Volume 15, Issue 1 - January/February 2013

Customer Service
tips for quality service

And They’re Off!
by Carl Tompkins

We’re off and running in the race of 2013; each of us is hoping to come out victorious. As it’s early in this race, what follows is a series of tips on how to improve your chances of winning.

Look Ahead
I recall attending a baseball game awhile back, during which a player lumbered around the bases after hitting a ball deep into the gap at right centerfield. A fan nearby hollered out, “Hey Wilkins, cut the piano loose!” The runner barely made it into second base, when the play should have resulted in a stand-up triple.

In business, the piano that you may be lugging around as you run the race this New Year is the poor race you ran last year. One of the leading reasons why people do not change is because of their poor “win and loss” record of seasons gone by; their record haunts them and they, at the first sign of potential defeat, think “Here we go again.” Forget it; move on. Look ahead. It’s a new race.

Run to Win
What is nice about the race in business is that there is always a blue ribbon available for every participant; everyone can win. But the right attitude must be established long before the best effort can be extended to reach the finish line. The remaining steps necessary to win the race fall into place when this attitude presides. Helping to prove the value of a winning attitude, I remember Phil Crosby, one of our country’s leading experts on Total Quality Management, state that within his 45 years of research, he found that the proper attitude within people in the workplace would, alone, correct 70 percent of the problems occurring in business. The remaining statement to be made concerning a winning attitude is that it is based upon personal choice, nothing more and nothing less.

Be Good-Goal Driven
I’ve said much over my career about being goal driven; it is an absolute necessity in all walks of life. Make sure that the series of goals you have for this year’s business includes what I would classify as “good” goals. This may require somewhat of a paradigm shift on your part, since much of what we’ve been taught in school has to do with dollars and cents and that the ultimate goal is maximum financial profitability. When financial profitability is the only goal or main goal, that goal will never be met! No matter the amount of money earned, there will never be enough to satisfy those who have set the goal. This is why the addiction of gambling is deemed by many to be the most dangerous of all addictions; there is no “high” that can be experienced.

While there is nothing wrong with being profitable, what puts money into proper perspective is how profits should be used. Consider adding goals of service this year that would clearly indicate that your business is giving back to the community. Community begins inside the workplace: Does your business maintain the proper environment to meet the needs of employees? Then consider what investments you can make toward your outside community that would support the needs of people not as fortunate. I just heard on Moody Radio, during the Christmas holiday, that our own beloved country now has the highest population (1.4 million) of homeless single mothers in the world. Find them, provide help and love them —you won’t believe the trophy that awaits you at the finish line.

Set the Tone for 2013
People who concentrate at working hard to do good things just don’t have time to whine and complain; they’re too busy succeeding. Make the necessary contributions in 2013 to build yourself, your business, your community and your industry into champions.

Carl Tompkins is the global marketing resources manager for Sika Corp. in Madson Heights, Mich., and the author of the book Winning at Business. He is based in Spokane, Wash.

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