Don't Feed The Ducks by Liam O'Connell and Elizabeth Coldwell by Liam O'Connell and Elizabeth Coldwell - Read Online

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Summary

Don't just feed the ducks and wait for something to happen. Do something about it now! Through a series of real life stories, observations and innovative ideas, Liam O'Connell explains how anybody can create an extraordinary successful business. Liam believes in harnessing the power of passionate people to create real life business results. His innovative and off-the-wall style is equally entertaining and thought-provoking. Liam has the ability to communicate positively and his enthusiasm is absolutely contagious.
Published: Accent Press on
ISBN: 9781682990803
List price: $3.99
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Don't Feed The Ducks - Liam O'Connell

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Preface

Let me paint you a picture.

Imagine for a moment…

An organisation buzzing with highly motivated people…

People who actually love coming to work and are passionate about delighting customers…

People who are actively contributing to creating a vibrant culture and an incredibly successful business.

An organisation that is recognised as the best by customers and competitors…

Is this just an impossible dream?

No…

The most successful organisations understand the importance of putting people first. They believe that it works. And because they believe, it does.

They are winners and their results speak for themselves.

Come with me on a journey that will lead you to inspire your people and create a truly brilliant business.

CHAPTER 1

Customer Care is Dead!

To create a successful business and positive culture, you need to go to the very soul of an organisation.

People often say to me:

‘Liam, can you help us improve customer services at our organisation? This month we need to do customer care.

Let’s tick all the boxes, print a service standard leaflet and a strategy and send it out to all our employees.’

And what happens to it?

When I’m giving a talk, with my handily placed rubbish bin on a table, this is the point at which people will shout out:

‘It’s filed!’

‘It’s put on a shelf!’

Until eventually somebody will call:

‘It’s chucked in the bin!’

Of course, they are all right. Absolutely nothing happens to it. Nobody bothers to read it – except possibly the policy officer. Have you ever known anybody who reads these things, or even remembers them?

No, neither have I.

You see, traditional customer care really is dead! It went out of fashion somewhere in the early 1980s. People hate customer care. They despise it with a passion.

How many people do you know who’ve attended a customer care training course? How many people do you know who enjoyed it? How many people do you know who’ve booked their holiday to coincide with a course? How many people do you know who’ve booked their sick leave to coincide with a customer care course?

Exactly! I rest my point.

If we are really going to deliver fantastic customer service and create a successful organisation, we need to go much deeper – right to the very soul of an organisation.

…we need to go much deeper – right to the very soul of an organisation.

We have to create a vibrant, energetic culture where people take a pride in their work and in their company:

Where people, customers and colleagues come first. Every time

Where people are inspired to be the best they can be. Every day

Where people understand what they are contributing to and have fun at the same time

And let me tell you a little secret here… because I have good news for you.

Embracing cultural change at this deeper level is something not many companies bother with, but those that do are fantastically successful – Asda, Richer Sounds, WL Gore, to name but a few.

Many businesses carry out lots of customer satisfaction s u rveys – quite rightly, of course. Yours may even be one of them.

But what about your people? How do they feel about working for you? Are they proud of their company? Do they understand what they are there for? Do they really know why they come to work every morning?

Do your people really know why they come to work every morning?

An essential starting point for any cultural change or customer service programme is to do an employee morale survey. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It needs just a few questions to establish the truth, and to find out what people feel and whether they are motivated to share your aims. Once you have the results of a survey like this, you have a clear benchmark to gauge your progress.

So you can forget all those boring customer care courses! If you can create a brilliant place to work, with a shared purpose and direction, you can achieve amazing things. Happy people = happy customers.

In fact, I’d like to make one simple but vital alteration to that last statement…

Happy, focused people = happy customers.

You need to have people in your business who understand what they are contributing to and why they are there. What is their purpose?

‘No customers’ means ‘no business’. Simple really.

And here’s the best news yet… What all this means is that you have the opportunity to achieve a competitive advantage over your opposition. It’s up to you. If you want to do it and you are willing to relentlessly pursue your aims, you will realise your ambitions and you will deliver truly outstanding customer service.

My aim in this book is to give you some ideas to help you along the way.

I have also written this book in order to inspire you to achieve your ambitions at work or possibly in your personal life. My goal is that you will take something away with you that will make a difference – it doesn’t matter how small or large, but there will be a difference.

My goal is that you will take something away with you that will make a difference – it doesn’t matter how small or large, but there will be a difference.

Oh, and let’s have some fun on the way!

I first became interested in culture change when I was working as an employee at a large housing association in Telford.

At a meeting to discuss some of the problems we had at the time with poor customer service, somebody suggested doing a customer care service standard leaflet.

Perhaps you’ve heard the same thing in your company:

‘Come on, let’s do customer care this week (month/year)!’

Well, I completely lost it. In the rant that followed, I declared to the meeting that leaflets and service standards would make no difference at all. Not to our people, to our services or to our company.

I went on to say that, if we really wanted to do something d i f f e rent, we would have to make radical, far-reaching changes that went to the ve ry core of the business, to the culture. I k n ow that sometimes you have to produce service standard s and other things because public sector organisations are closely monitored by the government. But in the end, it is passionate people who provide great services and not just words on a page.

Soon after my tirade, I became the culture change manager for that company, and I still hold those strong beliefs today as a successful consultant and speaker.

What is culture you might ask? One of the best definitions I have ever heard is: ‘It is just the way we do things around here.’ It’s the way you treat each other, your customers and competitors. It is the very essence and soul of your business.

Culture is… the very essence and soul of your business.

Customer care is dead. Long live a service-excellence-focused culture that makes a difference to people’s lives.

Don’t feed the ducks…

Inspire your people

Carry out an employee morale survey

Happy people = happy customers (or happy, focused people = happy customers)

Shoot traditional customer care trainers! (Or at least, show them the door!)

Create a positive ‘can-do’ culture

CHAPTER 2

Thanks for the Memories

We all reach a tipping point in business and our personal lives. The moment when something changes for good!

You will sometimes reach a tipping point in your business. Perhaps you have right at this moment. It’s a time when you just know that you have to change things. Whatever the reason – financial pressures, people pressures, boardroom pressures – you have reached that defining moment: the tipping point. The moment when you are going to take action to change things for good.

This book can help you make the change and, once the business starts to tip in the right direction, it will take on a positive momentum all of its own.

Perhaps there are a number of tipping points in your life or business. It took one of those moments for me to realise my true aim in life – to help change businesses and lives. I am now a successful author, consultant and motivational speaker. Some of my family wouldn’t believe it. I sometimes don’t believe it.

But my mom certainly would.

I can still see it vividly now, the milk bottle crashing down on my mom’s head as my dad attacked her. His crazed, drugged eyes and the frenzy of the vicious assault.

It all seemed so mad, so brutal.

I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to help my mom, to protect her, but it was all happening so fast. The screaming, the noise, mom was shouting ‘Get out, go and get help!’