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Overload your ‘To’ address field: Don’t do that. Do this instead.

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This article is part of our Don’t do that. Do this instead series.*

Too Many Cooks (or in this case, recipients)

Cooks?
What have cooks got to do with anything? What am I talking about? Well, here is what I’m talking about: ‘too many cooks spoil the broth‘.  In essence, this means that if too many people are involved, no one knows who is meant to do what: “have you added the salt, do I need to add the salt? I’ll just throw a little extra in to be safe”.

The same thing happens when you include everyone in the To box when addressing your emails. If you pile everyone into the To box then those you are writing to don’t know what their role is meant to be: are they meant to reply? reply all (this requires a whole post of its own!)? ignore it? wait until someone else replies first? HELP!

Mass all your recipients in the To field: DON’T DO THAT
When you lump everyone in that one box you generally create confusion, and here is what happens (or doesn’t happen) as a result:

  • No one knows who is expected to act
  • No one replies (because they are waiting for someone else to do so)
  • Some people reply, but forget to ‘reply all’, so only you get the information
  • Some people do ‘reply all’ but forget that they are speaking to everyone, and inadvertently cause offense
  • Everyone replies, at the same time, with differing ideas and opinions – leaving you to sort out the ensuing mess

There are other scenarios but we haven’t got the time. So, instead of being the architect of the above (or worse):

DO THIS INSTEAD: Clearly address your emails
The genius of email is that it offers up terrific options to organize your audience. This not only helps you sort out who needs the information but also helps your audience understand their roles. Couple this with a clearly worded email (letting every one know their part) and you will be on to a winner.

TO
This field is for the people on the email:

  • Who have an active role
  • From who you need a reply and/or opinion
  • Are required to participate

C.C.
For those too young to have taken Grade 10 typing (22 words per minute, thank you very much!), C.C. stands for Carbon Copy.  The was the copy of the correspondence that went into a file or to people who needed to be kept informed but where not required to act. The same rule holds true in email.  If you use C.C. well, then you will lesson confusion among your recipients. It should be used for:

  • People who need to be kept informed but have no active role
  • People who may not be currently involved but will have an active role in the future
  • ‘Interested parties’ i.e. a colleague, boss or other person who might be keeping an eye on things

B.C.C.
Blind Carbon Copy. This is a great (and under used) tool for sending out bulk emails. It allows you to send one email to many, while keeping their details private. There are many people who don’t want their contact details shared with others, using B.C.C. ensures information stays hidden. B.C.C. is best used for:

  • Bulk emails
  • Emails to a group (even if small) who may not know each other
  • People you want to keep informed but who wish to stay anonymous

Your Message
If you combine the above use of the address boxes with a clearly laid our message then your messages will be acted on and answered by all the right people.

Cooking up a storm
Let’s take a look at two examples. If we go back to the broth for a moment, your first message might look like this, which may, or may not, get you edible broth:

Don’t…

TO: Fortesque@cooksrus; Esmerelda@toomanycooks; Fred@kitcheniscrowded; Felicity@itshotinhere; Lucretia@wheresmyladdle
CC:
BCC:
Subject: Please make broth before I get home

Dear All,

I will be home late. Please make sure the broth is made by the time I get in.

Thanks.

The Hungry Land Lady

In the above example, I haven’t set a specific expectation (simply a vague ‘I’ll be late’) and no one knows who is in charge.  The results of this vagueness could be:

  • Time wasted while they all work out what to do
  • Disagreements about who is in charge resulting in internal strife
  • No action at all because no one wants to take responsibility
  • Everyone trying to pile into the kitchen at once to impress the boss
  • The broth not ready when I get home because I haven’t given specifics

Try this instead:

Do…

TO:   Felicity@itshotinhere
CC:   Fortesque@cooksrus; Esmeralda@toomanycooks; Fred@kitchenscrowded
BCC: Lucretia@wheresmyladdle
Subject: Please make broth before I get home

Dear Felicity,

I will be home late this evening; I expect to be in by 8:00pm. Please co-ordinate with Fortesque, Esmeralda and Fred make sure the broth is made by the time I get in.

Thanks.

The Hungry Land Lady

Although this email isn’t much longer, it’s much more straightforward:

  • The expectation is set, and a time line is provided
  • One person has been put in charge but those who will be helping have been copied so that they understand what’s going on
  • One person has been blind copied because although they are important to the message they are merely observing the correspondence.

Setting the information out this way saves a HUGE amount of back and forth.  I will say this again because it’s that important: setting the information out this way saves a HUGE amount of back and forth. It reduces the time spent as well as misunderstandings.

Take five
Take the time to think through who really needs to be in the To box, and why. Then put everyone else in the CC box.  Once you’ve done that, lay out your message so that everyone has a clear idea of what they are meant to be doing.

If you do this you will be seen as a truly polished professional.

___________________

Your Stories
We’ve all fallen foul of rude or thoughtless behaviour…sometimes it’s even us who have been guilty of it.

If you have a story you’d like to share, please feel free to send me a note and I’ll include it here.

___________________

*What is this series about?
Have you ever had your relationship with a colleague, client or boss change suddenly – and not for the better? Yet you’ve not been able to put your finger on why.

Small actions. Big Impact.
I’ve always maintained that some of the smallest things we do often have the biggest impact on how our professionalism is viewed.  In this series, “Don’t do that. Do this instead.”, I help you avoid the tiny (and not so tiny) things that can trip you up and place barriers between you and your success.

Small bites for easy digestion.
Each entry is intended to cover one small piece of a larger topic. However, even though seemingly small, each and every action has a big impact.

‘Hey!’: Don’t do that. Do this instead.

This article is part of our Don’t do that. Do this instead series.*

HEY!

Relax, it’s 2016
Yes, yes it is, and life is generally less formal than it used to be – which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, there are times when a lack of formality can lead you down a path that impacts your professionalism.

Be fooled into foregoing formalities: DON’T DO THAT
Recently, a short video was doing the social media rounds. It showed a group of young reporters receiving a briefing in the White House press gallery. During their briefing, President Obama made a guest appearance: he sauntered in, relaxed, smiling and carrying his cup of coffee.

When the group was invited to ask questions, one young women started hers with, ‘Hey’.  If you’ve seen the clip, you’ll know that President Obama, ever the diplomat, responded with a smile and a ‘Hey’ in return. HOWEVER, look closely, that smile is one tight smile.  In this situation, some (teeny tiny) leeway would have been granted because of this person’s age and inexperience, and nerves, but it still impacted how he responded.

How you address someone – be they the President of the United States or the President of your company – matters, particularly in the first instance.

The President of the United States, is still the President, no matter how relaxed he is (or nervous you are). Address him as Mr. President, or Mr. Obama, until he (or she) invites you to do otherwise.

Formalities, they’re not just for world leaders
Keep in mind that there are many people in this newly-relaxed-world who place value on their title and/or position.  There are often years, sometimes decades, of hard work spent earning professional qualifications, title, and position.

Although you may not agree with it, or perhaps see it as old-fashioned, formality can be your friend.  So, if you want to come across as a truly polished professional…

DO THIS INSTEAD: Err on the side of caution and formality
In a professional setting always start with the the more formal, until you’re invited to move to the informal.

In this way you show respect to the office held (be it President, Prime Minister, Mayor, or CEO, etc) even if you don’t necessarily agree with the person holding that office.

This is particularly important in writing emails or letters to those you don’t know – stick with the formal first: Dear Mr Smith / Dear Ms. Jones (not Hey there!).

This one small act of formality will make you stand out, in a good way.

___________________

Your Stories
We’ve all fallen foul of rude or thoughtless behaviour…sometimes it’s even us who have been guilty of it.

If you have a story you’d like to share, please feel free to send me a note and I’ll include it here.

 

___________________

*What is this series about?
Have you ever had your relationship with a colleague, client or boss change suddenly – and not for the better? Yet you’ve not been able to put your finger on why.

Small actions. Big Impact.
I’ve always maintained that some of the smallest things we do often have the biggest impact on how our professionalism is viewed.  In this series, “Don’t do that. Do this instead.”, I help you avoid the tiny (and not so tiny) things that can trip you up and place barriers between you and your success.

Small bites for easy digestion.
Each entry is intended to cover one small piece of a larger topic. However, even though seemingly small, each and every action has a big impact.

RSVPs: Don’t do that. Do this instead

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This article is part of our Don’t do that. Do this instead series.*

R.S.V.Ps

Who doesn’t love a party?R.S.V.P.-1
I suppose that’s a loaded question because some people don’t actually ‘love a party’. But there the invitation sits: on your mantel, in your inbox, lurking in your voicemail.

So, whether you can’t wait to arrive, and out stay your welcome (that’s a different post), or you want to make a brief appearance and leave early, you need to reply to the invitation.

Neglect to RSVP: DON’T DO THAT
These days the idea of letting your host know that you are (or are not) going to attend an event – an event to which you have been so graciously invited – seems to be something that people think is ‘optional’.

It’s not.

I repeat, not replying is not optional.

Whether it’s a wedding, an office event or a backyard BBQ, if you’ve been invited you MUST reply.

I’m just one person, what difference does it make?
Imagine if everyone thought that…and I have seen it happen.

No matter what kind of event you’re invited to, your host not only wants to know but needs to know who will be attending. How else will they know how many places to set, how many hotdogs to throw on the BBQ, or how many party hats to buy?

DO THIS INSTEAD: Reply!
Mainly because this is the polite thing to do but also because often hosts are working with limited space and send invitations out in waves. Therefore, they need to know if you are going to attend or not. If you are going to attend, wonderful! Say yes, and secure your place. If you’re not, then let your host know so that your seat can be offered to third cousin Fortesque.

RSVP ASAP
The best thing to do is to reply as soon as you receive the invitation – don’t just look at it and think, I’ll do that later. You won’t. You’ll get distracted and forget. I guarantee it.

If you are truly unsure about whether you can make it, but want to keep the option open, then call your host and explain. Once you have done that, make sure you update them when you have a firm answer (either way). NOTE: this should only be done if there is a legitimate reason, not just because you’re waiting for something better/different to come along.

We’re old friends, I can just show up, or not.
Under no circumstances should you:

  • Be a ‘no show’ if you have RSVPed yes
  • Show up if you have RSVPed no.
  • Show up if you haven’t replied!

Stand out from the crowd.
Be that guest for the right reasons:

  • RSVP on or before the date requested
  • Use the method requested: telephone, email, reply card, online form, etc
  • Make sure to include all information requested (guest name for your ‘plus one’, dietary/allergy information; meal option, if required). Don’t add to your host’s work load by making them chase you for answers
  • If you need to change your RSVP make sure to do so as soon as you are able

Party like it’s 1999 (when people replied to invitations)
Keep these nuggets in mind:

  • Your host didn’t have to invite you
  • The more often you don’t respond to invitations, the fewer times you will be invited
  • You show your host kindness and consideration by replying, and replying quickly
  • Once you get there – join in and enjoy the party!

___________________

Your Stories
We’ve all fallen foul of rude or thoughtless behaviour…sometimes it’s even us who have been guilty of it.

If you have a story you’d like to share, please feel free to send me a note and I’ll include it here.

___________________

*What is this series about?
Have you ever had your relationship with a colleague, client or boss change suddenly – and not for the better? Yet you’ve not been able to put your finger on why.

Small actions. Big Impact.
I’ve always maintained that some of the smallest things we do often have the biggest impact on how our professionalism is viewed.  In this series, “Don’t do that. Do this instead.”, I help you avoid the tiny (and not so tiny) things that can trip you up and place barriers between you and your success.

Small bites for easy digestion.
Each entry is intended to cover one small piece of a larger topic. However, even though seemingly small, each and every action has a big impact.

LinkedIn: Don’t do that. Do this instead.

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This article is part of our Don’t do that. Do this instead series.*

LinkedInLinkedIn Map

Six degrees of separation

LinkedIn is a fabulous business tool in so many ways, not least of which its ability to create powerful connections. That’s why it drives me nuts when people initiate those connections in the most anonymous way possible.

Sending the ‘standard’ LinkedIn request: DON’T DO THAT
We’ve all received it, it reads:

Hi Hilary, I’d like to join your LinkedIn network.

And that’s it. No background, no context.

When I receive requests like this, unless I know exactly who that person is, I ignore them, and I know from conversations with others that I’m not alone in this.

Now, I will admit that it is partly to do with the way LinkedIn operates. There are times when you click the ‘Connect’ button and the next thing you know LinkedIn is telling you that the request has been sent. If you are me, you then find yourself yelling ‘Argh!’ at the computer.

So, if you want to really grow your network on LinkedIn in a meaningful way:

DO THIS INSTEAD: Personalize every request
If you want to make sure that people will pay attention to your request, then include a note, every time.

The devil is (always) in the detail
By taking the time to write a short note you not only help the other person remember who you are, or put your invitation in context, but you also show them that the connection matters enough for you to take time and trouble over the request.

This note is always important, however, it becomes crucial if the connection is someone you’ve never met but would like to get to know.

‘I have no idea what to say’
The simple thing to do is provide context for the other person. This makes it much more likely that they will accept your request.  Here is what I mean:

  • We met at last night’s networking event and I think it would be useful to be connected here.
  • We are in the same networking group on [Facebook/LinkedIn/other] and I think it would be useful for both of us to be connected here.
  • I attended your [talk, speech, event] and found it fascinating. I’m interested in the work you do and would like to be connected here. I hope you don’t mind the request.
  • Jane Doe [mutual friend/acquaintance] suggested that you and I might have some mutual business interests, so I thought it would be valuable to be connected here.
  • We haven’t met but I’m very interested in the work you do and would like to be connected here. I hope you don’t mind the request.

As you can see from the examples, you don’t have to have met or know someone to write a note and, in fact, the note becomes far more important if you don’t know the other person.

I also like to change the less business-like greeting ‘Hi’, which I consider too informal in this context, to something that has a bit more weight. You don’t have to go to extremes (Dear Ms. Robinson) but ‘Dear Hilary’, or Good morning/afternoon Hilary‘, show a little more thought.

But you said…
Yes, if you were paying attention at the beginning you will have noticed that sometimes LinkedIn gets in your way by automatically sending the request without giving you the opportunity to personalize it.

When that happens, because it will, the best thing to do is to send a separate note using LinkedIn email.  This is not foolproof but it is certainly better than just letting the standard request hang there – remember many, many people simply won’t respond if they don’t know who you are or have some context regarding why you want to connect.

If you don’t follow-up with a note you may well waste an otherwise useful opportunity.

Start as you mean to go on.
Taking the time to personalize your requests shows the other person that you are genuinely interested in them and their work.  When you do that you increase the chances of creating not just connections but longer-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.

___________________

Your Stories
We’ve all fallen foul of rude or thoughtless behaviour…sometimes it’s even us who have been guilty of it.

If you have a story you’d like to share, please feel free to send me a note and I’ll include it here.

___________________

*What is this series about?
Have you ever had your relationship with a colleague, client or boss change suddenly – and not for the better? Yet you’ve not been able to put your finger on why.

Small actions. Big Impact.
I’ve always maintained that some of the smallest things we do often have the biggest impact on how our professionalism is viewed.  In this series, “Don’t do that. Do this instead.”, I help you avoid the tiny (and not so tiny) things that can trip you up and place barriers between you and your success.

Small bites for easy digestion.
Each entry is intended to cover one small piece of a larger topic. However, even though seemingly small, each and every action has a big impact.

New Series: Don’t Do That. Do This Instead.

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Have you ever had your relationship with a colleague, client or boss change suddenly – and not for the better? Yet you’ve not been able to put your finger on why.

Small actions. Big Impact.
I’ve always maintained that some of the smallest things we do often have the biggest impact on how our professionalism is viewed.  In this new series, “Don’t do that. Do this instead.”, I’m going to help you avoid the tiny (and not so tiny) things that can trip you up and place barriers between you and your success.

Small bites for easy digestion.
Each entry is intended to cover one small piece of a larger topic. However, even though seemingly small, each and every action has a big impact.

Too busy to respond
Today’s entry is about email.  More specifically what to do when you are so overwhelmed with work that you can’t reply to email.

Completely ignore your messages: DON’T DO THAT
I was recently in discussions about a project with someone who, after the initial conversation, completely vanished. After an enthusiastic discussion I was promised some key information would be emailed over. Nothing arrived. I followed up several times with polite notes, I even picked up the telephone and left a voicemail. Nothing.

Now, it could have been that he had changed his mind but that seemed unlikely given the nature of the original conversation.  In a last ditch effort, I wrote to his boss – again, a polite note, reiterating my interest in the project.  Lo and behold, 40 minutes (two weeks and 40 minutes) later I had an apologetic email from my contact.  Lots of reasons why my emails (and voicemail) had gone unanswered, chief among them the fact that he was too busy.

Keep in mind that he was trying to entice me into a project that would require an investment on my part, but he was too busy to answer my emails.

I’m not unsympathetic to a crazy schedule and an overflowing inbox but his lack of attention did start me wondering how he would manage the overall project.

Don’t let being busy send the wrong message.

DO THIS INSTEAD: Manage expectations
If you are going through a particularly nutty time with a project, or are generally overworked, then follow these steps:

  • Set an out-of-office message explaining that you are busy with a project and provide:
    • A time frame by which you will reply, and/or
    • The contact details of someone else in your organization who can help
  • Block out half an hour everyday (either end of the day works) to triage and answer all critical messages
  • Apologize and make sure recipients know that this isn’t ‘situation normal’ (which hopefully, it’s not)

By taking these small steps you will keep everyone up to date, no one will feel ignored or left in the dark, and you won’t accidentally tarnish your professionalism.

I followed-up, others won’t.
Keep in mind that I followed-up because it was in my interest to do so, however, it was also in the interest of the other person that I do so (remember, there was money involved). Not everyone will follow-up, in fact few will. Instead they will find other places to spend their money.

Small actions. Big Reward.
It takes nothing more than a few minutes to set up an out-of-office. By doing so you manage the expectations of  your clients and colleagues, and keep them on your side.

___________________

Your Stories
We’ve all fallen foul of rude or thoughtless behaviour…sometimes it’s even us who have been guilty of it.

If you have a story you’d like to share, please feel free to send me a note and I’ll include it here.

 

The Spirit of the Season

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Chart by Dave Lieberman*

December is here and our thoughts are turning to our various holidays, and these days that gives way to the inevitable discussion about ‘holiday’ greetings.

Over the past number of years I’ve seen an increase in the number of “It’s not Happy Holidays, it’s MERRY CHRISTMAS” posts.  The frustration that leaps from these posts is palpable.  I think some of this stems from those who feel that ‘their’ holiday has been usurped by another, or worse, commercialism.

Whether your faith or belief system is based in deep religious roots or a certainty that Santa does live at the North Pole, it should not be so easily shaken that you rail against a ‘happy’ greeting.  Instead of touting one greeting over another, we would do well to recognize that no matter which one is being used, it comes from a place of affection and warmth.

I think that we are immensely fortunate living where we do, and when we do: our melting-pot-cities and societies are made up of many traditions and holidays, and this is what gives our lives richness and depth. Let’s embrace it, not fight it.

So when someone wishes a Happy ____, Merry _____, or Great_____, smile and say ‘Thank you. You too!’  Because it’s the sentiment that counts. It’s the thought behind the words that count.  It’s how you say it, not what you say, that counts.

It is, after all, meant to be a season of warmth, celebration and goodwill – so let’s spread some cheer!

Happy happy, merry merry to you all!

*with grateful thanks to Dave Lieberman for creating the chart and Joey DeVilla for posting here.

Symbols & Remembrance: Wearing your Poppy

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Poppy - Curtis Wilson

Poppy by Curtis Wilson*

Wondering how to wear your poppy?
In late October and early November the inevitable questions arise: when and how to wear your poppy?

When should I wear my poppy?
The practical answer about ‘when’ is that, in Canada, the Royal Canadian Legion poppies officially go on sale on the last Friday of October, so that generally dictates timing, unless you have one leftover from previous years. No matter when you start wearing your poppy, it should be worn through November 11th then tucked away for next year.

I’ve been asked whether it’s acceptable to wear a poppy year-round.  While it’s a nice thought to show support throughout the year, the impact of the symbol starts to wane over time, so it’s best to restrict it to a few weeks a year.

Where do I wear my poppy?
There are many people who feel strongly about this. Left side, right side? On a cap or hat, or not?

It’s generally accepted that we wear our poppies on our left side, which is not only the traditional place for medals to be worn, but also considered to be closer to our hearts.  If you wish to wear it on your cap or hat the same applies.

That said, it’s the wearing of it that matters.  Not where you wear it.

Red or white?
I realize that there are some who view the wearing of a red poppy as promoting the idea of war, and for that reason white poppies, symbolizing peace, have appeared over the years.

We all have to make our own decisions about this. I take great pride in wearing my red poppy and view it as an important reminder of the past, rather than an encouragement to future conflict.  If you have questions about whether or not to wear a red or white poppy there are many articles and opinion pieces that can help you decide what is comfortable for you.

Poppy keeps popping off?
No matter which poppy you choose, you will lose it, guaranteed. Most of us will all go through at least two poppies a year. I have never had a problem with this ‘planned obsolescence’ – let’s face it, those pins are far too short – and I’ve never minded donating to get another one. What I don’t like is being without one in the interim.

This year, I decided that I would donate a larger amount for one poppy (the equivalent of the five I usually run through) and secure it with the little rubber backing used for earrings. That way the Legion doesn’t lose the money, and I don’t lose my poppy!

Lest we forget
Whether or not you wear a poppy (red or white), November, and the 11th in particular, is a good time to reflect on what we owe to all the men and women of the military, past and present, who have helped shape our country, both in times of war and times of peace.  They have lived through experiences we can never imagine; recognizing this and showing our gratitude is the least we can do.

*With many thanks to Curtis Wilson for graciously allowing me to use his beautiful illustration.

A Plea to R.S.V.P.

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There is great power in these four little letters: R.S.V.P.

R.S.V.P.-1They request, politely and in French, that we reply to an invitation: Répondez, S’il Vous Plaît

…in other words:
Please Respond.

But these days the idea of letting your host know that you are (or are not) going to attend an event – an event to which you have been so graciously invited – seems to be something that people think is ‘optional’.

It’s not.

I repeat, not replying is not optional.

I’m not entirely sure why there has been a rise in the ‘non-reply’ column but I suspect that it’s a side effect of our more casual lifestyles. Don’t get me wrong, our causal lifestyles are great, but if you’re throwing an event, any kind of event, you really want (and need) to know who is coming. You need to know how many places to set, how many hotdogs to throw on the BBQ, or how many party hats to buy.

Your host hasn’t just included those four little letters for the hell of it…they aren’t there just to keep up with tradition, or to balance out the text on the invitation. They are there because your host actually needs to know how many people will be attending, and they generally need to know by the date given on the invitation.

So please, show your host the consideration of replying. And because we are all so busy, the best thing to do is to reply as soon as you receive the invitation – don’t just look at it and think, I’ll do that later. You won’t. You’ll get distracted and forget. I guarantee it.

Keep in mind that many hosts are working with limited space and send invitations out in waves. Therefore, they need to know if you are going to attend or not. If you are going to attend, wonderful! Say yes, and secure your place. If you’re not, then let your host know so that your seat can be offered to third cousin Fortesque.

If you are truly unsure about whether you can make it, but want to keep the option open, then call your host and explain. Once you have done that, make sure you update them when you have a firm answer. NOTE that this should only be done if there is a legitimate reason, not just because you’re waiting for something better/different to come along.

Top tips for getting it right:

  • RSVP on or before the date requested
  • Use the method requested – telephone, email, the enclosure that arrived with the invitation, an online form, etc
  • Make sure to include all information requested (guest name for your ‘plus one’, dietary/allergy information; meal option, if required). Don’t add to your host’s work load by making them chase you for answers
  • If you need to change your RSVP make sure to do so as soon as you are able
  • …AND under no circumstances should you:
    • Be a ‘no show’ if you have RSVPed yes
    • Show up if you have RSVPed no.

A few last points to keep in mind:

  • Your host didn’t have to invite you
  • The more often you don’t respond to invitations, the fewer times you will be invited
  • You show your host kindness and consideration by replying, and replying quickly
  • Enjoy the party!

Job Well Done

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When someone does a good job, tell them. Then, tell their manager. Not only does it give you a good feeling, but reinforcing good customer service becomes a virtuous circle. I particularly like doing this when I talk to anyone in a call centre who does a good job. Let’s face it, if you work in a call centre chances are that you work long hours and deal with many annoyed, frustrated or downright angry customers. So when I speak to someone who is friendly, professional and helpful I want to make sure they know that I appreciate it. This week I had to ring a call centre because I wanted to cancel my membership in a car sharing service. The service itself is fine but I never use it and wanted to stop paying the monthly fee. I was hoping to be able to do this online, to avoid the inevitable sales pitch but, of course, they want you to go through the sales team. In any case, I called and spoke to Lloyd, who couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful, in spite of the fact that I was calling to cancel. At the end of the call Lloyd asked the final ‘is there anything else I can do for you today?’ question, to which I replied ‘yes, I’d like to speak to your supervisor or manager to tell them how helpful you’ve been’. I love doing this. Not only does it reinforce good customer service but it also comes as a pleasant surprise to both the sales person and their manager. In addition, many call centres have points systems, so when you do take the time to do this, the sales rep gets a ‘gold star’ and is often rewarded with recognition within the company. Is there a downside to doing this? You sometimes have to wait on hold for a bit to get the manager on the line, but that time is well spent because not only will you make their day but it will leave you feeling pretty good as well. I highly recommend you try this the next time you get a nice person on the telephone.