“AHA!” Moments - Ideas Briefly Stated
Belief and trust are not the same. Sometimes they interact, sometimes they conflict. A person may believe in fire breathing dragons, but science has not documented their existence. Beliefs change over time, especially with experience and knowledge. More….
The more that "high tech" marketing and sales tools provoke negative reactions, the more crucial it is to differentiate your company with positive "high touch" CUSTOMER BUILDING practices. More….
Every business starts with a belief that they have a product or service that others need and will buy. The business usually starts slowly, as time, energy, research, and an untold number of conversations with friends, colleagues, external advisors, and potential customers begins to congeal into a Vision, Mission, and Purpose. More….
Every business struggles with creating new clients. Whole departments and countless resources focus on selling - on finding and persuading prospects that your company can satisfy a given need, solve specific problems, and that your value proposition is a "fair exchange." More….
If it seems that every company is talking about customer experience, it is because Customer Experience (CX) is one of the very hot issues in business management. As evidence of this - customers receive several requests each week to respond to surveys, and social media posts. More….
A business culture is all the thinking, decision making, and actions within that business. Put simply, it is observable and measurable behavior that happens every day.
It is not a secret - strong business cultures are more successful than weak ones. More….
We believe that gaps - also called challenges, problems, issues, roadblocks or even headaches - once resolved, can significantly accelerate individual and companywide achievement. We see gaps as impediments to progress, and if removed, good or even great things can happen. More….
Mission, Vision, and Purpose defines every business, but that is only part of what makes each business unique. It might start with an idea or an inspiration about how to do something differently - better. It might start with "opportunity knocking on the door." More….
In our business practice, we outline the differences between quantitative and qualitative measurements. It is a bit like comparing what you can get your hands around - compared to what you feel. More….
I value the ancient wisdom of Socrates. "The unexamined life is not worth living." As a former metal health practitioner, I encourage everyone to take the inner journey to self-understanding. Self-examination that leads to clarity and purpose - enables a person to change. More….
There are many famous quotations dealing with change. Change is inevitable, like death and taxes. Change is challenging for most of us to embrace. Most of us prefer our lives to have certainty and predictability, with a comfortable routineness. Often unknown to us, we are creatures of habit. More….
Occasionally, there is a memorable line in a movie that is seemingly applicable in many aspects of life. For me, it's from the 1991 movie, City Slickers. More….
Almost without exception, business owners and executive teams would say an emphatic NO. Everyone is seeking greater levels of individual and organizational performance. Whatever type of organizational change or initiative you plan - be it a strategic or tactical initiative - there are a few basic things to keep in mind. More….
Behavioral psychology helps us understand that reinforcements control our behaviors - in that a behavior is either strengthened or weakened by what happens following the behavior. More….
The discipline and resolve for an individual to effectively change is difficult, but it can be even more challenging inside a business. It is far more complicated, with many moving parts that need to work together to achieve a given set of objectives. More….
Anyone responsible for leading and managing other employees can attest that requiring or even influencing behavioral change in others working for you is highly problematic. Whether in the form of a casual suggestion intended to motivate (softly delivered), structured coaching (with or without an invitation), formal group training or something more threatening with consequences, changing how someone behaves is quite challenging. More….
In this season businesses look to the New Year, wanting to perform better during the next calendar year. Strategies and tactics will be based on current market and demographic analysis, product/service mix, funding, budgeting, and many other factors. However, traditional "spreadsheet" analysis covers only part of the performance forecasting equation. More….
It is difficult to think of any company without assigning positive or negative "labels" that reflect your perceptions of the company. Some labels are promoted by the company through marketing and advertising efforts; others are experienced by how you interacted with the company, through its website, store and its employees. More….
Culture is a business buzzword. Much is said, but many individual companies do not rigorously examine the unique elements of their own culture. A person has a personality - one's own observable characteristics of behavior. A business culture is the collective personalities of all employees. More….
It is difficult to achieve goals without having specific directions and plans. In your business, your vision - to your strategic objectives - is crucial to achievement.
We consistently hear business owners talk about their need to overcome market challenges and "grow their business." We always hear that they want MORE Clients, Revenue, Profits, and Predictability about future performance.
Most businesses have achieved some measure of success and growth delivering their products and services to the market - but again they want More….
Ask entrepreneurs about the reasons they started their businesses, and more than likely it is about possibilities. Doing what excites them personally, making customers and building business relationships puts their imagination into action.
Business leaders need to understand the reasons why prospective customers will buy goods and services from them - and how their business is differentiated from the competition.
Business plans and strategy are fundamental, but specific cultural elements drive each enterprise to failure or success. In the final analysis, the daily actions of employees carrying out the vision of the company will tally the score. More…
80% of Companies Say They Deliver Superior Customer Service.
ONLY 8% DO!
A startling statistic from the Social Fresh 2016 Conference. GAPWORX has multiple tools to deal with this challenge. More…
Do you want MORE?
Business owners want MORE - Clients, Revenue, Profit and Predictability. Your MORE is realized by having motivated and capable employees consistently dedicated to thrilling your customers. We help you achieve your MORE.
Building Brand Value
Marketing is traditionally responsible for a company's brand. Rather than focusing only on the brand elements of Product, Price, Place and Promotion (4Ps), we recommend that you build brand value by also paying attention to People - to your employees and your culture. The perceptions of your customers - and your company's brand image is reflected in company culture.
Improving Customer Experiences
Peter Drucker said, "The business of business is to create and keep a customer." We agree. Drucker recommended workplace knowledge and competencies training, to strengthen employee engagement to then deliver great customer experiences. Training is often viewed as "nice to haves," rather than "need to haves." By changing the frame of reference, training and development become need to haves that increase bottom line results.
Improving Business Culture
Your culture is your "business personality" and everything that happens there - and it causes the financial outcomes you have. Strong business cultures are characterized by clear core values, ethics, solid trust, and high employee engagement. A weak culture indicates a mix of unclear messages, contradictory policies, poor leadership, bad bosses, and employee disengagement. Businesses with strong cultures significantly outperform businesses with weaker cultures.
Improving Employee Engagement and Performance
Employee engagement is a key measurement of a strong company culture. Engaged employees get more work done, create more engaged customers, and make the company more money. Disengaged employees might sabotage relationships with other employees, or even your customers. Employee Disengagement costs your company serious money
Empirical data confirms that engaged and committed employees drive company success. Conversely, data also confirms that disengaged and dysfunctional employees hurt company performance. An engaged culture that aligns employee performance to a company's Mission, Vision and Purpose dramatically improves top and bottom line performance.
Engaged Employees Creates Engaged Customers
What is an "engaged customer?" It is a customer that rewards you with loyalty, repeat business, and even advocates for your business with others. It is a "thrilled" customer.
You cannot have thrilled customers without having engaged employees! How employees feel about the vision and direction of the company, how they are treated by their supervisor, and how well they are matched to the job affect customer engagement. Experiences you deliver to your customers connect emotionally to products and services they buy from you.
Ultimately, a company's success or failure is determined by its customers. To foster ongoing success - sales and marketing personnel and supportive processes must Find and Get (SELL) new customers. But, everyone in the company must work to Keep and Thrill (RETAIN) those customers, too. Therefore, long-term company growth and prosperity is a companywide effort. Employees should be trained and enabled to support "customer development," to actively support the "sales processes," and to communicate with both fellow employees and customers to keep those customers and build ongoing sales. LINK TO FIND and GET, KEEP and THRILL
SELL … Isn't a Four Letter Word
When we interview employees whose responsibilities and roles are generally described as administrative, customer service, operations, human resources and likewise, it is crystal clear in most conversations that the company's "selling" activities are often cloaked in misunderstanding, mystery and either a sense of glamour or "I am NOT in sales!"
So … What is selling? For the Sales Department and many senior executives it is a set of professional competencies, measurable requirements and specific behaviors that are heavily focused on the creation of customers.
All "non-sales" employees must have effective problem solving, persuasion and communication capabilities. All employees support professional selling by resolving customer problems, and by delivering excellent Customer Experiences and value.
"It is impossible to make good decisions without infusing the entire process with an honest confrontation of the brutal facts … and to act on the implications."
- Jim Collins, Good to Great