Monday, 28 April 2008

2nd Edition of "A Complaint is a Gift" Hits the Shelves on August 1!

I'm happy to announce that BK Business is releasing an updated version of the customer service management bestseller "A Complaint is a Gift" on August 1, 2008. As with the first edition, released in 1996, this book has been co-authored with Janelle Barlow and will feature brand new and up-to-date examples of how to deliver great customer service through handling customer complaints. When I originally developed the concept as a 1-day training programme with a small booklet of cases, examples, ideas, tests and implementation guides back in 1993, it was considered a novel concept that a complaint could be a gift. Most people thought that I had lost my marbles and I was often asked: "How can you say that a complaint is a gift? Have you ever been on the frontline dealing with irate customers?" My response was quite simply that if our customers do not tell us what we're doing wrong, they're probably not telling us what we're doing right, either.

  • Handling complaints in an efficient manner does not only give us the opportunity to determine if there is anything wrong with our products, services or delivery mechanisms.
  • It also allows us to establish a better relationship with the complaining customer. Research has shown that at heart, most of the people who complain actually want to remain your customers so this is an ideal opportunity to turn them into even more loyal customers rather than risk them spreading bad word-of-mouth around.
One of the key premises of the original book was some shocking research from TARP that showed that on average, an unhappy customer will tell 23 of their peers about their experiences, whilst somebody who has had a positive experience will only share that information with 9 peers. Furthermore, the cost of retention for almost all product and service categories is manyfold lower than the costs of a new customer acquisition. Therefore you cannot afford to take customer complaints lightly, but must learn to treat them as gifts. You can pre-order "A Complaint is a Gift" (2nd edition) from Amazon now.

Test run of "Beyond Time and Knowledge"

Last Tuesday, Ron Young and I did a first dry run of our new exciting concept called "Beyond Time and Knowledge" (just a working title so far) in front of an exclusively invited audience at Les 4 Moulins in France.

The foundation for the concept is that we live in a world that has become too focused on gadgetry and technology, which leads to people losing track of who they are; what their goals are; and how they can attain those goals.

The underlying principle is that there are some management evergreens, which people of all ages, and in all walks of life, could benefit from learning and that by having a clear focus in both your personal and work life you will also be able to benefit from technology to a greater extent. Knowing where you are going and how you are going to get there will allow you to select the right tools for the job.

We had an incredibly powerful day, where the guests really felt that they had received some valuable inspiration and we got some great feedback in terms of both the contents and the format of the presentation.

The plan is that we will develop the concept into a multitude of products and services from books to articles, tests and seminars and we will probably be ready to unleash "Beyond Time and Knowledge" on the world in 2009.

I am immensely excited about this project, as it will be a first for me to develop a concept with a co-presenter. I have collaborated with others on writing books in the past, most notably "Heart Work" with Dr. Reuven Bar-On, who originally coined the phrase "Emotional Intelligence", and "A Complaint is a Gift" (retail version) with Janelle Barlow. I will continue to lift the veil a bit more as the year progresses so you can follow the development of this exciting project, and I hope that you will actively wish to participate in the development of the concept by giving me feedback along the way.

In the meantime, if you would like to attend one of the small and closed test seminars in the Autumn of 2008 for a marginal fee to cover accommodation and meals, please feel free to send me an email.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Be more proactive and be less reactive

Many people have asked me in my seminars, over the years, 'What one thing would you wish to teach your children?'

My answer is 'Be more proactive and be less reactive'.

You can learn to apply simple, but very profound and powerful, methods, techniques and tools to enable you to spend a little more of each day working on important, goal focused, tasks and activities.

  • Why give in, and become a servant, to the incessant demands of work and daily life? Why not give out to the world, instead?
  • Make some meaningful life goals.
  • Start by dreaming the impossible dream!

I will write so much more about how to do this in coming blogs, and you can learn this from my Practical Leadership Seminar.

For more information visit:

Friday, 4 April 2008

34th Practical Leadership seminar has just finished in Provence

It is hard to believe that it has already been that many seminars, but it just seems to get better and better and the feedback Claus got from the participants was brilliant. The Practical Leadership seminar has been running for almost 6 years now and I'm doing 4 more this year, 3 of which will be in Danish and 1 in English.

It is a 6 day management programme for everybody who wants to become a better employee, manager or just improve yourself as a person. The idea behind it is that you have to excel in two areas of business: one has to do with industry specific skills and knowledge and the other is the general traits of good management and business excellence. The Practical Leadership programme cannot help you to become better at the professional aspects of your particular industry, but it can help you improve the general areas.

It draws on all of the aspects of the evergreens of management: Productivity, Relations, and Quality and devises a model for better leadership across the general areas of business excellence.

To enhance the learning experience, this 6 day programme is held at the exclusive retreat Les 4 Moulins in the south of France, where you can relax fully between the sessions; play tennis; go for a swim; or get relaxing massages. All of this is complemented with 3 meals a day using only the finest local produce and served with the wines from Provence.

If you would like to find out more about the seminar, you can download a PDF brochure here or find out more about registering to attend the next Practical Leadership seminar.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Managers can - and should - learn how to manage

A couple of years ago I wrote a short article about management, which I feel is as relevant as ever. Therefore I wanted to share it with you, my blog readers. Below you will find a brief synopsis and a link to where you can download the article from HSM on Bnet.

"Management is a skill that should be acquired by everyone who relates to other people. The very idea of letting a pilot fly an aircraft without a pilot’s certificate seems ludicrous. Nevertheless, managers are given the task of leading other people even if they do not have any management training. What’s more - managers are often so busy trying to handle their day-to-day working life as professional specialists that they do not even have the presence of mind to feel guilty about failing to live up to their role as managers. This applies to some senior hospital doctors, architects, professors, IT managers, chefs, master builders, accountants, etc.

So what does it take to manage a company or an organisation to achieve good, lasting results? Do any universal management principles even exist? The answer to both these questions is "YES", says Claus Møller. Approximately every third year, a new management principle comes into fashion, and most people adopt it immediately in their organisation without even knowing why – except not to seem old-fashioned. It is interesting to note that the organisations that achieve the best, lasting results are the ones that, at an early stage, set up some clear and simple management principles, make sure that everybody knows their role and the rules for getting a yellow or a red card – and stick to these principles instead of jumping from one management fashion to another.

In this article Claus Møller argues that the prerequisites for achieving good results are not just professional skilfulness, professional business excellence, but also general business excellence."

Click here to read the full article on Bnet.

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