Customer Service

August 31st, 2017

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1st Class Treatment

My father told me, “There’s two rules in business; Rule #1; The Customer is always right. Rule #2; When that’s not the case, refer to Rule #1″  

I’ve been a vegetarian for more than 55 years and have done a lot of flying in that time. I have always found the flight staff to be accommodating, even when their regular menu didn’t have any vegetarian options. That is until when on an Alaska Airlines flight 851 from Seattle to Honolulu on 8/31, 2017 in the First Class cabin I encountered Sandra.

Sandra was coldly “tossing out” menus void of any personality or eye contact. I took a quick look and said, “Excuse me but what do you have that’s vegetarian?” She flatly said, “We don’t have anything vegetarian.” I handed the menu back to her and said, “Well I guess that I won’t eat.” She took the menu, said nothing and walked away. I was shocked.

A few moments later I stopped Nora, the more senior flight attendant, and asked her the same question. She squatted down to my level, made eye contact and said, “We don’t have any vegetarian options, but as a first class passenger I can surely put together a salad and some other things for you.”

Customer service is a people thing.

When Sandra reappeared to take drink orders I told her that Nora offered to put something together for me. She snapped, “Nora works in the back, I’m in the 1st Class cabin.” I bit my tongue so as not to say, “But you don’t have a 1st Class attitude.” She said that she has everything I need up front and that she would put something together for me. I then said, “That’s what you should have said initially.” She apologized and said that a lot of customers get really upset that there isn’t any vegetarian options on the menu. I said, “That’s the airline’s mistake, your approach to dealing with it is yours.” She apologized again and said that she will fix me something. I told that I would rather Nora did. Hey, I don’t want Amy spit in my salad! Right? 

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A few minutes later Nora showed up with more food than I could possibly eat. The guy sitting next to me said, “Wow, that looks great, how did you get that?” This led to a discussion about what I do and what we should all be able to expect from the people serving us; the customers.  Imagine how many people will hear this story from me at future Success Rallies. Sandra was very nice the rest of the flight eager to get me anything I wanted. It’s too bad that she needed a reminder to be nice and helpful.

Leilani Lee Gilfoy - RIP

August 20th, 2017

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Leilani was my Hawaii Branch Manager for Empress Pearls in the ’70s. When I called Lei in 1981 and told her that I had sold Empress Pearls and want to move to Hawaii, she instantly invited me to stay with her and her husband Ross until I got settled. They met me when I arrived, and immediately began “Hawaiianizing” me with trips around the island visiting all of the special beaches and places.

Her wonderful family, Ross, David (RIP), Honey Girl, Reno, Remi, Caron and Zena all became family to me. Lei had two other sons that were adopted out, Bernie and Jose that I never met. 

I spent many evenings listening to Leilani’s golden voice, playing her ukulele as Remi sang along while Honey Girl and Caron danced hula. 

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Leilani’s brother was the famous Hawaiian entertainer Kui Lee who wrote many of Don Ho’s classic songs as well as a few for Elvis Presley, such as this one:

CLICK HERE:

Kui performed until he lost his fight with cancer at a very young age.

When Ross emailed me with the news that Lei had passed away, I sat at my computer with tears in my eyes. They are returning again now as I write and edit this. Her funeral will be on September 23 and we will spread her ashes off of the shore of Waikiki. I expect quite a crowd to be there with more than a few celebrities joining in. I will post a blog about that event when it happens. 

Words that Justify Procrastination

August 6th, 2017

“In a few minutes.”

“Tomorrow.”
“Next week.”
“Next month.”
“Next year.”
“Next lifetime.”

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W. Clement Stone, founder of Combined Insurance Company in Chicago had the solution to this “mental sickness” when he simply said, “DO IT NOW!”

This is a shirt that I had made for “Clem” after he came to visit me in my Hollywood office in the mid ’70s.
Mr. Stone lived to be 100 years old.

RIP Clem

Mario to the Rescue

July 26th, 2017

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“It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way” -Jim Croce 

While preparing for a trip to Beverly Hills, Palm Springs, and Seattle which will include a stop in Vancouver, BC I noticed that my Passport was expired. I thought, “No biggie” and went to Google to see where to renew it in Honolulu. The apparent best option was at the Honolulu Passport Agency downtown. I strolled down there (about 20 minutes) only to find a sign on the door saying, “No Walk-in Passports” and instructing me to go to the Downtown Post Office or Library.

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When I arrived at the downtown Post Office the clerk said, “We don’t do passports here anymore. You have to go to the Airport Post Office or the Library.”

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The library was only a few blocks away so I went there. A sign on the door said, “Open at 10 AM.” By now it was 9 AM and I didn’t want to wait there an hour so I decided to come back the next day at 10 AM. I walked back to my office and Googled other passport renewal options and found that all of them required the completion of a lengthy form to mail. Not a fan of forms and snail mail, I decided to return the next day. I arrived at 9:45 AM and waited until they opened the door at exactly 10 AM. Inside was a sign directing passport traffic to the 2nd floor. When I arrived at the Federal Documents Department, there was a wall full of forms along with a sign saying, “All passport renewals must be done by mail.”

I left a bit flustered and called my mainland client and asked him if it is crucial that we go to Vancouver. He emphasized that it would be a big disappointment if we didn’t go, so I agreed to keep working on it and go to the Airport Post Office in the morning. When I got back to my office I posted this on Facebook; “There must be a service that can handle my passport renewal. I’ve been to three places so far and they all hand me a form telling me to do it by mail. I want/need a human service. Yes, I’ll pay for it.”

Within minutes I got this reply from Mario Fusco, “I can help you, Come to Waimanalo Post office… In and out 10 min. Hawaii’s hidden secret.”

I did, and yes I was. This is my new Passport Photo which Mario snapped saying, “No smiling.” That was the hardest part of it all.

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SELL QUALITY; NOT PRICE

July 15th, 2017

This was published in a Vancouver, BC Newspaper in 2007:

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“It’s Slow”

July 7th, 2017

Don’t Buy This Excuse!!! 

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“Traffic” is by far the #1 excuse presented to management when sales are low in a retail store. When someone tells me that it’s “Slow,” I say, “Then speed it up.” People walk past stores, look in and then decide if to enter or not. Too many times it’s an “available” salesperson that causes them to walk on by. “There is nothing more threatening to a customer than a salesperson without a one. Even worse is two or more salespeople without customers.” Retail Selling Made Easy.

Your Reputation

July 4th, 2017

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“Under Construction”
Like the braids of straw that make up a basket, your reputation is woven into how you are perceived. It gets stronger or weaker, better or worse with everything you do and how you do it.
Your reputation is how people think of you, and how they describe you to others.
Every deed well done leaves a positive image of you. Any deed done poorly or left undone does exactly the opposite.
When people talk about you, (and they will) any negatives are likely to get more attention than the positives. One little negative has the potential of negating all of the big positives you have done.

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It Starts Here:
Trust yourself to ALWAYS:
-Be On Time
-Do What You Said You Would
-Tell the Truth

And commit yourself to the KGB - Keep Getting Better

AGAIN It’s Over

June 30th, 2017

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A Short Story
The end of each day brings about the opportunity to look back and think about what you achieved today.
Some days that will be more than others… Some days you will be smiling at the end, other days you may not be.
In any case it’s time to begin a new one.
The end of each month brings about the opportunity to reflect on your goals. Whether you hit them or not, it’s time to set new ones for the next month.
Start on day 1 to do the things needed to end this month as you would like to.
The end of a relationship gives you the opportunity to analyze what you may have done wrong that created its end.
If this was a relationship you treasured, think about behavioral changes you can make to the next one. If its one you are happy to get out of, be thankful and don’t look back.
The end of each life brings about the opportunity for friends and family to gather and talk about your life and what you did while still alive.
You are writing your legacy while you are still drawing breath. Do now what you would like others to say you did.
In the end, any ending is simply a new beginning.

A Short Story

June 29th, 2017

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The end of each month brings about the opportunity to reflect on your goals. Whether you hit them or not, it’s time to set new ones for the next month. Start on day 1 to do the things needed to end this month as you would like to.

The end of a relationship gives you the opportunity to analyze what you may have done wrong that created its end. If this was a relationship you treasured, think about behavioral changes you can make to the next one. If its one you are happy to get out of, be thankful and don’t look back.

The end of each life brings about the opportunity for friends and family to gather and talk about your life and what you did while still alive.

You are writing your legacy while you are still drawing breath. Do now what you would like others to say you did.

In the end, any ending is simply a new beginning.

Speedo? Really?

June 27th, 2017

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To Sell Them; Stock Them!

I have been eager to minimize water resistance when swimming laps. I encountered snickers, chuckles and eye rolls as I approached salespeople in Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, ROSS, and even Walmart asking for Speedo style swim trunks. I found them at Amazon, but having never worn them before, I wasn’t sure of my size. I returned to ROSS looking for an alternative, and in my search found the only pair of Speedo trunks in the store (maybe in Hawaii) hiding among all of the other swim trunks. I tried them on, bought them and had a great swim in them this morning.