21 Jan

The University of Jobs Excerpt : You didn’t get it, Pay attention to the Customer


An Exerpt from the Upcoming Release of "The University of Jobs" in The ART of Motivation Series by Ubong Ekpo.

    You didn't get it, I said really pay Attention to The Voice of the Customer and it will pay your career in future!!!

    A wise man said if you don't pay attention, you're going to pay somebody. Very,very true.
    Here's another side of the old question: "Is the Customer is always right?"
    Well, the customer is always the customer says John Weisenburger, a sought after Fortune 500 Business and Marketing strategist.
    The voice of the customer is vital not just to businesses but in whatever job,career and at an level of the corporate ladder. Most of us like most businesses know this but as John Maxwell puts it, the biggest gap in most companies and I would add most of us is the action gap - not doing what we already know.
    Whether you are flipping fries or pitching Airbuses, one major rule of the career and business game remains the same: the voice of the customer will determine which business wins or loses.
    Seeing that you represent your business or employer in some capacity, this applies to you as well. A lot of people say I'm not a Sales person and that's not my job, but fail to recognize that you are the business and the product that the company sees.
    Growing your career and business will depend largely on interactions with internal customers and external customers alike. Designing and delivering corporate learning interventions to audiences around the world in different formats has helped me see this even more. Helping others get what they want will help you get what you want and what an employer wants is more customers, happy customers and returning customers. Get that straight in your act and your'e already on the way up.
    In one of the last companies I worked for, the Jewish management made everyone part of the Sales process to some degree. Everyone was supposed to be involved in somehow selling the company and it's products and services. Of course, a lot of it was mainly creating openings linked with a pipeline of potential customers and amazingly, I was able to get our company to the negotiating table with leadership of some pretty big business names. It was a great experience in which I learned to listen closely to what potential customers really wanted and needed before blazing or products and services in the sky. It is the right way to go in making employees see that they are what customers must by into first before they buy into any brand.
    You are the message and you are the product. Your ability to tune into the voice of the customer, find out what delights them and address their concerns will move you very fast up the ranks of any industry. Think about what happened to Richard Farmer. He noticed on visits to factories, that they threw away a lot of rags. He collected chemical-soaked rags from factories and washed and returned them to customers for a fee. In the early 40's, rags were replaced by shop towels—which are uniform in size and shape and much more absorbent than old rags. By then, the company’s name had changed to Acme Wiper and Industrial Laundry. Subsequent visits and studying his customers revealed other ways for helping his customers and today, the Cintas corporation has a net income of about 300 million dollars a year. The customer experience is about whether you feel you are being listened to, transactions are done easily and of course questions are answered easily. How well did you meet or exceed their expectations - the better vendor exceeds expectations. Remember when dealing with customers the following:

    - They will look at how fast or flexible it was doing business with you. Was it an easy transaction, to pay, make the order, take that training course or have that engagement if you're a coach.

    -How enjoyable of an experience was it?
    If they are forced to do business, they will bolt the first chance they get.
    Good old customer experience. You know it, we all know it, but how many are actually consistently doing it in their careers and businesses. Not too many. This is why many careers and businesses pay the price for negligence.
    Peter Drucker said that business exists for the sole purpose of creating a customer and your priorities on the job, in your businesses, in your processes should revolve around that.
    Also remember that nothing damages a brand quicker than not acting on something when a customer feels wrong.

    ---More about the release of "The Univeristy of Jobs here"

    07 Jan

    Happy new Year! 2014 is The Year of Focus


      Happy New Year Everyone!!! 2014 will be a year that gets brighter and brighter, stronger and stronger, richer and richer and go higher and higher IF we are ready to focus.
      Yes, that's the key to establishment and trend-transcending, curve-jumping, paradigm-shifting, boundary-breaking success. Whether personally, professionally or in business.
      Mike Murdock has said the main reason for failure is loss of focus. He also said that there are four kinds of people who always fail:
      1. The Undecided
      2. The Unlearned (uneducated)
      3. The Unexcited
      4. and of course, The Unfocused

        I created an acronym myself using the word focus:

          F. means finding,
          O. means ownership (of responsibility and actions for your dreams)
          C. means Chanel (your time, energy and investments and life)
          U. means unity (to be guarded in relationships around us)
          S. means staying on the right path (guard against deviations and just stay consistent)

            Evidence of your staying on the path which is the last principle on the list can be seen by looking around you. Your relationships should be getting stronger and more stable. Your communication should be more accurate and meaningful with those around you.
            Your mind should be clearer on what exactly you want. You should have a spring in your step that you're in the right place, doing the right things at the right time, where you want, how you want and with whom you want in the way you want. Every area of your life should be getting better, not worse. There's a lot of talk in life about the hills and the valleys being a part of just living but we can learn how to avoid the valleys or ensure that the valley experiences do not become our resting place or life excuse.
            Focus on your relationships that matter most. Focus on your partners and investors that matter most.
            In business, focus on your most loyal and profitable customers; focus on your greatest opportunities, focus on what has worked most in the past year for you and your team. Sit down with your team and pick out then focus on the three most important goals in the midst of all the operational chaos that a year from now will give you all a sense that you are really winning and engaged.
            What are we constantly thinking about, day and night? This is vital because this becomes the mould for what our lives become and what we see and experience in the area of life those thoughts concern.

              In his book Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It, marketing consultant Al Ries gives a tremendous illustration:
              “The sun is a powerful source of energy. Every hour the sun washes the earth with billions of kilowatts of energy. Yet with a hat and some sun-screen, you can bathe in the light of the sun for hours at a time with few ill effects. A laser is a weak source of energy. A laser takes a few watts of energy and focuses them in a coherent stream of light. But with a laser you can drill a hole in a diamond or wipe out a cancer.”
              In lots of schools of thought the idea of focus has found different scientific application as a philosophy for living and business, as the 80-20 Pareto principle and other very useful ideas.
              Speaking of philosophy- that very word is pretty powerful. “Philosophy ” actually comes from the Greek word “Philosophia” which means the love of wisdom. It is actually a combination of two words- ‘Philia’ and ‘sophia’
              Philia represents one of the Greek words for love and refers to a kind of brotherly or companionship love, implying relationship built through spending large amounts of time while the word Sophia means wisdom which is represented by the predominant thoughts one’s mind forming their view of life and the world around them. So the word philosophy means - thoughts that a person is in love with or totally immersed in continuously. Again, well in the context of this discussion, it's simply the thoughts one chooses to focus on in one's mind. So we can ask ourselves at the beginning of this New Year, what are the predominant thoughts in our minds?
              Speaking of Greek my mind goes back to how I was inspired as a Primary School pupil in Nigeria hearing about Alexander the Great's conquests all the way up to India and recently delved into his biography. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful commanders. His empire stretched from Greece to modern-day Pakistan.

                Seeking to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea", he invaded India in 326 BC.
                Greatly influenced by his mother who repeatedly told him his destiny was to conquer the Persian empire, which Alexander eventually did, his ambition: "kept his spirit serious and lofty in advance of his years” as an acquaintance in history was quoted as saying. His focus and braveness in military strategy made him possibly the greatest military commander of all time. He never lost a battle in 13 years of leading his army and focused as well as perfected the phalanx formation making winning almost impossible for the opposing force.
                In John Maxwell's book : "Thinking for Change", he has an entire chapter dedicated to focused thinking where he hammers on the fact that the brilliant people are not the ones that become successful but the ones that have the ability to stay on a thought and grow it even bigger.
                He says it’s better to think on one thought and think on it long enough to become a big thing than to not think about it at all and think about a lot of things that just become little things. One thing focused on becomes a big thing. A lot of little things unfocused stay little and I have always realized it’s important to become people of one or two things, not many things.
                The Great Apostle Paul said, "this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, I press forward towards the mark of the prize of the High calling”. He was focused and in another place said “I fight not as one that beats the air”. He was not dabbling in forty things but was focused and fixed on what he wanted in life.
                Focus. It takes a good thought and makes it great. It takes a good idea and expands it and gives you the return you want to be in your success of life.
                This very post began with a single thought sparked off about two hours ago by the comment of a close friend. I then began to focus on the thought and other thoughts began to rise and mix with it enriching that thought into all you read in this post and will read more about in future as another publication 🙂
                Thoughts of another dear friend's message in church, books I had read a while back, my life experiences and current endeavors. All focused together became a torrential downpour of inspiration creating a beautiful masterpiece that is my philosophy - the thoughts I delight in thinking right now, love to think about and that has been the engine of a main message I have for the world as discussed in my Amazon book: The A.R.T of Motivation which talks about mastering life by discovering and pursuing your core design.
                I wish you a year of focus on the important things, not the urgent as Covey puts it. And if you’re running a team or building a business, remember that before aiming to do even more with less this year, ask yourself the question:"do more of what?" Then you can really begin to focus and create great things.
                I'm all strapped in, locked on target and on full throttle to accelerate into a year of multiplied success.