GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE

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BECOMING A BUBBLE
Floating to the TOP

Objective:

Learn how sound business owners and managers go about promoting their employees, and, how to see your company through the eyes of management.
Now that you have completed the lesson on loving people you may be ready to succeed in your line of business. You may be ready. If you have taken the information from the last lesson seriously and if you will apply it to your everyday life you are ready to become a bubble. If you do not take the previous lesson seriously, this lesson may turn out to be meaningless.
All liquids have one thing in common: the bubbles within always float to the top. Bubbles always go UP. Bubbles never go DOWN. Keep that principle in mind while we discuss the way business operates.

Lets imagine that you are the employer of a small business which employees five people. All of these people have the same responsibilities. But one of these employees has the added responsibility of managing the other four. Let us assume that you have hired all five people at the rate of $8.50 per hour but haven't yet decided which employee should be selected to manage the others. This makes your job much more difficult because you have all of the responsibilities of running the business plus that of managing the five employees.

Therefore, as the days pass you are anxious to make a decision in order to get out from under the extra duties. So, you spend a little extra time, which you really cannot afford, watching the behavior of the five employees. You are looking for that one special person who has some special qualities. And, what are the qualities you are seeking?

If this is really your business, and, if you really want all of your employees to work their hardest for you, you need to find a manager who demonstrates a positive attitude about the business. That's the number one quality you need your leaders to possess. After that you are looking for someone who will set a good example of strong work ethics before the others. After that you will be looking for someone who can work well with all kinds of people without allowing personal differences to interfere with working relationships. Finally, you will be looking for someone who appears to have a head on his or her shoulders, possessing the good common sense to handle the job.

After about a week or so you are pretty sure you have two people in mind who appear to have the characteristics you desire. So, you call them into your office, one at a time, to talk to them in an informal interview in order to finalize your decision. The first person you interview is Bill. He has shown some good signs of leadership as well as a positive attitude about the job. He also has excellent attendance. While you talk with Bill you detect an attitude of arrogance that you had not noticed before. This is not a terribly bad thing to hold against him and it may not interfere with his leadership abilities but you jot that information down in your notes.

The other person you are considering is Jane. She has good attendance and works hard. Jane has also shown some good signs of leadership as well as a positive attitude. While you talk with Jane you notice that she is anxious to help out in a management position but feels uncomfortable about being placed in such a position. You point out to her that you have already observed how well she has already been helping the other workers, doing exactly the same thing a manager would do. Your comments make Jane feel a bit more at ease.

Which of the two workers would you select to be a manager over your other employees? Whichever it might be you will want to increase their pay to show your gratefulness as well as discouraging them from looking for work elsewhere. So you increase their pay by one dollar per hour to $9.50.

You notice that as the weeks pass your manager is doing an excellent job. You also notice that the other person you interviewed is still demonstrating a great attitude as well as some leadership ability. This person has become more valuable as time has passed. Knowing that it would be difficult to replace such a good worker you decide to give pay raises to your entire work force. But, this person will receive a higher percentage than the others.

As more time passes and your workers are producing well, you are selling more product. You find yourself needing to hire two more people. Now you have seven employees. One is a manager who is now earning over ten dollars per hour, another is a regular employee who is so valuable that you have raised their pay to around ten dollars per hour. You have three employees that have been with you for some time and they are earning just over nine dollars per hour. Your two new employees are both earning $8.50 per hour.

As more time passes you notice that one of your new employees has a terrible attitude but works well. The other seems to have a terrific attitude and works very hard. You are sorry you have hired the person with the poor attitude because they are having a negative effect upon all of the other workers.

As more time passes you decide to give the newer employee with the good attitude a nice raise because you have heard through the grape vine that this person is thinking of finding another job somewhere else. You call them into your office and talk things over while offering a pay increase of 75-cents per hour. You also ask them to help when possible in discouraging the other new worker from saying things that dampen the spirits of the other workers. The new person agrees and appears very thankful for the raise in pay. They also agree to stay with your company for some time in the future. Your business continues to grow and your hard-working, positive employees grow with it over the years.

If this were really your company you would probably feel very successful by now. Whether your company took this exact path to success or whether it may have varied a bit, there is one thing that is the same for all companies: The employees make it work and the owners and managers depend upon the hard-working, positive employees to make it successful. You, as a wise employer, would never give a large raise to someone who is negative about the company, no matter how hard they worked. You would look for people to whom you could delegate responsibility in order to make your job as easy as possible. You would also do all you could to guarantee that your best employees weren't out looking for another job, leaving you with the least desirable workers.

Your best workers would naturally float to the top. Business is just like a liquid. It is always changing. People within the company are constantly moving from one position to another. As long as the business is successful the people who become bubbles will continue to float to the top.

Now, let's get back to reality. You may or may not be part of management within your company. The odds are that you are not, unless you work for one of those companies we talk about that has too many chiefs and not enough Indians. And, assuming that you are like the rest of us, you would like to earn as much money per hour as possible. How can you make that become a part of your future? Become a bubble. Bubbles always float to the top.

A bubble is not a person who comes to work all bubbly! Although that cannot hurt in most cases. Recall what you, as an employer looked for in choosing a manager. The number one thing you looked for in your workers was a positive attitude. The last thing you looked for was someone who was smart. In-between was someone you could rely on to be a good example in front of the other workers. Those are the same qualities your employer is looking for in your group of workers. He or she knows that if you have a positive attitude about the company they can trust you with leading the company. Because there are so many workers who do not have a positive attitude your employer also wants to make sure you (assuming you have a positive attitude) don't leave the company to work elsewhere. That means a bigger raise in the future.

If you will develop a good attitude toward your employer, set a good example in front of the other employees as well as work your best at the job you have, you will become a bubble. You will not need to ask for promotions and raises. Promotions and raises will automatically come your way.

I have worked at nine different businesses since graduating from college in 1964. Six of the nine jobs came to me. I was invited by the owners and managers of these companies to change jobs and come to work with them. While working in all of these positions I found myself being promoted and treated very well by my employers. Why? Here is my philosophy as it applies to the retail business:

MAKE MY MANAGER'S JOB AS EASY AS POSSIBLE AND MAKE MY CUSTOMERS WANT TO RETURN.

I have modified it when working in other lines of work:

MAKE MY MANAGER'S JOB AS EASY AS POSSIBLE AND MAKE MY FELLOW EMPLOYEES ENJOY BEING THERE.

There are those who might say, "That sounds like a brown-noser." But, working hard is not brown-nosing. Working hard is what you are paid to do. The brown-noser is one who does anything else, other than working hard, in order to succeed. I was once labeled such by one individual with whom I worked years ago. As time passed, I continued floating to the top while he eventually lost his job.

You cannot go wrong by becoming a bubble. Develop a positive attitude, set a good example in front of other employees and work hard to please your boss. You will succeed.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR NEXT 24 HOURS

Make it a point to go to work tomorrow with a positive attitude. Encourage those who work with you. Help those around you. Think like a successful business owner. Do what you can to make your manager's job as easy as possible. Don't say anything - just do what you can. As the day passes, jot down those things which you do differently than you would have without applying these principles.

If you are not yet employed simply apply the above lesson to those with whom you come into contact. Treat them in the same manner you would treat a customer at your business. You will find that the same kind of treatment that works on customers also works on your acquaintances. You will begin drawing people to yourself by doing these things.