Recent Posts by Learning Entrepreneurship

Learn to Apologize

Do it right next time

 (This article is based on ideas in Uncle Ralph's DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans, 2020 Editions

Customer service is simple, but never easy.

We all recognize and appreciate good customer service and we have all experienced failure at it, occasionally, ourselves. The pandemic lockdowns have made it difficult to achieve acceptable levels of customer service and given us lots of excuses for not delivering up to customer expectations.

We have spent a lot of time apologizing to customers, but are we getting better at it?

(See Bloomberg Business Week, December 14, 2020 article by Arianne Cohen, Learning to Apologize.)  

An effective, timely apology that works must meet four criteria:

  1. Accept responsibility.
  2. Acknowledge the difficulty imposed on the customer.
  3. State what you’ve learned.
  4. Explain what you’ll do about it.

And to do it right, remember this:

  • Don’t blame Covid-19.
  • Make it personal and meaningful, from real people.
  • Be specific to the customer and the circumstances.
  • Show you care and are willing to pay the price.
  • Open a communication channel to keep in touch.

Like I said, simple, but not easy.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, Your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

 

Are we there yet?

Back to Normal

 (This article is based on ideas in Uncle Ralph's DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans, 2020 Editions

The surrounding political drama and pandemic crisis continue to preoccupy us, but we do expect that life and business will return to normal later this year.  Not the old normal we are missing so badly, but the new post-Trump, post-pandemic normal.

Things have changed, permanently. Like post-9/11, we have new threats to our health and security and new ways of managing the risks and preventing further damage to our way of life.

So what’s changed and what have we learned?

  • A new awareness of our shared responsibility to take care of each other. And the need to change the behaviour of those who disagree because of ignorance, fear, selfishness, anger or ideology.
  • A heightened appreciation of the importance to our health and welfare of maintaining close personal relationships with friends and family and of actively supporting our networks of friends and neighbours, associates and colleagues.
  • A better understanding of the need to tell the truth; to be a critical and skeptical listener; and, to engage in civil discussion of ideas and issues with those outside our usual circle of friends and fellow travelers.

What can we really expect of the new normal?

  • Innovative, creative and ambitious entrepreneurs continuing to respond with better solutions.
  • Increasing adoption of the virtual world, new technologies and digital, online services in all areas of our lives; from work and recreation to education and entertainment.
  • Better regulation and oversight of the technology giants who dominate social media and control our access to, and sharing of, information both public and personal.
  • Better choices made by socially aware customers and consumers to support businesses, products and services that meet responsible, ethical and moral standards to protect people and the planet.

Can we be hopeful and optimistic?

Should we worry about the looney, left-wing radical socialists who want the government to take control? No.  Will the radical right-wing militant conservatives succeed in taking over our government? No.

Can we count on intelligent, caring and compassionate, rational human behaviour that allows all of us to be better and do better together? Yes.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, Your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

 

Looking Back & Planning Ahead

Have a great 2021 in the brave new post-Covid world

 (This article is based on ideas in Uncle Ralph's DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans, 2020 Editions

So 2021 has arrived, now what?  It seems the same as 2020 so far, maybe worse in many ways – both the pandemic and the politics. The battles are not over and the "new normal" is not here yet. We're still waiting for some stability, less bad news and the final ground rules before completing our plans for the year ahead.

It will be important to get it right.

First, let's pay attention to the things that didn't work out so well in 2020: health care systems that were inadequate for effective response to a global pandemic, populist politics that manipulated the masses and diminished democracies, technology giants that dominated markets, media and influence. Those issues will not be resolved this year. Contribute to making changes if you can, but don't be distracted by the ongoing crises that you cannot influence or change.

Focus on personal responsibilities within your own circle: family, friends, neighbours and associates, employees, customers and business partners, probably in that order, to build a solid foundation for the changes that will be required.

It is important when doing risk analysis to distinguish between the external economic risks outside management control – economic cycles, inflation, interest rates, currency fluctuations, government regulations – and the business risks that can be managed – competitive threats, major customer or supplier dependency, loss of key employees, technological change and security issues, changes in market demand. Now is the time to be review and revise all of your legal contracts, financial arrangements and insurance policies to prepare for the new post-Covid19 world of 2021.

What did you learn over the past year about preparedness, contingency plans and resilience that you can apply to the next global economic crisis, whenever and whatever it might be. Look back and plan ahead.

Avoid the risks, stay safe and healthy, take care of yourself and others and have a very good year in the brave new world that's arriving in 2021.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, Your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

 

 

Neglect the negative

Be creative

(This article is based on ideas from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition)

In our current preoccupation with pandemic paranoia and political drama, we need to redirect our energies to more productive plans for next year. Start by looking back and deciding what is most worthy of a repeat performance.

Remember the good old days?

Not a year ago, before Covid 19, and not five years ago before Trump, but ten or twenty years ago. Remember the nineties?  Before Twitter and Facebook filled all our unoccupied headspace.  Before we wasted time on another angry or inane Tweet, a much too personal post on Facebook or a self-obsessed photo on Instagram.

Remember the pleasure and the serious, revealing and rewarding communications we used to have with a thoughtful email exchange or a long leisurely telephone conversation? How long ago has it been?

Be Creative

Turn off the news channel and the incessant preoccupation with the pandemic and politics. Be creative. Remember the good old days and pick some favourite memories – things you’ve done, places you visited and the people you were with. Share the memories and plan to do it again.

Next year is coming soon. Make plans to make it better.

Don’t sit and wait for somebody else to fix everything that was wrong with 2020.  As David Brooks says in The Second Mountain, “society is a massive conspiracy to distract you from the important choices of life in order to help you fixate on the unimportant ones.”

Don’t be distracted.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

 Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 

Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

Are you ready for post-Covid?

 The new era of life and business after this pandemic period is coming soon

 (This article is based on ideas from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition)

Even in the current period of Covid pandemic protocols that are actually getting stricter, there is still optimism that vaccines will be available early in 2021 and we’ll start the transition to the new world of post-Covid-19 by March. Maybe get back to more tolerable social lives and business activities by May. Maybe September?

Regardless of the timetable, the first requirement, of course, is to stay healthy and financially secure until then. Hopefully, you can count on that from your own resources or from the temporary government support to help get us to the next phase. We’re all being required to overcome new challenges and the pandemic frustrations have heightened anxiety and stress for everyone.  It’s impossible to ignore the legitimate fears and the strains on our support systems, health care and otherwise.

Here are some ideas to consider as you meet the challenges of the current pandemic and plan ahead for the post-Covid era:

Play safe. Take care of each other – family and friends and your customers, employees and associates. These are challenging times and you can be among the Enlightened Entrepreneurs who will lead the way.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

 

Author Interview with Bernie Landry

More than you were ever going to ask about Del Chatterson, author of the Dale Hunter Series of crime thriller novels and, as your Uncle Ralph, author of new 2020 Editions of his business books for entrepreneurs.

Here's the whole story!

 

Results are all that matter, right?

Wrong. Character matters.

Behaviour matters.

 This post from a year ago seems particularly appropriate this weekend as America makes important decisions about leadership for the country. The whole world is watching and worrying. Let’s hope they get it right and do better this time.

Here’s why I think character and behaviour are important to consider. It’s not just about results or performance on the job. It’s about the way the job is done and the guiding moral and ethical principles that go beyond ego and personal self interest.

Whether you are a corporate CEO, a politician, or simply a hard-working entrepreneur or business manager, leadership performance is continuously being assessed based on the results you achieve.

But does it matter how they are achieved? Some people think not. The results are all that matter. Especially if the results are what they want and they can ignore the consequences for those that get left out. They’re wrong.

Character matters. Ethics, attitude and behaviour matter. Tactics and methods matter. Words matter.

Success for some and the desired results may appear to be achieved, regardless of the behaviour. Immoral, irresponsible, ruthless, and aggressive behaviour may even appear to have been necessary to achieve the results. Wrong again.

The apparent short-term gains will eventually be lost to long-term reactions. Those who are used and abused will get even. A legacy of accomplishment may be completely forgotten, when the true character is revealed. Just ask Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein. President Trump’s day of reckoning is coming too.

C’mon America, we’re counting on you.

Be better. Do better.

Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson

Covid Customer Service - Part 3

(This article is based on extracts from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition)

Be respectful 

In this period of Covid pandemic protocols we are all being required to overcome new challenges to deliver outstanding customer service. The pandemic frustrations have heightened anxiety and stress for everyone. Neither customers nor employees are in no mood for tolerating new annoyances.

Customer service has always been the ultimate test for evaluating enlightened entrepreneurship and choosing our suppliers and business partners, brands, products and services accordingly.

It starts with respecting differences in perspectives, expectations and experiences. The with respecting differences in opinions, sources of information and conclusions by contradictory experts.

Play by the rules  

But we cannot respect or tolerate defiance of normal social norms, politeness and public health regulations. We must accept the rules of engagement determined by those in authority responsible for balancing the risks and the impacts. Individual rights and freedoms do not over-ride the obligations to the larger community.

You may choose to play a risky game of Russian roulette with your own health, but not with a shotgun pointed at those around you. Play safe.

Take care of each other – family and friends, customers, employees and associates.  These are challenging times. Enlightened Entrepreneurs will lead the way.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com

Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

Read more articles at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

Covid Customer Service- Part 2

(This article is based on extracts from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition)

Make it personal

In this period of Covid pandemic protocols we are being required to meet new challenges and obstacles to deliver outstanding customer service.

The pandemic frustrations have heightened anxiety and stress for everyone. Customers are in no mood for tolerating poor customer service and employees are equally fed up dealing with impatient and unsympathetic customers.

Customer service has always been the ultimate test for choosing our suppliers and business partners, brands, products and services. How did your own last purchasing decision go?

Add the personal touch to the online experience  

In the pandemic world of 2020, we’re all doing more business online and missing the personal touch that always makes a difference. But making it personal does not mean displaying your messy office as background on a ZOOM call, wearing unprofessional attire as well as needing a haircut. And a barking dog in the background or a cat on the keyboard do not help. (Unless you really want to project the image of eccentric aunt Gertrude.)

And please don’t do the automated customer survey and ignore the feedback. Don’t just track the statistics, respond to the comments. You asked for it, right?

You’ll see, “Your service sucks and I’m taking my business to your competitor!” Or maybe, “Doreen and Nestor were excellent! Answered all my questions, upgraded my service plan and reduced my monthly fees. I’m giving you a shout-out to my 20,000 followers on social media.”

Both deserve a prompt personal response.

These are challenging times. Enlightened Entrepreneurs will lead the way.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 

Read more articles at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

 

Covid Customer Service

 (This article is based on extracts from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition)

 Empathy on steroids

In this period of Covid pandemic protocols we are meeting new challenges and obstacles to delivering outstanding customer service. It’s time for new levels of empathy and understanding. And customers are likely to be in no mood for tolerating deficiencies.

 

The pandemic frustrations and isolation from normal social and business activities has heightened our levels of anxiety and stress to the point of explosion at the slightest disturbance.

Customer service has always been the ultimate test for Enlightened Entrepreneurs – demonstrating how well they treat their employees by how well their employees treat the customers. It’s the final decision-making factor in how we vote with our purchasing dollars, both as consumers and as business-to-business clients.

This period presents a severe test.  

How well are you responding to the fears and obstacles arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic – meeting protocols for hand sanitizers, maintaining social distance and wearing masks? How do you handle people who don't behave; who refuse to follow the public health guidelines or who are not at all sympathetic to the current restrictions on your normal levels of staffing, facilities and services? Are your staff well informed, well trained and prepared to respond appropriately? Will you retain existing loyal customers or gain new ones? Or both.

These are challenging times. But with sufficient compassion and understanding we can take care of each other and get through this together. Enlightened Entrepreneurs will lead the way.

Be better. Do better.

Del ChattersonYour Uncle Ralph

Recent Comments by Learning Entrepreneurship

No comments by Learning Entrepreneurship yet.