Great Customer Service Is A Matter Of Timing

Great Customer Service Is A Matter Of Timing

Customer, Improvement
Customers expect more and more from the businesses they deal with. They may know they are one of hundreds of customers, but they never want to feel that way. A big part of making that happen has more to do with when you do something rather than what you do. For example, when a printer breaks down, a good customer service experience is finding out you don't have to pay for the part. That quickly turns into a poor customer service experience when it takes five weeks to get the part, particularly when its an inexpensive part. The delay in service is more important than the minimal cost. When someone is contacting customer service, the most important word to know is "now." When do they need service? Now. It may…
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What CEOs Are Reading

What CEOs Are Reading

Improvement, Personal Growth
The slightly lazier days of summer are upon the northern hemisphere, with beach vacations beckoning. South of the equator, temperatures are dipping and cozy weekends lie ahead. So what books will corporate leaders be reading in the coming months? Here are recommendations from more than a dozen, including McKinsey’s Dominic Barton, JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, and Corning’s Wendell Weeks. It’s an eclectic list of fiction and nonfiction, spanning everything from classics to newcomers, business topics to biographies and folk tales. Read the full article at McKinsey 
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Change Your Culture a Few  Behaviors at a Time

Change Your Culture a Few Behaviors at a Time

Improvement
Many leaders try to change their company's culture in tandem with new strategies, such as mergers or turnarounds. But most cultures are so entrenched that wholesale change is near impossible. Instead, choose your battles and focus on a few critical shifts. Observe the behaviors prevalent in your organization now. Compare that to how people would act in an ideal state where their actions supported the new business objectives. Prioritize the behaviors that will have the greatest impact on your company's ability to implement its strategy. Choose ones that will be widely visible to others and are most likely to be emulated. Emphasizing just a few will allow you to move the needle on culture change much more easily.
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8 Ways to Successfully Disrupt Your Competitors’ Sales Funnels

8 Ways to Successfully Disrupt Your Competitors’ Sales Funnels

Improvement, Process
Every company has sales and marketing strategies that are tried and true methods for success. Learning the key objectives in the competition’s sales funnel helps brands stand out, gain a larger audience and achieve industry dominance. This affects and disrupts the sales funnels of your brand’s competition as their marketing strategy and typical methods of practice have been turned upside down. With a few tips, you can disrupt a single sales funnel or an entire industry’s funnel, drawing more sales to your company. Read the entire article at Business.com
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Perception Becomes Reality

Perception Becomes Reality

Communication, Improvement
You've worked hard to build the reputation of your company as well as your own. You have a very specific vision about what you represent. With all this hard work it is difficult to accept that, when all is said and done, you don't control your image. Your image is based on the perception of others. How your customers perceive you may or may not be correct, but it is your brand. Was-Mart found this out when they tried to change their image. They designed a new logo, cleaned up and redesigned stores, and raised prices. Their sales dropped because no matter what they wanted to project, their customers perceived them as low prices. Without the lowest prices customers perceived no value to shopping there. Here are some tips to better…
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Five Surprising Ways To Boost Your Creativity

Five Surprising Ways To Boost Your Creativity

Improvement, Innovation
You might not think of yourself as especially creative. And maybe—right now—you aren't. But a growing body of scientific research suggests that anyone has the ability to become at least a little more creative than they already are, sometimes in surprising ways. Here are a few of the stranger approaches to boosting your creativity. STARE AT THE APPLE LOGO Who would've thought that you could jumpstart creative thinking just by looking at a picture? Duke University professor Gavan Fitzsimons and a few of his colleagues recently wondered if it could. They were interested in the different effects that exposure to association-laden images might have on people’s ability to think creatively. Specifically, they sought to test whether the logos of Apple or IBM—the former famous for originality and sleek design, the latter…
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Make Sure You Learn from Your Mistakes

Make Sure You Learn from Your Mistakes

Improvement
Continuing to grow and innovate means taking risks, which naturally involves making mistakes.  But mistakes don’t mean a leader should discourage experimentation. Rather, leaders should encourage people to take time to understand why mistakes happened in order to minimize them in the future. Trace previous mistakes back to their roots to identify the causes and what can be done differently next time. Use role-playing exercises, debates, or even formal business war games to think through how a new strategy might play out differently. Try to look at things from a competitor’s point of view to factor in a new perspective. Mistakes are inevitable and can be costly, so don’t waste them — learn from them. Read the entire article at Harvard Business Review 
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Data Is Only Good If You Use It

Data Is Only Good If You Use It

Evaluate, Improvement, Process
For any business data is important. Knowing what your customers want to buy, when they want to buy it, how much they will pay, etc. It is all important to know but it is only good if you use it. Target is well known for using data analytics to predict what their customers want to buy, sometimes even before they know it. I was amazed to find out that their attention to data doesn't extend to their own inventory. When talking to a customer service representative, she found her system did not include the information that they were out of an item. The system showed that it was on the shelf, but a look at the shelf showed it was clearly empty. Knowing what your customer wants to buy doesn't…
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Identify Your Distinctive Strengths

Identify Your Distinctive Strengths

Evaluate, Improvement, Personal Growth
To get ahead in your business or career, whether you are trying to get a  job, a promotion, or a new venture off the ground you need to know your strengths. If you can't articulate them, you can't expect your boss or potential employers, partners, or customers to either. Here's a four-step process to identifying what makes you great: List your strengths. Include skills and knowledge you've acquired through experience and education as well as softer intrinsic strengths, such as insightfulness or empathy. Ask for input. Ask colleagues for honest feedback. Revisit past feedback. Reread old performance reviews or think back on coaching from previous bosses. Modify your list. Adjust your original list to reflect what you've learned. Make sure the strengths are specific so that they are credible and…
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Five Pro Tips To Beat Procrastination Every Time

Five Pro Tips To Beat Procrastination Every Time

Improvement
The pursuit of productivity in the workplace has become its own national pastime. Success is often synonymous with the ability to squeeze the maximum amount of productivity out of each day. As the renowned management consultant Peter Drucker once stated: "Nothing else distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time." Drucker’s philosophies and practices now infuse the institute that bears his name. According to the organization, the tools to tame and manage time have exploded into amultibillion-dollar industry. Experts and their blogs, along with books, apps, and wearables, are all geared to track and grade every hour. However, the challenge of focusing and prioritizing remains. Read the full article at Fast Company
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