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A monthly newsletter from Rochester Professional Network - May 2021

A amonthly newsletteAr from the Rochester Professional Consultants Network.

RPCN Social – GAME NIGHT!

Come try something different on Zoom – playing interactive games with your friends and colleagues! We’re hard at play selecting the lineup of fun, so everyone is sure to have a GREAT time.

Come join the action on Wednesday, May 26th from 6:30pm-8:00pm. Register now to reserve your spot!

Customer Service or Lip Service?
(Ten Tips for a “Customer-First” Culture)

Is it Customer Service or Lip-Service? We often experience just the opposite of good customer service. Store employees stand around talking sports while we wait to be served. Salespeople treat us rudely. Products fail due to design flaws, manufacturing defects or poor packaging. Customer-service “hotlines” put us on hold for long periods: “Your call is important to us - call volume is high - we’re sorry for the wait.” They transfer us from person to person but no one helps us - often, we’re sent back to the dial tone to start all over again. Lip Service is all around us, so much so that we almost expect it.

Lip Service Culture: 
This behavior starts with hypocrisy or incompetence at the top of organizations. Management touts lofty goals for customer satisfaction, then subtly or overtly shows disrespect for customers (except for their money). They take pride in their “customer-service” departments, but do little to reduce the reasons for complaints. They train employees to serve customers, but treat employees poorly. They expect employees to be responsible and accountable for customer satisfaction, but don’t hold themselves accountable. (Hopefully, “we” are not “They.”)

Good intentions? 
Look in the mirror. Do you have goals for customer service and satisfaction, but do little to achieve them? Do customers take a back seat during your emergencies or “high-priority” problems? Your customer-focused mission, customer-centered design, and customer-first policies do little good if you ignore them under the stress of other priorities and “fighting fires”.

“Customer-First” culture: 
This starts with building true respect for customers in your organization. Leaders, managers and owners must lead, embrace, model, and enable customer-friendly behaviors. Here are ten things you can do to build a customer-first strategy and culture.

  1. When customers “touch” your organization, ensure that they are treated in a manner consistent with their needs and desires (short waiting times, prompt follow-up, helpful attitudes, etc.).
  2. Ensure that your internal processes support the desired external effects on customers.
  3. Make products easy-to-use and understand (hardware, software, apps, websites, etc.).
  4. Empower employees to act on your customers’ behalf and reward them when they do.
  5. Measure the success of your customer satisfaction efforts and act on the results.
  6. Pay attention to problems and suggestions that customers, employees and others bring to you. (Be alert - the gems are often hidden.)
  7. Ensure high quality in all services and products by building reliability into your products and debugging updates before releasing).
  8. Deeply understand the customer value you provide. Do not assume that  you know this - find out through “Customer Discovery.” (This is much more than product features or price.) Express the value in customers’ terms, not yours.
  9. Build and execute your Value Proposition based on the customers’ needs, desires, and the value information you discover.
  10. Don’t cut “customer-corners” in your phone response and on-line systems. Follow the lead of organizations that have good systems - you can do it too.

How Do I Start? 
Interview customers, clients and prospects to gain insight into their needs and desires regarding your products and/or services. Then, build or rebuild your processes around them. If you are a solo entrepreneur or other small company, organize yourself and your associates to follow these Ten Tips. Differentiate yourself from your competition with your “Customer-First” culture.

Keep your guard up! Don’t let “Lip Service” creep in. Go forth and please your customers!

Bob Lurz

Did you know? Using the RPCN Website Wisely

RPCN needs Presenters for Friday morning meetings

Have you ever wondered how RPCN finds the people who make presentations on Friday mornings?

Actually, our Program Manager, Mike van der Gaag, does the bulk of the work by far and has been finding presenters for our 2 nd and 4 th Friday meetings for several years. We thank him for a job well done.

However, it would help a lot if RPCN members would either find people to present or make a presentation themselves. Here are some thoughts about that:

1. Every consultant needs exposure to prospective clients. One way to do this is to present a program at an RPCN meeting. It’s free and easy to set up.

2. Since all our meetings are currently using Zoom, we now have people outside of Rochester tuning in every Friday, including regulars from Syracuse, Philadelphia, and Germany. They are all prospective clients who may know other prospective clients.

3. Using Zoom to make a presentation is easy and fun. Usually, the presenter puts together several Power Point slides and talks through them during the presentation. You can forget about your public speaking fears and feel comfortable.

4. Each presentation is recorded and converted to a You Tube video. This video is then added to the RPCN website so any member can watch it any time. These videos can be found by clicking on Members Only, then Zoom/Speaker Presentations. Who knows who they could say about your demonstrated skills? You will want to read the Speaker Guidelines to find out what to do, what is expected, etc.

When you’re ready, hover over Events on the website menu and choose Program Information Form. Fill in the blanks and you will be on your way to be an RPCN presenter. Congratulations in advance!

Steve Royal

RPCN Website Blogging Process and Pages Enabled

The Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN) website blogging process has been enabled. You can read the Submission Process on our website, whether you are an RPCN Member or not. You must be a member to submit blogs, however. Click here for the Rules for Writing a Blog and the Submission Process.

There are currently seven topics for blogs on the website. They are:

  • General Articles
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Technical Articles
  • Project Management
  • Leadership
  • Operations
  • Finances

Not all of the topics currently have blogs in them, but we’re looking for submissions. Submissions can be sent here.

Whether you are an RPCN member or not, or whether you’re logged in or not, you should be able to see and read all of the current blogs here. Choose one of the topics to see the individual blogs.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email me.

Sandra Glanton

BLOG POST:
How to Create a Drip Campaign 

If you want to increase your brand awareness, build trust, and engage with your current and potential customers, you need to implement a strategy that nurtures your audience over time. This is where a drip campaign comes in. READ MORE

RPCN Video


Watch the introductory video here.

RPCN Podcast

To listen to an RBJ podcast in which RPCN's David Powe and Laurie Enos talk about our great organization, click here.

Upcoming RPCN Events

Visit the RPCN website for a list of all upcoming events.

Technical Forum
Friday, May 7, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

Why Copyright Law Matters to YOUR Business
Presented by Barb Ingrassia
Friday, May 14, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

EHC Lunch N Learn
Facilitated by Devin Floyd
Thursday, May 20, 2021
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Business Forum
Friday, May 21, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

RPCN Board Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend.
Friday, May 21, 2021
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 

RPCN Social - Game Night
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
6:30 - 8:00 p.m. 

CREAVELOP Nine Dishes for Your Communication Buffet
Presented by Rhonda Bowen
Friday, May 28, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

From the Library

From KnowItAALL: In my online reading I often find answers to interesting questions. Here are three of them:

Wonder what I do? Information Services? Research? Sherlock Holmes?

From CrimeReads.com: Why Librarians Are Natural Born Detectives

Introduction: “Many a mystery novel featuring an amateur sleuth places a librarian in that role. With good reason—outside of law enforcement, no profession lends itself to the role of detective more readily. Librarianship requires a combination of temperament and education that produces a professional with a powerful curiosity and the skill set to satisfy it, no matter how obscure the fact we seek. 

How Do Astronauts Spend Their Weekends in Space? 

Smithsonian Magazine / 4.13.2021

Excerpt: While it might seem obvious now, this consideration for an astronauts work-life balance and mental health was not always the case. Decades of space missions have allowed us to reach this point, and along the way, we’ve encountered and overcome a few challenges.

What happens in the mind when you encounter cuteness—and why puppies and kitties are scientifically cuter than babies?

(We all need cuteness. Learn how and why. Note: I do have a dog – 4 years old)

This Is Your Brain on Puppies: The Adorable Neuroscience of Cuteness

Science Focus: BBC / 3.25.2021

—Ruth Balkin

Membership News!

Are you a new entrepreneur? Join for 40% off!

Due to current events, we want to help new entrepreneurs get started, so we are announcing the 'New Business Owner' membership to RPCN. The discounted cost is $75.

This new membership level is open to any individual who is, for the first time, opening or has opened a small business and is within one year of opening that business. This membership discount is only available for first time members and continues for one year. At the end of the year, the individual must upgrade their membership to a Regular Member or an Affiliate Member to remain an active Member.

Click here for more information on joining RPCN.

Membership Information

Not an RPCN member? You can join RPCN now to receive great benefits, including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory, and discounts to RPCN events. Click here for more information on joining RPCN.

Program Ad Sheets

At every RPCN meeting, and at our events and tradeshow booths, RPCN distributes the Program Ad sheets.

Ads are inexpensive and support RPCN. The cost for members to advertise is $20 for 2 months. For non-members, the cost is $40 for 2 months. The deadline to get your ad included in the July/August 2021 calendar ad sheet is June 18, 2021. Sign up for your ad here.

We want your news!

The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to newsletter@rochesterconsultants.org for inclusion. 

Melanie Watson, Publisher 
Diana Robinson, Copyeditor

The deadline for submitting material for our next newsletter is the 21st of this month.


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