Three not so simple steps to scale your customer service strategy.
1. A core attitude change
You need a set of core values. A set of guiding principles you can fall back on when times get tough. Sometimes it’s just a phrase, usually the simpler the better. The more simple the new attitude is to take on, the better chance of by-in.
Without a new attitude (which starts at your core) you’ll never create the change you need to, to be a proactive leader in customer service. Austin Texas has one of the most vibrant business communities in the United States and some of the coolest nightlife I’ve ever experienced. When you talk to locals they always mention how Austin is much different than most of Texas cities. They have a different attitude. I’m not sure what they had first, the coolest marketing slogan for a city or the coolest city to create a marketing slogan for. Either way, they get it, and the entire city rally’s around keeping Austin weird.
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1. The One Thing – if you don’t need motivation, if you get lots done in a day, if you’re a great multi-tasker you’re going to hate this book. It won’t inspire you to do your best work yet.
I loved it. Read more
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You probably know Mr. Adams a lot better once you find out he’s the guy behind those Dilbert comic strips. Yup, that’s Scott.
Throughout this fascinating read he keeps reminding the reader not to listen to his advice, after all he says, “you’re taking advice from a cartoonist!” I think this is why I felt like I should listen to him more, because he was open with his inherent bias’s and extremely transparent. Still one of the best all around books on improving your life, career, business, and most importantly, mindset.
Goals are for losers, systems are for winners. He had a lot of great advice in the book, but this counterintuitive thinking jumped out at me. As a guy who’s always been a firm believer in goals, goal setting, writing down goals, etc. this statement of Goals are for losers! really caught me off guard.
What the hell have I been doing? Why am I setting goals? Am I a loser?!?
Then you read on and find there is a method to his madness. The general argument is that goals, once completed, give you nowhere else to go, no next step, no contingency plan. But systems scale, they get larger with ease, they adjust to their surroundings, they’re more adept for growth. Your system is the way you create successful outcomes (if you aren’t creating successful outcomes you are probably using a bad system). Your style, personality, approach, tone of voice, attitude, etc. are all a part of your system. Read more
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Don Peppers and Martha Rogers get it. They’ve been around the business world long enough to know what’s important to business. I like their approach to the internet and social media. You can’t stop it so you may as well try to understand it better and ensure you’re as transparent as possible. Read more
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Business strategy traditionally came from the smartest people in the room, the executive team, the bosses and when they needed help they turned to incredibly expensive consultants to build a brilliant foolproof plan. Everyone at the top laughed all the way to the bank. If the plan failed it was the consultants fault, if the plan succeeded it was the executives’ idea all along. Rarely does centralized, autocratic, command and control leadership work anymore. Read more
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This blog post is based on John Medina’s book Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. I loved this book, it’s a thought-provoking read. It teaches you about your brain in a way that’s actionable and easily remembered. At the end of every chapter he sums up what the important parts of the chapter were. Kind of like a coles notes of his own book. Atta boy John, good on you.
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My latest read is the ever-controversial Kevin O’Leary’s The Cold Hard Truth About Men, Women, and Money. It’s taken me a solid six months to get over my disdain for the man and the way he treats presenters on Dragon’s Den but this book has increased his standing in my eyes.
While other books on investing and personal financial management take a friendly approach to convincing you to pay yourself first, commit to saving, and live within your means, O’Leary basically takes the hardcover book and hits you over the head with it. His polarized views and no guff delivery leave you never wanting to buy another Starbucks coffee or smoke another cigarette.
Here are three things I took away from the book:
1. Be brutally honest with yourself
What’s preventing so many of us from getting a hold on our financial situations and taking the necessary steps to improving it is the inability and lack of desire to take a real look at debt, spending habits and current financial health. Start by being brutally honest with yourself and scrutinizing every detail of your credit card spending and excess spending on things like cigs, lunches, coffees, and magazines. (I use mint.com for this and it’s awesome)
2. Pay your student loans off in your 20s and pay down your mortgage in your 30s
Life is a constant battle to have the upper hand against the bank. This is much easier said than done. As Kevin says, from the moment you’re born, the bank and the world are trying to take money from you. By committing to paying off your student loans and your mortgage (if you choose to have one) as quickly as possible, you can finally be the one making money off of the bank – instead of their hand being a permanent fixture in your pocket.
3. Beans now, steak later
Too many young people start making a relatively decent salary and start living like rock stars. The reality is that going out for lunch 4 days a week, swinging by Starbucks a couple times a day, and going out for drinks a few times a week are sure ways to end up having to work until you’re 85 to afford retirement. Kevin uses the example of a man who bought rental property, spent 12 hours a day renovating, serving his renters, and collecting rent. He ate nothing but rice and beans for years. When he finally made his money back and was able to purchase another valuable property after 20+ years, he rewarded himself with a steak. “Beans now, steak later” is good motivation for living within your means and coming out way on top later on.
Linden’s Book Rating: 8/10. Check it out.
Here he is on Kobo in Conversation:
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“There is no such thing as getting more than you put into anything.”
I love this quote, it’s attributed to Kim Nicolaides, I read it in Julien Smith and Chris Brogan’s new book called The Impact Equation. I’m about half way through and have been highlighting in my Kindle a lot. It’s like the no bullshit guide to marketing your company and yourself.
“Well, no matter what your stance, it’s the process of starting that matters. Starting once, on any given day, is easy. Starting every single day is hard, but it’s how your media will be created, how your book will get written, and how your empire will be built. As Kimon Nicolaides once said, “There is no such thing as getting more than you put into anything.” In other words, the work creates the results. There are no shortcuts.”
There’s no easy way about it. It takes a lot of hard, pain-in-the-ass work to accomplish anything amazing. You don’t just wake up one day and have a well read blog, huge Twitter Following or massive Facebook page, you wake up every morning and try to improve just a little bit. Being persistent, doing the work, and constantly improving, in time you’ll have created a masterpiece.
We all have the choice to do the work or not.
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It’s very simple for anyone today to educate themselves on just about anything they could dream of. On Amazon, a simple search under any topic will bring up a list of books and more importantly the average rating people gave each book. Find the top rated books in whatever category interests you, buy the top ten rated, read them, boom instant genius.
Well it’s not quite that easy but you know what I mean. If you don’t read regularly find a way to do it, read in bed before you fall asleep, maybe go to the bathroom more at work and bring a book with you, read at the gym on the elliptical (two birds with one stone) where ever you can, do it. It’s one of the easiest ways to get smarter.
Here’s a list of mine from this past year, all of them on the list except for a few were outstanding. Tweet me (@JephMaystruck) if you want more details or if you have a question on a specific book. Read more
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In Martin Lindstrom‘s fascinating New York Times Bestseller, ‘Buy-ology‘, countless age-old advertising and marketing assumptions are obliterated. Perhaps the most provocative (intentional word choice) assumption that he topples is one we’ve probably heard once a week for our entire lives: Sex sells.
Skeptical? I don’t doubt it. Let’s take a closer look before we dismiss the claim…
Lindstrom goes to the next level in ‘Buy-ology’ by going beyond observational marketing. He draws from experiences with fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scanning to measure activity in certain areas of the human brain in response to the stimulation of advertisements. Taking a psychological/biological approach gives his findings the credibility that many marketing practices lack.
Think about Malcolm and the Middle vs. Sex and the City for a minute. One compelling experiment from Chapter 13 of the book had viewers of each show divided into two groups. One segment from each series was shown a grouping of sexually suggestive ads during the commercial breaks for products such as beer, shampoo, and perfume. Upon conclusion of each show, viewers were simply asked what they remembered. As Lindstrom regales, the group shown the sexually suggestive ads had no better recollection of which products they were for than those shown non-sexually suggestive ads. Furthermore, viewers of Sex and the City had even worse recollection than those who viewed Malcolm in the Middle. It turns out that the sexually suggestive nature of the show actually overshadowed the retention of the sexually suggestive nature of the commercials. Hence the conclusion: “sex does not sell anything other than itself.”
So, now you’re probably asking why sex and beauty are still used at such great lengths in marketing and advertising campaigns. Lindstrom’s fMRI brain scan experiments helped him find the answer.
In advertising and merchandising (take the pictures on underwear boxes, for example) attractive models actually activate the brain’s mirror neurons, making us view ourselves as one of them. From the shelf to the till (and probably all the way home until we look in the mirror) we view ourselves as the guys in the picture and adjust our confidence accordingly. Or, as Lindstrom points out, if a woman is buying underwear for a man, she’ll have no problem picturing him as fit and handsome as the guy she sees on the box.
Two important takeaways from just one chapter in Lindstrom’s eyeopening masterpiece:
1. Sex doesn’t sell anything other than itself.
2. Sex and beauty still work in advertising by activating mirror neurons.
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