“The Culture Blueprint: How to Shift and Design Your Company’s Culture” (Robert Richman)

Robert Richman, author, speaker and culture architect (former manager of Zappos Insights), discusses his forthcoming book, “The Culture Blueprint: The Step-by-Step Guide to Shift and Design Your Company’s Culture”

Here’s what we asked Robert:

  1. Your background is intriguing. For those who don’t know, tell us who Zappos is and the role of Zappos Insights
  2. First, how do you describe “Culture” and what mistakes do people make when defining it for their own companies?
  3. Why is culture SO key; so important?
  4. Like anything else in business, must we begin with vision, mission and values? How do these 3 things differ?
  5. In the book, you remind us that we’re still using military-based language like, “Strategy, Recruit, Train, Fire, Execute, Target, Engage, etc.” Why is this not a good thing?
  6. You say, “It is easy to forget that the external success of an organization is positively correlated to its internal successes.”
  7. You say, “Share what you want to keep.” I’d imagine most people might resist embracing this one. Please explain.
  8. Talk to us about what you call “Culture Hacks”
  9. Give us a favorite culture hack.
  10. You recommend not measuring call times or using scripts…
  11. I must admit, I’m a little tired of the buzz-word, “Buy-in.” – You wrote a section titled “The end of Buy-in.”
  12. How can we be sure someone is a good “Culture fit?”
  13. We hear so much today about the power of STORY – how does “Story” and “Storytelling” fit into all of this?
  14. So many of the companies I work with suffer from fear … more specifically, their employees don’t feel safe having a voice. What can this do to a culture and how can we avoid it from happening in the first place?
  15. Zappos is kind of famous for its offer to pay new hires to quit – what’s that all about?
  16. What do you say to those business owners who claim, “You can have great customer service, but at the end of the day doesn’t it just come down to who’s got the lowest price?
  17. Many companies have an advertising budget, but should everyone also have a customer service budget?
  18. You list several “Immediate wins; Silver Bullets” – what are they?

“What’s the Secret: To Providing a World-Class Customer Experience” (John R. DiJulius)

John DiJulius, of The DiJulius Group and John Roberts Spa discusses his book, “What’s the Secret: To Providing a World-Class Customer Experience”

John has consulted for companies such as The Ritz Carlton, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Lexus and many, many more…

Here’s what we asked John:

  1. We had you on the show in 2009, discussing “Secret Service, Hidden Systems that Deliver Unforgettable Service” – how much of “The Secret” is Secret Service?”
  2. Do you believe our recent economy has caused a “correction;” that companies delivering sub-par service has gone out of business?
  3. In the book you talk about attracting only the people who have customer service in their DNA?
  4. How can you know that it’s time to let an employee go?
  5. Recognizing that every company and every industry is a little different, what’s a good rule-of-thumb to live by when it comes to frequency of customer service training?
  6. Steve Jobs once said, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. “ Do customers know what they want when it comes to the service experience?
  7. What do you have to say to the people out there who say, “You know, at the end of the day it just comes down to who’s got the best price!”
  8. How can businesses measure ROI on customer service?
  9. What’s the correlation between customer satisfaction and employee morale / turnover?
  10. Talk to us about “Service Recovery”
  11. What are your “Customer Service Prediction(s) for 2013?

“Why Do Business Internationally?” (Michael Bare)

“Why Do Business Internationally?”

Michael Bare, President of BARE International (a mystery shopping company), shares his story of expansion into 6 countries. Watch to discover what pitfalls to avoid and what rewards are available via global business expansion.

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Here’s what we asked Mike:

  1. Tell our viewers what mystery shopping is?
  2. Why mystery shopping?
  3. Can you tell us about the role/importance of consistency?
  4. How do you see most business owners react to the idea of: “Going global?”
  5. Why might someone consider expanding into other countries?
  6. Was it your original intention to go global with your company?
  7. Do you feel the need to “be there?” (i.e., have a presence in these other countries)
  8. You started out in restaurants/hotels – how did expanding into other industries come about?
  9. When might a business owner know it’s time to consider business outside the US?
  10. What can the US learn about: business and/or customer service from other countries?
  11. All countries don’t do business exactly as the US does … How does one prepare for the cultural differences?
  12. How important is it to know the language?
  13. When it comes to choosing which countries … where does one begin?
  14. How does “International” affect your brand image?
  15. Is it necessary to conduct cultural/diversity training internally?
  16. What are a few of the pitfalls of doing business internationally?
  17. What have you been most surprised by?
  18. What is the current state of CUSTOMER SERVICE in the US and abroad?
  19. How important is it that the “customer experience” is the same at every one of a company’s locations around the world?
  20. What is the most common challenge you see companies having around delivering great customer service?
  21. Do you believe our recent economy has caused a “correction?”
  22. What about linking employee compensation to customer satisfaction scores?
  23. Our younger generation has grown up with less day-to-day human interaction – how do you see this affecting customer service?
  24. You’re founding member of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association…
  25. You also provide “hidden camera” services?…
  26. Based on your findings, what are business owners most surprised by … after being shopped?