Are you a master at FACE and CRAP?

Are you a master at FACE and CRAP?

What, you say? Well, it’s probably not what you think. But if you want to have that amazing customer and employee experience they are acronyms worth remembering.

For customer service we have FACE

Always be striving for Awesome!

Always be striving for Awesome!

FREAKING

AWESOME

CUSTOMER

EXPERIENCE

This is not mine, obviously. I’m not sure who originated it, but a friend of mine mentioned it a while back and I was sold. It really does speak to the heart of how I want our team to work with clients and each other. We do want each experience to be freaking awesome. It’s part of our brand image.

I know everyone talks about how great their customer service is. But I really do believe we are above most of our competitors. Especially given some of the comments we hear from clients. “Wow, you guys are so fast to get me answers” or “You really came through for us”.

I’m not trying to tout our horn (well, maybe a little) but I’m just trying to illustrate that if you do bring the idea of FACE to your whole company customer service training you will see a difference.

Then we have CRAP.

CONTINUOUS

REPETITIVE

ANOMALOUS

PROBLEMS

Basically, it’s those issues that keep coming up over and over again. I have a friend that works in a company that has one person that just loves to “stir the pot” and cause problems every week. It seems they aren’t happy unless there is some crisis going on. Yes, “crap” is going to happen no matter how many processes you have in place. But if you work with your team to have them understand how disruptive the repetitive issues and problems are then you can start moving closer and closer to always have a great FACE experience even for your internal customers.

I have been going through some unusual personnel issues lately. We are a small firm that really produces an amazing amount of work on a daily basis. And I admit I was spoiled for many years with a great team in place. And when one long-term employee left, I filled that position with what turned out to be another long-term employee.

Well, recently my streak ended. I had an employee replace a long term employee (they had been here 7 ½ years) and unfortunately her tenure ended after just 4 short months (she moved to one of my clients).  And before that employee left, we kept having lots of CRAP. Maybe it was a bad hire decision on my part or I hadn’t trained her properly as how we keep all our balls in the air. But we started to have other employee issues.

And, then another employee left after 3 ½ years and I went against my gut and hired an individual I wasn’t totally sold one.  And, BIG lesson – Always follow your gut because this person lasted just a week!

I’ve been in business 23 years and I have to admit I may have stepped too far away from the day to day, but I’m back with a vengeance. I’ve hired another new employee that starts on Monday and the team is excited about the addition. So that’s definitely a good start. And we’re going to get out of the CRAP and get back to being the best company for FACE I know.

Up for the challenge?

To Exhibit or Not at a Trade Show

As most of you know, I am very involved in the community and am a member of a number of organizations. For me, it’s a great way to stay connected.

I had two different groups recently host a combination type trade show and networking event. I exhibited at one and attended the other.

It really got me to thinking, what’s the best way to “work” one of these events.

At the event we exhibited I feel we got some great traffic and we met some quality people and we are already working with a few of them. So, definitely a win-win situation.

At the second event, I just walked the aisles and networked. Now, granted I feel I met more people and probably handed out more business cards but are these people ever going to do business with me? I am following up on those prospects that I met, but will I get the business?

It’s a dilemma I am sure we all face. What’s the best use of our time and money?

Have a Plan for Exhibiting or Networking a Show

Have a Plan for Exhibiting or Networking a Show

This year not exhibiting at the second event was due mostly to the timing. It was held on a day that was a busy one for me and I just knew I would be too tired to effectively work the booth.  But on the other hand having people come to me versus the other way around might have been better.

I think no matter if you exhibit or not you need to have a plan to get the most out of your investment (time and money). So many people forget about scheduling time after the event to follow up. Are you marketing materials up to date so it’s a quick and easy follow up. Also, don’t wait weeks to touch base – the lead is cold by then.

I don’t know about you, but I hate getting that email – so good to meet you at the event last month. Obviously wasn’t that great or I didn’t make much of an impression for it to take so long to get in touch. And, besides, by then I don’t remember who you were.

Also, if you have a plan and know who is going to be attending the event you can make a list so you make sure you get to everyone you need to. The worst is to find out that a key prospect was there after the fact. But it’s not a total loss, you can always send a note stating – “sorry we didn’t get to meet at the event but I wanted to introduce myself”. It’s worked for me.

So, I think it’s safe to say, there is no right or wrong in exhibiting or just attending. However, in both cases, follow up is key.

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