Customer Service? What’s That? (A Lamont C Blog Post)

Maybe it’s me, but is GOOD Customer Service a dying art?

Okay, maybe ‘good’ is too much to ask for, so can I at least get DECENT customer service once in a while?

Is it too much to ask to have a cashier actually make eye contact with me with I come to the register? Or say “Good Afternoon!” or even “Thanks, come again!”

It’s clearly about the training, or lack thereof, that businesses put into their employees. For instance, I go to one supermarket around my way, Giant Foods, and they clearly don’t put a priority on training their employees on customer service. While they don’t give “bad” service, they just don’t focus on customer experience. More often than not I will only get two questions from a cashier “Giant card?” (which is really the shortest possible way of asking me to put my savings card info in), and “Do you need bags?”. I’m lucky to get a “Hi, how are doing?”, “Did you find everything ok”, or “Thanks, have a good evening.” And God forbid I get service with a smile.

But if I go to the MOM Organic Market around my way, I am certain to get all of those questions, along with “Do you need help with your bags”, and a smile. MOM clearly trained their employees on Customer Service.

I’m not going to even discuss all of the piss poor service that I’ve received from some establishments (Home Depot comes to mind as my most recent experience) because this post isn’t about being a bitch session.

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And in case you are wondering, NO, I don’t believe in the whole “the customer is always right” thing. Many times the customer is flat out an asshole. But if you have a business (doesn’t matter what type of ‘business’ it is), if you want to set yourself apart from the crowd all you have to do is give excellent service.

There are examples in every industry of companies who take situations that are  normally either unpleasant or places where you don’t get any service.

For instance, flying period is a harrowing experience. You are bound to have a bad experience somewhere along the way. Checking In. Going through TSA. Overpriced airport food. Etc. Etc. Etc. Although Southwest is a “discount” airline, what they lack in amenities, they make up for in good customer service.

How many times have you ordered something online, needed some sort of assistance, but finding, let a lone calling, a customer service department was a real hassle? Well if you were to order from Zappos and called their customer service department, you’re going to get a much better experience than you’d think.

Bottom line is if you have a business and you want to set yourself apart from your competitors, give excellent customer service. People will definitely appreciate it, remember it, and likely tell their friends.

 

 

 

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10,000 Hours!? Eff That! Here’s 20, Now Give Me A Skill (A Lamont C Blog Post)

You may have heard the theory about how it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. Guess who won’t be mastering a skill any time soon..(hint: Me!).

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to totally master something, anything, but it’s not going to happen right now. I have a full time job, plus the “side” projects I take on, and two young kids. My time just goes. It’s like I’m living in a time warp.

As a matter of fact, I don’t even have time to write the rest of this blog post! So instead, just watch this TEDx Talk by Josh Kaufman, and you can get his book on the subject here — The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast!

Shut Up! And Start Writing Already! (A Lamont C Blog Post)

(Hey, be sure to Follow My Blog)

I don’t really think of myself as an “author” or a “writer”, but when you write multiple books I guess you are those things by default. (You can see my creations here at Smashwords)

For some people writing is really their thing, their bread and butter, their life’s mission. Me, I do it because it is a creative outlet. (Making music used to be my thing, then it was producing television shows, now its writing… and making chocolate chip cookies).

Often I get “I want to write a book” or “How can I write a book” or some variation of those questions. I’m always willing to give advice to anyone who has the desire to do it, but really my best piece of advice is this…

SHUT UP, AND START WRITING ALREADY!

Look, your book isn’t going to just mysteriously start seeping out of your brain and coagulate into words on a page. You have to sit there and write, type, or speak (using Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 13.0, English
or other program) your book into existence. Stop “wanting” to write, and write!

Is writing a book easy? No, but if you are like me and just doing it at your own leisure, then there isn’t any pressure from publishers, etc. You don’t need to go around telling everyone that you’re writing a book either. That’s just a set up. Write it, and show it to them when you’re done.

There are plenty of good books on writing available, but here are three that I found helpful (Amazon links)…

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity

Again, there are tons of good books out there, these are just three that resonated with me.

Anywho, if you are one of those people who “want” to write a book, you already know my advice.

If you have any advice for would be writers, please share it in the comments section.

If I Can’t Have It, You Can’t Either (A Lamont C Blog Post)

lamontclark.com blog post

(Please be sure to follow my blog by signing up on the left. Thanks!)

Have you ever heard of “Crab Mentality”?

You know, the whole ‘crabs in a barrel’ mentality thing where if a two or more crabs are in a barrel, if one attempts to climb out the other two are going to try to pull that first one back down.

The interesting thing is, crabs are actually very agile creatures. They are ‘decapods’ meaning they have 10 limbs, and it is common for some species of crabs to be able to climb rocks and trees with ease. So why the fuck would crabs, who are fully capable of climbing out of a barrel themselves, prevent one of their own from doing what is natural to them?

I mean really? If there is a gang of them all sitting on top of each other and one of them says “Hey, it’s too crowded in here! I’m gonna blow this joint!” shouldn’t more of them say “Yeah man, you’re right! Let’s get outta here!”.

Nope. Instead they break the arm of the crab trying to escape.

Luckily crabs can regenerate their claws.

As fate would have it crabs share this same trait with us humans.

You decide that you have a good idea and you want to break away from the herd (get a higher degree, get a job promotion start their own business, etc.) there is bound to be people around you that will try to pull you down and break your arm. Well, they won’t literally try to break your arm, but they will try to break your spirit by doubting you and your dream. If your idea “fails” they will laugh at you, mock you, and ridicule you.

Well, luckily your spirit is resilient. You can bounce back from failure. Your knowledge, skills, and abilities can grow after failure, and you CAN still break away from the herd, as long as you learn, grow, and persevere.

If Mr. Krabs can break away from those break away from those clawing son a bitches and be successful, then so can you damnit!

So. Can. You!

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Please be sure to comment below!

Happy New Year…’n shit

New Year

Happy New Year!

It’s 2015 and for my new year resolutions I promise to blah blah blah, and yada yada yada. Also, I will dda;lkjdaflkdja d;ksad;lkfd klweria;nc;jr;c..

Yeah, for the most part new year resolutions are some bullshit. I’m not even sure why people still even make them any more. Does ANYONE stick to them? Do YOU stick to them? I know I sure don’t. I stopped making them because I know I’m not fooling anyone but myself. If you make them and keep them, more power to you! For me though, I found out that I’m much better off making 30 Day Challenges for myself. I know I can keep those.

If you’re one of those people who make resolutions on Jan 1 and by Jan 22 you’ve broken your resolution 10 times, please just stop. Do yourself a favor and stop setting yourself up to lose. Instead, do like I do and set up short challenges, set yourself up for wins. If you can’t do 30 days, do 7 day challenges. Let your challenges build on top of each other. Instead of saying “I’m going to lose 50lbs this year!” try saying, “I’m going to lose 5lbs this month”. Once you do it the first month (Win!) and you see it wasn’t so bad, set up another challenge the next month. Keep doing that, stacking wins, and by the end of the year you will find yourself with a tremendous record (12-0!). Even if you have some losses in the mix and go 7-5 or 8-4, it’s all good!. Even in the NFL 9-7 and 10-6 teams win the Super Bowl!

So no more “New Year Resolutions”, only Goals with Action Steps. Let’s win the Super Bowl baby!!

Lamont C.

p.s. – I hope you like my new design! I decided to K.I.S. (Keep It Simple).

Moving Forward By Looking Back

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It’s a new year (2014 in case you just woke up out of a coma or time travelled or something), and I have my car (life) in drive and my foot on the gas!

But while I’m moving on, I do want to take a quick look in the rear view mirror to see where I have travelled in the past year…

Let’s see looking  back, in a little over a year’s time (end of 2012 through end of 2013) I became a “Publisher”. Well, technically I became an Author AND Publisher. I started by writing Family History: How to Turn Your Genealogy Into a Lasting Legacyand I ended by writing the series (4 books, 1 collection) The Five Elements of Hip Hop…“. All in all I wrote and published 15 books. I never really set out to be an author or publisher, but it just shows how things flow in life. I also consulted and published Aspire to Inspire 101 by B! Mills and Makiya Simone. All of which can be found on my publishing site www.70westpress.com. Okay, so moving forward, I plan on expanding my consulting and publishing (I’ve encouraged several people to write books, I believe at least two will follow through) and I will step up my book game by creating at least one enhanced eBook this year.

Genealogy BookThe Five Elements of Hip Hop, Hip Hop History

Along the same lines (the digital world lines that is), looking back in 2013, I consulted with a few friends of mine on how to get their business website(s) up and running and how to utilize social media, Google Adwords, and other methods to increase their Search Engine Optimization. So moving forward starting with my wife’s business, I will consult with other small businesses in the SEO realm and help them with their digital presence.

Looking back, in 2013 I was sporadic with blogging, my best month was when I did a 30 day challenge, and I think I actually did all 30 days! But I also failed miserably with another 30 day challenge! Moving forward, still no promises to blog every day, or even every week for that matter. BUT I promise to be much more consistent in posting content (meaning what’s happening in my world, or just some random thoughts or rants).

Family-wise, looking back, 2013 started with my oldest son having a broken arm, which I was basically responsible for. He healed quickly, but he showed me the definition of unconditional love. Moving forward, I will strive to be a better father, husband, and overall a better man. I think communication (with myself as well as with others) will be the biggest key to me making my greatest improvements, therefore I plan to learn (and practice) Neuro-Linguistic Programming aka NLP. I’ll be starting small by first reading “The Ultimate Introduction to NLP” by Bandler, Roberti, and Fitzpatrick and then move on from there.  And although this book is not about NLP, I will re-read “The Four Agreements” by Ruiz. This book discusses (or tells a story covering) four agreements we can make with ourselves to assist us through life: Be Impeccable With Your Words, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best. These are qualities that I certainly stand to enhance in my life.

The Ultimate Introduction to NLP

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Looking back, in January 2013 my colleagues and I embarked on a “Biggest Loser” challenge and I did pretty well in the competition. While I didn’t exercise much, I did eat healthier and ended up placing second in the competition. But that trend ended when the competition did. I’m not even going to get into the normal “I’m going to exercise and eat healthier this year” type stuff, BUT moving forward I will try these 5 things I read on this site (MindBodyGreen): 1) Eat dark leafy greens at least once a day (I did this regularly in the summer of 2013 when our garden was growing Kale like crazy!) 2) Commit to moving my body in ways that feel amazing (I’m still pondering this one, but this may be simply stretching in the mornings) 3) Drink more green tea (easy peasy) 4) Read for Pleasure (whaaaaatttt! I read quite a bit, but for ‘pleasure’?!? Okay, I will give it a go) 5) Give more hugs (this is another stretch. I’m not exactly Mr Affectionate, but since my oldest likes to hug, I will take a lesson from him).

Yeah, uhhhm, that’s enough for now. What about you? What are you looking back/moving forward on??