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September 4, 2018

“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Chapter 6/9


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“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Chapter 6/9

Evolving from a Boss into a Leader

You’ll be receiving each chapter via email over the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for Chapter 7 in your next email from BOSS.

6. Turn “Settling In” Into a Celebration

Imagine arriving at a new job. Someone points out your cubicle, says, “Sit there”, and then you’re left on your own.

Not much of a welcome, right?

Now imagine if you arrive on your first day at the job and everyone in your department is up on their feet to shake your hand and introduce themselves. Maybe there are flowers on your desk or a gift certificate for the local eatery where everyone grabs their lunch.

A bigger help is to have someone mentor that new employee. It will help them feel less anxiety about trying to do things right when they first get on the job, plus they won’t feel alone in a group pf people who otherwise all know each other.

Even bigger still – what if every new hire gets the chance to meet you in their first day or two? That can be a huge deal for a new recruit, and it doesn’t cost you anything (unless of course you would have to travel, in which case the biggest gun at that location takes your place for the moment).

The greetings don’t have to stop at the business’ door – if you send a little something to their home chances are you’re going to make a good first impression with the employee’s significant other or someone important in their life.

Greet Street, a multimedia greeting card company, greets new employees by having them unwrap a large box that contains their desk and chair. Also, there are no formal titles, so the employees get to make up anything they want. The two co-founders’ titles are “Creator of Chaos” and “Creator of Substance.”

Persistence Software sets up a basket of breakfast food near the desk of a new hire and sends out an email to all their employees inviting them to stop by for some food and an introduction.

MetaSolv Software has a keg party every Friday during happy hour and new recruits are asked to work the kegs.

These little bits of extra goodness can pack a heck of a punch when it comes to making a lasting first impression with either employees (or customers). Think about when you first started buying from… well, anywhere. How many businesses did something as simple as slip in a little bit of cardstock with a welcoming “Thank you” note?

Probably not many, right? This means that if you do it, it’s really going to stand out.

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September 4, 2018

“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Chapter 5/9


Reduce Costs and Eliminate Staffing Headaches

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“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Chapter 5/9

Evolving from a Boss into a Leader

You’ll be receiving each chapter via email over the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for Chapter 6 in your next email from BOSS.

5. Good or Bad, Everyone Will Know

In the internet age every single action your business takes has the chance to make ripples, or even go viral. Obviously you want your good deeds to be the ones that spread, not your mistakes.

However, you are human, your employees are human (unless you’re reading this later than the year 2113, in which case Greetings Robot Overlords!), and you’re going to make mistakes.

Mistakes are fine. What is not fine is acting like it’s not your fault, trying to push the blame onto your customer, or trying to act like nothing’s wrong at all. That’s how negative notice starts to spread from one dissatisfied customer posting on their Facebook, the bad word spreading to their friends, and then their friends’ friends, and so on.

In fact, mistakes can be an opportunity. For one thing, they help you identify where something could use some tweaking in your business. Maybe you could be more efficient in your delivery system. Or perhaps you’ll learn, if the same complaint comes up multiple times, that it’s not marketing or customer service at fault, but your product itself that needs to be fixed up.

Second, you can turn that negative comment on Facebook or Twitter into a much bigger positive. If you respond quickly to the complaint, apologise, and then hustle like crazy to make things right for that particular customer (or reward their patience by offering more than what they paid for) you’ll show that customer (and all the people following the exchange on social media) that you’re a customer service oriented company.

What to Do if You Receive a Complaint:

  1. Take a breath. Even if the customer is completely harsh you’re not going to win more customers through this exchange if you go into attack mode. Criticisms can hurt, but remember, potential customers are waiting for you on the far side of this problem.
  2. Look at it from their point of view. The only way you’re really going to make yourself happy in this situation is by making the customer happy. So be sure you’re clear on why they’re upset before you get in touch with them. If it’s not clear then go over their points with them.
  3. Say that you’re sorry. Even if it turns out that the complaint is all smoke and mirrors opening with an apology diffuses some of the anger and tension.
  4. Make things clear to the customer. If there have been mistakes on either your part or on the customer’s explain what was meant to happen and how things went wrong. Clarity is a further way to diffuse tension, plus it explains to onlookers what’s going on.
  5. Steer the customer (and onlookers) towards a happy outcome. If you’re to blame, or partly to blame, don’t just rectify the situation, throw in a bonus to soothe the wronged party. You’re looking for a reaction from the customer (and onlookers) that is something along the lines of “WOW! This company really cares!” instead of, “Well, yeah, I guess it’s alright then.”
  6. Fix the problem.
  7. Follow through. You want to remind your customer (and the exchange onlookers) that you really made an effort to make things better. So shoot the offended party a follow-through email or letter thanking them for showing you where your business had a hiccup and how because of them you’re now a better company that is now able to serve its customers in an even better manner.

Aside from dealing with complaints, what are some other ways you can add some pop to your customers’ or clients’ exchanges with you?

Is there a freebie you can throw in for first-time customers alongside a little “Thank-you” card?

Can you show someone how to do some light maintenance on your equipment even though you might make more money if you were called in to service it? (You’ll make more money in the long run by having return customers and by having existing customers recommend you to others.)

Can you serve beverages or tasty little snacks if you’re the kind of business that has a waiting room?

These little touches have an exponential effect on your clients remembering you. They come expecting good service, they’ll return because you offer that little something more.

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BOSS, BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
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LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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September 4, 2018

“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Chapter 4/9


Reduce Costs and Eliminate Staffing Headaches

Call 1800 889 232

“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Chapter 4/9

Evolving from a Boss into a Leader

You’ll be receiving each chapter via email over the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for Chapter 5 in your next email from BOSS.

4. Make Who You Are (Not What You Sell) Your Brand

Have you heard of Zappos.com? They’re an online clothing and shoe retailer. It was started by one man, Nick Swinmurn, in 1999 who grew frustrated when he found there wasn’t a major online retailer that specialises in shoes.

Ten short years later Zappos had exploded to a gross revenue of $1 billion. Demand was so great that in order to keep orders heading out on time they had to restructure into 10 separate companies all under the Zappos umbrella.

Here is their vision as stated on their website:

    • One day, 30% of all retail transactions in the US will be online.
    • People will buy from the company with the best service and the best selection.
    • com will be that online store.

 

That’s a vision that’s easy to understand and easy to share.

If you go to the “Jobs” section of their website you see the attitude they want to instill in their employees summed up in 10 points:

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service.
  2. Embrace and Drive Change.
  3. Create Fun and a Little Weirdness.
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative and Open-minded.
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning.
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication.
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit.
  8. Do More With Less.
  9. Be Passionate and Determined.
  10. Be Humble.

The trick is to make sure that words like the above 10 points don’t just appear on some poster somewhere but are actually embodied in the company’s culture.

Zappos does that right at the beginning, in the hiring phase. They conduct a “cultural fit interview” which accounts for half the consideration of whether or not the candidate is hired.

If someone is hired but after a week it seems like the job isn’t a good fit then they’re offered $2000 to quit. Only 2 or 3% have ever taken it – and those that stay are even happier and more committed – they realise they’ve found a job where they aren’t in it just for the money.

Raises are earned by passing tests and having a record that indicates ability – no office politics are involved.

All of this culture is directly passed on to the customers.

“Our number one priority is company culture. Our whole belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff like delivering great customer service or building a long-term enduring brand will just happen naturally on its own.”

“Zappos is a customer service company that just happens to sell shoes.”

 – Tony Hsieh – Zappos CEO

Some of Zappos customer service stories have gone viral over the years. There was an incident where a customer’s mother died so the company sent the customer flowers. Another involves talking with a customer for over 8 hours.

It pays off – 75% of Zappos’ customers are repeat customers. They’re consistently on “Best Companies To Work For” lists including those of Fortune and Entrepreneur.com (which means they’re going to have the best people applying to work for them.)

In a talk he gave at Stanford Hsieh emphasises that he doesn’t think about creating a “work-life separation” or a “work-life balance” like other companies do; instead he says that work is life. Not in the sense that it is all-consuming and leaves room for nothing else, but rather that it takes up a significant portion of people’s lives.

He gets the most out of his people by working hard to make his employees’ work/lives enjoyable. He makes sure people are working with other people that they enjoy being around.

As your business expands there’s going to come a point where you can’t hire everyone yourself, it will simply take too much time. So you want to make sure your business’ culture is something you get to work on as early as possible so that the people who eventually do your hiring for you are still hiring the kinds of people you want to be around.

Just so we’re clear – you don’t have to use Zappos’ particular values. Figure out what values affect you the most and gear your own business to live and breathe them.  Your customers and clients will notice – and come back for more.

It’s not what you sell. Lots of people are going to be selling what you’re selling. It’s how you sell it that truly matters. Be a customer service company that just happens to sell _____________.

Added bonus – Good word of mouth will save you a ton of money in marketing.

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Suite 2, 345 Pacific Highway,
LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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September 4, 2018

“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Chapter 3/9


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“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Chapter 3/9

Evolving from a Boss into a Leader

You’ll be receiving each chapter via email over the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for Chapter 4 in your next email from BOSS.

3. Include Everyone

So you’ve hired good people and you work alongside them, showing that you’re willing and able to participate in their working lives, and that they’re able to participate in yours.

Now it’s time for you to reap the rewards of your hard work. You do this by sharing your vision of your business.

Set Your Goals

The first step of course is having a vision at all. It’s not enough for you and your company to exist – you have to have specific goals if you want to grow. If you don’t have a specific goal in mind yet, make one right now. Pull out a calendar and write down on the date a year from today the way you most want your company to have grown.

Try to be specific. “Bigger,” is not a specific-enough goal for your company. “To have 100 new clients” is much better. Or maybe it’s to have a shiny new office space. Perhaps you want to have 5 more cars in your rental fleet. Or to be able to add a specific service to your menu of offerings that you just can’t handle yet because you don’t have the people or necessary equipment.

After you get that one-year (or two-year, or five-year) goal in place, break it down into manageable steps from month to month. If your goal is a certain number of new clients, then this month’s subgoal might be to get a professional website up and running.

Not only do such subgoals give you something to shoot for, but they also help you to see what activities are not making the best use of your time (activities not geared towards helping you achieve your goal). You’ll be able to delegate and make a far more efficient use of your time.

Share Your Vision

Once you have your calendar more or less set up it’s time for the most important part – share your vision. With everyone. Make your dream everyone’s dream.

This is how you transform your employees’ employment from a job into a calling.

Make your vision as easy to understand as possible. Just to be clear – a goal is a milestone you want your company to achieve. Your vision is what you want your company to be. Your goals are the building blocks of your vision.

Put It In Writing

Have you ever seen a business with a kind of worker slogan on its walls? Think about that famous police slogan – “To serve and protect.” That’s a vision of a perfect form of a police force. It’s both a statement about what the police force stands for, but also a guiding light for its members when they’re in doubt about how they should act or what they should do in a certain situation.

It’s easy to remember and it explains how a police officer in pursuit of police officer-y perfection should act.

Get your vision down somewhere it can be seen and studied. A poster. An email to all of your employees. Make it short, clear, and concise.

Live the Vision

Anyone can write a slogan on a whiteboard. But if that’s all you do then it’s going to be quickly forgotten or be a source of much eye-rolling amongst your employees.

A boss writes the vision down and snaps his or her fingers – get to it! A leader on the other hand becomes the living embodiment of that vision and gives their employees the tools they need to make the vision come true.

You get your people to invest in that vision by you investing in them. Here are 5 methods to do just that:

  1. Pay accordingly. Your goal with your pay isn’t to get the cheapest people possible. That just leads to ongoing turnovers (which lead to hiring costs, training costs, severance pay, etc…). Your goal with your hiring practices is to be the company that is the sexiest business in your industry for people to work at. It’s about what you can give your employees as opposed as to what you can exploit from them.
  2. Make yourself available. It’s no use sharing your vision and then not being open to great new ideas that you may spark in your people.
  3. Delegate. Let your people make some real decisions. The more responsibilities they have, the more they’re going to feel like they’re really contributing to the business. This, by the way, is one way to compensate your employees if you can’t pay as much as your competition – give them real responsibility in the fortunes of the business instead of their being just another cog in the machine somewhere else.
  4. Pay for Training. Nothing is going to show an employee that you believe in them as much as investing in their future. You’ll be showing that you want them to stick around and that you believe they’re worth you investing real money in their careers.
  5. Share the Windfall. Tie your employees’ fortunes directly to the fortunes of the business. Who isn’t going to put more effort into a company that compensates accordingly?

If your company feels like a family then you’re doing something right. Happy employees make for happy customers, and happy customers make for happy investors.

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LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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September 4, 2018

“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Chapter 2/9


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“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Chapter 2/9

Evolving from a Boss into a Leader

You’ll be receiving each chapter via email over the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for Chapter 3 in your next email from BOSS.

2. The Best Employees Are Happy Employees

The title of this chapter might seem painfully obvious but think about the jobs you’ve had right from your high school years up until now. Think of your bosses. How many were inspirational people who made you want to make them proud of you?

Now think about how many saw you only as a tool, while they thought it was only their own greatness that really mattered to the business.

The essential follow-up question is which kind of boss are you?

We talked in the introduction about how Howard Schultz put employees first and grew the Starbucks’ empire.

There is a way to get a leg up on building your company’s culture, to give you a head start – hire nice people.

It sounds super-simple, and it is.

But what if there’s a super-intelligent person applying for a job – but they’re also incredibly snarky and miserable to be around? Their competition for the position is a very nice person who doesn’t have nearly the resume of the first applicant. Wouldn’t I do better with Mr. Smarty-pants?

We can’t answer this one for you for sure, but consider this – what effect is that super-smart person’s attitude going to have on the rest of your employees? When you hire someone you’re not just hiring that person – you’re hiring every interaction they will ever have with you, your other employees, and with your customers.

Will your other employees suffer because you went with the snarky, miserable person? If so, then you will suffer, even if you never interact directly with the person again.

The second applicant on the other hand may very well act like a shot of adrenaline, boosting everyone else’s confidence and enjoyment at work – including your own. That means a boost to your company’s productivity and a boost to your bottom line.

In the end you’ll have to make the decision based on your own needs at the time, but we know who we’d rather be working with for the next five years.

“The people of Southwest have always been my pride, my joy and my love. Their indomitable dedication and esprit de corps have taken Southwest from a three-airplane dream to a 500-airplane reality.”

“Your employees come first. And if you treat your employees right, guess what? Your customers come back, and that makes your shareholders happy. Start with employees and the rest follows from that.”

 – Herb Kelleher – Founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines

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BOSS, BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
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LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved

September 4, 2018

“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Chapter 1/9


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Call 1800 889 232

“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Chapter 1/9

Evolving from a Boss into a Leader

You’ll be receiving each chapter via email over the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for Chapter 2 in your next email from BOSS.

Table of Contents (for previous chapters)

1. The First Ripple

Culture isn’t something that you can order people to live. It’s not something that is cast out from yourself. You have to be there constantly acting to create the vibe you want in your business. Without your constant presence, reinforcement, and tinkering, this new infant culture will die out.

Because it warrants repeating, here is that first tip again – don’t order a culture, live it.

If you separate yourself from this feeling that you’re trying to create in your company then your employees won’t believe in you. “This person is telling us to pull together as a team but then locks himself away in his ivory tower?”

If they don’t believe in you they’re not going to believe that the new culture actually means anything because you yourself can’t be bothered participating in it.

Get Your Hands Dirty
Have you heard of Dave Neeleman, the president of JetBlue? Every single month he personally gets on a JetBlue flight and helps the stewards and stewardesses give out snacks, pillows, blankets, and answer customer questions. If he doesn’t know an answer to a question he takes the number of the customer and promises to have someone get back to them within a day.

How amazing is that? If you’re a JetBlue employee and you see the boss doing the exact same work you do then you know that if you have any suggestions that they’re going to be listened to seriously. If you’re a customer the CEO, and therefore the company itself, isn’t some nameless entity that you’re powerless against if something goes wrong.

JetBlue has a name and a face.

“What you can’t buy is the loyalty that comes through our dedicated crew members.”

 – Dave Neeleman

Now think about your own business – are your employees likely to think that you have their back? Do your employees want to offer amazing service because they want their actions to reflect well on you and the company they work for?

If not, it might be time for you to get out of the command bunker and into the trenches.

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BOSS, BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
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LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved

September 3, 2018

“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Introduction


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“The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO Different” – Introduction

Evolving from a Boss into a Leader

This is the Introduction to an eBook “The Player Who ‘Serves’ Well Seldom Loses – in Business it’s NO different”. You’ll be receiving each chapter via email over the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for Chapter 1 of 9 in your next email from BOSS.

Introduction – “Why Should I Evolve?”

Howard Schultz was the man at the reins when Starbucks went supernova. Before he joined the Starbucks team, Starbucks was in its humble beginnings phase, having extended only a little beyond the original single storefront in Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

As of today there are over 15,000 Starbucks outlets, servicing a worldwide market.

What does Mr. Schultz consider to be his single greatest contribution to the franchise’s explosion?

He invested in the people working for him. He brought in benefits for part-time employees (unheard of in almost any industry). He made it the company’s goal to hire well-educated people and to pay them more than his competition would in order to defeat the industry’s 300% per year turnover rate.

It probably wasn’t easy. He had to convince a board of directors that it would be worthwhile in the long run (boards being notoriously short-sighted).

But he persisted. He now enjoys an employee retention rate that is over five times that of the industry as a whole.

And Starbucks is… well, Starbucks.

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.”

 – Howard Schultz

The goal of this book is to help you figure out how to create a company culture, an environment, a vibe, call it what you will, where everyone who is working for you wants to work with you.

This shift in perspective is twofold. First, your view of your relationship with your employees must change from them being your underlings who are there to serve you, to you being there to serve them.

Second, we want to change your employees’ view of you from you just being their boss to you being their leader; the person encouraging them as all of you together work toward a goal shared by everyone and not just yourself.

Your goals will be met quicker.

Word will spread and top people in your industry will want to work for you instead of your competition (even if you can’t pay as much as the next company).

You’ll enjoy work.

Your employees will enjoy their work.

Your customers or clients and vendors will enjoy working with your happy employees.

It worked for Starbucks. It can work for you.

“Starbucks is not an advertiser; people think we are a great marketing company, but in fact we spend very little money on marketing and more money on training our people than advertising.”

 – Howard Schultz

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LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved