I received a nice email about some of my AlexanderG Whiz blog posts from Kandi, a customer service professional in the hospitality industry. Here’s part of her email:
I enjoyed the Honda follow-up blog! Glad to see that they didn’t disappoint, now every time I get those coupons in the mail I wonder what they are going to try to up sell me on when I enter!
Also wanted to let you know that I deeply enjoyed your April 26th post about Good Customer Service to the Core, I actually just spoke to a [college] hospitality class about customer service and getting back to the basics. [...] I totally agree with you though that if people in the service industry would just realize that it is the small things that make the most impact a lot of the companies wouldn’t be where they are today!
Anyway just wanted to check in with you and thank you for blogging!
She also mentioned she is thinking about writing a book on customer service. We hope she does–and we’ll certainly let you know when it’s published.
Thanks for writing Kandi!
You can write us, too–or leave a comment below. Come on, let’s hear from you!
The Harvard Business Review says that being a “controlling” boss can hurt the bottom line, let alone employee morale:
Believe it or not, the mere thought of you can make your employees do a lousy job.In fact, if your employees consider you a controlling person, even an unconscious thought of you can have a negative effect on their performance. If, for example, they were to happen to subliminally see, out of the corner of their eyes, your name flash for 60 milliseconds, you could expect them to start working less hard. Even if they didn’t intend to slack off.
It’s all too easy, once people become managers, for them to forget how deeply their employees value freedom and autonomy, and the extent to which some of them, at least, will react to any infringement of it, even unconsciously.
I’ve seen it before, firsthand. I had a boss who micromanaged everything my team did, literally adding days to the time it took to finish a project. I also had a boss who hectored me about deadlines–even though I never missed deadlines–several times a day in what I can only think was an attempt to assert his authority. The grand prize goes to the boss who told me who I could sit with when I ate lunch in the company cafeteria.
Seriously. No kidding. I’m sure it goes without saying that I probably didn’t always do my best work in those situations.
I maintain that when you give your staff parameters to do their jobs with the autonomy and empowerment to make decisions, they will become your greatest asset. When you stand over them like a parent does a rebellious child, you will get an employee who acts like a rebellious child, however subversively.
If managers hire the right people and give them the tools they need, managers shouldn’t have to be controlling at all. Management and control are two different things.
In my career I’ve been a manager of anywhere from three to more than a hundred employees. I viewed my management duties this way: I had my own work to do and little time or patience for staff who needed me to “stand over them” to ensure they did their work properly and on-time. I hired people who were professional and, once given parameters and the tools they needed, got their job done.
Nine times out of ten, that management philosophy worked well. The few times it didn’t usually indicated a need for me to work on my management skills or the person I was managing was–for whatever reason–in the wrong job.
To say the least I’m perplexed about BP and their response to the oil spill in the Gulf. I could (and may) write a White Paper on all the mistakes and missed opportunities, but for today let’s talk about their spokespersons.
They’ve made some obviously vague and tone deaf statements–especially recently with CEO Tony Hayward’s assertion that the spill’s environmental impact will be “very, very modest”:
Yeah, tell that to the fishermen, Tony. Their impending “modest” bankruptcies are no biggie.
Hayward’s wishful thinking out loud makes the situation worse for BP, particularly when his own COO Doug Suttles (who I give points to for making himself available to the media) apparently contradicted him on the Today Show this morning (last few seconds of this piece):
Two spokespersons in a crisis communications situation is almost never a good idea, especially when there is no message coordination. It’s certainly played a role in BP’s long-standing environmentally-responsible image–which now resides somewhere in the vicinity of that leaking well on the bottom of the sea.
Developing…we’ll have more analysis shortly.
In the meantime, what do you think? Should BP’s CEO stay out of the messaging, or does it really matter at this point?
Friday Tidbit from my pal Mike over at Brainzooming.
This one speaks to me: “There’s inherent stress in choices. When starting a business, you don’t have a lot of choices.” Though that is balanced out by “It’s a lot easier to bet the farm when you don’t have a farm.”
Check it out: