Welcome to Eagle Associates. Helping you get Results.

Meet Lois Greisen, Executive Coach and President/Owner of Eagle Associates. Lois is a Certified Business Coach with over 25 years of management experience.

Posts Tagged ‘Front Line Employees’

19 Jun
Customer Service – My Miserable Customer Service Experience
Posted by lois on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 | permalink | trackback
Lois Greisen Certified Business Coach

Lois Greisen
Certified Business Coach

Today I was shopping at M_____d’s for two items.  I was looking for shop rags and floor dry for my husband’sworkshop.  I walked into the store and went over to the department where tools, nails those sorts of things are sold and asked if they could help me.  They told me that shop rags were in automotive and a very nice lady walked me over to the automotive department where we found one type of shop rag (there were two sizes listed in the sale flyer).  I ask her if the floor dry might be there also.  We could not find the floor dry.  Another fellow came by and he said the floor drive was in by check out lane number three.  There were two types of shop rags and I was looking for the other type so I asked somebody where they might be.  “Shouldn’t they be together?”  He said “No, the other ones are back in the paint supply area”.  Well the painting supplies are on the other end of the store.  I was in the front left corner and paint supplies are in the back right corner.  Well, off I went to find the other shop rags.  I got to painting supplies and they told me they the shop rags were in plumbing.  Plumbing is at the front of the store and paint supplies are at the back.  Next, I headed up to plumbing and I couldn’t find anyone to help me.  I looked and looked and looked and no assistants were there.  I was getting a bit frustrated by this time.  I went to the desk and tried using their phone to call the operator.  No luck, I got a busy signal so obviously that wasn’t working.  Next I found a business card sitting on the desk so I called the general number to the store.  That did not work so I tried dialing nine to get an outside line, but it still didn’t work.  I tried calling just out loud and still no one came.  I thought: “I bet if I tried to rob the store somebody would come”, but I wasn’t willing to resort to that.  Finally, after about 10 minutes I saw somebody stocking shelves at the back of the store.  So I headed over to ask him where the shop rags were.  He said they were by check out aisle number eight.  This time he said he would take me.  By this time, I had gone from the middle of the store to the front left corner where I was directed back to the back right corner and then back up to the front right corner.  It’s a big store. We finally found the shop rags that I was looking for. Shop rags in the cart so I thought I would head over to check out number three and find the floor dry.  No floor dry.  The young man at checkout number four was very helpful.  He came to help me look as well.  He couldn’t find the item either so he went to ask a gal at the front desk.  She said “It’s in automotive.”  I said “No, I looked over there in fact a couple of us looked over there and couldn’t find it.”  She said “Well it must be over there.  Just keep looking.”  When you think about it, that’s hysterical.  But I wasn’t laughing.  It’s kind of like a Bazooka comic I remember from when I was a kid.  It went something like this:  “I lost a nickel so I’m looking for it.”  “Where did you lose it?”  “I lost it over there by that tree.”    “Why are you for it over here?”  “I’m looking over here because the light is better.”  That’s what that gals comment made me think of.  If you can’t find the floor dry in automotive, just go keep looking over there.  (Did she a magic Genie was going to wave a wand and make it appear?)  She didn’t offer to send somebody over to help me.  But, the obedient person that I am, off I went back to automotive and started going up and down the aisles looking.  Shortly I saw another man from another department.   He was helpful and started helping me try to find my floor dry and of course he couldn’t find it either.  He went over and asked another young man where it might be.  This time this young man took me over to where it was in front of checkout aisle 3 near the front wall beyond the checkouts.  

I don’t know if you can gather I was a little frustrated with the whole situation.  (The best part was that I had something to blog about.)  Customer service is so important for any business.  In my run-around, I did meet almost half of the employees that were very helpful.  Unfortunately, I ran into several that were not helpful at all.  And of course the one gal who told me to go continue looking in an area where I couldn’t find what I was looking for is the one that was the most remarkable and stands out the most in my mind. It’s unfortunate that so many employers have substandard people when it comes to customer service. There were a couple of other things I could have bought in that store, but I went to another store and finish up my shopping. 

Does your team do a good job with your customers?  If you think they do, are you sure?  Your team is the face of your business and there is so much competition that if your employees are not treating your customers beyond their expectations, they may just take their business elsewhere.  

I talk about having a strategy for your business and good customer service from the top down should be part of that strategy.  Please contact me if you want to learn more or would like some help.

11 Jun
Strategic Plan – Top Reasons to Develop a Strategic Plan
Posted by lois on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 | permalink | trackback

Many companies don’t have a written strategic plan or they Execution Value Gaphave an outdated plan.  They just have a general idea of where they want to go.  They are headed in the right direction and probably make progress every year.  So why have a plan if things are going in a positive direction?  I have shared a couple of reasons and here is a third.

A third reason to develop a strategic plan is that it can help the organization benchmark its results.  Not only can the company benchmark results against itself, but it can also compare itself to other businesses in similar or like industries.  This can be beneficial if a sale of the business is planned.  Prospective buyers can utilize the information when making a decision whether to buy or not.  The seller can utilize the information when valuing the business for sale.  Benchmarking is also helpful when reporting to investors. 

In addition, knowing that progress is being made on the goals being worked on is very rewarding and motivational.  Employees see that they are making a difference and are more motivated to do better and committed and loyal to the company.  Teamwork improves and a positive work culture is generated.  Most people enjoy a challenge and goals set by both the team and the individual are motivational.  As staffs work toward the initiatives of the plan, work is more exciting and enjoyable.  A positive work culture will help the organization attract the best people and pay a competitive wage rather than a premium.    Employees will know where they are headed.

 

A strategic plan is beneficial both financially and emotionally.  It can help improve the profits of the organization and motivate and challenge the employees resulting in a win-win position.

 

 

 

Make strategic planning a priority in your business.  If you need help, please let me know.  Your return on investment will be worth it. Please post other reasons to develop a strategic plan that you and your company have seen so that others may benefit from your experience.  Also, if you liked this post, please share it with a friend.  Take action now.

 

 

10 Oct
Are You Doing These 7 Keys To Success? Key Number 3
Posted by lois on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 | permalink | trackback

Implement the Strategic Plan – Key number three in the seven Keys to success is to implement the plan.  The first key was to know where you’re going.  The second key was to develop a plan to get there.   Now we need to implement that plan.  We can plan and plan and plan and if we don’t implement the plan nothing will ever happen.  We’ve all seen people like that.  They are great at coming up with an idea and they may plan it out to the smallest detail, but they can’t seem to get it off the ground.  You may have even done it yourself, I know I have.  Here is a personal example.  I used to be a sales director with Mary Kay cosmetics.  During our seminar in Dallas I would decide on some new goals and then I would plan it out on the plane ride home.  Often times when I got home fear would set in and I would reason why I couldn’t do it even though others could.  Our minds are funny things.  We can reason ourselves into or out of almost anything.  We can always find an excuse and we don’t have to look very hard to find one.  Sometimes we reason that we will do it tomorrow.  Then one tomorrow turns into another turns into another.   Pretty soon it’s a week, two weeks, a month, and eventually the year has passed and we have not implemented our plan.  That happens with many companies.  They spend a lot of money developing a strategic plan and then they set it down only to forget about it and a year later they realize “hey we’ve got that strategic plan someplace.  I wonder how we did.”. So that plan was pretty worthless to them.  I’ve also had clients who have hired another consultant to help them develop a strategic plan and the plan is so vague they don’t know where to start… so they don’t (start).

Implementation starts with making sure you have action steps that people can start acting on immediately.  We also want to drive the organizational initiatives from the plan down to the team and individual level so that people are working on them on a day-to-day basis.  We all know that little things add up.  A $100 dollars can go pretty quickly one dollar here, five dollars there.  The reverse is true as well.  So when working on your strategic plan, remember that small actions make a huge difference.  Doing little things on a daily basis and driving the initiatives from the strategic plan down to each individual’s daily actions assures progress on the results that you wanted to achieve.

So the third key to success is to implement the strategic plan.  Watch for key number 4 and contact me if I can help.

20 Mar
Communicating the Strategic Plan – Tip # 3
Posted by lois on Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 | permalink | trackback

We mentioned that after the organizations strategic plan is developed it is often not communicated throughout the organization thus execution does not happen as it should.  That is the biggest missed opportunity in many organizations.   Sharing the plan once is only the beginning.  The third method for communicating the plan is:

Publicly reward people that achieve goals that are linked to the strategic plan. Many executives forget to do this.  They reward people for all sorts of things, but not what should be the most important thing…the results they want.  Rewarding people publicly can become a great teaching moment.  Explaining what the person or team did to move the organization toward the results is just one more way to communicate an aspect of the plan.

There are many ways to communicate the strategic plan throughout the organization.  Be creative and focus on the plan in unexpected ways.  The team may surprise you and find creative ways to get the desired results.

Do you need help developing and/or executing your strategic plan?  Give me a call, I’d love to help.

22 May
Customer Loyalty and Customer Perception
Posted by lois on Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 | permalink | trackback

Customer service is so important in any organization. Under promise and over deliver is a great motto to live by. Making sure our front line people can solve problems on the spot to make the customer feel like they are respected and that the organization and it’s people care about them. That means training our people to put themselves in the customer’s shoes and treat them with the platinum rule: “Exceed customer’s expectations”.
Here is an example of something very simple that could easily be changed with staff orientation and ongoing training. While traveling to Canada with two of my sisters, we stopped at a McDonalds on the way. My sister ordered a Classic Chicken Combo. She requested a small order of fries rather than the medium size, which came with it, because she knew she would eat the medium if she got them and she was trying to be more health conscious. Not a big deal, right? The interesting thing was that she was charged 30 cents more. Paying more for less. Now isn’t that an interesting concept.
I understand that it probably takes more effort to do the substitution so the 30 cents could be justified. The part that is more difficult to understand is that the staffs are not trained to let the customer know that they will be charged more for the substitution and that they could save a little money by ordering the meal and throwing out the extra fries. At least then the customer has the option of paying the extra for the substitution or downsizing the medium to a small on their own. Without being given the option, the customer perception is “less for more”. Another perception is that the organization is not promoting healthy living and we have all heard, through the media, about fast food restaurants causing obesity and it’s related health concerns.
We should train our employees to make their interactions with our customers the way we would interact with them. Being friendly, having eye contact, smiling, having a pleasant tone of voice and having the ability to use common sense go a long way in developing loyal customers that keep coming back and refer others to us.