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Exciting News!

I’m excited! It’s nice to be back!  Many thanks for continuing to support my service revolution with book sales. Speaking of exciting, several production companies have asked for a script to consider for a mockumentary about the book WHY?  Because You are Paid to Smile and Serve which is underway. Why you ask? Their comments included, “It’s hilarious.” “Domestic market for this project is very promising.” “It’s very relatable right now.” Sad but true. I will keep you posted along the journey.

Get to Know Your Customer Day?

Today is National Get to Know Your Customer Day. Oh, it’s not just today.  The third Thursday of each quarter is devoted to this tribute, according to the National Day Calendar.  Any business servicing the public that only devotes four days a year to getting to know their customers is going to enjoy an early retirement.  Based on these unprecedented times we live in, maybe it should be altered to Get to Know What Your Customers Go Through When We Try to Reach You.  CEOs everywhere, I challenge you to call your own phone lines. The prompts, the instructions, the hold times, the misdirected transfers and the ultimate call dropping. Exhausting and not always culminating into a successful outcome. Make sure you have a good novel and a hearty snack handy.

National Holidays

Friday the 15th is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Friday is also National Bill of Rights Day and National Underdog Day. Do you sometimes feel like the underdog when shopping at this time of year? Don’t lay down and roll over! America loves to cheer for the underdog. Get up, put on your best ugly sweater and get out there and speak up! Pleasant and efficient service should be expected, even at this hectic time of year. Our forefathers are looking down and wishing they added this to the original Bill. Never too late for an amendment.

Happy Holidays!

Normally at this time of year, I wish for peace and good health for all. However, this year I am going to wish that CEOs of any business serving the public call in to their organizations to see if they can get through their own telephone systems without dozing off.

A Quest For the Best

“Martha Humler has written a deceptively important book. Deceptive, because she’s used her searing wit and iconic humor to create a book that would be worth reading simply for the pure pleasure of her language, but which goes much further to offer real insights and practical advice on the topic of service that anyone, in any industry, will find valuable.”—Jim Huling, Managing Consultant, FranklinCovey

“Martha’s stories are a lighthouse of actionable insights for service professionals that are swimming in a sea of mediocrity.”—Dr. John Timmerman, Chief Scientist, Customer Experience & Innovation, Gallup

WHY? Because They Do it Better

Why is there a presupposition to think of the hospitality industry when customer service is being discussed? Well, it is valid. Hospitality does do a better job. The last six weeks, I have stayed in five different inns/hotels ranging in price from just $130/night to a luxury brand, new to me, for a room rate you would expect. It did not matter. Each one of these establishments showcased warm employees, bending over backward to assist and provide the best service possible. Why aren’t other industries able to pull this off?

Here are some possibilities: Inadequate emphasis to be service-centric by management? Insufficient focus on customer service during on-boarding? Lack of on-going programs and communication to keep the message alive? Limited reference of expected service standards in the performance evaluation process? A customer service department handles this function? (Bad move) No checks and balances from the outside i.e. employee/customer surveys to provide feedback?

Maybe a combination of the above? Organizations might want to take a closer look. It Can Be Done.

This is How it is Done.

Don’t you hope for many customer service experiences that you just won’t forget? I have one. My husband’s phone died and I took it in for a new battery. The phone was so old that batteries for that model were no longer available. I panicked (for my husband) as his contact information might not be retrievable, leading to a difficult and time consuming task of recreating. The sales rep., Brian, said he would keep thinking and would call me. A few hours later, Brian called and said he found my husband’s phone on EBay with a functioning battery. He would buy it and have it overnighted to his home. My husband could select a new model and now have the power to transfer all his contacts into the new phone. Genius and risky as Brian technically was not allowed to use internet while working. My husband wrote to the company’s CEO to make sure he knew about this terrific employee. That letter resulted in Brian being given four box seat tickets to a professional baseball game and the honor of throwing out the first pitch. This young man was thrilled with this once in a lifetime recognition. Brian and I stayed in touch for a time, until his many promotions have now taken him to other cities.

Martha Humler

Martha Humler