Sunday, January 29, 2017

Create Customers for Life: 5 Ways to Focus on Customer Experience

create customers for lifeEveryone wants to create customers for life, Right? Unfortunately, not EVERYONE is paying enough attention to that very big cog in their business engine. I recently ran across this quote from former CIO and Senior VP of Dell, Jerry Gregoire, “The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.”  Isn’t it time to pay attention to your customer experience?


When was the last time you looked at what YOUR customers are experiencing from a lens OTHER than your own? It’s an important question to ask yourself and your team if what you really want is to not only compete in our world today. You know the old saying, “good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster?”  It’s never been more true than it is in a world where social media is front and center and consumer tolerance for less than perfect is slim to none.


So, what can YOU do to ensure that your customers are raving fans and stay that way for the long haul?  Step ONE – pay ATTENTION to what matters. Step two – follow these five strategies:


  1. Get out in front of social media. What are people saying about your company?  Have you checked Yelp? Twitter? Facebook? Trip advisor (if you’re in the hotel or travel industry)?  Are people saying good things or bad?  Are you responding to comments? Likes? Forwards? Reviews?  Are you reading the information with an open mind and looking for every little way you can improve the experience your customers feel when they interact with your company? Every bit of information is valuable. Remember these wise words from Bill Gates, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
  2. Mystery shop or blind call your company. There are services everywhere that are experts at analyzing the customer experience of organizations. From sending in mystery shoppers to cold dialing your service department to testing your technical team.  This can be illuminating on so many levels.  It’s easy to get myopic when it comes to our own team and what we believe to be an amazing experience, and often, your staff is on the money in terms of service and standards. But it never hurts to check in with an outsider’s perspective now and again to see what’s really a true customer experience so you’ll know what to tweak and change.
  3. Create focus groups. Pull a group of your good customers together and ask them for feedback on what’s working and what’s not. Let them know your goal is to continuously elevate and improve their experience.
  4. Walk a mile. Ever hear that saying, “walk a mile in someone’s shoes”? When was the last time you purchased from your company? From start to finish? From phone call or web portal all the way to product in hand or service met? It can be quite enlightening.
  5. Review your communications. Listen to your voice mail lately? Read your signature line? Hear your outgoing company message? Update your website? Take a look at your business cards? Did you put all that together in 1990 and haven’t changed it since?  Our “signatures” in all the different communication forms they come in have affect the customer experience. I love Toni Newman’s ideas. She speaks about innovation and shares all the ways these touch points can be innovated to elevate the customer experience. Check her out at

When you brainstorm ideas to create an innovative, elevated customer experience, that create customers for life, consider these ideas:


Lastly, take away this thought from Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” Yes Jeff! He’s got the perfect idea. Make your business a party people want to keep attending friends. They’ll be customers for life when you do.   I’d love to hear from you! Share your ideas with us here!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Michael Stanier’s Coaching Habit Book Review

Michael Bungay Stanier The Coaching Habit

As a fan of the ‘Do more great work‘ book I was delighted to read another book by this fabulous author. I hope you enjoy Michael Stanier’s Coaching Habit Book Review.


Michael (a fellow Aussie), writes in a fun, easy, and approachable way that makes the reader feel like he is sitting there coaching you through this 7 question coaching methodology.


This book is beautifully designed, easy to read and full of gems. I love the large font quotes and ease of processing great information with his chosen layout. You can also treat it like a workbook because each chapter has an application section to ensure you implement his great advice. So keep your pen handy to highlight his brilliance and also create your own action plan.


If you are a leader in your organization this is a must read. As a keynote speaker and attention expert, I am always on the lookout for great resources to recommend to my clients and audiences, this book is just that. I also partner with my clients as their executive mentor and strategic advisor and I look forward to including Michael’s 7 questions in future sessions.


One of the highlights of this book is the ‘treasure trove of additional awesomeness’ included with specific book recommendations based on areas of interest. This is testament to another way that he adds value for every reader.


Do yourself a favor, read this book, and buy it for every one of your leadership team.


Box of Crayons MICHAEL BUNGAY STANIER The Coaching Habit and Do More Great Work


Michael is the Senior Partner at Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work.


He’s the author of several books, including The Coaching Habit and Do More Great Work. Michael has written for or been featured in numerous publications including Business Insider, Fast Company, Forbes, The Globe & Mail and The Huffington Post.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Ten Ways Intentional Attention Creates an Extraordinary Life

intentional attentionHere’s a fun fact: According to the Information Overload Group, we lose $588B dollars (yep that’s billion) each year in US business because we don’t pay attention! Imagine that.


Recently I was interviewed on WFMZ 69 News at Sunrise by the lovely Eve Russo, about the need for intentional attention and how we all need to pay more attention every day.


She asked some great questions and you can see the 4-minute segment here: 

In our lightning-paced world, people everywhere are experiencing an attention deficit crisis. I believe attention is the new currency. Attention is EVERYTHING!

Intentional attention is about creating moments that MATTER. Here’s the caveat to that however:  Intentional attention may mean reducing your social media time, putting away devices and noticing everyone around you. While that may seem a little stressful – your life will be richer for it:


Here are 10 ways you can give intentional attention today:


  1. Stop checking your social media (or texting) while driving. Did you know nine people die everyday because of distracted driving? This one could not only enhance your life but SAVE your life!
  2. Have a device-free meal. Create a rule no cell phones on the table. When I eat with my friends we put all cell phones in the middle of the table, first one to pick theirs up pays the whole bill!
  3. Leave your device in your bag. Be totally present. Pay attention to the conversation, meeting or meal that is happening not your screen.
  4. Spend 15 minutes with someone when they get home. When your honey arrives, or the kids finish school, or your parents arrive. Someone misses you today… it might be your love, your puppy, your parents or your little people. Take a quick time out to connect one-on-one.
  5. Make a virtual date. Schedule a Skype or Zoom call or FaceTime someone with a coffee, wine… or in my case, champagne. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, but seeing people face-to-face is such a treat. Technology makes that easy for you.
  6. Use blocking apps. I am a huge fan of Freedom app that blocks social media, email and websites for periods of time. Try it out.
  7. Be comfortable with awkward silence. Make the most of the moments that matter when you are driving in your car with a loved one, waiting for the next person to speak at dinner or sitting on a teleconference. Silence allows space. Allow people to think and react more thoughtfully.
  8. Smile at those in service. I make a point of smiling at baristas, using their names, chatting with the bagger at my grocery store, the flight crew on the planes, the gate agents. These people have important roles and they have chosen careers to serve others, let them know you see and appreciate them.
  9. Listen with your eyes. My friend Donovan taught me this valuable lesson. We don’t just listen with our ears, we listen with our eyes – give someone the gift of your undivided attention.
  10. UN-everything. Unfriend those you don’t enjoy. Unfollow people and companies cluttering up your feed. Unsubscribe from emails you don’t need or read. Untag yourself in posts and pictures you don’t like. Easy peasy.


It’s an extraordinary time to be alive. When we take the time to slow down a little and truly appreciate the world, the people around us and the moments we’re in – we can enjoy it all the more.

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WAKE UP and Pay Attention - WFMZ with Eve Russo

Watch video on YouTube here:

WAKE UP and Pay Attention - WFMZ with Eve Russo

Watch video on YouTube here:

Monday, January 16, 2017

ATTENTION to Employee Stress and Health

employee stressSet the Tone for Success

Bottom line? When your team members aren’t at the top of their game in terms of health and wellness it absolutely affects the productivity, profitability and your ability to compete at a high level. But, when you give your team the tools and cultivate the environment that allows them to feel their best and optimize the health and employee stress — you’ve got a powerful recipe for skyrocketing productivity and a can’t beat momentum. Where to start?


PAY ATTENTION to the health and wellness of your team members.


Here are a few ways paying ATTENTION to this critical factor of your organization can pay you back in high dividends:


  1. Create a healthier environment. Make your workspace a hotbed of healthy choices to see stress goes down and healthy choices go up. Try:
    1. encouraging breaks
    2. taking notice of those who consistently stay late and work to change that
    3. keeping a supply of healthy snacks and fresh water on hand
    4. increasing the presence of live plants in the office to purify the air
    5. Hosting a morning or afternoon stretch session daily


  1. Reward employees for kicking bad habits. I’ve worked with many organizations who make health a priority.  Some ideas to do that as well include:
    1. Host a fitness contest. The person that loses the most in a certain time frame wins a prize or even better – means dollars towards a charity of choice.  When people have a common cause or purpose that they are passionate about, it’s easier to stick to goals.
    2. Create a Fitbit step challenge – with weekly step goals.
    3. Reward team members who kick bad habits such as smoking or consuming sugary sodas or drinks.


  1. Help create accountability partnerships. One amazing component in helping people stick to goals is to help make sure no one is going it alone. When you share your goal with others, those folks are going to become your champions and help you achieve those goals.  Pairing people up, or creating teams that work together to make sure they stay on track is powerful. Partnerships work because when people are ACCOUNTABLE to someone other than themselves, they are more likely to stay “in it to win it”.


  1. Recognize and reward team members for their accomplishments. A little attention goes a LONG way to helping people feel appreciated and their efforts validated.  Consider setting aside a little time each week to write notes of encouragement or make a few calls with kudos to those who are going the extra mile towards their goal. I’ve even heard of organizations that have a “Gratitude Wall” in their offices where people are encouraged to encourage one another. How cool! Remember, your team members watch what you do even more than just listen to what you say so set the example.  Are you all work and no play?  Are you focused on fitness and committed to less stress?  Are you showing appreciation and encouraging others to do the same?


  1. Make it FUN! When you turn up the fun, you turn down the stress levels. Don’t be afraid to get creative.  I know organizations that turn up the tunes every morning and everyone does a 15-minute stretch. Some get their game on with company basketball, baseball, softball or soccer teams. A golf tournament. Or put a running group together. Throw a company picnic twice a year, or make time for Fun Fridays where everyone enjoys a fit-friendly potluck lunch.  One of my clients, Comcast, has a terrific project they do that they call Comcast Cares where they go out into their communities and do service projects.  It’s good for their teams, their communities – and their brand! Think of ways you can add fun into your culture and watch at how positively your team reacts.


For more ideas and ways you can engage positive employee participation in your health and wellness programs, watch this video. It will help you understand:
– How to reduce employee stress
– How to create employee wellness programs
– How to encourage good habits and accountability


The saying, “what we think about and thank about we bring about” is so true.  Health and wellness absolutely DESERVE to have your ATTENTION if what you want is to keep your team happier, more productive, more accountable and your bottom line more profitable.  Try some of these strategies in your organization to make it a much more AH-MAZING place to grow!

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Pay Attention to Who Gets Your Attention

unsubscribe avoid dramaAs a productivity and attention expert I often prescribe to the audiences in my keynotes ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’… yes I am shouting!


In a world where so many leaders are overwhelmed, overstressed and over-tired we need to focus on what really matters, pay attention to the people and the activities that will give us the greatest return on our time and attention investment. This is where you come in.



Here are three strategies for you to be more focused, responsible and diligent this year.


UNSUBSCRIBEnot just for the email you get bombarded with. UNfollow people on Facebook… UNfriend them if you need to. Be focused about what you are reading on a daily basis and what you are allowing into your beautiful mind. I unfollow, unfriend and unsubscribe My Facebook feed might feature maybe 12 people now, if I want to know what’s happening in someone’s life I type in their name. Easy peasy. Get rid of the mental clutter. UN-everything. Be focused.


Avoid drama – my friends will tell you I don’t do drama, don’t tolerate drama and when there have been times in my life there has been drama, maybe I told 2 people. Why? Because no one cares. No one needs to know about all the drama. Social media sites like Facebook  used to be a for fluffy bunnies and cute kittens or baby goats in pajamas, now it’s full of nasty political posts and people screaming for attention. When I posted the above image on Instagram (one of my fave social media sites), my friend Clay Hebert responded ‘not my circus, not my monkeys’– great phrase. If you have people in your life that I call VDPs (very draining people), eliminate them. If you can’t eliminate them, minimize your exposure to them. Don’t waste your time and energy on other people’s drama. Be diligent.


Ask Who? – determine who gets your valuable attention. One of my brilliant friends once told me ‘if I give you my attention, that’s my most precious resource’ – he’s right. We can’t manage time, we can only manage who and what gets our attention. Avoid the VDPs, the social media drains, the social obligations you despise, and the negative people in your office. Your focus, your energy and your time, it’s YOUR choice. Be responsible.


This year you determine how you can be your most ah-mazing self.

How you can lead your team, yourself and your community?

Who, and what deserve your attention.


So go out there and Unsubscribe from other people’s issues. Focus on creating more significant moments that matter.

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Monday, January 02, 2017

What Do You Want MORE of in 2017?

2017 new year more abundanceUsually when people are planning for the new year, they are resolving to SUBTRACT things from their lives with such as extra weight, bad habits, tightening the “belt” on their budgets, etc. Less is more-right? I get it, I do – but hear me out. What if this year, in 2017, we turned that around and instead asked ourselves…

… What do I want MORE of?

Here’s why: Attention is the new currency, and it’s yours for the taking. Ever hear that saying by Bob Proctor, “What you think about you bring about?” He was literally – on – the – money.

What we pay ATTENTION to focus on, nurture – that’s what we create more of. Money. Time. Love. You name it, you can create more of it.

So, if what we really, truly want in our new year is to…

Do more.

Be more.

Love more.

Cuddle more.

Smile more.

Achieve more.

Stop more.

Breathe more.

Laugh more.

Play more.

Grow more.

See more.

(On my list, I’m adding more champagne and snuggles to round it out with a festive flair!)

I’m a big believer in abundance. (Read more here.)

In filling your cup (or your bucket) with all that is good in the world and keeping your mindset clear and focused on what you DO want to bring about rather than what you do NOT. It takes practice, to be sure – to move from scarcity mindset (there isn’t enough) to abundant mindset (there’s MORE than enough), especially in today’s fast-paced, competitive world. Fear of scarcity shuts us down creatively, emotionally, mentally. It stops us from realizing our potential. The flip side of that coin is using affirmation to embrace and fuel ABUNDANCE-thinking sparks our creativity, helps us fire on all cylinders energetically, allows us to open doors we never even dreamed of and make connections that allow us to build momentum.

Powerful right! CONSCIOUS choices. Every day. Every morning you put your feet on the floor and head out the door you have a CHOICE to look for the good, the positive, the opportunities, the solutions – or you can accept status quo and stay rooted where you are. It truly all begins with choices.

Right now, think EXPANSIVELY about what you want MORE of in 2017. No small thoughts. No limitations. Go BIG. Now write that stuff down. Find a picture of it. Put it in front of you every day for the next twelve months. Then PRACTICE choosing to FOCUS and pay ATTENTION to these things every day. Practice until it becomes exciting. Practice until it becomes your new normal. Practice until you start saying to yourself, “Holy smokes, that worked!”

Our minds are AH-MAZING gifts that have unlimited capacity to help us go wherever we want to go in this world. Our job is step out of the way a little bit and give it the fuel it needs to go on the journey.

So… What do you choose more of in 2017? Share your ideas with us here on our blog. Happy New Year!

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