Very often on a Sunday, I listen to Harvard Business Review’s “Ideacast” on SoundCloud. Several times during the week, I read their latest articles.
Their content provides a great launchpad for ideas for your own organization, no matter what your role is.
Browse their website.
It is so refreshing when service organisations offer no-hassle customer service. I recently ordered and paid for a three piece KFC combo from the store in Grand Anse in the south of Grenada. When I nearly reached home and looked in the box, I noticed that there were only two pieces in the box. I immediately sent an email with photos of the evidence.
After a few emails and a follow up telephone call, I got a return call from one of the company’s representatives. There was no discussion about why I did not carry back the box when I realized the error. Instead, there was the immediate offer of more chicken. I had recently started a (nother!) diet and when I mentioned this, the rep. quickly suggested a Subway salad instead.
I was really really pleased and of course I will think about patronizing this company again. Well done!
Recently I was on a flight in the Caribbean and witnessed an incident involving a non-Caribbean family and a Flight Attendant. I observed how it was handled and will share some pointers on what could have been done differently to ensure the situation did not escalate.
The passenger boarded at the rear of the plane with his family, which included small children. My attention was called to them when I heard the passenger shout “how many times do I have to show them? I just showed the man down there!!”
Apparently, he was irate at having to again show his boarding pass, which he had already shown the airport security personnel at the bottom of the stairs. The Flight Attendant’s voice became somewhat raised as she asked the gentleman again for the passes, which had the seat assignments on them. During this time, other passengers were waiting to board and some of those already on board were waiting to use the washroom. The incident continued for what I would consider longer than acceptable.
A few years ago, a friend mentioned some websites where good quality courses could be found in just about any subject. Best part is, they are free!
Have you heard about Coursera or EdX? They offer what is called Massive Open Online Course from reputable universities, mainly in the United States of America. I have taken a few of the courses on Coursera, most notably being Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence. I also did an Operations Management course as well as some in Teaching & Learning.
Companies which have limited funds can incorporate resources like these into their Learning & Development plan. Managers can support their employees by signing up as well and checking on their employees’ progress.
Learn something new today!
One of the five dimensions of the SERVQUAL model of Service Quality is Responsiveness. The usual explanation of this dimension is “the willingness to help customers and to provide prompt service,” suggesting that it is applicable to a real time service experience. After an incident at the supermarket one day, I chose to test their degree of Responsiveness over 24 hours.
At the cashier check out station near to closing time, she tried every code she could and none worked for the Sunflower Seeds I had picked up. She left the station, went to look at other packs, spoke with another employee, then came back and apologized, saying she could not sell it because the code was not in the machine.
I had to go back into that supermarket the next day, so decided to test their responsiveness by picking up the Sunflower Seeds again. Success! I was a happy customer.
Imagine if the cashier on the first night had passed on the issue, and the responsible person did not take action. Of if the cashier did not pass on the problem at all. The customer would have noticed it. The challenge of leaders is to let each employee see how their action directly impacts on service. On this occasion, there was a positive outcome. When I next see her, I will definitely congratulate her on the action she took.
What are you doing to ensure that your employees are responsive?
I was going through some picture files on my phone and found one I had taken of a magazine article from a Self magazine entitled “The New Ambition”. Not sure why I kept it. Well, maybe I do. It is because I like asking participants to think about whether their careers are fulfilling and whether they feel great about it at the end of a week. I think if all is right with oneself, then being happy, creative and productive at work is less of a chore.
How I got into my original career in hotels was quite by accident. Or maybe not. A very good family friend had been appointed Director of Tourism. My father and I were watching the news when the announcement came on and he said to me “maybe that’s what you want to do.” I had been meandering through school, and was in the process of repeating Lower Sixth form. I told him “ok” and set about completing the necessary paperwork when the time came. Apparently, I used to like to cook and even wrote out menu cards which my mother – the family archivist – has kept to this day.
I haven’t done Project Management certification, however, from many years working on Conferences, I am realizing that I learnt many project management skills there. Recently, I have been exploring technology tools to see which are useful and can be recommended to clients. Smartsheet was recommended by a friend who works in Project Management.
They have a really good unofficial guide to being a good project manager. Note what is number 1!
The Unofficial Smartsheet Guide to Being a Project Manager | An infographic by the team at Smartsheet