Blog entry by Alan Chapman

Picture of Alan Chapman
by Alan Chapman - Tuesday, 27 June 2017, 7:20 PM
Anyone in the world

A super customer service story

I was told a wonderful true customer service story recently. It took place in a cinema cafe, which is extremely well-run and serves fabulous food. The staff there are all fabulous too, including one man - let's call him Peter - who is extremely professional, kind, and brilliant at his work. One day a customer had cause to complain about something, and rather aggressively approached Peter at the counter, and demanded, "Who's in charge here?.." To which Peter replied:

"You are Sir, what would you like?.. "

Isn't that fantastic.

And extending the notion of questioning..

Questioning is a powerful alternative to making statements.

A good question is often much better than a defensive remark, or a counter-accusation, for all sorts of situations. Using an open question (What...?, How...? especially) is a simple and effective technique for resisting forceful or bullying pressure. Using questions, rather than statements and guesses, is also very effective for building trust, diffusing conflict, understanding situations, managing other people, teaching, training, and parenting. Traditionally, questioning is regarded as mainly a sellingskill, but it's powerful and productive in virtually every circumstance involving human cooperation.

Anyone can be a leader - inspiring others, helping others, making a positive difference to someone or something. Leadership is most effective and easiest when it is adaptable. Explore different theories of leadership - they each offer adaptable methods, styles, etc.

What's the most powerful rule of negotiating?...

Have an alternative.

Be able to walk away.

This simple principle is often ignored, particularly because as buyers or sellers we all tend to focus and fixate on a single option, which quickly creates a dependence on it, which produces pressure (including time/deadline) to agree a deal, which weakens our position, and strengthens the position of the other side.

Nudge theory helps us understand why we fixate on a single option, and why the apparent desirability of a single option increases.

The Psychological Contract are additionally very useful models and tools in planning and assisting others through change.

Pareto's 80-20 Theory is very useful for problem-solving, decision-making, downsizing, optimization, streamlining, and all sorts of evaluation and change, in business, organizations, and personal life too.

Erikson's Life-Stage Theory can be extremely helpful for:

  • Understanding yourself, and how your priorities change through life.
  • Understanding this in others.
  • Teaching and exploring this with others.
  • Understanding how to motivate and relate to people of different ages.

Acronyms are brilliant and entertaining devices which offer all sorts of opportunities to add interest and amusement - and crucially impact and memorability - to trainingwriting and presentations.

And the acronym is just one of scores of fascinating language curiosities and effects, which help bring spoken and written words to life.

Businessballs offers other useful glossaries too:

For example see the business dictionary and the glossary of common Latin terms - again these are super resources and inspiration for training and communicating in most situations.


[ Modified: Wednesday, 16 January 2019, 5:52 PM ]