Uncommon Service Blog

Sunday, March 1, 2009
11. Ok, you may not actually recover from the part where you may have looked the American public in the eye and lied about the details of your anti-government heroics. This interpretation is now part of the public discussion. If it's wrong, you must clean it up quickly.  12. We tend to forgive... more ►

Friday, February 27, 2009
I don’t envy people who depend on political humor to pay the rent right now. It's hard to have fun with these earnest, anxious moments of a young Obama administration. The Onion is often the sole voice delivering true comic relief in moments of national heaviness, and so it was no surprise that... more ►

Thursday, February 26, 2009
  1.There is such a thing as bad press. 2.You will recover from it. 3.Your competition for 2012 is not Governor Palin, as delighted as Democrats are by the prospect. You’re now competing against the version of you we just met, the party hack with bad advisers and worse comic timing. 4.Americans... more ►

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
BusinessWeek's cover story this week is called Extreme Customer Service. The title has an aspirational ring to it, and the article celebrates examples of "extreme service," including a UPS delivery person who is instructed by his president to defy the firm's six-hour delivery window policy, show up... more ►

Sunday, February 22, 2009
I have always had a soft spot for A-Rod. He is so exposed relative to other professional athletes. I suspect other high-profile players have gone to therapy, for example, but how many are willing to talk about it publicly? How many walk around without the public armor and discipline to prevent... more ►

Saturday, February 21, 2009
Can we pause for a second and talk about A-Rod? This all feels like another public hanging that obscures the origins of the problem. It seems clear that Major League Baseball – and by extension, all of us who consume its products and services – are unwilling to enforce a clean game. There are... more ►

Monday, February 16, 2009
Americans are shaken, some of us to the core. We thought we were rich, and now we’re poor. We thought the future was ours, and now we wonder, for the first time in decades. We thought our lives were capable and in control, the operational equivalent of a competent system, and now the foundation of... more ►

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Managers today are fighting for a smaller share of smaller wallets. Many are in a defensive crouch, focused on retention and looking for ways to deliver greater value to their customers. Some companies see possibility in the inevitable churn this economy will create, but everyone is getting stuck... more ►

Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The bankers will be scolded today. The theater of it all will be familiar and ridiculous. The lawmakers will climb up onto the stage, tap the full depths of their moral authority and deliver judgment as the cameras roll. It will remind us of similar performances with auto executives and baseball... more ►

Monday, February 9, 2009
Measuring performance can be even harder in the non-profit sector, where satisfying the non-paying clients (e.g., poor children in Honduras) and the paying clients (e.g., rich donors in Houston) are often very separate challenges. This dynamic is complicated by the fact that survival depends more... more ►

Thursday, February 5, 2009
I am regularly asked for my opinion of a performance metric called the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which has become a popular way to assess an organization's effectiveness by measuring the ratio of loyalists to detractors. Many companies have adopted the metric as a leading indicator of growth -- the... more ►

Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Learn from your mistakes.  It sounds so nice in theory, but it often breaks down it practice, particularly for Type A personalities. An intermediary step that's usually missing is first learning how to honor the missteps, as odd as that may sound.  Most of us treat mistakes as toxic, to be avoided... more ►

Monday, February 2, 2009
Starbucks' early success was the result of a lot of very smart, new thinking, including creating a market for higher-end coffee drinks and tapping into consumers' need for a "third place" outside of work and home.  For many years it thrived as it competed on its innovative business model, a... more ►

Sunday, February 1, 2009
I’m often asked to provide a reading list on how to compete on service excellence. There are some great public sources out there. Below is a first cut (if you want more focused recommendations, please let me know), and I will plan to update this post on a regular basis. Harvard Business Review... more ►

Friday, January 30, 2009
Can Davos save us? Most of us consume this bizarre annual ritual through journalists’ lens, and we're as human as they are, distracted by the bright and shiny A List. There are fewer supercelebrities in attendance this year. Like the rest of the world, they seem to be focused on earning a living in... more ►