Saturday, August 31, 2013

Clear Vision and Kayak Motivation

While I was kayaking this morning, my sunglasses quickly became covered with water droplets from the splashing of my paddle. Which got me vision became blurred and I needed to clean my lenses to see clearly.

Many distractions can pop up and cloud your vision when you are pursuing a goal, growing a business, or even raising a child. Cleaning the distractions off of your glasses will restore vision, and help you to stay motivated!

For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit or call our offices at 1-563-343-5412

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

3 Commandments of Customer Service Excellence

Most businesses say that customer experience is important to their mission, yet very few intentionally do the necessary work to create amazing customer experiences at every level. When a business designs a predictably awesome customer experience, the barrier of price and commodization fade away.

Weaving awesome customer experiences into the fabric of a business requires strategy, execution, and empowerment. When done correctly, the customers will contagiously spread how great their experience was to anyone who will listen. Would you rather visit Disney or a county fair? Stay at a Four Seasons Hotel or a Motel 6? Use an Apple Genius Bar or risk asking for help at a big box store?

customer service hotel, Hilton Mark Center, Awesome Customer Experience
Berry, Director of Customer Experience Awesome-Ness and Convention Attendees

Whether your business is established, or you are starting it today, here are 3 Commandments that every awesome organization employs:

1. Hire for attitude and outlook, train for specific skills.

The specific task a team member does for a business is far less significant than who they are, and how they interact with your customers.

The Hilton Mark Center in Alexandria, VA hosted a national convention where I was the keynote speaker. Their airport shuttle was running painfully behind schedule, and my patience was wearing thin. When the shuttle arrived, the driver, Berry, was quite apologetic and explained that traffic and congestion delayed his arrival.

“I will do everything I can to make your stay at Hilton a wonderful experience, Shef!” he confidently assured me.

I joined 15 other convention attendees on this shuttle who were raving about how cool Berry was, and how impressed they were with him. They were right.  I shared the story with the audience of 400 during my program, and at the mention of his name, the audience broke into cheers! Kudos to Berry and to the Hilton.

2. Conduct a 5 minute standing “huddle” meeting at the beginning of the day to share what was great about the previous day, and re-commit to the mission and the vision of your organization.

Motivation requires constant reminding  to be effective. Zig Ziglar stated, “Motivation is not permanent. Neither is bathing. You need to practice both on a regular basis!”

Do NOT leave your mission and vision to chance.

3. Empower your team to WOW

If your staff requires your approval on everything, you don’t have a business…you are a babysitter. Morale suffers, turnover increases, and your organization begins to lose its soul.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotels authorize their employees to spend up to $2,000 per day, per guest to rectify a customer complaint. How empowered do you think their culture is?

Check out my previous article, The How of Wow for other examples. Businesses today are living in a world of high-touch and high-connection. What are some of your favorite customer experience stories?

For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit or call our offices at 1-563-343-5412