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Updated by Better on Demand on May 24, 2013
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Driving Performance

A list focused on tips to improve the performance of individuals, teams and organizations.

Make This Tiny Change to Meet Your Biggest Goals

This year, when checking in with my New Year's resolutions, I changed one way I'd been thinking. It might make all the difference for your business. shutterstock images Tweet How are you doing with this year's goals and resolutions? Remember those?

Why I Love My Angriest Customers

travelingtribe/Flickr A Japanese marketing exec recently sent me this question: We get a lot of customer feedback online. I'd like to relay it to management, but we don't have a good channel for doing so. What does Evernote do to funnel feedback to top management?

4 Keys to Customer Loyalty

Flickr/Nick J Webb There are few things more valuable (or more rare) than customer loyalty. Customer loyalty cannot be bought. It must be earned... not just once, but every day of the customer relationship. The following rules contain the essence of dozens of conversations about customer loyalty that I've had over the years, with some of the smartest sales and marketing folk in the world.

Operational Excellence, Meet Customer Intimacy

Most organizations continuously strive to achieve operational excellence, but they spend less effort understanding customer needs - and few marry these two sources of customer value effectively. While a focus on lowering costs, improving quality, and providing consistent, reliable service will continue to be important, I see a shift in the coming decade to combining operational excellence with customer intimacy: tailored solutions for individual customers based on a deep understanding of their needs.

The Wrong Way to Set Business Goals

Setting big goals is the hallmark of a visionary leader ... right? Not necessarily, says Oliver Burkeman, social psychology journalist and author of The Antidote : Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking (Faber & Faber, 2012), a book that explores the upside of negativity, imperfection and uncertainty.

Be a Customer Service Hero on Social Media

I have a new hero, and her name is Erin. Here's some background first. Our company, Wild Creations, always has business deals under consideration. Because we have partners all over the country and the world, I often rely on to circulate and obtain signatures for important documents.

Stellar Customer Experience: 4 Tips

I've been thinking a lot about our customer experience lately as we'll soon be making some sweeping changes to the way we do business at my online marketing company VerticalResponse. When I see other businesses that do a bang up job with their customer experience, I take copious notes of how we might incorporate it into the way we'll do things.

How Ritual Delivers Performance

All organizations have rituals - from the mundane everyday routines (coffee breaks, tea time) to major, less frequent events like annual meetings and retirement parties. Smart leaders, however, recognize that rituals like these and others are levers for improving the organization's performance and they take the creation and nurturing of rituals very seriously.

Eric Ries: Whatever You Do, Make the Customer King

You might call Eric Ries the kingpin of start-up analytics--he's a big promoter of constant company analysis. Known for his book The Lean Startup: The Movement That is Transforming How New Products Are Launched And Built, and for popularizing the term "pivot" in business, Ries is also a popular speaker.

6 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty

It's tempting to concentrate on making new sales or pursuing bigger accounts. But attention to your existing customers, no matter how small they are, is essential to keeping your business thriving. The secret to repeat business is following up in a way that has a positive effect on the customer.

Bristle at Customer Complaints? That's the Last Thing You Want to Do

Cultura/Zero Creatives/Getty The other day, at JFK airport, I watched as a fast-food outlet got everything wrong. What caught my attention chiefly wasn't the host of mechanical breakdowns, but the failure of the workforce to respond with any hint of ingenuity or resourcefulness. Customers that might have been mollified were ignored, infuriated, and resentful.

The 10 Magic Phrases of Customer Service

Principles of customer service are nice, but you need to put those principles into action with everything you do and say. There are certain "magic words" that customers wants to hear from you and your staff. Make sure your employees understand the importance of these key words: "How can I help?"

The Power of Huge Goals -- And How to Achieve Them

On the heels of President Barack Obama's fourth State of the Union address, I'm pondering the power of huge, if seemingly unattainable, goals. Before both chambers of Congress, the President renewed calls for increased gun control, immigration reforms and making a solid deal on deficit reduction.

How to Set Demanding-Yet-Doable Sales Goals

In my first year in business, it was hard to accurately set sales goals. Fast early company growth would help blow a salesperson's goal out of the water one year, causing me to set it high the next year, only to revise it mid-year because it suddenly seemed far too high.