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CustomerCare News The Promenade at Coconut Creek

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Fall 2010


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Customer Service & Higher Education page 10

A Celebration Media Publication

TALK of the TOWN Talk of the Town News Awards Online Ratings Review for Companies Across America

The Talk of the Town News, Celebration Media and Customer Care News are proud to present the most unique concept in online user-review ratings.

Post Results

We began by establishing online ratings to track customer satisfaction beginning in 2009, and have researched ratings for more than 300,000 companies since that time. Our team of researchers samples the most highly respected, no-cost, online user-review websites to measure customer satisfaction. We compile the data and create an outcome study that reflects the online feedback found. Then we post results for all the companies with a 4-star or better rating at no charge on our website As a business with leaders that have reviewed and published case studies on the most desirable companies in America, we found this to be extremely helpful and created a measurement tool using this customer-generated feedback.

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Publisher’s Letter


elcome to the first edition of Customer Care News. When Celebration Media

offered me the opportunity to publish on the topic and create a website and magazine dedicated to the improvement of customer, client, patient and student satisfaction, I

jumped at it. I set out to develop a staff of writers and consultants to cover the issues and trends related to improving customer care.

We are really excited and privileged to acquire the services of Dr. Keith Levick, the president and CEO of Goren and Associates,

a leading training and consulting company. He will serve as our Associate Publisher. A psychologist by trade, he has been working with

Fortune 500 companies as a consultant in the area of people performance/skills training and has been recognized as an expert in the field since 1984. His expertise will help keep our publication on track to serve you, our reader. We also went out and secured the editorial

direction of Jamie Rawcliffe. She and I have

Associate Publisher’s Letter


worked together for the past several years on various publications. She will make

sure the publication is accurate in all senses

t was a wonderful moment when I was asked to be the associate

of the word. With their help, and that of

publisher of this new and exciting magazine. During the years I

several others, we will cover a host of win-

have contributed to the professional community with many topical

ning strategies to improve customer care.

articles, and even had a column in a community newspaper. But, having the

Our focus will be on people performance,

opportunity to be part of a national magazine brought an adrenalin rush that

skills training, outcome studies, surveys and

I have not experienced in many years.

case studies of those companies that are

When Dale ( Jaslove, publisher) asked me to be the associate publisher,

experiencing success. We will report on the

my first question (really one of concern) was, “What am I supposed to do?”

He looked at me, chuckled and replied, “Just be you.” I believe it was my bewildered stare that prompted him to continue speaking. He went on to explain that this is my opportunity to communicate to the world the

things that I teach in the corporate classrooms, to share the plethora of interesting customer service stories

told to me when coaching leaders and to provide strategies to readers who need support with customer

universities that are making great strides in this newly created science. And we will

provide resources to help your company improve and grow.

I would like to thank the Forum for

service issues.

People Performance Management and

— a magazine. Overwhelming excitement has now replaced my concerns. Knowing that I have the trust and

Levick Strategic Communications, LLC;

I got it! Continue to provide the same kinds of services I provide to my clients, but in a different format

support of Dale has motivated me to write, research and provide nothing but the best customer care news.

Through this magazine you will gain insight into the newest trends and pertinent issues affecting busi-

nesses and customers. Business owners can no longer assume customers will arrive at the doorstep. Our

competitive environment demands that exceptional customer care is delivered every day by every employee. Your survival depends on this!

In our upcoming issues we will examine how colleges have finally adopted what every service business

has known for years — the importance of taking care of the customer. Yes, students are now seen as custom-

Measurement; Richard Levick, president of

The Performance Improvement Council; and Bruce Jones of the Disney Institute for their contributions to this edition. Our

vision is to deliver the most relevant material to help you, our readers, deliver the best customer care possible.

If along the way you have some sugges-

ers by many educational institutions. Other items we will address include customer service training and how

tions, please pass them on to us. We will lis-

that provide excellent customer care. These are just a handful of articles you can look forward to reading.

of intentions because you are the reason we

hospitals and physicians deal with patient (customer) satisfaction. Furthermore, we will profile companies

I and the staff at Customer Care News look forward to customizing our service by servicing our

customers. Enjoy.

Dr. Keith Levick

are here. I am looking forward to hearing

from you and delivering the highest value possible. Let us know how we are doing.

Dale Jaslove Publisher


Fall 2010

Associate Publisher

ten. And we will respond with the greatest

Table of Contents CustomerCare 05


Resources At Your Fingertips

Fall 2010

A glimpse of the top 10 best-selling

Publisher Dale Jaslove

books on customer satisfaction


Associate Publisher Keith Levick, Ph.D.

Six Free Ways Even Small Companies Can Prepare For Online Crisis

Editor-in-Chief Jamie Rawcliffe

Guidelines to help companies protect

their reputation in an increasingly digital age


Production Manager Chris Schramm

Customer Service Plays an Increasingly Important Role in Higher Education

Editors/Writers Mella Barnes

Amy Pagett

Q&A with Dr. Lewis N. Walker,

president of Lawrence Technological University, discusses customer service

Deterring Workplace Violence

rise, employers need to recognize the

Research further emphasizes the

warning signs of troubled persons and

importance of putting employees first

implement plans to keep employees safe

Website Design Melissa Sherwood

at the university




Why Caring Companies Win

How the Secondary Guest Can Make or Break Your Business

With violence in the workplace on the


Prescription for Performance

Top performance-improvement

Disney emphasizes the importance

companies provide a host of services to

of treating all guests as potential

help incentivize employees



Xpect Better Results

Michigan-based company works with restaurants to improve customer service


Anyone Can Take an Order

Restaurant employees’ emotional intelligence is key to futhering their success, and that of the restaurant

Fall 2010


The List

A guide to some of the top marketing research companies


Operations Manager Jennifer Barth Account Manager Fran Cohen

Contributing Writers Wally Jaczkowski

Bruce Jones Richard Levick Mikki Shenkenberg

Website Consultant Customer Care News 32000 Northwestern Highway, Suite 128 Farmington Hills, MI 48334 Customer Care News is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. The publishers have taken all reasonable steps to verify the accuracy and completeness of information contained in Customer Care News. The publishers may not, however, be held responsible for any inaccuracies or omission of information in any article appearing in the Customer Care News . Entire contents copyright 2010 by Customer Care News. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial content in any manner without written permission is strictly prohibited.

Customer Care News

Resources At Your Fingertips


by Mikki Shenkenberg

t Customer Care News, it is our goal to provide companies with information and

resources on providing top-notch customer service. To that end, we want to highlight some of the top books and periodicals available. Below is a list of the top 10 best-selling books on

customer satisfaction.

1. Thank God It’s Monday! by Roxanne Emmerich (FT Press, 2009), Full of inspiring ideas and engaging stories to create passion in your organization

2. Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Customer

Service Organization, by Leonardo Inghilleri, Micah Solomo and Horst

Schulze (AMACOM, 2010), Emphasizes the importance of building true customer loyalty, one customer at a time, and how to keep them coming back for more.

3. Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless: How to

Make Them Love You, Keep You Coming Back, and Tell Everyone They Know by Jeffrey H. Gitomer (Bard Press, 1998), Describes a game plan that any customer-serving employee, salesperson, manager, executive or entrepreneur can enact to ensure loyal customers.

4. The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth by Frederick F. Reichheld (HBS Press, 2006), Promotes golden-rule behavior that generates profits.

5. The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton (HBS Press, 1996), Uses observations

reported to help you in launching and implementing a “Balanced

Photo by Mikki J. Shenkenberg

Scorecard” program in your organizations with many ideas on communicating vision and executing strategies to success.

6. Results That Last: Hardwiring Behaviors That Will Take Your Company to the Top by Quint Studer (Wiley, 2008), Helps you develop standardized leadership practices resulting in better strategy and better customer relations.

“Top Ten” Books to Read

7. Secret Service: Hidden Systems That Deliver Unforgettable Customer Service by John R. DiJulius III (AMACOM, 2003), Reveals how to develop behind-the-scenes systems to enable your business to “go deeper” with your customers and have them feel welcome, comfortable, important and understood.

8. Perfect Phrases for Setting Performance Goals: Hundreds of Ready-to-Use Goals for Any Performance Plan or Review

by Douglas Max and Robert Bacal (McGraw-Hill, 2004), A practical job aid that makes it easy for your company to raise performance and focus your people on the organization’s top priorities.

9. What’s the Secret: To Providing a World-Class Customer Experience by John R. DiJulius III (Wiley, 2008), Contains the solutions, systems and answers by telling you how the top customer service companies in the world execute world-class service consistently.

10. Customer Service: Career Success Through Customer Loyalty (5th Edition) by Paul R. Timm (Prentice Hall,

2010), Describes the keys to customer satisfaction by empowering all organization members to participate

Fall 2010

fully in the ongoing process of winning customer loyalty. CCN

Books are available at, Borders, and Barnes & Noble


Fall 2010

Six Free Ways Even Small Companies Can Prepare For Online Crisis

by Richard Levick


Customer Care News


ark Twain famously said, “A lie can make it half way around the world while the truth is put-

ting on its shoes.” In the Digital Age, what was

once hyperbole is now an extreme understatement. Companies

that survive online attacks unprepared — such as Domino’s,

United Airlines and Motrin — do so only because they have strong reputations that were built over time. Other companies

— usually smaller in size or involved in business-to-business sales — lack the “trust bank” of public support necessary to

survive an online crisis. These victims, such as Westland Meat

Packing Company and Eagle Warranty Company, don’t have strong brands to fall back on — and thus, fall off the map entirely.

Businesses of all sizes and specializations must regularly

monitor the conversations regarding their brands and proactively leverage online best practices to ensure they are prepared

for crisis. Fortunately, the tools and tactics that build brand equity and bulletproof brands are often free — and by utilizing

these online tools, companies can take greater control of their reputation now, before a reputational crisis strikes.

These six steps outline free measures every company can

take to protect its reputation and bulletproof its brands. 1. Establish Google Alerts

The first step in any online reputation protection effort is

to set up an effective system to monitor social and digital media

2. Prepare a Crisis Response Plan

To paraphrase the Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu, every

for mentions of your brand. Start by establishing Google Alerts

crisis communications battle is won or lost before it is

time. This not only serves as a crisis early warning system, it

comprehensive online crisis communications plan, what you

to monitor what people are saying about your company in real also allows you to identify conversation threads and trends

and begin to develop messaging attuned to key audiences.

In order to comprehensively monitor the online space and track all related conversations, however, you also need to follow the high-authority bloggers and social media users who cover your industry; they can help provide advance

warning when a competitor or shared industry practice comes under attack. Finally — and particularly if there are hundreds

of daily mentions of your brand online — consider

they can help streamline the process of filtering complex online conversations.

do in the eye of the storm might not make much difference at

all. A successful plan should incorporate both traditional

and digital responses and also include strategies that can be

deployed on a moment’s notice. For instance, your crisis plan should identify the team members who are best equipped

to manage diverse situational needs. Whether this means preparing to utilize Google AdWords to spread your

messaging, respond directly to critics both online and off, or

launch new landing pages where concerned parties can turn for more information (to name just a few items to prepare), it is

Fall 2010

paid monitoring options such as Techrigy or Radian6, as

ever fought. If you don’t use peacetime wisely to develop a

imperative that you have a plan in place before any reputational crisis strikes.


3. Implement an Employee Social Media Policy

engagement. Policies can range from detailed guidelines on how

ees to get involved in social media, they are bound to do so

and spread positive messaging to simple regulations for keeping

Regardless of whether your company encourages employ-

No matter the length or specifics of your social media policy, however, the most important result is that your employees understand the power and consequences

in their personal time. Unfortunately, even when

engaging social media on their own, employees can inadvertently cause severe

ter the length or specifics of your social media policy, however,

the most important result is that your employees understand the power and consequences of social media participation. 4. Flood the Web with Positive Content

of American companies

reputational crisis is bound to dominate search results for your

Thus, a straightforward step in protecting your online reputa-

the crisis, particularly considering the role search engines play

in 2009, eight percent

reported brand damage due to employees’ social media activity.

Fall 2010

professional and personal lives separate on social media. No mat-

brand damage. In fact,

of social media participation.

tion is the development and implementation of an employee social media policy that outlines the Dos and Don’ts of online


employees can use social media to help promote the company

If your company has limited involvement on the Web, any

company. Needless to say, such a situation only compounds in modern reputation management. In order to prepare your

company for such a situation, flood the Web with positive con-

Customer Care News

meaning that if you can generate a base of fans, followers or supporters, these social media profiles are also likely to crowd

reputational attacks out of the top search results for your company. Some social media platforms, such as Facebook, present

an ideal opportunity to create a forum for your supporters and customers to populate content — meaning all you have to do is

create the venue and monitor for anything objectionable. Other sites, such as Twitter, require only 140-character updates — meaning you can send

out multiple Tweets

each week to help

build brand equity and bulletproof your

brand with a relatively

small time commit-

Businesses of all sizes and specializations must regularly monitor the conversations regarding their brands and proactively leverage online best practices to ensure they are prepared for crisis.

ment. But no matter where you choose to get involved, be sure

to make it a conversation with your key audience. Social media

is not another corporate megaphone; instead, it is an opportunity to truly connect with and cultivate brand ambassadors in the online space.

6. Address Criticism and Complaints Whenever Possible

Internet users today place more focus than ever before on

peer reviews and online forums in making purchasing decisions. This means that it is even more important than ever to

keep track of these comments and respond when appropriate. Consider following the example of Comcast’s Twitter presence,

where the company responds in real time to customer com-

plaints. While some particularly vitriolic complaints may not warrant a response, by regularly monitoring the most prominent and relevant online forums — including social media — and tent surrounding your brand now, before it’s too late. In order to maximize your brand bulletproofing efforts, content should

also be optimized for search engines. Start by using tools such

joining the conversation, you can help nip any potential crises in the bud and insert corrective messaging before others pick up on false rumors. CCN

as Google Keyword Tool and WordTracker to identify the top

Richard Levick, Esq., President & CEO of Levick Strategic

oping a step-by-step guide for your Web writers that outlines

highest-stakes global crises and litigation. His firm has directed

keywords on which to focus your content. Also consider develhow to best write for search engines. If you are able to build up a storehouse of positive, optimized content, you will create

a much higher threshold for reputational attacks to overcome when it comes to influencing public perceptions. 5. Engage the Social Media Space

social media. Social media platforms are highly authoritative,

the media strategies on Guantanamo Bay; the Catholic Church; the Wall Street crisis; the major

recalls; and the largest environmental, regulatory, corruption, and

merger matters in the world. Levick

Strategic Communications, LLC is

based in Washington, D.C. and can

Fall 2010

As you build out a storehouse of positive online content

about your brand, there is no better place to do so than on

Communications, LLC, represents countries and companies in the

be reached at 202-973-1300 or at


Why Customer Service Plays an Increasingly Important Role in Higher Education


Photos by Mikki J. Shenkenberg

r. Keith Levick of Customer Care News recently sat down with Dr. Lewis N. Walker, president of Lawrence

Fall 2010

Technological University, to discuss how customer service relates to the field of education.


Customer Care News

CCN: Has the issue of customer service affected education and, if so, how — in what ways?

LW: Well, I think it is a very big issue in education and something

that higher education needs to deal with a little bit better. It is very important to us as a private university.

Right next door to this building, connected to this building,

Photo by Mikki J. Shenkenberg

is the Alfred Taubman Student Service Center. And I don’t know

we do this as a team with the parent to try to make sure they get

we built that building to bring all the services that students need

time. That’s when the bulk of people that drop out of school

whether you looked at the function of that building or not, but here at Lawrence Tech together in one place, to serve them in

innovative ways — and I say all the services except the academic advising — but what you’d call tutoring and what we call our

academic achievement center is located there. We are distribut-

established here in that first year. That transition time is a tough run into troubles and don’t adjust to college, so we have a very

aggressive first-year program that then interacts with the parents very well.

Industry and the community are our customers as well

ing laptops right now to our incoming students, and the help

because they take our product, and we have to serve them well.

financial aid, the admissions, the registrar, the housing; the dean

for industry. Government, local government, various aspects of

desk and all the support for the students is there. So…are the of students is centered there; the actual athletic service activities are in the field house, but it emanates there and they can sign up

to do things there; all of the placement for finding a job is there.

And our philosophy is that we want to provide excellent service to our students.

We at Lawrence Tech have a very high expectation of what

They take our product — our graduates — and we do projects government [are] also a constituency we serve. We are a private

university, but we view ourselves as a community-serving republic. The governor will come here Friday evening for a program she wants to put on in an auditorium here at Lawrence Tech, so we serve people in that way.

Everybody has customers. Every faculty member has custom-

we want our students to accomplish. They must accomplish that,

ers — the students. The staff members have customers, if you

standard in every way we can. And in those service activities we


but we are here to help them accomplish that and to meet that

want to serve them very well. Again, we don’t do these things for

them — they have to take responsibility and do them. That’s part of their learning and development. But we are here to serve them

well and inspire them to stay the course and meet our standard

think of it that way, [which] they serve. We try to create that

CCN: How is Lawrence Tech preparing students to address customer-care issues in the future?

to be successful.

LW: One of the reasons we want to do this is to set a standard

CCN: Who is the customer? Is it the student or is it also mom

how they do things. They observe in ways that may not be spo-

and dad — the parents?

LW: Absolutely. We have many different customers we work with, and we do view our students as a customer. It’s a little different relationship because we get to specify what the academic

curriculum is and the program they have to achieve based upon professional standards, our knowledge of the profession, our

assessment of where it’s going in the future and how best to pre-

for students because they learn from us. Kids learn from parents

ken — how you act. If you have that customer service from your heart, you have an expectation. Parents, in my view, can’t be their

child’s friend. They have to love them, but you set a standard, an

expectation. You set a behavior and then you work with them in every way you can to develop them and nurture them and mentor them and make that happen — to prepare them. And then they learn how to behave from how you behave.

And our students are sponges [who] take from us not only

pare. Then we view them as a customer that we want to serve…

the technical facts or whatever we want to write on the

The parents are definitely customers who we work with

we act with integrity, with discipline, with caring and with cus-

and develop…in every way we can.

builds strong linkage with the parents. We put together a parent notebook…of various programs, contacts, how they interact; and

tomer service, but yet having an expectation, they will learn that,

Fall 2010

and build a close relationship with. So, our first-year program

blackboard — they see how we act and they mirror that. And if

and I think the best way to prepare them to have that approach is that. CCN


Why Caring Companies Win


ome of the most forward-thinking companies in

genuinely emphasizes the quality of people’s lives with a

their employees’ experiences at work and their

For the past two years, most business leaders have been

the country are putting people first by improving

work/life balance. And they are prospering. The approach may

preoccupied with finding ways to keep their core busi-

mance in an economy battered by change, according to a recent

Employees have been exposed to a variety of strategies

be the most effective strategy for improving company perforstudy by the Forum for People Performance Management and

Measurement, a Naperville, Ill.-based research center affiliated with Northwestern University.

Post-recession economics are paving the way for new

approaches to employee engagement and business productivity. The emergence of social media, an increasing need

for transparency, and labor market trends are transforming

Fall 2010

the global marketplace into a people-centered economy,

giving rise to a new concept called “employee enrich-

ment.” Employee enrichment is a strategic approach that


“people-first” orientation.

ness operating — to simply keep the organization alive. designed not only to attract the best talent, but to also

make them as productive as possible. Engagement techniques such as special training, career development and

employee incentives have worked, often yielding measurable results. Nevertheless, the past two years have seen far

too many employees preoccupied with the impact of a shrinking economy and company downsizing. This has left them

grateful for just being able to keep the jobs they have and their

leaders at a loss as to how to improve employee engagement and productivity.

Customer Care News

But the good news from all the upheaval is that there has

never been a better time to try new methods for improving the work environment, keeping employees engaged and generating better business results.

ronment. The fundamental shifts require organizations to place less emphasis on control and a more sincere emphasis on people.

In recent years, interest in how employees feel about their

One promising approach is detailed in a new study by the

work environments and leaders

entitled, “Leadership and the Performance of People in

of business organizations sur-

Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement Organizations: Enriching Employees and Connecting People” (Won-joo Yun and Frank Mulhern, Nov. 2009).

The study reframes the concept of business leadership

from a people-first perspective, examining the importance

of identifying and meeting the needs of multiple constituents — employees, consumers, shareholders and the community at large. The central focus is a concept called “employee enrichment.”

has grown as increasing numbers vey, study and reward successful

companies for exemplary human

Central to the concept of enrichment is a focus on the well-being of individuals.

resource practices. In just one

example, Fortune magazine partners annually with the Great Places to Work Institute® to conduct one of the most extensive

employee surveys and cultural audits in the United States in order to select the 100 “Best Companies to Work For.”

The Great Places to Work Institute website includes

Employee enrichment extends beyond the concept of

examples of what employees at some of the best workplaces say

employees to really have better lives. It addresses work and

• “Management truly encourages and expects individuals

work/life balance to encompass real concern for helping non-work factors and attempts to enhance people’s lives based

on the expectation that the better a person’s well-being, the better that person performs.

The concept of employee enrichment is very different from

employee engagement, which more or less says, “Management

wants employees to be engaged so they perform better for the company.” The study abandons the idea of using people to make an organization perform better and replaces it with a

“people-first” orientation. Implicit, but not dominant, is the

about their work environments:

to care for themselves before work. They understand personal lives are more important than jobs.”

• “We are obviously in business to make money, but the

people come before profits. The company takes care of the people first, and the people in turn take care of the profits.”

• “The company is always striving to improve itself and

at the same time giving individuals the motivation and encouragement to achieve their desires.”

expected positive outcome that enriched employees have on

• “Every morning I wake up I am more than excited to get

encourages an organization to make people the priority and

appreciates it.” (

the organization’s performance. The enrichment approach

then figure out how to make money in a people-first envi-

to work and do the best I can for a company that really ees.php, downloaded 1/8/2010.)

Fall 2010


Central to the concept of enrichment is a focus on the

each party sacrifices something to achieve something else.

for the employee and how employee interests are aligned to

tion and benefits. Employers provide compensation and ben-

well-being of individuals. The emphasis shifts to what is good organizational objectives. The reality is that people are the lifeblood of any organization. People provide resources to the

firm, shareholders provide capital, customers provide revenue

and profits, and employees provide labor, innovation, service and a host of other components that make success possible.

Using an enrichment focus means that care for the wel-

fare of people must be central to the organization’s culture.

its objective. In the context of a people-centered approach,

enriching the lives of employees gets added to the overall value exchange. The value exchange ultimately encompasses all aspects of what people get from organizations and what organizations get from people.

In the most recent selection of Fortune magazine’s Best

Companies to Work For (CNN, downloaded

relationships they have with their co-workers. Yet leadership

as: a fully staffed on-site medical center, a free fitness center

and management practices provide limited guidance on how organizations should build healthy communities and foster a culture of caring.

Fall 2010

efits in exchange for labor that helps the organization achieve

Places of employment are real communities for the people who work there. Employees place tremendous value on the

At the heart of the relationship between the employer

and the employee is the idea of a value exchange whereby


Employees provide time and effort in exchange for compensa-

1/21/10), extraordinary employee perks include such things and natatorium, corporate artists in residence, an on-site

farmers’ market, healthy living incentives, concierge services, and paid sabbaticals along with the more common techniques

like generous retirement investment matches, etc. Value also

comes in the form of “intangibles,” the invisible qualities

Customer Care News

offered in the work relationship that go beyond compensation.

constituents — employees, consumers, shareholders and com-

was asked by Forbes magazine to comment on actions that

of an organizational vision and alignment of interests.

Ben Behrouzi, founder of DotNext, had this to say when he companies can take during tough economic times to shore up

munity — it relies on the more traditional leadership approach

A fundamental gap exists between emphasizing profit

employee happiness and well-being:

maximization in the short-term and treating employees and

there’s no growth, especially in a recession. At DotNext, we

Adding the customer to the picture opens up the possibility of

“We all know that without a happy and thriving team,

employ a two pronged approach…: First, we immediately roll

out substantial, structured and predictable performance-based

compensation in the form of bonuses…. Second, we aggressively enhance the quality, frequency and quantity of spirited culture activities that play directly into happiness and well being.” (, downloaded 1/8/10)

Organizations can provide value to employees by moving

beyond the basics of regular compensation and benefits to

encompass personal growth. The idea of promoting personal growth among employees shifts the focus of leadership away from strictly marketplace outcomes and moves it toward the

enrichment of people’s lives. Implicit in such thinking is the expectation that the collective personal growth of individuals

actually contributes to organizational growth and performance. Personal growth can take a variety of forms including

education support, training programs, physical and mental

customers as people who have a variety of needs and concerns.

creating “customer enrichment,” that is, designing a company’s products and services to truly enrich the lives of customers. Further research is needed to determine how specific

management initiatives in product design or service delivery systems can manifest themselves in high-quality customer experiences.

There are many implications as a result of this research.

Among them are:

• The idea of developing “employee insights” much like consumer insights, as a way to deeply understand how to enrich employees’ lives

• The concept of serving the whole person and recognizing that “work” and “life” are no longer separated, and therefore can’t be balanced

• The importance of human connections — human social

networks at work lead to an emphasis on the workplace

wellness efforts, rewards, and incentive programs.

This human value connection also represents a “flow of

performance.” Organizations succeed because information

community and how that culture impacts society as a whole

As the ability to attract, retain and motivate high per-

and actions flow from person to person. While such a flow

formers becomes increasingly important in an emerging, post-

Yun and Mulhern emphasize personal relationships more

people-centered approach to leadership and overall business

seems to be identical to the idea of organizational processes,

than the rigidity of formal processes. A top-down approach fails to acknowledge the connectivity that happens on an

ongoing basis both within and, sometimes, across an organization. They explain that a necessary first step is to put

recession economy, further work is needed to develop a more strategy. One thing is clear: employers need to value their workers as people and reward them in ways that truly enrich their lives. CCN

mechanisms into place for tracking and measuring the flow of

The Forum for People Performance Management and

simultaneously manage multiple flows of performance among

Marketing Communications (IMC) graduate program at

performance, because organizations perform better when they

many people. Surveys can provide satisfaction and engagement scores while other metrics such as absenteeism rates, hours spent at work and employee retention can be added to the evaluation mix. Implications

The people-first framework outlined in the Forum study

Measurement is a research center within the Medill Integrated

Northwestern University. A central objective of the Forum

is to develop and disseminate knowledge about communications, motivation and management so that businesses can

better design, implement and manage employee engagement both inside and outside an organization. Contact the

Forum at 630-369-7780 or

probably fits best into the emerging information and service





to many situations. While it draws on a constituent-based




approach to leadership that balances the needs of multiple




Performance of People in Organizations: Enriching



Fall 2010

economy, nevertheless, the concepts it advances can be applied




How the Secondary Guest Can Make or Break Your Business

by Bruce Jones



hen Walt Disney started out as a young entrepreneur in the 1920s, he wasn’t sure where his fledgling business would take him and his brother, Roy. He just knew that he wanted

to entertain people of all ages. It was Walt’s focus beyond his core consumers (chil-

Fall 2010

dren) that truly sustained him and his company through good times and bad — a focus that remains the cornerstone of The Walt Disney Company today. 16

Customer Care News

Disney is renowned for its ability to surpass the expecta-

retail store and an employee is rude or dismissive to her child,

we like to call the “secondary guest” — someone who frequently

petition, she is more likely to simply leave, and possibly never

tions of children first and foremost, but it’s our focus on what

interacts with, or exerts influence over, a product but may not be considered a core consumer — that we believe sets us apart from

other entertainment companies. If you’ve ever been to a Disney theme park, taken a Disney cruise or sat through a Disney

Pixar film, then you know that our company is committed to entertaining people of ALL ages, everywhere.

Now, I know what you’re thinking — of course Disney can

entertain people of all ages, everywhere. They’re in the movie and theme park business! But the truth is, this concept works

in almost every industry. At Disney Institute we’ve helped clients integrate Disney’s best practices into health care, retail, food and beverage, and even manufacturing. Because the truth is, how you position and sell your product or service is just as

is she likely to make a purchase? With today’s increased comreturn. Now imagine that your employee strikes up a conversation with the child

and offers her a

few crayons and a coloring book to

Because the truth is, how you position and sell your product or service is just as important as what your business is selling.

play with while the

mother is shopping. In this case — with time to focus and

examine all you have to offer — mom probably makes that purchase. Even better, she comes back over and over again,

bringing her child every time. Her child, a daughter, comes to remember the store fondly. She may begin shopping there herself when she’s old enough.

Each year we receive thousands of guest letters that share

important as what your business is selling.

with us how a cast member went out of his or her way to make

Recognizing Your Secondary Guest

be back. In fact, we have quantified and correlated these inter-

Prior to the opening of Disneyland in 1955, theme parks

didn’t exist. Children went to carnivals, which were often scary

places with scary people and even scarier safety standards. They

everyone in the party feel special and because of that, they will actions with higher levels of intent to return and to recommend — key drivers of growth and profitability.

also weren’t much fun for adults. Walt dreamed of a place where

Putting it to Work

fun together.

apply the concepts we use at Disney because most of them cost

of the secondary guest — in this case, himself and his wife,

company’s mindset to make sure everyone — managers and

he, his wife Lillian and his two girls could have good, clean

Walt’s idea was an obvious success that led to the concept

Lillian. We continually work on this concept every day, always trying to find new ways to surprise and delight adults as well

as children. There are a variety of ways we do this, but nothing

The bottom line is that small business owners can easily

little to no money to implement. It’s really about adjusting the

employees — understand their role within the organization and treat everyone as a guest and a potential customer.

Every person who interacts with a business becomes

outweighs the impact of our employees, or cast members as we

an ambassador for his or her experience. If long-time

Cast members are trained to speak to guests, not at them.

children and grandchildren are also likely to become

call them at Disney.

For example, they bend down to speak to a child at his or her

level. This does two things: it makes the child feel important and involved, and it makes the parents happy because the child

patrons appreciate and value their experiences, then their loyal customers, who then refer friends, neighbors and business associates.

Disney continues to be successful with these strategies

feels special. Cast members are also trained to proactively seek

because we understand the importance of communicating and

trated. Days at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena

providing an unparalleled experience to your core and second-

out guest contact, especially with those who seem lost or frusVista, Fla., can be very long and exhausting. A cast member

who sees a crying child and a clearly anxious adult is encouraged to approach the child and suggest a game, or offer assis-

delivering value to all our guests. Exceeding expectations by ary guests will increase intent to return and to recommend, creating your own economic “circle of life.” CCN

tance in finding a cool place for the family to rest for a while.

Bruce Jones is programming director of Disney Institute, the

refresh so that the family can begin enjoying their day again.

Walt Disney Company. He can be reached at bruce.i.jones@

This simple gesture can help the child and the parents relax and

haps a child is the secondary guest. If a mother comes to your

Fall 2010

Now, think about this concept in your business, where per-

professional development and external training arm of The For more information on Disney Institute, please visit


Deterring Workplace Violence

Fall 2010

by Dr. Keith Levick


Customer Care News


our workday begins like any other day — organizing your desk, answering the phone and greeting

visitors as they sign in; you know, the typical

never eradicate such behavior, but we can take steps to deter the violence and aggression found in the workplace.

routine. On this day, however, Bob, an ex-employee, walks in

The profile

ond exchange between you and this man, he pulls out a gun and

lem, psychologists have been hard at work trying to understand

his demands. As people hysterically run for their lives, Bob finds

lethal and lethal acts of violence. Simply stated, non-lethal acts of

demanding to see Fred and Jan, his old managers. After a 30-secpoints it in your face. Stunned and numb, you follow every one of Fred and Jan in their offices, and in a paranoid and psychotic instant he opens fire and kills the managers and himself.

Sound like a scene from a Hollywood movie? Unfortunately,

this is the “breaking story” we see and hear much too often on the

evening news. Violence in the workplace is a reality happening

everywhere. The problem is no longer isolated to late night convenience stores. Hospitals, accounting firms, governmental agencies, corporate headquarters and more are all affected. For many, the workplace presents high stress and daily volatile events.

Since workplace violence is a predominately new social prob-

the dynamics of an attacker. It is important to differentiate nonviolence tend to happen impulsively. An employee who is angry

with another and destroys some furniture would be an example of non-lethal violence. Unlike the non-lethal person, the attacker

who commits murder in the workplace is not impulsive. In fact, he is quite selective and deliberate. The final act is one of a long chain of events.

The warning signs

Upon closer examination, these people present visible behav-

In the past decade, workplace violence has increased more

ioral warning signs. Unfortunately, many employees and man-

• Violence at work accounts for approximately 15 percent of

87 percent of managers who were interviewed after a murder

than 300 percent. In fact, statistics show that:

all violent acts experienced annually in the United States.

• Homicide is the leading cause of workplace death for women.

• Last year, two million Americans were victims of a physical

agers tend to deny and minimize these signs. In one study,

stated they “let things go unattended too long.” They went on to explain that fear drove their denial — fear of confrontation and/ or retaliation.

A manager of a Fortune 500 company tells of a time

assault while on their jobs.

he walked through his department and overheard one of

place of employment.

away.” Unsure of what to do with what he heard, he decided

• Approximately 16 million workers will be harassed at their • One in four people will be affected by workplace violence. Why?

To answer the question, “Why is there a dramatic increase of

workplace violence,” one needs to look at our society. Haven’t we

become more violent over the years? College campus massacres, husbands murdering wives, employees shooting employees, etc. We are besieged with violence on a daily basis. From the daily

newspaper to the nightly news, we have become conditioned and desensitized to violence. It is reasonable to assume, therefore, if the workplace is a microcosm of society, there will be an increase of violence in the workplace.

Furthermore, with downsizing, layoffs and mergers, employ-

ees are working more hours with fewer resources. Stress levels are at an all-time high among American workers. As stress levels

continue to climb, these workers become lightening rods ready to explode. These people are walking a psychological tightrope, and

the employees mutter, “maybe I should just blow some people to make a report to security after two sleepless nights. Fortunately, he made the right decision. Upon their

investigation, security officers found floor plans of the company’s headquarters, several weapons and a list of executives to be killed.

Having an awareness of the common warning signs may

prevent a terrible tragedy:

• Any verbal threat of violence

• Any physical action — intimidation, flashing a weapon, stalking, etc.

• Consistently angry and frustrated — usually associated with entitlement issues such as not receiving a promotion, being demoted, etc.

• Obsessive characteristics — obsessed with a co-worker

(often times romantically), a famous person or an individual with high status

What can you do?

feel secure at the workplace. Like violence in society, we may

eliminate workplace violence. However, if one recognizes some

We can no longer take solace in the fact that employees can

Fall 2010

when they fall, they fall hard, and often resort to violence.

Certainly, one cannot control another person’s behavior or


of the warning signs or a troubled person seeks assistance, the

human resources, security, medical, safety, legal,

• Always take threats seriously. Like a person who threatens

ate response procedures need to be developed. This

following suggestions may be helpful:

suicide, it may be a cry for help.

• Find ways to assist the person by:

• Listening empathetically

• Giving the phone number to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)-Work and Family Representatives

• Referring a community mental health agency, etc. • Recommending a stress management program

• Be sure to follow-up. Call the person to find out how they are doing.

What the organization can do

contacts police, etc.

2. Develop a consistent style of management and philosophy to be driven throughout the organization.

3. Security systems need to be assessed and security training provided for all employees.

4. Training managers and employees in such areas as identifying the warning signs, advanced communication skills, etc.

5. Create a network of support for the identified employee:

• Materials from EAP, mental health services, etc. should be readily available.

• Increase workers’ training around awareness of psy-

proactive in dealing with workplace violence. The typical worker

• For smaller companies where on-site programs are not

often times spends more time at their job than they do with their

own families. An employer has a responsibility to create a workplace that is safe and healthy for employees.

In addition to the human tragedy that results from violence

chological risk factors and coping strategies.

feasible, a liaison should be established with local mental health or social service agencies.

In a society where violence is part of the everyday culture,

in the workplace, there is a great financial loss to the organiza-

the workplace appears a bit safer than the streets. However, vio-

these crimes cost employers and workers more than $55 million

consequences for both employees and the organiza-

tion. In terms of lost wages, lawsuits and missed workdays, annually.

The following are items organizations should consider and

implement to help create a safer environment.

1. Create a Threat Management Team that carries out

Fall 2010

would include an anonymous hot line, a plan for who

As organizations strive to improve themselves, the issue of

violence can no longer be avoided. Companies need to be more

the policy regarding violence in the workplace. This

multidisciplinary team consists of personnel from


EAP and other employees. Additionally, appropri-

lence is an unfortunate reality of our times and has far reaching

tion. Companies need to be more proactive in dealing with

workplace violence and prepare employees for the inconceivable. Although violence in the workplace cannot be eliminated,

employers can provide a safer environment by offering workplace violence training and implementing preventative policies and procedures. CCN

Customer Care News

CustomerCare News

Fall 2010

Emerging strategies to improve customer and employee satisfaction

Subscribe to Customer Care News Magazine Latest Reading on Customer Care page 5

No cost for your next digital edition. Read about what others are doing to improve their online reputation and evaluate their own customer service progress.

Customer News Care L

Research shows that the reason customer satisfaction is so important is because of its impact on the many factors that affect a company’s bottom line. It generates higher customer loyalty, repeat business and increased revenue. In general terms, more satisfied customers make happier business owners, shareholders, employees and managers. The more a company focuses on customer care, the more it reaps the rewards of higher customer satisfaction. This creates a customer who will be more loyal, spend more money, treat staff better and spread the word online in everyday conversation. Happy Customers beget Happy Bottom Line and Happy Reputation Management Stakeholders. This should be the call of every company in America.

The Pro men

page 6

Thus, was created to shed light on issues and trends in the area of customer satisfaction and customer care. The publication will cover the leading industry providers of education and resources, which are vital to assisting companies in improving their customer satisfaction scores.


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Eng Stu den ine erin g ts and E.I. pag e 10

As a subscriber to Customer Care News, you will be engaged with the latest solutions to underlying problems that inhibit the best intentions as they relate to improving customer care. Read each issue by subscribing to the magazine. Do so by going to our website at or e-mail us at

Customer Care News Magazine 32000 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 128 • Farmington Hills, MI 48334 Engineering Students and E.I. 887-498-6405 ext. 800 page 10

A Celebration Media Publication

Prescription for Performance


ome of the top performance improvement companies in the United States tackle a range of challenges that can keep a company and its employees from reaching their full potential. Business improves when

employees and customers are recognized, rewarded, and engaged through effectively structured programs with defined goals and proven returns. The Incentive

Fall 2010

Marketing Association (IMA) provides education, resources and research to promote the use of incentive programs to the business community. 22

Customer Care News

There is no single secret to motivating employees to sell,

and Incentive Solutions.” Carlton Group is a full-service per-

proceed on a broad front, with motivational programs, realistic

recognition, e-learning, promotion and sales force automation

take care of customers, and generally sell. Companies have to goal setting, training, coaching, communication and more. Managers are rarely skilled in all these approaches, so it may be

a good idea for them to turn to specialists for help. The companies below provide solutions based on a client’s specific “people performance” challenge. Whereas many incentive-fulfillment

companies focus solely on providing merchandise and travel incentives, these performance-improvement companies are committed to addressing a client’s overall performance issues. They do this by:

• Under sta nd ing you r business before ma k ing

formance improvement company specializing in incentive and programs. They have revolutionized the incentive industry

by introducing the world’s first “On-Demand Recognition & Incentive Solution,” Power2Motivate®. By continuously evolving

the platform, this leading-edge method of delivering software through the Internet allows for low entry costs and rapid deploy-

ment, while providing the versatility to configure solutions to meet specific business requirements. Contact: Robert Purdy,

905-477-3791;; Headquarters: Ontario, Canada

Dittman Incentive Marketing is a creative quality leader


in the field of incentives, motivation and performance improve-

specific time, using whatever combination of strategies

of the five most innovative incentive companies in the United

• Developing programs to achieve specific results in a makes sense for the situation

• Being able to organize a complete solution, integrating all of the elements in the most effective manner

Beyond that, each is distinguished by its experience with

different types of audiences and programs. Some, for example, place greater stress on consumer loyalty strategies, while others

focus on business-to-business solutions. At least one special-

ment. The company was named by a leading publication as one

States. An award-winning company with a 24-year history,

Dittman has a proven track record as a creator of original, one-

of-a-kind motivation and education programs targeted at endusers, distribution customers, direct salespeople and non-sales

employees, to achieve critical corporate goals. Contact: Jim

Dittman, 732-745-0600;; www. Headquarters: New Brunswick, NJ

EGR International is a performance-improvement and

izes in offering fully integrated consumer and employee loyalty

meeting-management company serving Fortune 500 corpora-

The leading full-service incentive and performance-

and meeting-management efforts. For more than 30 years, EGR

services across an entire organization.

improvement companies have organized the Performance

Improvement Council (PIC) as part of IMA. The council’s purpose is to support research on incentive use, develop incentive education and training, and help enlighten corporate

America about the benefits of professionally structured incentive programs. Visit to access a list of these organizations.

tions and their performance-improvement, loyalty-management has been recognized as one of the industry’s most innovative and

creative companies, pioneering the use of leading-edge technol-

ogy that provides tangible, real-time benefits to both its clientele and program participants. Contact: Ryan Bearbower, 212-949-

7330;; www.egrinternational. com Headquarters: New York, NY

The Incentive Group provides loyalty-marketing programs

Anderson Performance Improvement Company is

that motivate employees, dealers and consumers to win mind

Together with its customers, its people plan and implement

grams provide 24/7 access for enrollment, attainment claiming,

the visionary leader in the performance improvement field.

creative, innovative solutions that accelerate its customers’ progress into the future. Anderson Performance Improvement

designs and implements behavior-based incentive and recognition programs that include analysis, measurement, communications, training, reinforcement and rewards. Contact:

Louise Anderson, CPIM, 651-438-9825; landerson@anderson-

share and market share. Their new web-based loyalty propoint-balance checking, an exciting rewards catalog with sort

features, reward ordering, and detail reports. Significant promotional and administrative cost savings are realized via the web.

Contact: Doug Press, 914-948-0904;; Headquarters: White Plains, NY

ITAGroup is a performance marketing company dedicated; Headquarters:

to helping clients boost market share, increase sales and profit-

Carlton Group Limited’s corporate mission is to become

satisfaction through the application of custom-designed mar-

the world’s leading provider of “On-Demand Recognition

ability, improve employee performance, and increase customer

Fall 2010

Hastings, MN

keting programs. Their primary business purpose is to assist


clients in becoming more successful by motivating people to

Maritz, LLC is the world’s largest source of integrated

action to improve performance and achieve measurable results.

performance-improvement, travel and marketing research Headquarters: Des Moines, IA

performance of people critical to clients’ success. The

Contact: Beth Schelske, 515-326-3400;; Madison Performance Group is a full-service perfor-

mance improvement company. Their people, processes, tools

and techniques are focused on the specific niche of web-based incentive companies. Madison is headquartered in New York

City but global in reach. Madison’s programs motivate participants worldwide. Their dedicated team of professionals subscribes to innovation, but focuses on daily execution. Madison

continues to help progressive companies do more with their incentive investment. Madison understands that in today’s

increasingly complex marketplace, one thing is clear: People








reward and recognition solutions of Maritz Incentives help

companies achieve their business goals by maximizing the potential of their employees and channel partners. Assessment,




analysis, project management and world-class award cards,

merchandise and travel card fulfillment enable Maritz

to tailor-make effective solutions for its clients. Contact: Jerry


636-827-1402;; Headquarters: Fenton, MO

Marketing Innovators International (MI), a full-

Performance always drives business results. Contact: Mike

service performance improvement company, is a leader in

com Headquarters: New York, NY

program development and administration, creative design,

the incentive industry. MI assists clients with customized

Fall 2010

Ryan, 201-934-4269;; www.madisonpg.


Customer Care News

program tracking/evaluation, meeting planning, incentive travel services, and customized information systems

for performance management. Products include gift certificates from 300-plus national merchants, award vouchers, debit cards, and merchandise. Multimodal redemption via phone, fax, mail or online. Contact: Rick Blabolil,

CPIM, 847-696-1111;; Headquarters: Rosemont, IL

MotivAction designs and executes strategic business solu-

tions that increase sales productivity and enhance employee

engagement. They are the most recognized and rewarded Performance Improvement Company in the industry based on achieving business results. MotivAction crafts and executes

strategic sales and marketing programs that get more from

your channel performance and customer retention investments. Their client-tailored programs drive relevant and personalized experiences that motivate desired action in your employees,

partners and customers. Contact: Janet North, 763-412-3000;; Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN

Motivation Excellence offers complete incentive design,

travel and merchandise awards, communications, administration (including web-based) and ROI-oriented financial rationale. Their innovative, consultative development

USMotivation is one of the world’s leading people perfor-

and implementation focuses on exceeding client expecta-

mance management companies. Working with organizations;

distributors, USMotivation’s programs increase bottom-line

tions. Contact: Gregory A. Lewis, president, 847-839-5555; Schaumburg, IL


O.C. Tanner’s global strategic recognition and incentive

programs align employees with corporate goals for long-term performance improvement. They are the winners of several

prestigious business awards and have served the world’s most

successful organizations for 80 years in 70 offices internation-

ally. Their company philosophy in short is: “Appreciation is our discipline, our art, our muse, and our practice. We are in the business of inspiring the best in each other. We are specialists

in appreciateology.” Contact: Michelle Smith, CPIM, 626796-5544;;

across all industries to motivate employees, customers and

results, recognize and retain talent, improve productivity and quality, advance sales channel performance, build loyalty, promote corporate goals, and more. Our business units cover

each major aspect of performance improvement, incentive applications and fulfillment, including incentive and award

systems, meetings and events, powerful interactive solutions, compelling communications, and promotional products and services.



Headquarters: Atlanta, GA CCN



Spear One manages customized sales incentive programs,

The Performance Improvement Council (PIC), a professional

— including group travel, channel marketing, recognition/

tively focused on helping companies optimize their investment

full-service meeting planning, and integrated promotions

sales kickoffs, road shows, conference training, registration/ product launches and campaigns. For more than 16 years,

they’ve partnered with Fortune 1000 clients to tailor innovative

Contact: Jeff Booher, 972-661-6070;;

in human capital through proven and innovative reward and

recognition solutions. The PIC is a strategic industry within the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA). IMA is comprised of

the companies that are leaders in the incentive industry. Contact

Fall 2010

incentive programs, effective meetings and clever promotions.

organization of performance marketing executives, is collec-

IMA at 630-369-7780 or online at www.incentivemarketing. org.


We at Customer Care News would like to recognize

companies that are helping improve customer service,

either within their own organization or as an aid to other companies in need of training or help with other

customer service issues. We are always looking for companies to profile. If you know of a company that is developing customer care skills, let us know.

Xpect Better Results Michigan-based company works with restaurants to improve customer service


pect Restaurant Marketing Solutions™ is a national company based in Wixom, Mich., that

focuses on the marketing needs of restaurants.

Xpect develops, implements and administers full-service/ front-of-the-house marketing programs that benefit restaurant

chains or independents of any size. It provides clients with a

tinues to grow. “We are expanding nationally and have

ing, web-based services, e-mail marketing, marketing consult-

says Whitworth. The company has also created some of its

variety of services, including menu development and engineering, customer loyalty marketing and rewards programs, and

server training. Xpect’s marketing strategies have been proven to attract new business, reduce costs, and increase sales and profits.

“Xpect was created out of needs that were observed in

the marketplace,” says Curt Whitworth, president of Xpect.

“Xpect Restaurant Marketing

Solutions is our new brand

ABCDXO Server Training System. Additionally, it stays on top of the latest trends and evaluates their effectiveness for

restaurants to use. Whitworth emphasizes that technology is changing the face of marketing, and many restaurant owners are not aware of new products that can drive sales or of the financial impact those products can have on their business.

Xpect’s services are normally best utilized by small chain

independent and single-location restaurants. The company’s

that were eventually grouped

training for the restaurant staff. “We have assisted [customers]

together into a one-stop marketing shop. “Xpect was created to expand our product

line beyond server training

programs to marketing programs to drive increased traf-

sales team can provide local in-market training or web-based

in changing the culture of their restaurants by turning their Order Takers into Sales People,” says Whitworth, who believes that improved customer care drives the entire guest experience

in the restaurant industry. Therefore, the servers and management team are a critical part of the guest experience.

One mistake many servers make in regard to customer

fic into restaurants,” he says.

service? Handing over the check too soon, says Whitworth.

started out small, it has seen

slide the check to the customer before asking if they would like

Although the company

Fall 2010

own products such as a national training program called the

identity.” It initially began

as a few smaller programs

tremendous success and con-


developments in place to cover a solid 15 states by 2011,”

When servers approach the table at the end of the meal and

anything else, they have already ensured that the customer will

Customer Care News

most likely say no. Customers view the bill as a sign that they

should not order anything else and should finish and leave as soon as possible. “What they are really saying is ‘you are done

eating, take your bill and move on.’ What they don’t realize

is that I have made the decision to dine at this establishment and am willing to pay for the entire experience. What they are not delivering is the ‘total guest experience,’ and the restaurant today could see up to a 20 percent increase in sales with the

customers they already have in their seats,” he says. Other mistakes restaurants make include improper food costing, beverage pouring and misuses of time, staff and supplies.

One way in which Xpect helps restaurants measure custom-

er satisfaction is through customer surveys online. Customers are much more likely to give an honest answer after they have had time to think about their experience and are in the comfort of their own home. Mystery shopping and market data from consumer purchases are also used to determine opportunities for improvement and growth.

Xpect holds quarterly reviews with its customers to see

where improvements might be made. It measures its own customer satisfaction through repeat sales and referrals. In turn,

Xpect Restaurant Marketing Solutions™

to determine customer satisfaction. “Customer referrals drive

Wixom, MI 48393

Whitworth says that restaurants can use the same methods increased sales,” he says. “Have your staff strive for complete customer satisfaction, and in turn, ask your customers to refer their friends.” CCN

50168 Pontiac Tr., Ste. 7

248.960.1683/866.297.5972 fax: 248.960.9405

Fall 2010


Anyone Can Take an Order


by Keith Levick

ere is a fairly simple question: Would you hire a person with poor communication skills, who flies off the handle when under pressure, and who is unaware of how his or her attitude affects others? Of course not! However, these people litter

workplaces across America, including restaurants. While they may be good at “taking the customer’s order,” some servers may lack the skills required to truly connect with the customers. Unfortunately, this disconnected attitude leads to poor customer and employee satisfaction and ultimately affects the restaurant’s bottom line — negatively. If you are truly trying to separate yourself from the pack, you

and neuroscience. Conceptually, EI is a broad term that focuses

on the menu and other food specialties unique to your restaurant.

the traditional areas of a person’s IQ and technical or business

have to commit to training your entire staff. You educate them Are they trained, however, in the interpersonal skills required

to exceed your customers’ expectations? Your hosts/hostesses,

servers and other employees are the ones with whom your customers will engage and interact. These front-line employees (and

managers) are critically important to the overall success of your business.

maintain positive relationships via managing emotions, trusting “gut” feelings, being aware of and attending to nonverbal communication, and by empathetically connecting with people.

Clearly, a server’s traditional intelligence is able to provide

him or her with an accurate answer if the food is not prepared

connect with their overall dining experience that affects the

rect response when an angry customer is casting aspersions or a

success of a business. Additionally, the importance of the server’s awareness of his or her own emotional state cannot be

overestimated. How can a server manage a disgruntled customer when he or she is unable to deal with his or her own negative

attitude? Feelings are contagious; but if one is emotionally tone deaf, the consequences could be widespread throughout

properly. A person’s IQ , however, often fails to provide the corco-worker accuses another of stealing his or her tips. Research

suggests that a person’s EI can explain a variance in job performance, all else being equal to another person. Research shows:

• There is a strong correlation between employees’ satisfaction and customers’ satisfaction

the restaurant.

• The hosts/hostesses and servers are the first and primary

employees) are ones who possess both traditional intelligence

• The hosts/hostesses, servers and buss-people’s observable

The most effective employees (leaders are also considered

Fall 2010

skills. A working definition of EI is the ability to build and

It is the ability to anticipate customers’ needs, be aware

of their emotional state, demonstrate empathy and truly

(IQ ) and “people skills” — emotional intelligence (EI). EI is

the hard science of people skills built on the split brain theory


on one’s interpersonal competence and skills that fall outside

contact points for the customer

behavior drives the customers’ perceptions of the service quality of the restaurant

Customer Care News

Although the above bullet points are relevant to a restaurant’s

profit, the last bullet point is extremely significant. Here is why:

• One hundred satisfied customers generate 25 new •

customers A







retention equates to a 25 to 55 percent increase in profitability

• Negative word-of-mouth results in an 8.5 percent decrease in revenues

• When a customer is dissatisfied:

• Four percent tell management • Ninety-six percent go away

• Ninety-one percent never return When employees in the restaurant industry dem-

onstrate a lack of EI, it reduces customer and employee satisfaction, bottom











relationships with customers and other employees is a

critical aspect of all job positions in a restaurant. emotional





Fall 2010


both financially and professionally beneficial to restaurant employees. CCN


The List


by Wally Jaczkowski

o know your client is to succeed, whether you’re selling

insurance or selling apples.

Rule number one in the business world is

to figure out exactly who your target audience is, what they want and how to give it to them. To best adhere to this rule, it’s a

good idea to get some outside help. You’re running a business; you don’t have time to send out surveys, right? Luckily, help exists

in abundance, in the form of marketing

research companies. Below is a list of what we believe to be the top of the crop, with services ranging from small business to global corporation research assistance.

• Polaris MR,, 866-217-7014, Full-service

major companies providing proprietary research, customer insight,

1989, Polaris offers premier survey programs for customer satis-

• Mintel,, 212-796-5710, Business Marketing

Marketing Research. Successfully providing quality service since

faction and loyalty, brand research, and new product development research.

• TNS Global,, 212-991-6194, Global

Marketing Research. TNS is a custom market research company

organized around its clients’ industry sectors. It prides itself on

leading market intelligence, delivering information, analysis and

critical recommendations. Its portfolio of proprietary industry solutions has been supporting high-profile clients in key sectors such as financial services, media, retail and leisure.

• Nielsen,, Consumer Goods, Media,Telecom

• Experian Simmons,, 212-471-2850, American

clients a precise understanding of the consumer is the key to mak-

Marketing Research. Experian Simmons is a leading source of

high-quality research and single-source measurement of the brand

preferences, lifestyle, attitudes and media usage behaviors of the American consumer.

• J.D. Power and Associates,, 805-418-8000, Full-service Marketing Research. J.D. Power and Associates is

a global marketing information firm that conducts independent and unbiased surveys of customer satisfaction, product quality and buyer behavior.

• Kelton Research,, 310-479-4040, Business-specific Marketing Research. Kelton Research’s unique methodologies, interviewers and analyses aim to do more

than just give you the data: they strive to bring the data to life. This firm is definitely geared toward the most individualized researching possible.

• Forrester Research,, 617-613-5730, Technology/Marketing Research. Forrester is an independent

Fall 2010

Research. Mintel is an award-winning provider of world-

speaking its clients’ language to help them make better business decisions.

research company that provides advice to global leaders in busi-

ness and technology. It works with professionals in 19 key roles at


consulting and executive programs.

Marketing Research. The Nielsen team believes that providing ing the right decisions. Nielsen is always innovating to keep

pace with emerging market trends and the increasingly diverse, demanding and connected consumer.

• Talk of the Town,, 877-498-

6405, Small-business Reputation Management Research. Talk of the Town is part of Celebration Media, a marketing, research and publishing company that provides much-needed feedback to help companies gain the winning edge that attracts

new business. It posts the results of thousands of hours of surveying the most widely used user-review websites to determine a rating system for customer satisfaction, all at no charge to the business owner.

• Customer Care News,, Customer/Client Relations Research.

was created to shed light on high achievers in the area of customer satisfaction and customer care. The publication covers the leading industry providers of education and resources, which are vital

to assisting companies in improving their customer satisfaction scores. CCN

Customer Care News

Goren and Associates, Inc. We Believe Learning is a Process, Not an Event!

Goren and Associates Inc., headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, is an organizational training, executive coaching, and and consulting company since 1981. We design and develop customized courses to fit the needs of our clients. Our goal is to create a collaborative partnership with our clients. Together, we strategically assess, define, develop and deliver the highest quality and relevant learning solutions for employees. • deliver high energy, instructor-led training • certify the organization’s trainers to facilitate our coursework • work with poor functioning teams to become re-aligned, resulting in higher performance • assist organizations in managing all phases of a change initiative • deliver organization and employee assessments • provide one-on-one leadership coaching • facilitate strategic planning and visioning • facilitate executive retreats

Goren and Associates, Inc. 32000 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 128 Farmington, MI 48334 800.851.0824 www.

Our Belief Goren and Associates believes that people are a company’s most important investor. Yes, investor! They choose where, when, and how to invest their time, effort, skills, knowledge and attitude. These investors are the organization’s most valuable and vital resource. We believe that a performance driven culture where employees are treated as assets whose value can be enhanced through investments, creates a win-win return-on-investment (ROI) for both the organization and its investors.

Customer Care News - Fall 2010  

Emerging strategies to improve customer and employee satisfaction

Customer Care News - Fall 2010  

Emerging strategies to improve customer and employee satisfaction