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Workplace Skills – Knowledge, Integrity and Excellent Customer Service

happy-customersI went to several stores the other day looking to make a large purchase. I had already researched my item online, read lots of reviews, and had a pretty good idea what I was looking for. My visits to local retailers was, more or less, to see which sales reps would be most knowledgeable, prove they could add value, and to see who would sell with integrity. Without these three benefits, I could easily purchase my item from Amazon for a lower price. I visited three retailers: Staples, Best Buy and Fry’s Electronics. Surprisingly, after talking to two representatives at Best Buy I knew I would not be making my purchase there. One representative was unknowledgeable; giving “canned” responses he’d clearly been taught to say, but that he did not understand. The other representative was a little more knowledgeable but was very dishonest. He held back on information and even demo’d the product in a way that prevented me from seeing some of the specific features I wanted. Best Buy was out.

Next, I visited Staples. The rep there was pleasantly honest about the item and the add-on services Staples could (and could not) provide. At one point I said: “Wow! You’re giving up a lot of information here.” He responded: “Our store manager is big on honesty, so that’s how we do it.” I was sold on their integrity; but unfortunately they did not have the specific model I wanted in-house any more. I put Staples on stand-by while I went to visit Fry’s Electronics.

Now at Fry’s, I find myself working with a rep who I’d give a 75% on knowledgeableness. What he did not know, however, he proved exceptionally driven to find out. He called three other reps as well as his department manager and went online to do some research. He found all the answers I needed and was even able to get me some added perks for the time I spent waiting for him to find good answers. He kept saying “I don’t want you to get home and be dissatisfied with your purchase.” I can appreciate that! Fry’s Electronics got the sale.

I’m pleased with my purchase, and have visited Staples for additional purchases since then. I went back to Best Buy and found the sales rep who had originally given canned answers. I encouraged him to take time and really learn his products. Employers want people with great soft skills,who can communicate knowledgably and who are driven to give great customer service. Customers come back to businesses they trust.

“Ancient Jewish wisdom teaches that the first question we will all be asked when we arrive in judgment before the Heavenly Throne is “Did you conduct your business affairs in a trustworthy way?” – Rabbi Daniel Lapin

 

Work in Collaborative Teams?

December 6, 2011 1 comment

From Microsoft Clip Art Gallery

Are you one who insists on working in isolation? True, there are some tasks that just work out better when completed by a single person; but even with then, receiving input from others will usually result in a better end-product. So, here are a few things you can expect from working collaboratively. By knowing these up-front you can get mentally prepared to cope with the stress you may experience when  working on a collaborative work team.

When participating in a collaborative work team…

  • you will probably feel like your work is being challenged.
  • you may have to defend your point of view.
  • you may feel confused at times.
  • you may watch or be involved in something that looks and feels like an argument.
  • you will learn just how differently people interpret a data, things that are said, and information that is read.
  • you may find yourself “shutting down” (but don’t do it).
  • you may have to take a deep breath in order to keep hanging in there as an active participant until the final outcome is reached.

Sounds challenging, right?  So, why put yourself through all of this?

Collaborative teams produce the most innovative, holistically solid solutions to problems that occur in the course of business.  Additionally, collaboration is the best way to address and resolve any systemic problems that may keep a business from being as profitable as it could be.

Something you can keep in mind is this: collaboration always happens between people, so good communication is vital to the success of the team.  Good communication is the only way to clear up misconceptions and will make the difference between a successful project and an unprofitable use of time.

So, hang in there with this one. You can do this.

~ Keep your head up! Michelle Walker-Wade
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