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    December 2008

    Mondays with Mac: It All starts at the Top

    December 29, 2008 1966 Views

    A service culture doesn't happen by accident. The company is always a reflection of the person at the helm. Their attitude, their values, and their commitment to service excellence will drive the actions of the others in the organization. Always has...always will.

    A woman who worked at Nordstrom in the 1980s told a story about Bruce Nordstrom walking through her department one day. Bruce spotted a can of pop on the counter. He picked it up, deposited it in the wastebasket and continued on his way. He didn't ask who was responsible for the can being on the counter, and he didn't order an employee to take it away. He just did it himself. The woman who told this story went on to run her own successful business. But she never forgot the day she saw the chairman of the company set an example for her-without uttering a word.

    Despite their success, Nordstrom continues to project an image of small town modesty and humility. They say there is nothing magical about what they do and that the system is embarrassingy simple. "We out- service, not outsmart" is a typical Nordstromism. They rarely talk about themselves. "We can't afford to boast. If we did, we might start to believe our own stories and quit trying to get better." In fact, when Bruce Nordstrom was selected as Man of the Year by Footware News, he politely declined to be interviewed.

    "It's not about us," said Bruce's son, Blayke, who described the role of his family members as "stewards of the business culture." " We are here to help everyone to achieve their goals. We just try to create an atmosphere where people feel valued, trusted, and respected. We want each person to have a proprietary feeling and an entrepreneurial spirit. The magic happens when all these things come together."

    There is a rule of thumb in business that your people will only treat the customers as well as they are being treated. Therefore, it should be no surprise that Nordstrom has always been known for their exceptional customer service.

    The Nordstrom employee handbook reflects the culture they have created. Here's what it says ( a total of 75 words):

    Welcome to Nordstrom
    We're glad you are with our company. Our number one goal is to provide outstanding customer service. Set both your personal and professional goals high. We have great confidence in your ability to achieve them.
    We have only one rule...
    Use good judgement in all situations. There will be no other rules. Please feel free to ask your Department Manager, Store Manager or Human Resource office any question at any time.

    What can I say except...Less is almost always more!

    Service Lesson Learned:
    Simplify to succeed.

    Mondays with Mac: The Best Things in Life are Free

    December 22, 2008 1900 Views

    "Everything that's really worthwhile in like come to us free - our minds, our souls, our bodies, our hopes, our dreams, our intelligence, our love of family and friends and country. All of these priceless possessions are free."
    ~ Earl Nightingale

    Think about it. You can lose all your money and start over. If your house burns down, you can rebuild it. It's the things that cost you nothing that you can never replace.

    One of the most important keys to self-motivation is to clearly identify your core values in life. You must decide what matters most. Why the need to identify your values? Many people think, "I know what's important, I don't need a list to remind me." What they don't fully understand, however, is that the core values often serve as critical guides for making important decisions. When you're in doubt, your core values will cut through the fog like beacon.

    We all know there are many distractions along the road of life that will try to pull us away from our values. Sometimes we are forced to make difficult choices. But a goodrule of thumb is that when you have to sacrifice material possessions for one of those "free things" that life has given've made the right choice.

    Mondays with Mac: A Serving of Humble Pie

    December 15, 2008 2203 Views

    "For every unsatisfied customer who complains there are 26 other unhappy customers who say nothing. And of those 26, 24 won't come back."
    -U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs

    Even the best organizations sometimes stumble and deliver less-than-perfect customer service. Something not to be taken lightly when you consider this: a whopping 65 percent of customers who take theri business elsewhere do so because of poor customer service (only 30 percent leave because they find better or cheaper products).

    These statistics apparently hit home for one Canadian company in the home health care industry. Nurse Next Door made pages of Fortune Small Business recently for it's "Humble Pie" program. When this company stumbles, it delivers a fresh-baked pie and a note apologizing for the poor service. Nurse Next Door estimates spending $1,500 on pies that have prevented $100,000 in annual sales from going elsewhere.

    According to John Tschol, president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis, the humble pie results are typical. His research shows that people who experience good customer service will tell five others, while people who receive bad service well tell ten others. (Online complainers can impact hundreds to thousands more.)

    Nurse Next Door also uses continuous feedback to keep its customer service on track. Each month, customers are asked two questions: "On a scale of 0 to 10, would you enthusiastically recommend us to your friends?" and "what's the biggest reason for the score you've given?" The company acts quickly to correct any problems.

    Something must be working...Nurse Next Door has grown more than 3,400% since 2001 to become the largest home health care provider in Western Canada.

    Nurse Next Door's Core Purpose:
    Making Lives Better through Home Health Care
    Our Core Purpose is why we do what we do.
    It is why we started the company and it is a reminder
    of why we come to work every day.

    Core Values:

    Our Core Value represent the soul of our company.

    Because of these core values, our employees feel that Nurse

    Next Door is an exciting and special place to work.

    Admire Our People

    We recognize that people are the cornerstone of our success.

    Our team has the important responsibility of helping our clients

    live healthier and happier lives. Our people always come

    first—happy employees mean happy clients,

    and happy clients are what we are all about.

    Wow Our Customers

    Wowing customers with our compassion and service is our specialty.

    The relentless commitment to customer service and friendly staff is

    The Nurse Next Door Way. It's not what we do; it's how we do it.

    We go extraordinary lengths to delight our customers, creating

    WOW! experiences whereever and whenever we can. We take

    pride in making our clients happy, striving to make each

    personal contact one that is memorable and touching.

    Find a Better Way

    We will always promote an entrepreneurial culture

    where individual initiative and out-of-the-box

    thinking is the norm.

    Be Passionate About Making a Difference.

    We strive to do things for the common good. We work

    together as a family, to innovate and grow. Nurse Next Door

    is about building something much bigger together than any

    one of us could create alone.

    Service Lesson Learned:
    Admit your mistakes and take responsibility.

    Mondays with Mac: It Only Takes One Choice

    December 8, 2008 2280 Views

    "You are always only one choice away from changing your life."
    ~ Marcy Biochowiak

    Think about that. One choice, just one, can change your life forever. Simply put, your life today is what your choices have made it, but with new choices, you can change directions this very moment. For me, that idea alone is highly motivational because it offers tremendous hope, regardless of circumstances, for a better tomorrow.

    Your life-changing choice may be to switch careers, to leave an abusive relationship, to go back to school, to stop drinking, to adopt a child, to start a business, to lose weight, to start a name a few. If you have the courage to do so, you could make any one of those choices, or others, today. And you would change your life.

    Sometimes it's a different kind of choice. It can be to not quit, to not give up in the face of adversity. We've all been there.

    Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen received 77 rejections for their Chicken soup for the Soul. They had to make a decision each time...should they throw in the towel and say enough is enough, or should they keep trying to pursue their dreams? You know the rest of the story. The 78th publisher said "Yes" and they went on to sell over 100 million books,

    So never forget that you are only one choice away from changing your life. Do you have the courage to make it?

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