Employee-Customer Interaction Starts with Engagement

The focus of building a trusting relationship with customers takes time and patience…but what else? In a recent post from Brian Solis, he says that changing your company’s focus to the quality of the customer experience should be top-most on your list of company priorities.

Listen, Customer, Customer-centricity, "Employee-customer relationship", "customer service", custome rfocus

Once in a while, we come across an experience where an employee might not seem 100% customer focused. Sure, they might be interacting with the customer…but are they listening? Hearing the input and feedback carefully, and having the employee interpret it properly will ultimately build a longer valued relationship with the customer. A process similar to this one takes some training and practice for employees, but it’s a great way for a company to change their tactics in grasping what is most valuable…not necessarily the product, but the people and the brand.

Similar to Tony Hsieh’s WOW customer experience…listen and give back 105% more than what they’ve expected. This will create a brand that is solid rock. My favorite quote in Brian Solis’ post that fully represents the real employee-customer relationship is:

“Customer-centricity begins with internal transformation and the willingness to adapt or create processes and programs that break down internal silos. It’s not just about communicating with customers; it’s about showing them that listening translates into action within the organization to create better products and services and also foster valuable brand experiences and ultimately relationships with customers. It’s also about empowering employees to improve those experiences and relationships in the front line and to recognize and reward their ability to contribute to a new era of customer engagement and collaboration.”

His words are powerful and completely true. What are some of your successful customer experience stories?

 

Post written by Julie Skowronek, Assistant Marketing Manager at Whiting Consulting.

Photo credit: Allbizanswers.com

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Why I Became an Entrepreneur

“What Makes a Top Performer in Business?” Series: Part I

Sitting on my shelf collecting dust bunnies since last fall, I finally decided to pick up and open the book Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin.

What suddenly peaked my interest in the talent subject was graduating exactly a year ago and where I have come in my career since then.  It got me thinking about where and what I will be many years from now.

Within the past year, I have followed, read, met, and spoken with many great business leaders in all industries, and this got me thinking about career paths and just how do people get to the top. Are they always in it to win it, or do they just go with the flow from a strategic plan?

When you see or hear the word “talent,” what instantly comes into your mind? Is it sports, a favorite game of yours, or the skills required in your job?

We might think that world-class performers in any area of interest were born with an unexplained “gift.” Geoff Colvin states that researchers found that superstars like Bill Gates, Jack Welch, or Warren Buffet are just like everyone else from the start of their careers. Anyone can reach to be world class performers in their industry by exhausting deliberate practice. Researchers found few signs of advanced achievement before the individuals started intensive training, stated Colvin.

One could argue that, well if it’s not a natural “gift,” then it has to be IQ. Yet, Colvin pointed out something I never realized before, “…IQ was of no value in predicting how quickly they would improve. Many studies of adults in the workplace have shown the same pattern.”

So, if high achievers and intelligence aren’t intertwined, then how can a company find and keep the talent to grow?

Colvin coined the term “human ability,” and he determined that it’s a company’s scarcest resource to date. Companies need to spot potential, provide constant challenges and, offer growth opportunities in order to develop an employee to become a phenomenon. This way, companies can continuously build success from their highly-developed employees, which will yield limitless potential.

Bill Gates once said:

“If you took the twenty smartest people out of Microsoft it would be an insignificant company, and if you ask around the company what its core competency is, they don’t say anything about software. They say it’s hiring. They know what the scarce resource is.”

The main message from Colvin’s book thus far: no one knows if they have or will acquire these traits to become a world-class performer. The question is: what makes some people excel more than others? Stay tuned for part two…

Photo credit: zimbio.com

Post written by Julie Skowronek, Assistant Marketing Manager at Whiting Consulting.

‘Managing Forward’ Series Part III: Advice for Interns

The final video of Chip’s interview focuses on what managers look for in today’s young professionals.

It is important for every intern going into a new role to learn and discover what they need to bring to the table to benefit the employer and themself. From Chip’s six years of managing college students, there are some main points he touches upon in the video:

1.      Top-notch qualities needed for post-graduation employment.

2.      Attributes sought out in an intern.

3.      Purpose of an interview.

What are some other attributes that an intern needs to be successful?


‘Managing Forward’ Series Part II: Advice on Managing Young Professionals

The second part of our ‘Managing Forward’ Series includes Chip’s energetic thoughts of how an organization can flourish by offering internship programs that can focus on adding value for everyone. His advice in our interview will give managers perspective on how a company can increase their benefits through “people development,” and how this helps build a phenomenal reputation.

Our interview with Chip is content heavy, hitting many pointers any manager should practice with their internship programs. These main pointers are:

1.      Strategies on how to move a company forward with interns

2.      Management techniques to increase the intern’s and the company’s value

3.      How to get the most out of your company mission statement

What other techniques have you tried to get the most out of an internship program?  We would love to hear from you!

‘Managing Forward’ Series Part I: Advice on Managing Young Professionals


I had a great student job when I was in college.  I had the pleasure of working in the SUNY Geneseo College Student Union and working for a great mentor, Chip Matthews, Union Director.  I often lean on the learnings and advice I received from Chip, and wanted to know how he was doing since I left (I am sure the place is falling down without me!).  I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss the topic of managing college students with Chip Matthews.  What follows is the first in a four part series of that conversation.  I was thinking that with an increasing amount of these young professionals entering the workforce today, what better person to get advice on managing them than Chip?  He lives this every day!

Chip Matthews gives his detailed experiences and advice on how to properly and effectively direct college students.  The topics range from: motivating young professionals in the workplace, personal connections to today’s young employees, developing an efficient value-added internship program to your business, and also suggestions for the recent college graduates to take with them to the workplace.

After my discussion with Chip, I had time to soak in all the content (I hope you will too!), and I realized that he truly respects college students. Not once did he mention the everyday term “Gen Y.” Chip’s words were all positive about his experiences working and managing college students. I hope you enjoy his words of wisdom, and come away with some useful nuggets to use in your own situation!

Post written by Julie Skowronek, Marketing Coordinator at Whiting Consulting.

GenYired: Productivity & Time Management

Coffee Cup and Clock
Wednesday, that hump everyone wants to get over smoothly in the middle of their week. Here are a few posts to help you become more organized with your time, and some statistics on productivity. Continue reading

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