Excellence University Blog

Archive for August, 2006

August 31st, 2006

A Quick Rant on Customer Service

by John Spence | 1 comment

I have been jumping up and down on this topic for the past 6 months or so and finally this month almost every major business magazine is featuring cover stories or main stories about how dismal customer service is in America. No kidding – we all know it and live through it every day!

Another great example this morning: I stopped in at my dry cleaners to pick up and drop off some clothes.  Last time I was there they had ruined a pair of my pants and gave me a credit for the cleaning bill (yep, they ruin a $65 pair of pants and refund me $2.43 for the price of “cleaning” them – wow, that makes me feel good!) – anyway, I asked the lady at the counter if she would apply the credit to the new “house” account I had just established the week before, to which she replied: “ I am sorry we don’t offer any discounts to people with accounts.”  What? First of all this was a credit for a mistake they had made… but it also alerted me that I was no longer going to get the 15% discount I had received for the last 4 years because of a “special customer” program I belonged to.

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August 27th, 2006

Keys to Success at Skinner Nurseries

by John Spence | 2 comments

In another entry on this blog you’ll see a list of key business strategies from a CEO I admire a great deal, Carl Rapp of Philadelphia Gear Corporation – an absolutely super company, very successful, with incredible employees. Now, with all of the praise I just heaped on PGC, let me introduce you to another leader and organization that I am truly impressed with. Skinner Nurseries is one of the country’s leading suppliers of green goods for the landscape industry – they sell trees, shrubs and plants – and they do it extremely well. The COO of the company is a very talented guy named Kevin Van Dyke, who is nearly obsessive in trying to understand and improve the business. Again, he has surrounded himself with a deep bench of the very best people in their industry and he works for great owners, but I also must give a ton of credit to Kevin for the culture, focus and success of Skinner Nurseries – he is definitely a driving force in the operation.

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August 23rd, 2006

Mentors are a Key to Career Success

by John Spence | 2 comments

An excerpt from John’s writing at: www.execubooksblog.com — a blog of leading business thinkers who review current business books.

In the past year I have been asked by three Fortune 100 companies to give multiple presentations on mentoring — does that tell you this might be an important topic?

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August 19th, 2006

Organizational Execution Crisis: The most important issue facing business today. . . and how to address it.

by John Spence | 9 comments

Got Alignment

For the past year I have been asking the same question to every CEO I spend time with and to all of the participants of my various seminars and workshops: “What percentage of the time do you feel companies that know what they are supposed to be doing (have a solid strategic plan, clear goals, specific measurable outcomes) — actually do what they are supposed to be doing?” The answers I most often get are… 20% or less! That is absolutely shocking. It means that many companies are losing as much as 80% of their productivity (at staggering direct and indirect costs) simply because their employees do not effectively implement current plans.

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August 18th, 2006

My Top Recommended Reading List

by John Spence | 3 comments

The following is a list of ONLY my top reading recommendations. I know the list looks long, but I assure you these are just the very best out of my library. I have put the symbol ** behind my absolute favorites. If after you go through the list, if you notice that I am missing a book that you really love – please send me a note with the title, I am always on the look out for excellent books!

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