Author: mbnelsen

The Art of Proficient Communication

One Cannot Not Communicate. I wish I’d said that, because it pretty well sums up a key problem with communication. It doesn’t solve anything, but it does provide a starting point. Paul Watzlawick gets credit for it as the most famous of his Five Axioms. Although most of his work was in the field of…
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July 18, 2019 0

More About Mary

Got lots of feedback for the article, Something about Mary. Here’s some of it. From a consultant: A participant in a customer service training program was so relentlessly negative, bullying and overpowering that the facilitator decided that no one would benefit from her attending the second day. When she shared her recommendation with the client…
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May 1, 2019 0

Fully Engaged

An employee on the receiving end of a merger was overheard telling a customer, “These new people have no idea what they’re doing. If I were you, I’d take all my accounts out of here as soon as possible!” While much effort had been put into processes, procedures and technical training, not enough attention was…
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May 1, 2019 0

There’s Something About Mary

Mary was a dedicated, long time employee, hired for her technical skills. She was well-liked by customers and co-workers. She got excellent performance reviews and was rewarded with regular pay raises. Her company had a very good share of the local market, but Mary’s industry began to undergo significant changes that dramatically changed the nature…
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February 27, 2019 0

Showing Up

In a commencement speech given at the University of Texas, Admiral William McRaven said, “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the…
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February 6, 2019 0

Words Matter

A customer, trying to return an item, is told by the store employee: “You opened it. It must be unopened, or we can’t accept it for a return. That’s our policy.” The customer fires back: “You people make me crazy! Your “customer service” is a joke! I demand to speak with the manager!” What’s the…
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January 10, 2019 0

Creating a Customer Service Culture

How do you create a customer service culture? It begins with an identifiable vision and clearly defined goals that are shared throughout the organization. It goes beyond the customer-facing staff to encompass every employee in every department, all working to support that vision. I worked with a client who had identified their organization as being…
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December 19, 2018 0

Understanding Your Organizational Culture

Changing or enhancing a culture starts with recognizing what a culture is, and the clear-eyed understanding that one most certainly already exists. It may or may not be what senior management believes, or that HR describes during onboarding. Culture is the personality of a company, the environment in which employees interact and work. It is implied…
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November 14, 2018 0

Why Can’t You Think Like Me?

Trying to quickly fix an urgent customer mistake, a CEO was frustrated by his purchasing agent’s insistence on getting a corrected purchase order first. “Why doesn’t he understand our priorities?!” he fumed. The purchasing agent did understand his priorities. They just weren’t the same as the CEO’s. He was doing his job- from his point…
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September 19, 2018 0

The Real Value of Soft Skills

What is the difference between hard and soft skills? Hard skills are technical skills, the “how-to” of a job or activity. They generally follow consistent rules, are teachable and easy to quantify. Examples of hard skills include computer programming, machine operation and learning a foreign language. What we think of as soft skills are better…
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August 29, 2018 0