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Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Nonsense

It is nearing the end of one year and beginning a new one. Many people decide to make resolutions.

The problem many people encounter with resolutions is the overwhelming change of lifestyle goals. They're trying to change too much too fast. Sure it would be great if you lost 60 pounds while you learn Polish, become more confident and quit smoking. Oh, and don't forget to send out good karma while you learn to keep a budget. That is the accomplishments for January.

New Year's resolutions are a good thing when used properly. It will give you motivation to better yourself and to carry out your goals. The key is to be realistic. If you want to lose weight your goal should be to lose 10 lbs by the end of January.

Don't expect to change who you are and become something totally different. It's good to better yourself but whether or not you accomplish your goal, you're still going to be you.
If you want to exercise, try riding a bike to work. You might like it.

Have a happy new year and don't be stupid!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Crazy!

When Thanksgiving ends and the Christmas season begins many people go on a spending spree. Not out of fun, but out of a perceived expectation.

Consumers raid the malls looking for a gift for everyone they know. Their family, their friends, their co-workers, their co-worker's dog... you get the picture. One thing these people have in common, they're likely spending money on a gift that doesn't necessarily equal the appreciation the person receiving it should have.

We've all experienced this: you get a present from your good friend who thinks they know you better than they do and it's a music CD of some band you've never heard of. You politely accept the CD and you never end up listening to it.

Instead of wasting your time on buying things that end up being unappreciated, give them something from the heart. If you aren't the creative type, making a gift may be out of the question. What you can do is tell someone how much they mean to you. It doesn't have to be creative, it just has to be honest. It won't cost a thing and the person receiving the message will appreciate it a lot.

If you must buy someone something likely you're going to the mall to buy it. When you go to a mall, beware! Entering a retail environment can be stressful and overwhelming. This is especially true during the holiday season. Many people spend all day shopping to spend what money they don't have. This makes people irritable and not "in the holiday spirit". This creates many less than ideal situations amongst the shoppers. People need to remember that everyone is there for the same purpose. Keeping this in mind helps put things into perspective.

However, if people focused on the true meaning of Christmas, then when you get just a card from someone you will appreciate it rather than wonder where the rest of it is. Then the need for a mega shopping trip won't be necessary.

Merry Christmas!

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Shout Out!

I want to shout out to all of you who read my blog! Thank you!

Shout out to Russia, The Netherlands, Germany, Canada and the USA!

New blog post coming soon! One more before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Logo!

Here is a picture of the new official logo. It was time to have something original.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Customer Service Silliness

The customer is always right--false! If that were true you could be caught red-handed stealing an item in a store and as long as you say you already paid for it you will be let go without any penalty. You may even get a small gift on the way out for your trouble.

That line that customers use to manipulate is seen as a trump card in their eyes. The problem is, when ever I've seen a customer play that card it's always rejected. Why? The only people stupid enough to use that line are the people who know they're trying to work the system. Just when they think they can't win, they think they found a way to back the business they're up against into a corner. However the business has every right to tell them no!

It's more of a sign of weakness on the customer's part. They're basically saying, this is the last chance I'm giving you. They say it like they have some sort of pull when in fact the employee dealing with them would love for the customer to leave.

I worked for a fast food company a while back. During orientation they tell you there are two rules to customer service: First, the customer is always right. Second, if the customer is wrong, see the first rule. This is all fine and dandy in the training room where the trainers have their own world where everything is perfect and clear-cut. But outside of these doors lies the real world where most of the time situations fall into a grey area.

For example, I was working the drive-thru and this big order was on the screen. We had an automated drink dispenser that took care of the sodas for you. You just put a lid on the drink and hand it to the customer. There were about five drinks for this order. When the car arrived at my window I handed this lady the drinks and left to get the food. It wasn't ready yet so I got the drinks for the next order. The lady handed me a drink and insisted she didn't order it. I told her all the drinks she ordered and she still insisted she had an extra drink. Because "the customer is always right", I took the drink from her and I left to get her food. I came back with the food and she told me that in fact the drink she would not accept is actually something she is finally willing to admit that she did order. Because "the customer is always right" I was able to get her the drink.

If this philosophy is correct, was she right the first time, the second time or was she right at all? There are major flaws in what I see in this magical phrase. First, in my experience the customer is hardly right.

And getting back to the training, I don't believe anyone followed that rule. Well, maybe they did if someone wealthy was complaining, or if they were a mystery shopper.

Working in banking offers plenty of interesting situations. I haven't heard that "trump-card" phrase there... ever. That doesn't mean the customer isn't thinking in that frame of mind. If something doesn't go their way they say something like, "well, can't you...". Usually that phrase ends with something that would break the rules set up by corporate, or even the government. Sometimes I would love to tell a customer, if you want that to happen you can write a letter to the leader of our country and when he says it's okay, I would be more than happy to help you with that.

The other phrase you hear in banking from the customer is, "...or I'm taking my money from your bank." Usually when I hear that it is something we can't help them with. Either our hands are tied by rules or regulations or what they're demanding is just not possible.

I have more banking stories to tell in the future! There's some good ones!

There are customers who are never satisfied. Even if we did follow that first rule in customer service, it wouldn't be good enough. I've seen situations where the business bent over backwards to help the customer and the customer says that the business is being greedy or mean. Those are the customers you are glad to see leave!

I choose not to follow the rule, but that doesn't mean I don't give the customer the benefit of the doubt. I just choose to follow the rules and regulations of the company rather than follow a rule that could get me in trouble, or worse, the company in trouble! Besides, losing your job over a philosophy is lame!

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