Author Archives: Sheryl McAtee

Clear Communication: A Critical Factor in Customer Service

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Communication is essential for most human-to-human interactions, and customer service is a key example of these interactions.  Effective customer service involves “reading” the other person, gathering information, and responding to those needs. Here are examples of how great communication supports customer service: Suspend judgement. Serving customers requires an open mind, so you are gathering information…
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Learn from Customers in Challenging Times

Learn from Customers in Challenging Times

The pandemic has fundamentally changed many businesses, and the expectations and needs of many customers. How can a business learn from and use these changes to improve customer service? First, it is important to evaluate how customers and their habits have changed over the past several months. How have their goals changed? How do they…
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Customer Service: Managing Bad Customers

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Recent news stories have described the challenges that many customer service professionals face in today’s environment.  These stories capture customer impatience with understaffed businesses, objections to public health guidance and irritation about missing items due to supply chain shortages. Many customer service representatives are taught that the customer is always right. And it’s true, your…
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Systematic Workplace Safety: Asking Who and When?

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Preparedness takes different forms and needs different tools depending on who is impacted and when.  Here are two scales to consider: WHO: Is the focus on the individual, or the larger office or organization? WHEN: Is the focus on an immediate emergency or event, or longer-term safety planning? When combining these scales, there are four…
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Workplace Safety in a Remote Work World

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There has been a significant shift towards work-at-home arrangements over the past couple of years, and many see the remote workplace as a permanent feature in the future.  For organizations, this is a good time to think about new workplace safety needs in this virtual environment.  As we prepare for National Preparedness Month, here are…
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Bridging Work and Life – Eight General Tips for Preparedness

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For National Preparedness Month, it is useful to assess your readiness for an emergency.  If you were notified you had to leave your home within the hour, what would you do and what would you regret not having in place?   Here are eight tips to consider for increasing your preparedness: Develop a habit to keep…
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Setting the Tone or Setting the Direction?

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There is a tough balance between authentic leadership and situational leadership.  We ask leaders to be true to who they are, while also asking them to adjust their approach to fit the situation or person at hand.  When considering situational leadership, we tend to praise leaders and managers who are naturally resilient and flexible—if flexibility…
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Leading Teams to Success: When Styles Clash

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We recently worked with an organization with two important teams. One was an “operations team,” focused on basic case management—where consistency and steady thruput were important success factors.  The other was a “strategic initiatives team,” focused on developing new approaches for the case management team—new software tools, new research methods and new services.   The…
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Leadership in an Uncertain World

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Leaders and managers are responsible for leading teams to success—but what does that look like in these uncertain times?  In some parts of the country, leaders are navigating the realities of returning to the office after long-term telework. In other workplaces, leaders are wrestling with health-related mandates as COVID-19 cases persist.  Teams are getting to…
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