Great Customer Service – It’s Only Natural

Service Hummingbird Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

Extraordinary service is the result of anticipating the need and providing the solution before the customer requires it.

Great Customer Service – It’s Only Natural

Customer Service Lessons from Nature. Like the relationship between you and your customers, the relationship between hummingbirds and flowers is complex and uniquely interwoven. To re-discover the keys to great service and build an enduring, mutually beneficial relationship with each customer, we need only look to nature. The Green Mango Hummingbird, with its rare combination of creativity, energy and stamina, provides valuable lessons for every staff member who interacts with your customers.

Capitalize on your unique abilities. Able to hover in place for extended periods of time, the Green Mango takes advantage of its natural assets to access the pollen in flowers that would otherwise go un-”serviced.” In turn, the pollinated flowers ultimately multiply offering more nectar for the bird in the future.

What are your organization’s unique strengths and how can you maximize them for your customer’s benefit?

Approach every customer contact with energy. Though we generally see hummingbirds in flight, they spend the majority of their time perched. When the moment arrives, though, they are ready to get to work. With wings beating up to 50 times per second and lungs taking over 300 breaths per minute, these remarkable birds do all they can to pollinate the flowers while simultaneously collecting nectar for their nourishment.

Does each of your customers feel you’ve given your all to help them achieve their goals?

Be prepared. When it comes time to migrate, the hummingbird prepares for the journey by feeding until it has doubled its weight. With enough fuel on board, the tiny bird is able to fly to its destination (as long as 20 hours) without stopping…all just to serve its next “customers.”

Are you prepared to serve your customers over the long haul?

If you’re looking to optimize your customer relationships during these challenging times, take a moment to view them through nature’s lens. The perspective you gain could make the difference.

View all of our Service Hummingbird products.

We have an entire Service-Themed section of products from motivational posters and awards to business essentials and books.

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Ripple the Pond

Attitude Drop Motivational Poster

Attitude Drop Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

Ripple the Pond

What if Rosa Parks thought, “Oh, I’m just one little person, what could I do to change anything?” She would never have held her ground on that famous bus ride that set into motion desegregation on buses and added power to the Civil Rights Movement.

What if Mother Teresa thought, “What can a young woman like myself really do to help the poor? What difference could I possibly make?” She would never have begun “The Missionaries of Charity” whose primary task is to love and care for the poorest of the poor.

What if Dr. Richard Pimentel didn’t fight for the rights of his friend with cerebral palsy (who was arrested at a pancake house for being too ugly)? The Americans with Disabilities Act might never have been passed.

These people made their “drop in the pond” really count by simply following their inner conscience. They had no idea that one little thing would lead to another and another until the world changed for the better.

Each person has an effect on another person. It can’t be helped. Your small kindness could have huge repercussions, rippling out into the unknown. In the book The Richest Man in Town, one man’s small kindness radiates out to effect thousands of people, perhaps hundreds of thousands.

I’m not suggesting radical change here. I’m suggesting that you follow your gut when it’s telling you to do something you know is right. Take litter for instance. If everyone in America were to pick up one piece of litter today, there would be at least 303,824,640 less bits of trash lying around. That’s quite a lot when you think about it.

So start rippling your pond in the way that’s right for you. Your actions might just go down in history.

Like the drop image? We carry many Attitude Drop Themed items.

We also have a whole Attitude-Themed Product Section of gift and award ideas.

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Water Your Attitude of Gratitude and Watch It Grow

Attitude Waterfall Framed Motivational Poster

Attitude Waterfall Framed Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

The currents that determine our dreams and shape our lives flow from the attitudes we nurture every day.

Water Your Attitude of Gratitude and Watch It Grow

What would happen if you didn’t water a fern? First it would struggle to remain green, then it would yellow, brown, wither and die.

Ferns need a lot of moisture to survive, and humans need water, too. Not just in the form of H2O, but in the form of small kindnesses bestowed upon them. This is the place where Earth Day and Administrative Professionals Day meet.

Spread the seed. Telling others about the accomplishments of an employee or coworker spreads the seeds of appreciation creating a nurturing environment that encourages personal and professional growth. If every seed was planted in the same hole, it would have to fight with all the others for sun, soil and water – but scattered, each seed can live in harmony.

Water the seedling. Pour on the praise. Letting someone know they are doing a good job with an in-person thank you is priceless. It’s like a refreshing rain after a dry spell and serves to sustain growth for an extended period of time.

Repot when necessary. Sometimes promotions are in order, and when someone makes it to the next level in their job, make sure to create some sort of celebration. Employees like to know they are on a path that leads to a bigger, better place. Plants can get root-bound when left in the same size pot for too long – they need additional space for further growth.

Thanking those around you and cultivating an attitude of appreciation helps reduce stress and fosters a positive atmosphere in the workplace and beyond. Remembering to brighten someone else’s day will in turn brighten yours.

Need some help cultivating your attitude of gratitude? Our May You Be Blessed gift book offers concrete ways to appreciate others as does our Simple Truths of Appreciation gift book.

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Lead with Vision

Vision Boardwalk Motivational Poster

Vision Boardwalk Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

A leader’s job is to look into the future, and to see the organization not as it is…but as it can become.

Lead with Vision

Right now a lot of changes are being made in the way businesses are run due to the tough economy. The companies that will survive and thrive are those with leaders who possess a vision of the future of their businesses – those who can already see where their organization will go.

Those leaders flying by the seats of their pants might have a bit of trouble. Just trying to keep up with trends, or following public opinion is tricky unless you know how to do it well. By the time you modify your business to follow, a new course is being set, perhaps in the exact opposite direction.

True leaders have a vision and create a following. That’s why they are called leaders, not followers. Visionaries step out on a limb, prepared to fall if need be. If they fall, they’re willing to get up and try again if they really believe in their vision.

The founders of Amazon.com, You Tube, Digg, Facebook and Twitter looked in new directions and attracted loyal fans, a LOT of loyal fans who, by the way, are also consumers.

Bring your business to the next level by imagining what it could be, then taking steps to make that vision into a reality. It may not reach Amazonian proportions, but it just might grow.

Interested in up-and-coming entrepreneurs? Check out Business Week’s Best Entrepreneurs Under 25.

View our entire line of leadership-themed products.

If you like our Vision Beach image, we also carry a Vision Desktop Print, Vision Desk Clock, Vision Greeting Cards and a Vision Award Plaque.

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Everything I Don’t Know About Golf I Learned in Kindergarten

Excellence Golf Motivational Poster

Excellence Golf Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

Excellence is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities.

Everything I Don’t Know About Golf I Learned in Kindergarten

What did I learn about golf in kindergarten? Nothing. They don’t teach golf in kindergarten (unless there’s some sort of Tiger Woods Academy for Nearly Preschool Children out there).

However, I did take golf as a physical education requirement in college, along with swimming, fencing and badminton. Because I have no athletic cells in my body, and could drown in a gene pool, I thought these four sports would be the easiest. Were they easy? No. Not for me, at least.

I still can’t swim, my fencing skills now revolve around chicken wire, if I hit a birdie it would most likely be related to an automobile accident and I barely know a nine iron from a steam iron (neither of which I’ve touched since college).

One of the reasons I never attained excellence in golf was because I did not have high intentions. I thought, if retired people can play this game, certainly I can. I mean, I’m only twenty years old! That’s got to be some advantage. It was not.

I did have intelligent direction from my golf teacher, and once I was involved in learning how to swing and play, I really tried to be a good golfer. After all, for our final exam we had to play at a public golf course. The fear of killing someone accidentally with my club or ball was enough to kick my effort into the highly sincere level.

I tried to see obstacles as opportunities. When I hit my ball into the trees I’d think, what a lovely day to walk in the woods. When traipsing through a sand trap I’d pretend I was on vacation at the beach. When wading through a shallow pond I’d think, that was smart to wear flip flops instead of those weird golf shoes my teacher suggested.

The only part of the excellence equation I was missing was skillful execution. If you really want to be good at something, you need to practice and practice until you become skilled. If you really love that thing, you will figure out how to attain excellence in that arena.

So go out and be the best golfer, swimmer, motivator, manager or speaker you can be. For me, I’ll stick to writing.

Like golf? Check out our golf products.

Hooked on excellence? We’ve got an entire line of excellence-themed items.

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Take Off Your Pajamas!

Make It Happen Sailing Motivational Poster

Make It Happen Sailing Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

“Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but sail we must and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Take Off Your Pajamas!

There have been a lot of odd fashion trends, and I’m all for innovation, but you’ve got to admit, some of them are just downright ridiculous.

Pacifier necklaces! The first time I saw an adult man on a train sucking his pacifier necklace gave me a mixed feeling of pity and revulsion.

Donning shower caps on the street seemed like it could never be a trend, but thanks to the Jheri curl, people wandered around looking like meat packers on a break.

Wearing pants so low your underwear is part of the ensemble just doesn’t work – it’s like taking sensuality and throwing it in a dumpster behind a convenience store.

Pajama bottoms as pants. Sure, there are a lot of cute patterns, they’re comfortable and it seems like the trend has potential, but people – this is also a “trend” with the depressed and elderly. Do you really want to go down that road now when you know you’ll probably end up there eventually anyway?

We, as a society, are getting so casual and lazy, soon we’ll have to be rolled out of bed and wrapped in shapeless sacks by robots before being pushed into a room filled with TVs and intravenous feeders.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, who, by the way, died in 1894, was saying basically the same thing: We can’t just drift in life, we need to actually chart a course and go somewhere. If alive today, he might just say, “Take off your pajamas, get dressed and DO something.”

You make your own future by taking steps toward your goals. They don’t have to be big, fancy goals (although those are good), but without working towards something, you’re going to float around in the great, vast ocean with nothing but your wits to get by.

Try to come up with at least one goal. It can be as simple as I’m going to walk outside for 15 minutes a day and try to notice my surroundings or as complex as I’m going to learn to sail a boat. Your goal can even go as far as I’m going to purchase a yacht within five years.

The goal needs only to be important to you. It just needs to be important enough for you to take off your pajamas…

Peruse our Make It Happen themed items.

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Choose Your Path Wisely

Service Path Motivational Poster

Service Path Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

The high road to service is travelled with integrity, compassion and understanding; people don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.

Personalize and Customize this image with Design Your Inspiration. The DYI print comes in two sizes: Wall Art Size (19″x24″) or Desktop Size (9″x13″), for which you’ll choose a frame and mat for museum quality display. Most importantly, you’ll be able to add one of our recommended inspirational quotes, or you can write your own quote, as well as a personal message. See how easy it is with this How To DYI Video.

Choose Your Path Wisely

Remember the poem by Robert Frost about choosing the less-traveled path? If not, it’s written below:

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Frost chose the more difficult but more rewarding path.

When working in customer service, it might be easier to give in to annoyance or downright anger, but if you choose the high path – the path of kindness, understanding and true caring, you will not be disappointed. It can and will make all the difference.

If you like our Service Path quote, you may like our Service Path office products.

If you’d like to read about phenomenal customer service, our Customer Love gift book by Mac Anderson, founder of Successories, is just the right book

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My Way, Your Way and Our Way

Collaborate Motivational Poster
Collaborate Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

Meeting people halfway is the most significant trip we can take. We don’t work for each other…we work with each other.

My Way, Your Way and Our Way

Have you ever had a manager with the attitude: My way or the highway? If so, you probably reacted to this person in one of several ways.

The Placid Lake. Make no waves no matter what, just do your job, nothing more, nothing less. Don’t suggest new ideas because they’ll be shot down or you won’t be given credit for them.

The Eager Pup. Agree with whatever the boss says, enthusiastically. It doesn’t matter if you believe what you’re saying or not, because the boss is integral to you getting fed.

The Steam Whistle. You’re ready to blow your top at any time and your seething anger is slightly evident in every interaction, but not enough to get “written up.” You complain internally and to coworkers, but would never stand up to the boss.

The Confronter. You just HAVE to say something, which leads to you being constantly harassed, demoted or fired.

In the above scenarios, there is no functioning team. It’s a dictatorship. Little gets done because all of the “underlings” are unhappy and basically find ways to thwart progress.

Revisiting the quote, you’ll notice “working for each other” and “working with each other” have different meanings. When a manager gives each person a voice that will be equally heard, everyone feels more important. When all ideas are considered, innovation and creativity are more likely to flow.

In egalitarian teams like this people are respected as individuals. The team is not a melting pot, but a mosaic of tiles in all shapes and colors that – when working together – create a beautiful design. No one fits into an easy-to-figure-out category because reactions can be multi-faceted and complex.

The change begins with you. In your next interaction with someone you disagree with, really try to see his or her side. Extend your hand to create a bridge. Try to come up with a compromise that you both accept.

People learn from example. Perhaps the idea of meeting people halfway will catch on in your work environment and things will run a little more smoothly. Collaboration is worth a try.

Explore our Teamwork Themed Motivational Products for the office.

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Wealth, Fame, Power – The Keys to Happiness?

Achievement Tree Motivational Poster
Achievement Tree Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.

Wealth, Fame, Power – The Keys to Happiness?

For those obsessed with mountain climbing, it’s all about the summit. Reaching the top. The view from “up there.” Being on top of the world. The feeling of accomplishing a goal.

But in everyday life, our goals can be very vague. I want to be rich. I want to be famous. I want to be powerful. These three common, across-the-board desires plague most people who are honest with themselves.

Imagine being rich. Would money really solve all of your problems? Sure, you could “buy” a spouse, but would that person really love you for you? You could live in the house of your dreams, but would it feel empty? You could drive an expensive car, but in reality it is just a box of metal on four wheels (albeit an aesthetically gorgeous box). It’s an illusion that rich people are happier than the average person – some of them are, some of them aren’t. If you are adamant that you want to be counted as one of the wealthy ones, then set a very specific goal for yourself and run with it.

Imagine being famous. Do you really want to be followed around by paparazzi and lose all sense of privacy? Do you want every little thing you say and do to be scrutinized by the media and by adoring fans? Do you want to be stalked by countless weirdos who think they’re in love with you? If you think, oh, those are minor inconveniences, I still want to be famous – then set a series of very specific goals in the arena of your desired fame category and get to work!

Imagine being powerful. I’m not talking Dr. Manhattan of The Watchman powerful, rearranging matter and such, just world-leader powerful, or head of a large corporation. As Spiderman’s Uncle Ben said, “With great power there must come great responsibility.” Would you really like to be President Obama right now? Sure, he gets to fly on Air Force One (which actually refers to one of two highly customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft) but he also gets to bail America out of lots of troubles, with all eyes watching. Would you really like to head up a large corporation right now? Besides power, you may be looking at jail time or bankruptcy. If you think, oh, but I’d use my power judiciously – then by all means, set that goal and carve your steps one by one until you reach the top.

But there are also the people that “just want to be happy.” Which may be the tallest order of all. Unless, perhaps you alter your definition of happy. We’re usually happiest when we’re doing something we love.

What really makes you happy? Make a list. Pick something on that list that seems most important to you right now, today. Map out a specific way to reach that goal – and work on that goal daily. Think of one thing you can do each and every day to get closer to that goal.

Move outside your comfort zone. Go one step further than you normally would. Visualize getting to your next goal. If you make the goal a little beyond what you think you can achieve, you will have to stretch to get there. Stretching is good. It keeps you from cramping up.

Maybe you will be rich, famous and powerful one day. Maybe you already are. But consider reaching for happiness – it may be closer than you think.

Need some goal motivation? Read The Power of Discipline – 7 Ways It Can Change Your Life or Dreams are Whispers from the Soul – Finding Your Purpose and Passion in Life.

If you like our Achievement quote, you may like our Achievement Tree Desk Clock, our Achievement Tree 3-Ring Binder, or our Achievement Tree Ceramic Mug.

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Be a Crocus

Never Give Up Framed Motivational Poster

Never Give Up Framed Motivational Poster

Quote:

Go over, go under, go around, or go through. But never give up.

Be a Crocus

Did you know one of the most expensive spices per weight in the world comes from a crocus? The tiny, thin threads – or stigmas – inside the blossom of the saffron crocus are collected and used in the cooking of many ethnic cuisines around the world. There are only three threads per crocus, and you can image how many it takes to make an ounce, which is why it’s so costly.

Crocuses are one of the first flowers to come up in the spring. They are considered hardy because they will grow in harsh climates with very cold winters. Crocus will thrive in environments that routinely have winter temperatures averaging -40 to -30 Fahrenheit. That’s pretty cold! These flowers are no strangers to places like Alaska, Canada and Russia.

Many people think crocuses grow from bulbs, but actually, they are corms. A corm is a swollen, underground stem that does not have the fleshy leaves you would find on a bulb. The corm stores all the food it needs until spring in that tiny stem.

Planted in the fall, a crocus will lie dormant until a weather trigger sets it off. Then it grows quickly, its pointed bud pushing its way through layers of earth, sometimes snaking around rocks or other substances too hard to pierce. Once it reaches the surface, it pushes up further, ballooning up into a puffy bud. On a sunny day it pops open bringing delight to all those who behold it.

The petals are soft and silky to the touch – a surprise because it seems like it would have to be tough and waxy to push through all of the obstacles in its path, even snow!

The narrow leaves, graced with a single silvery white stripe, appear later when the crocus is still in bloom, and grow longer and longer as the flower fades and turns to a papery transparent film. These leaves need to grow, yellow and wither for the plant to gain enough energy and store adequate food for the next year.

Why not try being like a crocus? You’ll be worth your weight in gold, strong but flexible, and willing to go through or around obstacles that hinder you. Not only will you feel better; others will delight in experiencing the new you.

Like the Never Give Up Theme? View all of our Never Give Up products.

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