Tag Archive: business


Research shows that contrary to a happy customer who will tell only two to three people about their good experience; a dissatisfied customer will tell at least eight to ten people about his or her bad experience. This disparity shows how much just one displeased customer can negatively impact your reputation. It also shows the importance of providing quality customer service to your customers. The following are ways to improve and maintain good customer service, and avoid down-grading your service and company reputation.

  1. First impression is the last impression

This adage is foremost true in customer service. If a customer does not have a good first impression, the customer will leave with a bad impression of your company. Examples where customers may find a poor first impression:

  • Customer service rep (CSR) had a poor interaction with customer
  • A customer’s questions were not answered
  • CSR did not have good knowledge of product or service
  • Customer had to wait too long
  • Website is not user-friendly
  1. Treat your customers the way you want to be treated

The golden rule equally refers to business as it does your personal life. Think how you would feel if you, as a customer, are not treated well. Likely you will be upset and frustrated. Even more likely you will end up telling a friend or colleague about your bad experience. If you think as if you are the customer, you have a better opportunity to provide customers with a great first impression.

  1. Keep your promises

Broken promises lead to lost trust and ruined relationships. This is also true with customer service. Cancelling appointments or not responding to customers’ concerns can damage your customer relationship. What many people don’t realize is that poor communication is rampant in customer service. If you are one of the few who can deliver timely communication you will stand out against your competitors.

  1. Be all ears

Customers are likely to get satisfied if a CSR listens to his needs or problems and then come up with a solution. Same goes with angry customers. Make sure your CSRs listen attentively to whatever the customer has to say before making suggestions or selling a product or service.

  1. Don’t stop at ‘I don’t know’

It is likely most people in your company don’t know everything. This is okay. It is also okay to say, “I don’t know.” However, don’t stop there. If you don’t know the answer, the real key to good customer services is going out of the way to find out the answer. Providing a timeline to the customer for when you will follow-up will show the customer that you didn’t blow them off and builds a level of trust.

  1. Empower your frontline staff

Customers get angry when they hear a CSR say he can’t do anything regarding their problems. Mostly, this happens because a CSR does not have the power to make decisions and has to ask senior management. Make sure you empower your frontline staff enough to resolve customers’ complaints. At the same time, you must establish boundaries and escalation procedures for more complicated matters.

6.5 Organize frequent training sessions

Many companies provide an abundance of front-end training, yet do not train consistently as the employee develops in the company. Providing regular training and customer feedback to your CSRs will help your team grow and develop in a positive way.



Yes, the three second rule applies to you

How Healthy Is Your Vigor?

To stay fully invigorated at all times, you must constantly check up on yourself to make sure you are truly operating at peak levels of energy and enthusiasm. Following is a test to help determine whether your level of vigor is healthy, merely adequate or in need of a refill. Rate how strongly you agree that each of the following fresh statements applies to you today from 1-5, with 1 equaling strongly disagree and 5 equaling strongly agree:


1. I clearly understand what the professional standards are for my industry, company, business and organization.

2. My three-second impression is in alignment with how I want to be viewed.

3. My energy level and enthusiasm is high.

4. I am generally an invigorated person.

5. I know what makes me happy.

6. I frequently inject something fun into my day, week, month, and year.

6.5. I know how others view me within the first three seconds.


Now that you’ve taken the test, let’s analyze your score:

If you scored from 7 to 13, your vigor is anemic. You lack enthusiasm for building your brand or reaching your aspirations. Since achieving any type of success requires vigor, you probably frequently experience failure, which saps your energy even further, creating a vicious downward cycle. Break the cycle today! Go back and read this article again, and start implementing its advice. You won’t completely change overnight, but if you apply genuine passion and determination toward building your brand and realizing your aspirations, you will be surprised by how fast you start to see incremental improvements.

If you scored from 14 to 20, your vigor is low. As opposed to someone who is truly apathetic, you at least have goals for your brand and your aspirations in mind, but lack the vigor to pursue them in any real way. Your mindset may be a little healthier than that of your apathetic colleagues, but your results will not likely be much better. You should also give this article a second look and try to make some positive changes based on what you read.

If you scored from 21 to 26, your vigor is adequate. Beyond merely holding goals, you possess some genuine energy and gumption to meet them. But your commitment to achieving true success is still suspect. You are probably willing to take shortcuts and accept results that are “pretty good” or “not perfect but close.” You have what it takes to meet a portion of your personal and professional potential, but you’re leaving a lot of achievable success on the table.

If you scored from 27 to 33, your vigor is strong. You have a great deal of energy to dedicate to building your brand and realizing your aspirations, and also a lot of genuine passion to follow all the necessary steps and hold out for full results. But true success is still a long way off, and there are many chances to stumble and fall before you obtain it.

If you scored a 34 or 35, your vigor is all-encompassing. Every ounce of physical and mental energy at your disposal is committed to building your brand and achieving your aspirations, and you have enough energy to power a small city. You match that energy with boundless passion that allows you to focus with laser intensity on everything you need to do to maximize your full potential. Everyone around you senses your vigor, and it is contagious.



Forbes: Branding the Pope



I’m writing this just after the conclave of cardinals announced the successor toPope Benedict XVI, who last month became the first modern-day pontiff to abdicate the throne. They charted some new ground, choosing 76-year-old Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the first non-European to fill the role in more than 1,200 years and the first ever from the Jesuit order. But in other ways, it was a vote to preserve the status quo, as Bergoglio, who has chosen to be called Francis, is a theological conservative.

But in addition to that, Pope Francis will need some rock-solid branding skills. He’ll have to have a strong personal brand, a vision for the church’s brand in the 2010s and beyond, and an understanding of how outside forces might conspire to brand him.

My fellow Forbes contributor George Bradt, a leadership-development expert and the co-author of The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan,recently offered some interesting insights in his column about what the new pope can learn from past leaders: “Now the church is at a turning point and the new Pope must do his part to complete its cultural change,” he explained in his introduction. The last time this was so was in 1958, when Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli became Pope John XXIII. One of his first acts was, says Bradt, “to call the Second Vatican Council ‘to open the windows of the Church to let in some fresh air.’”

That’s a good start but a little vague. The new pope’s personal brand needs to assert that he’s someone suited to fostering changes in environment, values, attitudes, relationships and behaviors. “Given the new environment,” Bradt wrote, “the re-commitment to core values and the new attitude, strengthening relationships by strengthening communication, encouraging more in-depth debate and tackling conflict is critical to making Vatican II’s intended changes real and sustainable.”

Although Bradt concluded by stating that achieving meaningful culture change is a marathon not a sprint, Romy Ribitzky at Upstart Business Journal argued an opposite point, that Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden resignation “jolt[ed] the Church into Catholic 2.0” and “forced the Church to confront his departure in an entrepreneurial fashion.”

His stepping down, she continued, “forced the ancient institution to do what every startup has been doing for generations: adapt or fade.” It also reinforced his own personal brand with some “‘steel’ in his spine, humility, humanity and making the unconventional decision,’” as Ribitzky quoted career consultant Michael D. Brown. “‘You can’t give 100 percent of something you are not passionate about—it’s best to move on a connect back to your passion.’”

Click here to read the full article


For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.



I had a chance to review “Fresh Passion – Get A Brand or Die A Generic” by Michael D. Brown and I was inspired to say the least. This book is a collection of 9 sections about personalizing your brand to showcase your strengths in your career or business. There are quotes “ Quotable Notables” throughout the book  which are quotes on how personal branding helped individuals such as Oprah Winfrey, Ervin “Magic” Johnson, Donald Trump & Stephan King achieve success. Fresh Passion was ideal for me and I am sure my readers would agree because since I am a blogger, I review products, books, music & websites and this book in particular was perfect for what I am trying to achieve.

The section about goal setting explains the importance of setting goals in order to stay “Laser-Focused” to achieve success in both your business and personal life. The author even gives you a blueprint to help you with organizing your goals and what steps you need to take to reach them. My personal favorite is the section about technology and learning how to reach out to world more efficiently and effectively. This section gets into texting, blogging, conferencing & tweeting by using these technologies and tools to the best of their ability. I Blog & Tweet but there was never a target or focus and this book helped me identify the target and build upon it.

Click here to read the full interview.


For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.