Attitude is EVERYTHING

Lyle Spencer is a research wonk—the kind of guy whose name keeps showing up attached to solid, smart research.  So when he discovered a straightforward logarithmic relationship between service improvements and revenue, I sat up and took notice.

Here it is:  For every one percent improvement in service climate, there is a two percent increase in revenue.  Improve your service by 25 percent and you’ll improve your revenue by half.

And if you’re a regular on this blog, you already know the key to improving your service.  All together now: EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT!

Get your employees engaged, feeling a sense of ownership, feeling their own success is tied in with that of the company, and the customers will notice – and they’ll reward YOU with more business.

You can talk about customer service training and service strategies all day long, but the fact is that when a customer walks in and sees “parts disease”—all heads down, no one looking like they care—you have a problem that impacts growth and profits.

It works both ways.  Bad employee attitudes are contagious. A study of 32 retail stores showed that positive salespeople outsell their grumpy workmates. No surprise there. And Martin Seligman did masterful research on insurance sales people proving that optimists outsell their competitors.  Again, that makes sense.

But did you know that cardiac care units where nurses’ moods were defined as “depressed” had a patient death rate four times higher than comparable units?  ¡Ay caramba!

Attitude matters to customers. A good employee attitude can cause customers to buy more, while a bad one can make them leave and never come back—and one bad encounter echoes through that lost customer and everyone they talk to for decades!

So here’s a direct question:  Do you LOVE your work?

If not, it’s hard to set yourself or others on fire – at least in the good way.  I had an uncle decades ago who was always counting the days until retirement. “Only 3,297 more to go,” he’d say. Great guy, my uncle, but what a lousy attitude! He needed to move on or realize that he was choosing his attitude, and probably turning those around him into calendar watchers as well.

Are you like my uncle?

Let’s face it—we want our lives to count for something. We want work to matter. When we went to work the first day, our shoes were shined and our teeth were flossed.  We were aiming high and had every intention of getting there.

Then life happened, and we disengaged.

Time to turn that around.  More than ever, we NEED our lives to matter, and our work fills so much of our lives that we can’t afford emotionally for that work to not fulfill us.

Khalil Gibran said it best: “Work is love made visible.” We need to make work matter—for our own sanity and fulfillment, and for the success and fulfillment of those around us.

The time for change is now, and the person to make the change is YOU. Recessions are the time to pull ahead while others are blindsided and confused. Decide that you will be the one to pull ahead. This is YOUR time.

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