for an upcoming meeting or conference.
In additional to Greg, we have several other
outstanding individuals at different fee ranges.
Contact Jan King for further information.

Most businesses spend more time and energy trying
to find new customers instead of retaining those
they have. The logic behind customer retention is
simple–It costs far less money to keep customers
happy than to spend much more money recruiting new
ones. Loyal customers tell their friends about
your business and will spend more money than new

I dread eating at airports. If you travel as much
as I do, you are probably familiar with the "3
b's" as it applies to airport fare–bad food, bad
attitudes, bad timing.

I had an early flight to catch at the Ontario,
California airport recently. I found myself
standing outside the closed and gated doorway to
an Applebee's restaurant ten minutes before they
opened up. I just knew they would be late and
expected to receive the usual grumpy service
common at most airports the world over. I was

Bam! The clock struck five, the lights popped on
and this charming lady opened the doors. She
greeted me with a smile, a warm "hello" and told
me to sit anywhere I wanted. I never had seen
such a positive attitude at 5:00 in the morning.

For the next hour, I watched Felicia cheerfully
greet customers, many of which she called by name.
They were the "regulars" she said. Felicia was
the remarkable person who made that small
restaurant pleasant and memorable. Next time I
return to the Ontario Airport, I guarantee you
this is the restaurant I am going to first.

Here are seven steps to build customer loyalty.

1. Select the right people. In the book, From
Good to Great, Jim Collins said, "People are not
your most important asset, the RIGHT people are."
Most businesses do a poor job of hiring people.
They hire just anyone and place them on the front-
line with customers. Spend more time recruiting
and hiring the right people with good
personalities. Focus on those who are friendly and
demonstrate an interest and enthusiasm for the
job. Consider using personality profiles as part
of the hiring process. These profiles help
identify true personality characteristics of your

2. Sensationalize the experience for your
customers. Good service is not good enough. A
Gallup survey showed a customer who is
"emotionally connected" to your place of business
is likely to spend 46% more money than a customer
who is merely "satisfied" but not emotionally

3. Set performance standards. Outline the
behaviors of how employees should act, speak, and
respond to customer needs and requests. One of our
clients developed a list of twenty customer
service commandments that outline actions he
wanted his service people to demonstrate.

4. Sustain on-going training and
reinforcement. Good customer service skills are
not natural for most people. Effective customer
service training must be reinforced and taught on
a recurring basis. For example, the Ritz-Carlton
hotels provide a thorough customer service
training program for all of its employees during
their orientation. Then each supervisor conducts a
daily "line-up" to review one of the commandments
with his employees ten minutes before each shift.

5. Specify incentives for good behavior. Yes,
employees want to be paid well, but they also want
to be treated with respect and shown appreciation.
The front-line supervisor has the greatest impact
on motivating and retaining employees. Reward
those who exceed the standards and provide
development for those who do not.

6. Survey your customers and reduce your
defection rate. On average, businesses lose 15-20
percent of their customers each year to their
competition. All businesses encounter this
defection rate, but few do much about it. To
improve retention, one client sends out a customer
service report card to its top customers every
month. This requires an evaluation based on four
specific criteria. They tally the results and make
sure employees see the scores. This motivates the
employees to do a better job.

7. Seek customer complaints with enthusiasm.
For every complaint there are at least 10 other
customers that visited your business who have the
same criticism. A portion of those 10 people just
took their business to your competitor. Look at
customer complaints as an opportunity for

We can help you custom design a unique customer
service strategy or provide you with over 12 off-
the-shelf customer service training programs.
There are specific programs for retail, service,
professional, and healthcare organizations. You
can purchase the material to teach the class
yourself, take it online, or we can send someone
to teach it for you. For more information visit
Five Steps to Reduce Turnover

February 21, 2008
3:00-4:30 p.m. EST (Atlanta time)
90 minutes/$145 per person
Register Online

Learn how to create a work environment that
attracts, keeps, and motivates your workforce.
Discover why some employees would rather work for
a good employer than leave for a pay raise. This
session will show managers, owners, supervisors,
and human resource professionals not only how to
retain their most talented performers, but also
how to transform your entire workforce into a
high-retention culture—saving organizations
countless thousands of dollars. This session is
jam packed with tips, ideas, and easy to implement
advice for creating a high-retention culture.

Essential Skills of Leadership (ESL) is the first
step to developing successful managers and team
leaders. By focusing on three critical management
skills, the program establishes a methodology for
productive interactions between team members and
team leaders. ESL helps experienced managers, new
managers, and aspiring managers refocus on the
basics – the skills required to manage the
individual while also leading the team.
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to
your friends
and coworkers.

Sign-up for Greg's Navigator Newsletter by

Copyright 2008, CYC International

This publication and the Navigator Newsletter
is provided by Chart Your Course International.

Published by Greg Smith
Chart Your Course International Inc.
Phone: 770-860-9464/800-821-2487
Address: 2814 Hwy 212, Conyers, GA. 30094

Sign-up for Greg's Navigator Newsletter by visiting

To unsubscribe go:


Special reports on Talent Management from Accenture

Special reports from Accenture

Talent Management/Human Resource Management:
Skill or Be Skilled

Technology matters. But global battles for business primacy are always
fought, won and lost by people. Unfortunately, talent is harder to find
than ever. Should companies be concerned? Yes. Are most training and
education programs keeping up? No. Accenture CEO William D. Green and
Peter Cheese sound the alarm.

360 Degree Performance Evaluation

360 feedback assessments are powerful tools for helping individuals
improve, grow, and develop their interpersonal skills. Our assessment
gathers information from several people about an individual's performance
as seen by his/her boss, self, peers, direct reports, and customers.
Traditional performance evaluations are subjective and one-sided. Most
traditional evaluation systems are ineffective in providing honest and
objective feedback.

A better way is the 360-Degree feedback assessment process. No matter
what position you hold in a company, it is important to understand how
others (boss, team, peers and customers) perceive your effectiveness as a
leader–strengths and weaknesses. 360-Degree input from supervisors,
co-workers, clients and direct reports is valuable in improving
organizational and individual performance.

Personalized Approach and Assistance

Many organizations choose us to conduct 360 assessments on their senior
level managers and executives. As an option, we can personal coaching to
the rated individual. This is provided by Greg Smith, President, Chart
Your Course International. He will assist the rated individual in
developing an action plan in a confidential and professional manner.

Key Aspects of a 360 Degree Feedback Assessment Process

We conduct individual assessments, which includes input from 7-15
respondents directly on the Internet. We can provide either a
standardized or a customized assessment. The standardized assessment
consists of approximately 60 questions. The assessment is conducted via
the Internet and we provide you a final report with these key features:

Mean Average
Gap Size Analysis
Open Ended Questions
Development Plan
Overall Results
Overall Importance Ratings
Strengths by Rater Group
Developmental Needs by Rater Group
Strengths by Frequency of Occurrence
Developmental Needs by Frequency
Online Delivery
Multiple Languages
Coaching (optional)
Why is 360 Degree Feedback Better Than Traditional Evaluations?

Studies show 360 degree feedback assessments can have a positive economic
impact when used for leader development. A study by J. Folkman showed the
relationship between turnover and leadership effectiveness. He showed
effective leaders have lower turnover of employees under them. Another
study showed performance-based assessments and development can result in
a 6 standard deviation improvement in employee performance, yielding a
return on investment as high as 700%

How does it work?

The process is simple. We provide you a secure webpage where the
questions are listed. The rated individual scores him/herself, along with
their boss, and peer group. After all scorings are received, we provide
you and the rated individual a printed report or access to a webpage
listing the ratings summary.

More information provided at:

*Navigator 131: Are You A Manager or a Leader?*

"A leader is a person you will follow to a place
you wouldn't go to by yourself."

–Joel Barker
View newsletter with photographs and in color

The only hard part about taking a seven-day cruise
is coming back to work. On Christmas Day my
family and I were snorkeling off the coast of
Belize. Then we went to Grand Cayman and waded
with a group of friendly stingrays. Other than
riding a camel in Egypt, it ranked as one of the
most interesting things I have done. Imagine
yourself surrounded by dozens of these creatures,
swimming around your legs like puppies begging for
attention. Some of these stingrays measured five
feet across. Wow!

Well it was a nice vacation and the year is
already moving fast. On Sunday I head to Kansas
to conduct a three-day leadership workshop for a
client. Then I have two back-to-back conferences
in California.

Have you ever worked for a boss you had no
confidence in? One of the key trends I am
noticing is the increasing importance businesses
are placing on leadership skills.

The ability to lead and leadership skills have
always been the heart and soul of business success
from time infinitum. However, businesses tend to
follow trends and cycles. It is like employee
retention; businesses usually don't pay attention
to retention until they have a turnover problem.
Then many times it is too late.

Many businesses are watching their key leaders
head off to retirement and discovering there are
not enough people with leadership skills to fill
all the vacancies. Complicating the situation is a
growing population of those who lack experience
and/or motivation to become leaders. In general,
there are millions of managers, but not enough

SkillSoft conducted a survey of 200 IT, sales, and
HR employees. Thirty-five percent said they do not
consider their boss to be a leader and 30 percent
of employees do not think their boss is qualified
for the job. (From Human Resource Executive

The good news is leadership skills can be taught
or coached to those who aspire to improve their
ability. Businesses need both good managers and
leaders. However, without effective leaders, the
lifespan of a business is limited.

Take a Walk in My Shoes

Once each quarter managers and directors at the
Casino Magic Hotel work a frontline position for
two hours under the employees' direction.
Occasionally some of the managers are videotaped
doing their "job" and then both managers and
employees get together, review the videos, and
enjoy some snacks in a fun environment.

Source: 401 Proven Ways to Retain Your Best

Workshops and seminars

360 Assessments

Online Management Courses and Facilitator Guides


This is a great video everyone should watch. It is
an outstanding tool to emphasis leadership and the
importance of communication.

This educational resource is ideal for management
training programs, the classroom—for students all
the way up to business people. Communication
experts and educators alike have acclaimed this

Copyright 2008, CYC International

This publication and the Navigator Newsletter
is provided by Chart Your Course International.

Published by Greg Smith
Chart Your Course International Inc.
Phone: 770-860-9464/800-821-2487
Address: 2814 Hwy 212, Conyers, GA. 30094

Sign-up for Greg's Navigator Newsletter by visiting

To unsubscribe go: