Author Archives: Annette Hamm

Customer Service

Managing Customer Relations! It’s All Customer Relations!

“The magic formula that successful businesses have discovered is to treat customers like guests and employees like people. ”

-Tom Peters,  Businessman & Author of In Search of Excellence

This week we are focusing on customer relations; that is, how you treat your clients, how you use their feedback and whether you are listening to them at all.

The best indication that you have a good relationship with your clients or customers is a growing bottom line, early clients referring you to their friends, and as a result, more people ‘coming in the door’.

Last week, the quote was from the creator of Walmart, who essentially said that the customer is boss. Getting clear about this is essential to the growth of your business.

Tom Peters’ comment about treating customers like guests and employees like people goes to the heart of customer relations.

If you are the only person in your company, how you interact with every single person you come into contact with determines how your business will grow.

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Fear, Inspiration and Motivation

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

-Winston Churchill

Think about that quote. It refers to resilience – the ability to not just persevere in the face of repeated obstruction, but to do so  – with enthusiasm!

Today, the focus is more on fear than inspiration, because in most cases, we need the ability to move through the fear before we can get to inspiration.

The accepted wisdom is that there are only two things that motivate humans to act: fear or inspiration.  Which of these would you voluntarily choose – for you, or for others?

Unfortunately, some of us do not even recognize fear initially when it has stopped us in our tracks.

Essentially, the general consensus among psychologists is that, whatever the source of fear, we need to move towards it, rather than running away from it; and, that fear is usually focused on the past or worry about the future. Staying focused in the present and dealing with ‘what is’ is the biggest part of any solution.

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Stepping Back to Move Forward

The unfortunate truth about the bottom line is that many business owners are running businesses without a clear and unobstructed eye on the bottom line. They are pulled in so many different directions, faced with so many challenges, that the terms treadmill, rat race, unremitting change, ongoing transition and fast-paced changes in market demands barely describe how owners and executives feel. The day-to- day, week-to-week, and month-to-month issues may keep them running and out of breath mentally and, sometimes, due to stress, physically.

The bottom line in any business or organization is what keeps the doors open to provide service or operate the business, keeps employees paid, maintains quality of service, ensures product is available, and keeps the owner solvent in his or her attempts to run the business. Often the focus is on personally surviving rather than clearly focused on the business; and, sometimes, the focus is on the business at the peril of personally surviving.

How to achieve balance in your life as an owner, executive or manager while ensuring that the business is solvent is one of the greatest challenges anyone at the top faces.

There is a figure being bounced around at the moment of a 70% failure rate when it comes to successful management today. Where does your business stand in this analysis?

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