How Can I help You? Customer Service Re-Visited

Recently, my Wife and I returned for lunch to a local restaurant we had been away from ttss_cinnamon_crumble_apple_pie_hfor  a while and we had a totally non related conversation with a good friend of ours that runs a successful financial Planning/advice service.

My conversation with our friend was awesome, the dining experience… not so much.

But both ran together to form an idea here. The real Gem I picked up from my friend was “Why did you stop doing the things you used to do when you first started your business?…Because they WORKED.”confusing_signs5

At the restaurant, we encountered “communications issues” There was no language barrier, the problem was the content.We weren’t asked the things we expected to be asked. The actual content and intent for great service was there, but we didn’t recognize that we had missed some opportunities until we heard another server for another table prompt the diners at the adjoining table in familiar terms.

After I stopped feeling like a moron, I started to think about how we train our customers.

Times change, needs shift, technology and time constraints constantly change the way we as customers get our wants and desires addressed.

When I first started running my own business, I was constantly in a mode of self evaluation, What else can I do for you? Is there anything else I can provide to make this a better experience? How does the place smell? (really important where people pay to sweat a lot). It worked, I had happy clients, and my business grew. More importantly, it has survived

Over the course of years, I felt like I “knew what my customers wanted” I didn’t realize I had stopped asking them those questions. So now, my challenge is to get back in that “beginner mindset” to see how my client’s expectations have evolved with changing times and economies.

Without the input from clients, it is exponentially more difficult to keep a business in the front of their minds. How do can we improve our presentation across the board to provide the best information for our clients?

How do you get better information from (and to) your clients? How do you provide a high standard of communication? Please feel free to share a comment!

Great water safety, Drowning Prevention Post

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I was a “water baby”. Loved to be in the pool, lake, ocean, whatever. My mom was a strong swimmer, but my dad felt he was only able to survive in the water; not having any desire to be immersed in a body of water other than a bathtub.

So I got a lot of safety training, as well as more advanced water skills training. That being said, I’ve been in trouble in the water enough times to (hopefully) not get complacent while Water safety Key Pointsenjoying the lake, pool or ocean and occasional river. Things do happen unexpectedly. The old stand-byes of the buddy system and getting approval from parents as to where I was going, who I would be with, and when I would be back ran deep.

Several Years ago, There was a great article by Mario Vittone entitled “Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning” Its a great read and I strongly encourage you to follow the link to get to it. Please read his article, click here

I did a quick fact check and discovered that drowning is still considered by many  to be one of the top 10 causes of death in children under the age of 15.

The best advice he has in the article, but by no means the only gem is “children playing in the water make noise, When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.”

Remember that distances are hard to guess over water. Swimming across the cove is usually not a good idea unless the swimmer is very strong.

As with any personal safety or protection scenario, keeping an eye out on your surroundings is cool at the pool!Safety First