We continue to roll on with our InterviewFX series, talking to business owners, authors, and more. Today we’re talking to Mark Sanborn, speaker and author of The Fred Factor: How Passion In Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary, which has sold nearly two million copies to date.
We recently included The Fred Factor in our list of “5 Best Workplace Productivity & Positivity Books” and highly recommend it due to its universal ideas that everyone can put into practice. Mark talks about how you don’t have to have a dream job like a rock star or athlete to make a difference. Anyone, from the garbage man to the person delivering mail, can have a positive impact.
Check out what Mark has to say!
1. What’s one small change a manager or business owner can make that can have a big impact on everyone in the organization?
Get clear on what’s most important: your MVP (most valuable and profitable) activities. Devote the majority of your time to those things. Next, make sure everyone on your team is clear on the best use of their time.
Leaders aren’t just focused; leaders create shared focus.
2. What makes for a sustainable customer relationship?
Being genuinely interested in the wellbeing and success of the customer. Much of business is transactional.
For those customer who matter most, focus on the relational, too. Move from providing “customer service” to providing “customer success.”
3. How can employees who don’t interact with customers still practice good customer service?
Employees who don’t have direct contact with customers support those who do. Keeping commitments, delivering on deadlines and providing excellent internal support and service is critical to providing good service to the end customer.
4. What do you think of the phrase “the customer is always right?”
Anybody who believes the customer is always right hasn’t met very many customers. A few are rude, demanding and sometimes wrong. But while the customer may not always be right, he or she is always the customer. That means they’ve exchanged their money for our service, and if we’ve taken their money, we must deliver the best service that we can, even when the customer is sometimes unreasonable.
5. When people read The Fred Factor , what surprises them the most?
I think the big surprise is that Fred—someone who didn’t have a budget, lots of technology or other resources—was able to provide so much service and value by being creative, committed and passionate. These are things available to any of us who want to turn ordinary into extraordinary.
Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is an international bestselling author and noted authority on leadership, team building, customer service and change. Mark is the author of eight books, including the bestseller The Fred Factor: How Passion In Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary.