Winnthinks

Winnthinks

Welcome to the Winnthinking blog, where you will find food for thought, tips, comment and the occasional guest posting about customer service and people performance.

We love receiving your feedback, and if there’s a related topic you’d like to see covered here, let us know.

How to create your own luck

Someone very smart once said to me that “people will only ever treat you as well as you let them.” What wise words! We all, to a very large degree, create our own ‘luck’ when dealing with other people, and wouldn’t it be handy if we could work out how to influence that more? One of ...

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Small is Beautiful

I’ve just enjoyed reading ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s a book about epidemics, and explores the factors that combine to make something go viral – be it a disease, or a social movement, or a fashion craze – and it’s quite fascinating. One chapter talks about how New Yorkers reclaimed their city from a ...

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Written in pencil or pen?

Last week I really enjoyed some performers that came all the way from Los Angeles to play at my local live music event, Live at The Institute. They’re called Sweet Talk Radio, and if you enjoy laid back harmonies and intelligent, evocative lyrics, pop along to their website and give them a listen. The set was ...

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Lessons from the World’s Fastest Blind Man

Last week I met a truly extraordinary man. His name is Steve Cunningham, and he heads up an organisation called Blindvision (www.blindvision.tv). I strongly urge you to hit the website and read his story. Steve lost his sight at the age of 12, shortly after being identified as a promising young footballer with dreams of playing ...

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What makes customers behave badly?

In a previous life I spent six and a half years as a complaint handler on behalf of an investment company. People get very emotional about their money, and rightly so, and during the course of what must have been thousands of calls, letters and visitors I reckon I encountered pretty much all the different ...

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Writing it right

I’ve spent a lot of time recently helping a client work on their written material. In particular that has been about the quality and tone of the letters and emails the company sends its customers. As an investment company, they often have to quote tedious and pompous sounding small print to people, which can make ...

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How Aristotle made friends and influenced people

Greece is in the news right now for all the wrong reasons. However, regular readers will know that I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for the ancient Greeks, who had some truly innovative ideas ahead of their time – including an early version of democracy (unless you were a slave, of course). Yes, they had ...

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Lessons from Pantomime

I have been having such fun in the past few weeks. It’s the pantomime season (oh yes it is!) and my local drama group is putting on a really good quality show. This year’s production, Old Mother Hubbard, is sold out across eight performances, and it’s been extra interesting for me because I’ve been providing ...

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Motivation without money: Can it be done?

A very timely item cropped up in Call Centre Focus this week, and although it concentrated on the situation in contact centres across the UK, it reflects all too starkly what is happening across most sectors right now. This is what it said: “Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows that pay ...

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Intense simplicities

I was reminded of a fabulous concept yesterday, when sorting through some old creative thinking course outlines. Like so many great quotes it originated with Sir Winston Churchill, and what he said was this: “Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.” Stop and think about that for a moment. ‘Intense simplicity’. Isn’t that an electrifying phrase? When I ...

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Wii wish you a Thinking Christmas

It’s a piece of text I’ve commented on before but it continues to fascinate me. I was reminded of it again on Sunday night when watching that nice Professor Brian Cox on TV deliver a lecture on quantum physics. (First off, it takes an extraordinary presenter to get me voluntarily watching a lecture on quantum ...

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“Everyone lives by selling something”

“Everyone lives by selling something.” So said Robert Louis Stevenson, who was probably better known for writing tales of ‘derring-do’ on the High Seas than for giving business advice to the High Street. But the author of Kidnapped and Treasure Island really hit on a great truth when he made this comment. So what do you ...

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A Short Guide to Brilliant Customer Service

As regular visitors to Winnthinking will know, great customer service begins with enjoying your customers and truly appreciating them as the beating heart of your organisation. As with any heart, you need to keep them happy and active in order to grow a healthy future for your business. Once your customer service head is in the ...

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What’s your Alternative Job Title?

Last time I promised you a fun exercise you can run with your customer service people, to get them thinking differently about the day job. The following works well within a team meeting or as part of a broader development day. In pairs or small groups, challenge your people to identify their Alternative Job Title, and ...

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Customer service happens head first

Following my last Winnthink someone asked me to post up a few thoughts about this knotty problem: How do you get your customer service people to do it better – particularly when you can’t promise them any more money or a promotion for doing an extra-great job? Great question, and as I have spent a large ...

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