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TCFP100: HANCH'S HOW-TO'S 5.0

Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! While every leader faces unique situations, leaders across the world share similar challenges. Jeff created Hanch’s How-To’s to show you that you’re not alone and highlight the most common issues leaders are facing today. In this week’s podcast, Jeff talks about procrastination, customer service, and ensuring your team meets your expectations.

1. Procrastination Kills Productivity

A common theme in my coaching conversations has been overcoming procrastination and building self-discipline. I have advised my clients to apply the principles from Brian Tracy’s book “Eat the Frog.” The book discusses two principles in depth. 1) If you have two important tasks to do, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task. Start immediately, and don’t quit until the task is complete before you go on to something else. 2) Develop the habit of tackling your most difficult work first thing in the morning so that you are not tempted to procrastinate. Q: When do you do your most important work? What do you think keeps you from doing your most important work first?

Application: Buy a copy of Eat the Frog and start reading. If you can, get the workbook as well. While you wait. Take an honest assessment of how you spend your time by writing down everything you do and the time you do it for an entire week. Think about how you spend your time. Do you feel like it is effective? Using the tips and strategy in Eat the Frog, re-make your week so that you can move quickly on projects you usually procrastinate and maximize your time and energy!

2. Think Like the Customer

Customer service is about people. While there is no magical formula for dealing with people, there are universal truths about the way we communicate. When your customer is unhappy, use these phrases to help:

  1. Show that you have empathy.

Say: “I’d be frustrated too.”

  1. Find out what they want.

Say: “How can I make this right?”

  1. Use positive language. Research proves that using and hearing positive words physiologically alters how we respond to issues.

Say: “I’d be happy to help.”

Q: Describe a time when you had a complaint and a customer service representative helped you. Were you pleased with your experience? Why or why not? How have your experiences with customer service affected your view of other companies?

Application: Do you have a plan for how you will deal with disgruntled customers? Having standards will ensure that no matter which of your employees encounters a complaint, the customers will receive the same experience. If you do, review it and ensure that you are incorporating the tips in the podcast. If you do not, work with some of the people who deal with complaints first-hand to develop a procedure that incorporates the tips above. You can find a great example to get you started here.

3. Don’t expect what you don’t inspect.

You might think that you have set clear expectations for your team, but what do you do when you do not see the results you desire? Start by getting curious and asking lots of questions about their progress and the expectations you set. The more you inspect what is going on, the more you will see what you want. Repetition builds muscle tone for your business and ensures that your employees remain honest.

Q: What are the top three things you expect from your employees? What do you do when those expectations are not being met? Do you follow through consistently? Why or why not?

Application: Identify one area in your business where you feel like your expectations are not being met. First, clearly identify the expectation. Then, talk to your people and identify any obstacles that could be preventing your employees from meeting that expectation. Explain that you will help them implement solutions, and you will follow up on their progress. Then stick to your plan! Check out the episode “Accountability vs. Micromanagement” to help you follow up in a way that empowers your people while securing a positive result.

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