Caring attitudes elevate service and satisfaction

With every interaction and transaction, a business gives customers a good, neutral or bad feeling. The last two have no place in a thriving company. The first is a prerequisite to happiness and success. You’ve likely engaged businesses that left you wishing you’d never walked through their doors. Perhaps you encountered poor customer service, inferior […]

To listen or not to listen: That’s the challenge

Ineffective communication, whether in business or life, presents the biggest obstacle to any successful relationship. And it all begins with listening. Not truly listening to others lies at the heart of everything from disgruntled team members and unsatisfied customers to failed marriages and disassociation with family. Consider your professional and personal relationships to understand the […]

Are you a leader or boss? There’s a big difference

There’s a vast difference between leaders and bosses. Leaders collaborate, guide, influence, inspire, mentor and support others to foster movement in a desired direction. Conversely, bosses master over others and are often controlling, domineering and use fear and intimidation to get more out of the individuals they oversee. If you’re like most people, you’ve worked […]

In delivering the news, every day’s a holiday

Christmas comes early. Almost every day, in fact, for a newspaper editor eager to report on Grand Valley business. Even more so given the things I get to do and the people with whom I’m privileged to work. Consider the last two weeks, for example. I attended an annual economic outlook luncheon and listened with […]

Deal with bad apples before they spoil your business

Most businesses employ skilled team members, many with decent and even great attitudes. They come to work, perform their jobs to a satisfactory or higher level and contribute to the work environment in mostly positive ways. But what about those team members who — even though they have the skills to do their jobs —damage […]

Overcome personality conflicts and thrive

The efficient, effective and smooth flow of information is critical to consistently meet and exceed the wants and needs of customers, foresee challenges and opportunities and overcome obstacles. It’s also essential to the production and delivery of high-quality goods and services in a timely manner. When communication is limited or even impossible because of personality […]

Exceptional service depends on caring approach

If you desire to be truly successful, you must grow your company through the attraction and retention of customers. If you intend to take your company to new heights — to rank among the exceptional — you must turn your attention to the level of care you and your team provide and the genuine relationships […]

Holidays offer a reminder: Count those blessings

The best part about Thanksgiving and the holiday season — along with all the delicious food, of course — are the reminders this time of year provides about what’s actually important. Family. Friends. Health. Freedom. And all the other blessings we enjoy. It’s helpful in putting less essential stuff into perspective. Granted, it’s been another […]

To create thriving businesses, create raving fans

When customers like — or better yet — love your business, they give you their patronage and share their glowing recommendations. Business owners who want to create enterprises that survive challenging times and thrive in easy times should endeavor to create raving fans of their customers. Over the past two plus years, I’ve encountered business […]

Praise more likely to inspire jobs well done

Business leaders intent on moving their companies to ever higher levels of efficiency, effectiveness, profitability and success constantly look for ways to improve operations. This requires a discerning awareness of what is — and isn’t — working. There’s a potential pitfall, though, if leaders focus only on what they perceive as wrong. While this approach […]

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