Tag Archives: Leadership

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When Customer Service Goes… Good?

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About 4 years ago, we were in the market for a travel agent to assist with planning our wedding in Mexico. Although I’ve had a significant amount of experience in wedding planning, doing so internationally wasn’t quite my thing, so I knew that I needed an experienced travel agent. With all of the do it yourself options online nowadays, coming across an experienced and dedicated travel agent seemed almost impossible.

I recall that some dear friends of ours, the now married coupled, Mack and Linda Ornsby Hendricks, had just hosted a beautiful wedding in Costa Rica, so I reached out to see if they had used anyone to assist, and luckily they did. Now, at a first pass, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. Brenda has an email address that ends in comcast.net, which always makes me a bit eerie. I always expect that in business, a company or person should have a non-public domain name, but I digress. I pushed that piece of information to the side and took the recommendation at face value and reached out to her and I’m so happy that I did.

This is where the, now 4 year relationship, with our travel agent began. Mack and Linda referred us to a woman named Brenda Stock, who has been our consistent, reliable and dedicated travel agent since we’ve met her. While I take recommendations from my friends seriously, Brenda has surpassed the recommendation and went above and beyond proving that she is a highly qualified resource. She has even planned trips for my friends and family because of our recommendations. I was recently doing a brief tally in my head of how many trips she has planned for us or from a recommendation from us and that number is quite impressive.

But why? What has made Brenda’s service so outstanding and even caused me to push some usually, baseline business basics to the side. It really boils down to 4 things:

  • Consistence
  • Responsiveness
  • Professionalism
  • Industry Knowledge

Over the past 4 years, every encounter with Brenda has had the 4 components above. Unlike many professionals, who get used to your business, then begin to be a bit more lax in their responsiveness or professionalism, this is not the case for Brenda. The even more ironic and partially amazing things about this business relationship is that I’ve never physically met Brenda before; all of our encounters have been either via phone or email, which is completely against how I prefer to do business. Brenda gives her perspective of industry specifics and recommendations and she consistently meets or exceeds our expectations. In an industry where most people take to the Internet to “self serve” their travel needs, it’s nice to have a reliable professional who consistently exceeds expectations and does so with professionalism, industry knowledge and impeccable response time.

Scarlet Says… Customer Service has one key word that should be kept in mind – “customer”. The success or demise of a business is strongly indicative of how the customer is treated. If you want your business to succeed and thrive, take special care in how you treat your biggest asset – your customer.

Until next time,


Want to learn more about Customer Service Etiquette and how it can enhance your organization, just click HERE!

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Displaying Discernment Makes A Great Leader

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Discernment.1Saying “no” might seem cruel, but it is not. It’s better to decline an invitation or an opportunity versus giving it less than your best, thus deeming you a slacker. Now, we understand that saying no isn’t always easy, especially if the person or situation that you are being presented with is of value for you. But, displaying discernment, or judging situations and decisions well is an essential part of being a great leader.

Today, let’s explore 3 simple ways to display discernment and still ensure that you are maintaining your relationships, displaying leadership and keeping yourself available for future opportunities. When presented with an opportunity or invitation that you know that you plan to decline, consider these 3 degrees of displaying discernment:

  1. Say: “No, Thank You”: The simplest and easiest way to display discernment is to simply say “No, Thank You”.  This option is straight to the point and works when you have personally agreed to take the stance of not offering any explanations or additional information to the other individual involved. Sure, this method works, but if you plan to interface with or work with the person offering the opportunity or invitation in the future, this might not be the best response.
  2. Say: “No, Thank You” and ask to be considered for future opportunities: Perhaps the timing of this invitation or opportunity is just bad , but you want to be considered for future opportunities or invitations later. Say that! If you just say “no, thank you”, the other party may think that this type of opportunity does not interest you whatsoever and will not invite you again. Display discernment by saying, “no thank you”, but also display discernment again, by communicating what your future intentions are.
  3. Say: “No, Thank You” and offer an explanation: Sometimes you have a string of invitations and opportunities that you have to decline or that you aren’t interested in. What might happen is that you already have or want to establish a relationship with the offering individuals or organization and you want to maintain or strengthen the relationship, although you know that you can not currently engage or accept their proposed offer(s). This situation may prompt you to offer an explanation explaining your denial. Now, of course, you can simply say, “no thank you”, but an explanation shows the offering party that you are interested for future opportunities and think so highly of the person or organization that you want to offer an explanation of why now isn’t the best time for you to accept.

Displaying discernment allows you to make sound decisions and focus on the most critical tasks and events of your life. Accepting everything without judging its true importance opens the door for stress and frustration and also extinguishes your ability to perform as a leader.

Challenge yourself to display discernment this week and let us know how it goes!

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