In 1999, great things were predicted for golfer Sergio Garcia after he shot the lowest amateur score at the Masters and turned professional.
Virtually all the leading golf commentators predicted that Sergio would win several Majors during his career.
“All your dreams are made, when you’re chained to the mirror and the razor blade,” sang rock star, philosopher and Ivor Novello award-winning songwriter Noel Gallagher.
Customer service usually makes you think of the banal interaction of buying and selling. The action of selling a product requires someone to interact with a customer, and essentially “serve” them. However, what puts the “service” in “customer service” is personality.
I spent seven years in the retail industry, providing excellent customer service every day. But it didn’t come naturally to me. Not at first. What I thought I knew about serving customers was far too basic and simple that it made my job boring and the customers’ experience uneventful. When I started my position in late 2011, I was nervous and had little to no idea of what to do or say to these people – essentially strangers to me – who were only there to purchase something. In a way, it all seemed so surreal an environment I could easily have been put off due to this clinical way of thinking of customer service.
I used to say Hello, just being polite, scan the items, bag them, take their money, give them their change, and say Bye. Simple enough, but the repetitiveness became robotic and boring and it wasn’t really going anywhere. It was just doing the job and nothing more. There was something missing. Something that I had already but wasn’t conveying: my personality.
When I say “my personality” I mean my personality, not just any old type of personality. I think that makes the difference. Everyone is different, and because there are myriad personalities, it makes meeting new people a good thing, a positive encounter, which ensures a fantastic customer service experience all round.
Some of the things I’ve learnt over the years which helped with my way of thinking…
- Almost anything/anyone is interesting
- The problem that happened might not be a big deal
- No one’s out to get you/catch you out
- We’re all kind of in the same boat together
- Calm down and enjoy the day
These little tricks in how I think has helped me stay calm under pressure. It a necessity to remain calm in a customer service environment because so much is going on all at once and so many people will be vying for your attention. I’ve seen people working in the retail environment crack under the pressure, they panic and become very stressed. My trick was to stay calm and enjoy the day – if you lose enjoyment in the job, you end up hating your job. Most problems will eventually get resolved, so you should understand it’s not the end of the world. Because I remained calm for the majority of my tenure as a sales assistant, my personality shone through as someone who was professional, knew what I was doing and enjoyed the job.
My personality could be described as friendly with a blunt sense of humour, but I was always able to think on my feet. I think this conveys both the type of person I am and the ability to do the job. When I began utilising this and becoming aware of myself in my working environment, my personality shone through.
My interaction would still be Hello, but I’d talk to them and listen. I’d have a conversation and show genuine interest. Of course, it’s all down to selling the product. But if the customer had a good experience and basically liked me, they’d more likely come back and purchase again. That’s something I learnt while working in retail.
Customer service is all about personality because both the sales assistant and customer will have a positive experience of the interaction. This will make it more than just a banal exchange of product and money, but an actual human interaction that’ll grow from the employee’s personality to the company’s personality.
Written for Dr. Mark D. Yates, the LinkedIn Expert’s Expert
At the age of 12, Todd Rose was a high-school dropout struggling to support his wife and two small children. He was on state benefits and had worked his way through ten minimum wage jobs in two years.
Todd remembers his report cards at school which had a common thread and read, “He’s a little hyperactive and finds it difficult to fit in.”
In any industry, you’ll more than likely meet many new faces on a day to day basis. Most people don’t realise how important these meetings can be, an initial connection can lead to many kinds of success.
Making connections and meeting people is a great way build yourself as a brand and allow businesses to grow. As a writer, it’s important I connect with many people in order to establish myself within the creative industry. Twitter is a good tool to use, as I can get hundreds of like-minded people to follow me and essentially know who I am, I can become very visible online where just about anyone can find me.
This is why social media is a fantastic method of making connections, and at Link Business Marketing (LBM), we do just that. Leveraging LinkedIn, LBM writes and manages these social media accounts for clients, making connections and eventually gaining successful business leads. LBM strive to reach and maintain profitable and sustainable business growth for all their clients.
Making just a small connection can grow into something else entirely. When I submitted a short story to a magazine, I was very happy to see my work in print. However, I noticed a spelling mistake. It wasn’t a big problem, but it just annoyed me because something like that can be easily prevented. I simply commutated back to them that I spotted this mistake in case they could amend it, but they then offered me a spot on their team as their proofreader. If I hadn’t made that connection with them, I wouldn’t have acted as their proofreader and would have missed out on some invaluable experience.
Many people don’t realise how important it is nor see the value in making connections and meeting people, as they just want to get on with their job and do what they do without any unnecessary distractions. Most of the time it won’t lead to much, but meeting just one person could potentially be life-changing. You just don’t know yet. It could lead to a new friendship, relationship, career or business opportunity.
The importance of making connections and meeting people is all about raising your profile and making yourself known to as many people as possible. You don’t know everyone. You don’t automatically know what they can offer you or what you can offer them. The main thing you can do is to make a good impression and get yourself out there, promoting yourself as a brand. I’ve always thought my name is an important aspect to me as a writer. The more content I produce, the more I’ll be known to people. The more people I meet, the more likely I could meet someone who could offer me a great opportunity or someone I could work with to produce something fantastic. If I can potentially build this for myself, by the time my career is ready to succeed to the fullest, I’ll be in a good position to achieve to the best of my abilities. Similarly, this works well with businesses, because as long as a business carries on making good connections, their success will reach the highest point possible.
LBM’s prerogative is managing and maintaining professional LinkedIn profiles for fantastic business social media via expert online visibility and eventually gaining good business leads. What we do is write professional profiles and make your online visibility the best it can be. This is the same logic as meeting people, as social media is the networking of the 21st century. It’s important to make these connections and build on relationships and networks online for businesses to achieve sustainable and profitable business growth.
This is why LBM offers a service provision to optimise online visibility to achieve sustainable business growth. By understanding the importance of making connections, we can help other clients reach that level of visibility and eventually good profitability.
Written for Dr. Mark D. Yates, the LinkedIn Expert’s Expert
Rucci was born into a family of grape farmers, but was always much more interested in mechanics and engines.
Rucci realized that the productivity of his farm would be far higher if he had a better, more reliable tractor. So he decided to build one.
Volunteering can strengthen not only your CV and LinkedIn profile, it can also strengthen who you are as a person, and subsequently your position in business. Among the abundant number of skills you will gain from volunteer work, it will give you the opportunity to make a difference in society while developing invaluable leadership qualities.
There are so many volunteering activities to take part in, either relevant to you as a person or something completely new. You could volunteer with children, the elderly, the disabled, you could help the homeless or help clean up public parks.
The volunteering I chose in late 2014 was to be a classroom helper at a primary school. As a writer who has worked several editorial and customer service roles, and having never worked with children before, this was completely out of my comfort zone. The reason I took this was, at the time, when I was debating on what career to take, I wondered whether I could make it as a teacher. So I did it. My experience there allowed me to make a difference, no matter how small, in the lives of these children; to manage my time in the structure of classes; to gain confidence; and to develop excellent leadership qualities.
Some of the main skills you can gain from a volunteering role can include…
- Problem-solving and adaptability
- Planning and prioritising work
- Time management
- Interpersonal skills
Volunteering can help you gain confidence by giving you the chance to try something new and build a real sense of achievement. The actual sensation of achievement can come about from the fact that you’re not being paid to do it. It’s all in your power to choose to do it and gain something other than monetary payment. This makes it easier to see what you’ve gained from the role.
Many companies hire people on their experience and qualifications, but a key factor is also your other skills and abilities from your personal interests. This is a way for companies to suss you out and find out who you are as a person. Therefore, volunteering can fit in this section and will show you as someone who has gone out there and got things done but also with a good work ethic. Many companies who see that you’ve volunteered will see you in a positive light: someone who is willing to work, willing to help, and willing to forfeit monetary payment for the sake of the work, which they’ll see as someone who is willing to go the extra mile for the company.
Volunteering is a good way to strengthen who are as a person and your moral compass, and subsequently your position in business. Volunteering allows you to make a positive difference in society and have a real and valuable positive affect on people, communities and society in general. Meeting a variety of people means you’ll essentially be guided through to your position in business and ultimately strengthen it.
If volunteering can strengthen you as a person, it most certainly will strengthen your position in business. You’ll be able to challenge yourself, experience something new, learn new skills, and achieve a set goal. In this way, you’ll be putting your skills to use while developing new ones, strengthening yourself personally while placing yourself higher up on the career ladder.
Written for Dr. Mark D. Yates, the LinkedIn Expert’s Expert
At the age of 54, John B. Goodenough invented the lithium battery which powers all our smart phones, tablets and laptops – as well as electric cars.
With his unique blend of martial mastery and metaphysical wisdom, coupled with his premature death at the age of 32, Bruce Lee is one of those rare cultural icons whose ethos and appeal remain timeless.
Many of Bruce Lee’s pearls of wisdom have their roots in Lao Tzu’s classic text, The Tao Te Ching which was written in 6BC.
During our lifetime, we spend more time speaking to ourselves than we do to any other person.
Harvard psychologist Shawn Achor says that the most important conversations we ever have, are the ones that we have with our self. Primarily, because the relationship we have with our self influences the relationships that we have with others.
Cambridge University thinks that play is such an important component of creativity and emotional well-being, that it’s hiring a Professor of Play.
Research shows that a playful mindset at work, free of the burden of office politics and inauthetic hierarchical posturing, significantly enhances creativity and problem solving.