What I.T. Support Should Be

April 12, 2015

 

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I’m working with a client and occasionally need I.T. support.

The I.T. person who supports me and the entire division is a model for who an I.T. support person should be:

  • He’s very responsive–usually within minutes
  • He responds to requests for assistance from anyone including me
  • There are no hoops to jump through to get his help
  • He gets whatever needs to be done completed quickly and professionally
  • He does everything with a smile

Duane is a standout. I look forward to working with him on any issue that might arise.

It doesn’t matter if someone is supporting internal or external customers–great customer service is something to rejoice about.

Photo Credit: CWCS Managed Hosting, Flickr

Thought for the week:

“People wish because they are afraid to take action.”  Alan Weiss, Thrive–Stop Wishing Your Life Away
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Innovation In Surgical Procedures

November 25, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: innovation

Aortic heart valve replacement surgery is a big deal. But, today, it isn’t the ordeal it was several years ago.

Today, a surgeon makes a 2-inch incision, carves a small groove in the rib cage, and, with the use of surgical robotics, replaces the aortic valve in a 90-minute procedure. It wasn’t very many years ago that the patient would undergo a much more invasive procedure 2-3 times as long to deliver the same result. The patient would need to opened from neck to navel, have their ribs cracked open, etc.

What is the outcome of these innovations?

  • Shorter recovery time,
  • Less cost,
  • Less time in the hospital,
  • Less time under anesthesia,
  • Less time on a heart bypass machine, etc.

John Fox, the coach of the Denver Broncos, was home within 5 days after having had this surgery.

I would offer that, for major procedures like this, 10 years is about the time required to evolve a quantum improvement in a procedure. This is really great news for people whose need comes a few years after someone else.

Does this give any of you non-medical innovators any ideas? How can you evolve your products and services in a manner comparable to the medical innovators?

Thought for the week:

“When you strip down your brilliance to the foundation, you can find new places to play. The key: build a bridge between what you know and how that knowledge can be used. Go past the common uses — too many bridges there. Go into uncharted territory and see where you land.”  – Vickie Sullivan, vickiesullivan.com

A Recent Blog Post That May Interest You

My Story: The JFK Assassination

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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Being In The Moment Accelerates Growth

October 28, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus:  being in the moment

As I watched an American League Champion Series (ALCS) game to determine whether the Boston Red Sox or the Detroit Tigers would go on to compete in the World Series, I was struck by 2 things:

  • The Red Sox pitcher gave up 5 runs before he was pulled from the game. This seemed to me to be at least 2 more runs than needed to be given up before the Red Sox manager pulled the pitcher. Why, during this critical game, did the manager allow a guy who was ineffective to continue? Why was the bullpen not ready for a change? What was the manager thinking?
  • Later in the same game, the Detroit Tigers were up 5-1. Their pitcher loaded the bases. David Ortiz (Big Papi) was at bat and, rather than walk him and allow 1 run to score, they decided to pitch to him and, not entirely unexpectedly, Ortiz hit a grand slam home run tying the game. What was the manager thinking?

Over the course of 162 games, it seems it is easy to become complacent by about the 170th game of the season. But, when the stakes are so high, why didn’t the team managers behave differently? Were they running on autopilot? Why weren’t they in the moment doing something different to respond immediately to the threat?

When business conditions change, a stock response may not do the trick. The Red Sox ultimately prevailed in the game though they made it much tougher on themselves than they had to. While I’m grateful to see Big Papi hit a grand slam home run, I think it was managerial malpractice to pitch to Ortiz at such a critical moment.

What’s important is recognizing that each moment is different and a robotic response may not be appropriate. That is how you thrive.

Thought for the week:

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”  – Teddy Roosevelt
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Properly Setting Customer Expectations

October 7, 2013

Turkey Yacht

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: customer experience

There is nothing more maddening than inappropriately setting customer expectations.

  • A year ago, I learned I actually needed double the miles I had been quoted and needed to pay nearly $700 (not mentioned during my inquiry call) to book an upgrade on an international flight. I found this out days after calling to confirm what I needed in preparation for booking a flight.
  • You ask about a policy and get different responses as you move through the process. And, while the responses may have significant material impact, the best you get for prior responses is, “I’m sorry.” As I’ve written before, “I’m sorry” doesn’t cut it.
  • Yesterday, I called a financial services company for a fourth time and learned the first and second agents I spoke with had advised me correctly while the third agent was flat out wrong. The fourth person’s response aligned with the responses of the first two agents and I am now proceeding as previously discussed. The third agent’s response was both a deal and relationship killer had I not made the fourth call.

Are agents who respond incorrectly held accountable for their misinformation? I’d be willing to wager they aren’t.

Make no mistake: agents who get it wrong undermine relationships with customers and negatively impact the lifetime value of the customer relationship.

What are you doing to ensure your employees are properly setting customer expectations? Is there friction being created in the relationships with your customers, dealers and channel partners? If so, that’s no way to accelerate growth.

Thought for the week:

“Your outer life is the mirror of your inner life.” – Robin Sharma
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Being Sought After Accelerates Growth

September 16, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: being sought after

One of the desired states I have for my clients with respect to “why” I’m in business is:

  • My clients become sought after by prospects, customers, potential employees and investors

Is your company sought after by these critical constituencies? What does “sought after” really mean? It means being in demand or to be desirable. It also means:

  • your company is top of mind with prospects and loyal, committed customers
  • potential channel partners are reaching out to you–they want in!
  • potential employees are lined up not just because they are looking for work but because they want to be part of what you are doing
  • investors see tremendous upside in what you are bringing the marketplace and want to help you realize that success in a win-win partnership with you
  • less resistance and friction in achieving your business objectives
  • less price resistance
  • you are creating excitement about what you are doing

Are you sought after? Are prospects, customers, channel partners, potential employees and investors chasing you? Or, are you chasing them?

Are doing all the right things to establish and ensure that you continue to be sought after? Or are you just going through the motions? If you aren’t sought after, it’s a lot harder to thrive.

Thought for the week:

“I am in awe every day of the power of words. The ones we say, the ones we omit, the ability of elegantly assembled ones to move us.” – Amber Naslund via Twitter
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Seamlessness Accelerates Growth

September 9, 2013


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Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: seamlessness

One of the desired states I have for my clients in my “why” I’m in business is:

People, processes and systems seamlessly and tightly connect my clients and their teams to their customers and partners

Does this statement reflect the state of your business? For the vast majority of businesses, the answer is “no.”

What does “seamless” really mean? Seams are always noticeable and usually undesirable. They are supposed to close gaps and are points of coming together. Seams can often be points of friction and/or rubbing. Seams may inhibit flow. That’s why you must strive for seamlessness between people, processes and systems.

The idea of tightly connecting speaks to transparency and information availability–being system and process dependent, not people dependent, to service and accommodate the needs of those who rely on you for support.

Customer and partners operate outside the firewall of an organization. They can’t walk down the hall to quickly get answers to questions. Customer and partner success is central to your success.

You need to ask yourself “Do our people, processes and systems seamlessly and tightly connect our teams, customers and partners?” I suspect is there is room for improvement. Call me–I can help you.

Thought for the week:

Secret to productivity is not finding more time to do more stuff, but finding the strength to do less of the stuff that doesn’t need doing. – David Heinemeier Hansson

Recent Blog Posts That May Interest You:

Fast Company: What Is The Value of Happiness?

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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadscanners/

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Great Customer Focus Accelerates Sales

August 19, 2013

bikefridaybadgeNote: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: customer focus

One of my consulting colleagues, Ed Poll, is an avid bicycle enthusiast and a serious bike rider. He’s on vacation in Oregon with his wife, dog and his renovated Airstream trailer.

I encouraged him to stop and meet Alan and Hanna Scholz at Bike Friday in Eugene, Oregon. Bike Friday is a manufacturer of custom-fitted, high-performance bicycles that also fold for travel. I wanted Ed to see first-hand how these bikes are made and learn about the thought and quality that incorporated in the designs. And, of course, I had hoped he might become interested enough to buy one or more bikes for himself.

Thanks to the time, attention and understanding Ed received, Ed told me that multiple bike sales are in the works. That’s exciting! This illustrates that when you closely align your products and services with your prospect’s needs, sales can happen with amazing speed.

So, to a great manufacturer and client in Eugene, Oregon–Bike Friday–thanks for taking care of Ed and his fellow travelers so well. I knew you would. And, that’s why your business will continue to thrive.

Thought for the week:

“Life is like riding a bicycle.To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

Recent Blog Post That May Interest You:

That Awkward Moment When You Learn…

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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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