How to Deal with A-----e [Toxic] Customers
One of the most common recurring topics between me and my fellow entrepreneurs is how to deal with truly toxic customers.
First, it’s important to define what kind of behavior DOESN’T fall into this category. Customers who are willing to give honest feedback, both positive and negative, are a gold mine. Hearing that we aren’t living up to expectations is always painful, but when our customers work with us to help us serve them better, the relationship, and the work, improves exponentially. This is not surprising – we all know coaching works wonders when managing employees and it’s no different when managing other work relationships.
We fire many more customers than we are fired from, and we really only do it for three reasons. They ask us to do unethical or illegal things, they lie to us, or they treat our team disrespectfully. The third bucket involves a whole host of sins. Over the years, we’ve had customers who threaten us, frequently pay late and/or repeatedly use an abusive or belittling tone when interacting with us. We’ve even had customers who regularly decline to respond to our requests and then blame us for not being able to service them appropriately.
The bottom line is, you cannot claim to care about culture and creating a healthy work environment, while also letting this behavior occur. It’s a strategic choice to shield our employees from this kind of abuse because it keeps them fresh and engaged for the customers who value our expertise and who treat the team as the professionals they are. And that, in turn, allows us to create more and more happy customers.
CEO, Fine Point Consulting
10 Simple Ideas to Bring Good Health to the Workplace
The biggest asset of every business is its employees. It only makes sense that keeping this living and breathing asset healthy and happy would be a top priority. Workplace wellness doesn’t have to mean a state-of-the-art employee gym and in-house personal trainer.
Any size of company can encourage healthy living and offer creative incentives to employees. The best part is it can all be done without spending a lot of money and time putting together a plan, and the payback is high. Wellness programs have been proven to raise employee engagement levels, reduced sick days, and decreased healthcare costs.
Every company culture is unique, bring your dog to work day may be an “emotional up-lifter” for one business but not a great fit in another. A customized wellness program that benefits your employees is a worthwhile effort.
Here are 10 simple Wellness Program ideas to incorporate into your work environment:
1. Onsite Wellness Services: Chair massages, meditation sessions, yoga instruction, acupuncture and more can be valuable wellness services made available at low cost to employees.
2. Healthy Snacks: Employee break areas should be stocked with plenty of healthy low-fat snacks. These days there are both nutritious and delicious snack options available.
3. No-Stress Zones: Every office needs at least one “safe” area where employees can de-stress after a particularly tough day. Create space in your building where employees can get this out of their system.
4. Employee Assistance Programs: These inexpensive programs give employees the ability to call a counselor for confidential support when they need it the most.
5. Fitness on the Job: Establish a workout area in your workplace by investing in second-hand gym equipment and floor mats. Take exercise outside and encourage lunchtime walks. Buy inexpensive fitness trackers to help employees keep track of their progress.
7. Online Wellness: There are many free and low-cost wellness apps and web tools for managing weight, blood pressure, diabetes, stress, smoking cessation, and more.
8. Workshops: Invite various health and wellness vendors and practitioners in your area to conduct wellness workshops in a “brown bag” lunch format.
9. Incentive rewards: A rewards-based system is a fun way to encourage favorable results. Regular recognition, rewards, and incentives help employees stick to their wellness goals.
10. Nurse Hotline: A live telephone nurse hotline can be used to help employees get the help they need before spending an expensive stay in the hospital emergency care center.