Monday, 20 October 2014

Customer Service: Endangered Species

You CANNOT survive if your business model is 'always look for new customers', Service your existing customers! 

I am forever wondering the same thing...what happened to customer service?

In this fast moving, high energy, business world, when did we lose that good old fashioned 'customer service' option.
It's as if companies don't need customers!!

Has something happened that we have not been made aware of?  Have companies become omnipotent and just exist without having to have customers willing to buy their stuff to keep them in business?

Oh no...actually, they DO need us to buy their stuff but if you want after sales service it seems more and more likely that you will fall victim to the 'we have your money: tough' attitude.

A case in point is the automated service you get on the telephone with these places.  "Press 1 for... Press 2 for...." And then you get a voice telling you that you now have 8 more options...then 4 more options...and then...'I'm sorry, that department is not taking calls, goodbye'. (BT)  Or you end up in India.  They ask you to tap in date of birth, account number, door number, numbers from postcode, dogs middle name and blood group and then, when you finally get through to a life form, they ask for all those details again!

I have trained Customer Service departments when I visited large companies...even small companies whose CS department is only three people...and there are some Laws....

DISCLAIMER!  These are not rules out of a book, a training manual or something from some school, college or University.  They are LAWS!  They come from EXPERIENCE, COMMON SENSE AND THE STREET.  YEARS of experience.  They Work!


Law 1
You MUST have a commitment to your customer. THEY, on the other hand, do NOT have or need a commitment to you! You need to create their commitment to you...start now!

One of the biggest challenges companies have is keeping customers.  It's quite easy for a company to mess things up once in a while or to screw a customer around for no reason.  It's done every day.  But some companies take it to an art form.
So many companies send their sales staff out into the big wide world, either door to door or by telephone, to 'get new customers' and completely forget that they already have a ton of customers.  It's far easier to get business from people who are already a customer than to get new customers! Duh!
If you look after your customer then they will be your customer for good.  By looking after your customer I mean: Do what you say you are gonna do, give them what they expect to get, and more...OVERDELIVER!

Law 2
You may think satisfying your customer is a big deal? Guess what? It's not a big's expected!   It is a condition of the deal.  It is expected by your customer, of course. They expect to be satisfied by your product.  They expect to be satisfied by you. You should see that as a matter of course.

Customer satisfaction is a priceless commodity.  If your customer has peace of mind, they won't give you a piece of their mind....Got it?  No issues, no complaints, no challenges.  Your customer isn't expecting a trouble or issue free time but they are hoping for one and they also want to know one thing.  If issues or problems arise, YOU are going to deal with them immediately

The greatest phrase I came up with, and I know hundreds of companies use it now, is when a customer tells you 'I have a problem' your reply should be 'I can remove that problem for you'.  That's it.  Problem over in your clients mind.  If you cant remove it, take ownership and find someone who can, because having a problem is not your customers job, their job is to be satisfied.

Law 3
Remember all that work you did to get that customer?  Why did you stop?  You need to KEEP them.  The work STARTS when you get them!

A few years ago when working in the telecommunications field I was training sales people to switch customers from BT (The UKs biggest landline provider) to a cable telephone system.  One of the things I got the salespeople to make clear to the customer was that when they put the transfer in place they would be BOMBARDED by phone calls from BT asking if they could do something to keep them, or if they wanted different and more cost effective pricing plans.  I made sure that the salespeople asked the customer 'When was the last time they asked you if they could do anything for you?'  The answer was always the same.  NEVER!  Some of those people had been with that supplier for 25 years!  Many companies only care these days if you are going to leave them.  The art, or the secret, is to make sure that your customers are not even looking for a better deal.  You need to make them CERTAIN that you are the best, and you need to do that all the time.  Not just when a predator calls.

Law 4
A Loyal customer is the best customer you can have.  Better than satisfied.  But then, they are only going to be loyal if they ARE satisfied.

Satisfied customers spread the word.  'Well, my provider is great'...or 'We never have that problem with (your company name)'.  And they tell their friends.  If you don't satisfy your customer, not only will they tell 50 times more people that they are not satisfied, they will not stay.  They will not be loyal.  LOYAL is where you want them.  Stuck to you like glue.  the way to get them like that is to look after them, answer their questions, call them, do what you say you are going to do and quick.

If you are still stuck on whether you want satisfied or loyal customers, think of this.  Do you want your spouse to be Satisfied...or LOYAL?  Got it?

There are more Laws to this...and they really do work but, bottom line is simple....if you want a long term career, if you have kids at private schools, if you have a mortgage, if you want three holidays a year, nice cars, a great standard of living then you need to wise up.  If you lose customers ALL OF THAT CHANGES!
 You CANNOT survive if your business model is 'always look for new customers'  Service your existing customers. 
Over deliver.  Involve them. Call them and ask what else they want.  They bought from you once, they will buy again.

There is a great saying I use and firmly believe in and that is
"The salesperson gives up selling LONG before the buyer stops buying"

You cannot expect to mine for gold in the same place every day it will dry up.  Service your existing customers.  Stop making it hard for them with your automated call systems, your hold music, exorbitant charges, ignoring their calls, emails, requests for help.

Be the company they believed you were when they became your customer.  It was you who told them anyway...don't lie.

RAFT of Knowledge

We have 2 brains. We have 2 different kinds of intelligence; rational and emotional. When we cannot decide we say we are ‘in 2 minds’.

The techniques you are learning form a part of your EQ. That’s your Emotional Intelligence. Your EQ is more important than your IQ. The IQ test may help you get a job but your EQ will help you keep it. A high IQ is around 135. Many people with IQ’s of 135 and above work for people with IQ’s of 100 or less. Why? Because the person with the high EQ, the one who knows how to relate to other people, talk to other people and interact with other people in a manner they like, is always going to be way ahead of the game and have people following him. Because they do it naturally.

I always, now, describe the techniques, tools, teachings etc as a raft.

I describe the HPT-Transformation seminar as a raft as it enables you to cross from one side of the river to the other.  From who you are to who you were destined to be.

A raft is very handy if you want to get from one side of a river to another. You may want to get from the unsuccessful side of the river to the side where infinite power and success are available. But once you have reached the other side, you no longer need the raft itself. In fact, if you want to grow, and continue your journey, you have to leave the raft behind.

The challenge that we have, as humans, is that we tend to fall in love with the raft. We start to think, “This raft has been good. It’s a useful raft. It’s served me well. This raft is me!” But if we hang on to the teachings they will become a hindrance. You have to have the teachings ingrained, so ingrained in your mind they are second nature, and therefore, always inside you with no need for you to refer to them consciously.

The trick is this. By integrating the raft, or what we took on board while on the journey, into our being and into our unconsciousness it becomes second nature and we see opportunity, we hear opportunity and we create opportunity all around us.  We become that person we were destined to be and we gain control of our lives.

Being awake to openings, opportunity and life is the best way to be. Your energy level is high, your awareness is at peak level and your state is at a higher level. You become a magnet for opportunity. It seeks you out. And once you become one with the teachings, you will always be ready.  you will never need the raft again, because for you...there is no going back.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Transformation is a different thing entirely from change. It doesn't take the past and change it, add to
it or re-organise it. It creates a new context. Possibilities that didn't exist now come into being. The future is built on possibility. The future is constant.

If we carry our past with us into the future, we are limiting the amount of space we have in our future because it is taken up with the past we bring into it. If what we have in our future is our past, our future is going to be consistent with what we had in our past.

If we can take the past OUT of our future, we create an empty space which we can fill with all manner of possibilities and opportunities that are not governed or linked to any past activity. If you do not empty out your past from your future right now then all you are doing is changing your past.

Childhood experiences that have been traumatic. It can be one experience that was big enough to be traumatic, or a series of experiences.

An example would be: If you have been bullied at school, it's probably not the one time but more likely a period of bullying over time. That begins to shape who you are, and who you need to be, to become, to survive. You can't do much at the time about that but you have to do something to defend yourself. And that leads you into continuing to be that person who has built up defence mechanisms to deal with bullying but at some point you have to find a way to take that past OUT of your future and put it back IN the past.

We all have excess baggage. We carry it around in our heads. It's there even when we don't see it.
We are concerned about excess baggage when we go on vacation. We don't want it then, so we weigh our bags to make sure we are below the requirement. Trouble is, we carry it around at all other times.

At any given moment of any given day, we reference the excess baggage for information. Even worse than that, we carry it into our future. We expect to be able to function and plan and build strategies for a brighter future when we carry our past around with us.

I am not talking about forgetting your past, or where you come from, or your history, or the people in it...

I am talking about today being the day when you stop paying for your bags of excess baggage, and go forward with your hands open to grasp the opportunities that will come your way.

You CANNOT grab opportunity if your hands are full!!

We human beings don't leave the past in the past. We have the past in the future. When you do that it appears as if the past gives you who you are, and who you are in the present.

Lets imagine the past and the future as two filing cabinets.

If you take the past out of the filing cabinet marked FUTURE, and put it in the filing cabinet marked PAST, what have you got in the FUTURE? NOTHING! Which is wonderful. Fantastic!!!!


Because if, WHO I AM in the present, is determined by the future into which I am living, I can CREATE a future for myself that gives me, in the present, a life of being, joy, happiness, accomplishment...a life worth living.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Energy and Freedom of Yes!

There is an Energy and a Freedom created by the word Yes.

“Yes” Is a very powerful word.  
It allows possibility, it creates opportunity, and it signifies agreement.

I remember reading an improvisational artist saying that the first rule of improv is to agree – to agree with whatever your partner has created.
The second rule of improve is to agree and then add something of your own to the mix.

If a scene starts with me saying:  ‘Wow! Isn’t it cold in here?’ and you just say ‘Yes’, we are at a standstill, the exchange is over and there is no way forward. 
If you had replied, ‘yes, and it can’t be good for all these old people sitting around in here’ then we are going to get somewhere with it.

Our patterns of conversation, the way we listen and speak and our first responses, are often defaulted around ‘no’ or ‘but’.  If we throw some reasons to underpin our response into the mix we limit the future in front of us.

For something, anything, creative to happen or appear in our lives, it shows up in our stand for possibility, in our ‘yes’.  I am not talking about manipulated events, not accidental or figured out but creating a context that allows for ‘yes’ to make things possible.

Standing up for possibility comes from nothing and when we create the field, the context, for ‘yes, and…’ it extends everything and broadens the horizon of possibility for us.

Creating ‘nothing’ is the foundation.  From ‘nothing’ we have the ability to create anything.  If we try to create from ‘something’ we will fail, because if we start with something we are merely changing something.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Experience Everything, because Experience IS Everything

Experience Everything, because Experience IS Everything

Experience is either On or Off.

There is no such thing as a slight experience.

Just as there is no such thing as being 'Slightly Pregnant' or 'Slightly Dead' one cannot slightly experience something.

You either experience something, or you don't.

You either experience Transformation, or you don't.

Many people say 'I got it, it was like a light bulb going on!'

The light bulb is either on, or off.  It cannot be slightly on.  Dimmer switches are either on, or off.

Experience is the Reality.

Your Beliefs about something have no real impact in your reality apart from the impact you give them.

Beliefs will always be trumped by the Reality of Experience

When we separate what we BELIEVE from what we EXPERIENCE we will begin to run our lives, but not before.

The problem with a belief is that we take it to be the truth.  That’s fine if you imprint a belief in your mind that you will achieve, you can do it, you will attain success….but we have thousands of other beliefs that do not serve us.  Those ‘other’ beliefs are detrimental and if we take THEM to be the truth we could get stuck in them.

In other words most of us persist in thinking and doing what we learnt long ago, rather than acting out of our experience in response to whatever is happening now.

A classic story illustrates this point:

A man watches his wife cutting an inch off the end of the Lamb bone before putting it in the oven to roast.  After watching her do this a few times before, her husband asks her why.  She tells him that her mother always did it that way.  A few weeks later the husband asks his Mother-In-Law why she cuts an inch off the end of the lamb bone.  She tells him, “My mother always did it that way.”  The Grandmother is very old, in her 90’s, and when the husband and wife visit her one day he asks her the same question. “Your granddaughter, and your daughter, cut an inch off the end of the lamb bone before they put the lamb in the oven. They do it because you always did. Why did you do that?”

The old lady looks at the husband and says, “Well, in those days, I had a very small oven and the leg of lamb wouldn’t fit unless I cut an inch off the end of the bone!”

Most people are cutting an inch off the end of something in their lives to fit into an oven that’s no longer too small for it.

Most people are stuck in a melodramatic soap opera of their lives with the same four or five problems they have always had.  The bigger problem is that they continue with beliefs that have been carved into their minds since childhood and they are the reason they keep repeating the behaviour.

Here is a frightening example:
You trip over when you are five years old and cut your knee and your mother says, 'Don't cry; crying is bad," so you don't cry.  Then you have a fall while skiing when you are 17 and you break your leg but you keep a stiff upper lip and you don't cry because crying is bad.  Then when you are 24 you break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, and you really thought that they were 'the one' and you STILL don't cry.
The more you repress your feelings the more your consciousness shuts down.  You become barely alive.  You act like a zombie.  You function mechanically and get a reputation as 'a bit of a cold fish'.
The reality is that as you function mechanically more and more, in some cases, you become successful at it.  Here's a reality check: Mechanical success is not any more satisfying than failure.
I took my psychology training years ago and therapy has always been concerned with the way people are run, or how they function, by what was rather than what is and how to free people from their past.  That never sat comfortably with me.  I know hundreds of people who trained just like me and never questioned it. 
There are 2 reasons they didn't question it:
1. FEAR! As in: 'Don't make waves....if you question it they will flunk you.'
2. Cut the end of the bone off the Leg of Lamb! 
What do I mean by that?  Think about it.  
That's right:  It has ALWAYS been done that way, so there must be a good reason for it.

How does HPT (Human Potential Transformation) differ from Therapy?  Therapy is concerned with curing people of an 'illness' whereas HPT offers people an experience of themselves, and the ability to design a future.
It is evident from my travels and studies, and from the Transformational Change work I have done in the last two years which, I admit, has become more extreme and direct, that Belief Systems are, by and large, a myth.
Belief Systems are created by knowledge or data without experience.
If you experience something, it is real for you.
If you communicate it to somebody, it is real for them because you are expressing your experience.
If they tell it to someone else, it's a lie.  It is merely a belief without the component of experience.
A belief is a very powerful thing.  You can kill or you can cure with one.  I have earned my living for many years training people to believe in themselves, which is good.  You CAN believe in yourself because you have the experience of yourself, you are your own reality.  I can prove to you, from my beliefs, that what I think and see is true.
I ask people what they expect to get out of the training program and the list can be very diverse. Some say they want to get to know themselves, some say they want to make better decisions, have more self confidence, be more decisive, fall in love, be more open, sell more product, be a better leader or manager....
What they ALL have in common is a set of expectations!
They truly believe that their happiness is dependant on more love, money, power, sex, self confidence, etc.  Each has a belief system that relates satisfaction to something they are striving for.
The REALITY is that their happiness is a function of accepting what is, and make it separate from what was and what is to come.
Belief is a structure which can contain very little information in terms of making it useful in your consciousness or well-being.
HPT works on Observation and not Belief.  Observation has nothing to do with the senses, perceptions or belief systems. It only deals with direct experience...REALITY.
One of the core HPT Observations is that Life can be considered to be three foot long, and the first two feet eleven inches are about the material aspects of life (food,clothing and shelter) and what's known as 'psychological needs'. You need someone to love you and someone you can love back. You need self esteem, recognition and respect from others.
After people fill their needs they start to look what it MEANS to fill their needs.  They start to realize that there is no true satisfaction in just filling your needs and they look beyond that.  And THAT is the last inch.  THAT is what HPT is all about.
It is the last inch, that has been cut off the bone again and again.  That Inch is the life changer. 

That last inch is where we discover TRANSFORMATION.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

My First iPhone - AKA missing in action

Day 1. Getting to know the phone.
Day 2. Spent whole day speaking to Siri.
Day 3 Discovered that the voice activation works very well.
Day 4. Looked at Apps. Took panoramic pics!!! Need a beach!
Day 5. Wondered why battery wasn't lasting. Deleted some apps.
Day 6. Wrestled with different notification settings to stop Battery drain.
Day 7. Discovered I can do hang outs on the phone!
Day 8. Discovered Instagram apps
Day 9. Face Time!!!!
Day 10. Took Slow Motion movie...amazed.
Day 11. Took Time-Lapse movie...Stunned.
Day 12. Still don't know what my phone number is!
Day 13. First phone call made!........
Day 14. Transferred phone book from BB to iPhone
Day 15. Remembered no one knows my new phone number. (Hmmmm, tempting)
Day 16. Very happy, back in the real world now.