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Take Responsibility for Fixing Things

In today’s tough economic time this message is more important than ever.

Today’s accelerating rate of change is like a breeder reactor of problems. That’s just the nature of progress. But as people watch one problem give birth to several more, they start searching for someone to blame. Badmouthing management becomes the most popular form of exercise. The growing number of problems proves nothing, but is offered as hard evidence that the changes are wrong, or that the changes are being managed poorly. Of course, none of this has a crying chance of slowing down change or reducing the rate of problems. All it does is create a culture of blame.

Blaming comes easy. Complaining is a cakewalk. But the culture needs encouragers, instead of complainers, fixers rather than blamers. Blaming uses up a lot of energy, but doesn’t provide any real relief. Rather than lighten anyone’s load, it just creates additional burdens.

Often blaming is employed as a defensive tactic. Pointing your finger at another person diverts attention from yourself. Accuse someone else of taking a wrong action, and that sort of gives you grounds for expecting them to fix things you don’t like.

Identifying problems is fine. Just make sure you package topnotch solutions with your complaints. Come up with constructive ideas of your own instead of waiting for someone else to fix things. Get busy doing what you can do instead of second-guessing somebody else’s efforts. “Monday morning quarterbacking” gives people the notion they’re contributing something meaningful, but really it’s a cheap backhanded way to throw more blame.

There are enough problems to go around, so take your share of responsibility for fixing things. Push for a culture of personal accountability.

Customer Service … rules of the game

• Answer the phone. People are tired of endless voice message loops.

• Call someone back. It could pleasantly shock a customer.

• Create more interaction with customers.

• Do not take customers for granted, it is too easy for them to switch.

• Re-acquire customers. View each customer as one who is on the verge of leaving and approach him as if he were new and had to be re-sold on your value.

• When contacting customers who complain, make sure it is someone knowledgeable who calls them back.

• Ask your customers what you could do better; they'll tell you if you listen. Determine what your customers want most. (Our research indicates that faster service and response are at

the top of the list.)

Customer service has gotten so bad in many areas that even pretty good customer service might end up looking great.


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