Brad Domitrovich

PR Zealot, Speaker, Educator

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Interruptions are opportunities to serve …
This is week two of our additional focus on internal customer service. Remember that effective internal customer service helps organizations increase productivity, boost morale, and better serve those external customers. 

If you tend to view every interruption as a roadblock to your own success, then you need to sit back and focus on what is best for your organization. Interruptions ARE opportunities to serve! It’s easy to take pride in assisting your colleagues. Every time you help a co-worker, you also help your organization move closer to accomplishing its goals. Our real job is serving others, external or internal, and making our organization succeed.

Interruptions are opportunities to serve …

This is week two of our additional focus on internal customer service. Remember that effective internal customer service helps organizations increase productivity, boost morale, and better serve those external customers. 

If you tend to view every interruption as a roadblock to your own success, then you need to sit back and focus on what is best for your organization. Interruptions ARE opportunities to serve! It’s easy to take pride in assisting your colleagues. Every time you help a co-worker, you also help your organization move closer to accomplishing its goals. Our real job is serving others, external or internal, and making our organization succeed.

Filed under BradDomitrovich SchoolPR CustomerService Interruption

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Know your internal customer’s expectations … 
Last week, I introduced the Five Guidelines for Outstanding Internal Customer Service. The approach is simple. We spend so much time making sure our external customers are happy, that sometimes we forget about our internal customers. 
The first guideline is to know your internal customer’s expectations. What are they expecting from you? If you are an administrative assistant or an office person, what do your superiors want from you? What do fellow employees need from you? Look at the workflow in your office. So many people rely on each other and other departments in order to get the job done. Do we work so hard at what we do that we lack the perspective to see how others function? If you are an administrator, do your people know what you expect of them? Are you relaying your customer service beliefs and expectations? Are expectations different in your department that others?

Those are a lot of questions. Communication is so important to properly answer any of them. Keep the conversation flow going between you and others you work with. Make sure you understand their timelines and they understand yours. Explain how your office works, what are your priorities, and how are things processed. Until that is accomplished, we will never truly know what our internal customer’s expectations are.

Know your internal customer’s expectations … 

Last week, I introduced the Five Guidelines for Outstanding Internal Customer Service. The approach is simple. We spend so much time making sure our external customers are happy, that sometimes we forget about our internal customers. 

The first guideline is to know your internal customer’s expectations. What are they expecting from you? If you are an administrative assistant or an office person, what do your superiors want from you? What do fellow employees need from you? Look at the workflow in your office. So many people rely on each other and other departments in order to get the job done. Do we work so hard at what we do that we lack the perspective to see how others function? If you are an administrator, do your people know what you expect of them? Are you relaying your customer service beliefs and expectations? Are expectations different in your department that others?

Those are a lot of questions. Communication is so important to properly answer any of them. Keep the conversation flow going between you and others you work with. Make sure you understand their timelines and they understand yours. Explain how your office works, what are your priorities, and how are things processed. Until that is accomplished, we will never truly know what our internal customer’s expectations are.

Filed under BradDomitrovich SchoolPR CustomerService Internal Expectations

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Random thoughts (or not so random thoughts) for school district social media use …
Some of these guidelines have been learned the hard way, others have been through trial and error, and some guidelines I just lucked in to. Here they are in no particular order:
Social media is a communication tool. Remember that. This is just one more way to talk to people - but in a public setting. And guess what? They can talk back - but in a public setting.
Think about everything you post. Take a moment before you press send. Maybe think twice. OK, think three times. My 4th grade teacher Sr. St. Catherine said to my class “Everything you write is a permanent record of your professionalism”. Wow! Doesn’t that hit home when we think about using social media?
Develop a social media schedule. Put together a timetable when you’re going to post. Are you posting after hours? How about weekends? Think of the ramifications. Even though it’s a 24/7 world, do you want to be on call 24/7?
Quality vs. Quantity. Who cares how many tweets you’ve tweeted. Are they significant ones? Are they ones that send a message?
Be selective about who you follow. A campus or district account is a corporate account. If you’re in charge of the campus or district social media account, only follow other district corporate accounts and trusted educational organizations. Never follow personal accounts, even if those personal accounts are educator accounts. Why? Our corporate accounts can been perceived as an endorsement of an individual. 
Anticipate issues. Are you prepared for any negative feedback? Do you have all the answers?
Don’t use school district SM as your personal platform. School district social media should be school district social media. Make sure the stuff you are posting reflects the school district’s goals and objectives, not yours.
Take advantage of your friends. Don’t be the first to respond to a negative comment. Lay back. That’s what friends are for. Remember that if you answer too quickly to a negative comment, you are validating that comment.
Re-purpose your content. You’ve already created a bunch of stuff. Maybe you have written letters and releases for the web. Why re-invent the wheel? Look for SM avenues that your stuff can be posted to. Remember not everything you create in the traditional marketing world should be used in the social media world.
Situational awareness. Be aware of what is happening around you. How will your actions impact your goals and objectives?
Don’t be a pain to your followers. Sometimes you can post too often.
Widgets. If you are going to add widgets and buttons, make sure they work. There is nothing more frustrating then clicking a dead link.
Visit corporate and public sector SM sites often. Get your ideas from others. See what works and what doesn’t.
Followers. Treat your followers with respect. Give them pertinent information. Interact with them.
# of followers. School district “A” has 350 followers and school district “B” down the road has more than 1,500. Who cares?
FERPA. Yes, you still have to follow the law even when posting on Twitter or Facebook.
HIPAA. See above.
Have fun. But not too much fun. Save the pictures of you at the beach or having fun at the pizza joint for your personal account.
Watch the acronyms. ISD is appropriate. LMAO is not.

Random thoughts (or not so random thoughts) for school district social media use …

Some of these guidelines have been learned the hard way, others have been through trial and error, and some guidelines I just lucked in to. Here they are in no particular order:

Social media is a communication tool. Remember that. This is just one more way to talk to people - but in a public setting. And guess what? They can talk back - but in a public setting.

Think about everything you post. Take a moment before you press send. Maybe think twice. OK, think three times. My 4th grade teacher Sr. St. Catherine said to my class “Everything you write is a permanent record of your professionalism”. Wow! Doesn’t that hit home when we think about using social media?

Develop a social media schedule. Put together a timetable when you’re going to post. Are you posting after hours? How about weekends? Think of the ramifications. Even though it’s a 24/7 world, do you want to be on call 24/7?

Quality vs. Quantity. Who cares how many tweets you’ve tweeted. Are they significant ones? Are they ones that send a message?

Be selective about who you follow. A campus or district account is a corporate account. If you’re in charge of the campus or district social media account, only follow other district corporate accounts and trusted educational organizations. Never follow personal accounts, even if those personal accounts are educator accounts. Why? Our corporate accounts can been perceived as an endorsement of an individual. 

Anticipate issues. Are you prepared for any negative feedback? Do you have all the answers?

Don’t use school district SM as your personal platform. School district social media should be school district social media. Make sure the stuff you are posting reflects the school district’s goals and objectives, not yours.

Take advantage of your friends. Don’t be the first to respond to a negative comment. Lay back. That’s what friends are for. Remember that if you answer too quickly to a negative comment, you are validating that comment.

Re-purpose your content. You’ve already created a bunch of stuff. Maybe you have written letters and releases for the web. Why re-invent the wheel? Look for SM avenues that your stuff can be posted to. Remember not everything you create in the traditional marketing world should be used in the social media world.

Situational awareness. Be aware of what is happening around you. How will your actions impact your goals and objectives?

Don’t be a pain to your followers. Sometimes you can post too often.

Widgets. If you are going to add widgets and buttons, make sure they work. There is nothing more frustrating then clicking a dead link.

Visit corporate and public sector SM sites often. Get your ideas from others. See what works and what doesn’t.

Followers. Treat your followers with respect. Give them pertinent information. Interact with them.

# of followers. School district “A” has 350 followers and school district “B” down the road has more than 1,500. Who cares?

FERPA. Yes, you still have to follow the law even when posting on Twitter or Facebook.

HIPAA. See above.

Have fun. But not too much fun. Save the pictures of you at the beach or having fun at the pizza joint for your personal account.

Watch the acronyms. ISD is appropriate. LMAO is not.

Filed under braddomitrovich schoolpr socialmedia

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What about our internal customers?
Good customer service is not rocket science. Great customer service takes a little bit of effort and a little bit of common sense. Everybody thinks that “their” customer service is the best. One of the things that I do when I present customer service workshops to education personnel around Texas, is try to get them to think about what customer service means to them. How do you like to be treated? Customer service is really no more than paying attention to the golden rule … “do unto others”.
Here are the Five Rules for Great Customer Service that I review during my presentations and many people have heard them before:
Keep customers the priority.
Over-deliver when possible.
Offer choices.
Be access-approachable.
Use logic, not emotion.
Providing exceptional customer service lies at the heart of the mission of many organizations. What about our internal customers? Internal customer service is the service that we provide our fellow employees within our own schools and district. It’s the approach we take when one of our fellow employees says “I need something from you”. So i’ve been thinking about the difference between working with internal customers versus external customers, and come up with Five Guidelines for Outstanding Internal Customer Service. Here they are:
Know your customers’ expectations. 
Interruptions are opportunities to serve. 
Keep your eyes on the big picture.
Say thank you.
Exceed their expectations.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will explore each of these guidelines. What many organizations fail to do, is focus on the primary path that leads them to great external customer service, and that is outstanding internal customer service. Remember: great service to the external customer is dependent upon our own healthy and outstanding internal customer service practices.

What about our internal customers?

Good customer service is not rocket science. Great customer service takes a little bit of effort and a little bit of common sense. Everybody thinks that “their” customer service is the best. One of the things that I do when I present customer service workshops to education personnel around Texas, is try to get them to think about what customer service means to them. How do you like to be treated? Customer service is really no more than paying attention to the golden rule … “do unto others”.

Here are the Five Rules for Great Customer Service that I review during my presentations and many people have heard them before:

  1. Keep customers the priority.
  2. Over-deliver when possible.
  3. Offer choices.
  4. Be access-approachable.
  5. Use logic, not emotion.

Providing exceptional customer service lies at the heart of the mission of many organizations. What about our internal customers? Internal customer service is the service that we provide our fellow employees within our own schools and district. It’s the approach we take when one of our fellow employees says “I need something from you”. So i’ve been thinking about the difference between working with internal customers versus external customers, and come up with Five Guidelines for Outstanding Internal Customer Service. Here they are:

  1. Know your customers’ expectations. 
  2. Interruptions are opportunities to serve. 
  3. Keep your eyes on the big picture.
  4. Say thank you.
  5. Exceed their expectations.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will explore each of these guidelines. What many organizations fail to do, is focus on the primary path that leads them to great external customer service, and that is outstanding internal customer service. Remember: great service to the external customer is dependent upon our own healthy and outstanding internal customer service practices.

Filed under BradDomitrovich CustomerService SchoolPR Internal InternalCustomer

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Being access-approachable …

As we look at what it means to be truly customer service oriented, the phrase access-approachable comes to mind. Do our customers feel that they have access to us? If they do have access, how approachable are we? Nobody likes a closed-door bureaucrat. No matter what level our position may be, we can show our stakeholders that we care and we are willing to listen no matter how busy we are. Only then do we become truly access-approachable.

Being access-approachable …

As we look at what it means to be truly customer service oriented, the phrase access-approachable comes to mind. Do our customers feel that they have access to us? If they do have access, how approachable are we? Nobody likes a closed-door bureaucrat. No matter what level our position may be, we can show our stakeholders that we care and we are willing to listen no matter how busy we are. Only then do we become truly access-approachable.

Filed under braddomitrovich customerservice schoolpr

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Living this week with a happy attitude!
Is there any reason why this week won’t be the best possible week for you and every person you come in contact with? One of the things we have control of is our attitude towards today. If you expect nothing but the best, than the best is what you will receive. Our best attitude is what customers are expecting. Our best attitude helps us cultivate meaningful relationships. Our best attitude helps us generate positive engagement with our co-workers. Our best attitude can delight each and every one of our customers. 

Treating people kindly is not something new. The school business is a people business. When people feel that they are being treated well, chances are your day will run smoothly and efficiently. It all happens because you have an attitude that is happy, and it shows.

Living this week with a happy attitude!

Is there any reason why this week won’t be the best possible week for you and every person you come in contact with? One of the things we have control of is our attitude towards today. If you expect nothing but the best, than the best is what you will receive. Our best attitude is what customers are expecting. Our best attitude helps us cultivate meaningful relationships. Our best attitude helps us generate positive engagement with our co-workers. Our best attitude can delight each and every one of our customers. 

Treating people kindly is not something new. The school business is a people business. When people feel that they are being treated well, chances are your day will run smoothly and efficiently. It all happens because you have an attitude that is happy, and it shows.

Filed under braddomitrovich customerservice schoolpr attitude

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Did you wake up happy?A customer service survey from a few years back showed that 90% of people said they “woke up happy.” At times, doesn’t it feel like the only people you deal with are the 10% who wake up on the wrong side of the bed! Why? Negativity makes the day crawl. Negativity consumes people. 
Maintaining happy characteristics is very hard, but something that every one of us needs to do. A great way to start being happy is by making sure you have a positive mental attitude. If you have high expectations for yourself, your happiness will rub off on others.
Starting today, try not to be consumed by negativity. If you woke up happy, stay happy! Happy characteristics make the day go by much faster.

Did you wake up happy?

A customer service survey from a few years back showed that 90% of people said they “woke up happy.” At times, doesn’t it feel like the only people you deal with are the 10% who wake up on the wrong side of the bed! Why? Negativity makes the day crawl. Negativity consumes people. 

Maintaining happy characteristics is very hard, but something that every one of us needs to do. A great way to start being happy is by making sure you have a positive mental attitude. If you have high expectations for yourself, your happiness will rub off on others.

Starting today, try not to be consumed by negativity. If you woke up happy, stay happy! Happy characteristics make the day go by much faster.

Filed under BradDomitrovich CustomerService SchoolPR

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Are you having any fun?
Do you plan on having any fun today? You can if you first decide on what your attitude is going to be. If you choose to be positive and happy, then everyone you meet is probably going to follow your lead.
A great way to explore your happinesses at work is to find something today about your job that you really enjoy. Focus on it. When you do, you’ll be amazed at how you can carry that positive attitude over into other aspects of your job.

When we approach our jobs with joy our customers will notice. They’ll see the difference, and you know what? You will too!

Are you having any fun?

Do you plan on having any fun today? You can if you first decide on what your attitude is going to be. If you choose to be positive and happy, then everyone you meet is probably going to follow your lead.

A great way to explore your happinesses at work is to find something today about your job that you really enjoy. Focus on it. When you do, you’ll be amazed at how you can carry that positive attitude over into other aspects of your job.

When we approach our jobs with joy our customers will notice. They’ll see the difference, and you know what? You will too!

Filed under BradDomitrovich SchoolPR CustomerService

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Isn’t it exciting?
You did it! The first day of the 2014-2015 school year has officially arrived. It’s amazing how we feel we’re never totally prepared, but ironically we are. Hopefully the day was filled with smiling faces and the enthusiasm and laughter of our students filling the halls once again.
Every new school year gives us an opportunity to set new goals and try out new procedures. When it comes to customer service, instead of setting new goals and developing new procedures, how about if we take the time to review what we already have in place?
The Five Rules for Great Customer Service provides us with a benchmark that is useful and timely:
Rule #1 – Keep customers the priority.
Rule #2 – Over-deliver when possible.
Rule #3 – Offer choices.
Rule #4 – Be access-approachable.
Rule #5 – Use logic not emotion.
Each of these rules are simple. Each of these rules are attainable. Each of these rules provides us with a standard for customer service excellence.

What will your customer service level look like this year? Take time today to create your personal vision. Try every day to make these goals a reality. By doing so, 2014-2015 will be an amazing year.

Isn’t it exciting?

You did it! The first day of the 2014-2015 school year has officially arrived. It’s amazing how we feel we’re never totally prepared, but ironically we are. Hopefully the day was filled with smiling faces and the enthusiasm and laughter of our students filling the halls once again.

Every new school year gives us an opportunity to set new goals and try out new procedures. When it comes to customer service, instead of setting new goals and developing new procedures, how about if we take the time to review what we already have in place?

The Five Rules for Great Customer Service provides us with a benchmark that is useful and timely:

  • Rule #1 – Keep customers the priority.
  • Rule #2 – Over-deliver when possible.
  • Rule #3 – Offer choices.
  • Rule #4 – Be access-approachable.
  • Rule #5 – Use logic not emotion.

Each of these rules are simple. Each of these rules are attainable. Each of these rules provides us with a standard for customer service excellence.

What will your customer service level look like this year? Take time today to create your personal vision. Try every day to make these goals a reality. By doing so, 2014-2015 will be an amazing year.

Filed under braddomitrovich schoolpr customerservice excitement

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The little things … 
With the start of school a week away, everybody is busy. When we’re busy, it’s easy to forget good customer service habits. Remembering the little things keeps us focused. What are the little things? Words like: “Please”, “Thank you”, “Sorry for the inconvenience”. These are oh so simple to say, but very much appreciated but both our internal and external customers.

These little things cost us absolutely nothing, take very little effort (except to remember), and make big points with our customers – especially if they are angry. This week, remember the smallest things. Our customers will notice. Our customers will appreciate it. Our customers will say “Thank you” to us. That’s great customer service!

The little things … 

With the start of school a week away, everybody is busy. When we’re busy, it’s easy to forget good customer service habits. Remembering the little things keeps us focused. What are the little things? Words like: “Please”, “Thank you”, “Sorry for the inconvenience”. These are oh so simple to say, but very much appreciated but both our internal and external customers.

These little things cost us absolutely nothing, take very little effort (except to remember), and make big points with our customers – especially if they are angry. This week, remember the smallest things. Our customers will notice. Our customers will appreciate it. Our customers will say “Thank you” to us. That’s great customer service!

Filed under BradDomitrovich SchoolPR CustomerService