Do You Say What You Mean?

The big problem with verbal communication is that we don’t do it very well at all. In other words, often we don’t say what we mean which leaves the listener to interpret what we meant from what they heard. So we’ve all had to become good interpreters. It’s all the more puzzling because in English […]

Customer Experience (CX) Five New Kids on the Block

In this article Congruence MD Paul du Toit discusses five CX drivers that are edging to the top of the customer priority list and why they matter now. Positive customer experiences are driven by great products or services supported by efficient systems and service excellence. These are not the exclusive domain of powerful brands – […]

Succession Planning: A Threat Or A Promise?

Succession Planning: A Threat or a Promise? When the King dies the King’s heir inevitably takes over and rules. Since the King seldom survived much over 50 in the old days, this was generally a sound plan. The Prince would still be young, strong and, one would hope, clear thinking. If the King had no […]

Should Customer Experience Be Predictable?

You and your partner are out to dinner at a fine restaurant. The leather-bound 16-page menu arrives with multiple options for hors d’oeuvres, mains and dessert. The wine list is overwhelming. The discussion is dominated for some time by the complexities of choice available until, with some hesitation, decisions are made. The conversation meanders until, […]

Customer Service: Why You Shouldn’t Go The Extra Mile

You don’t need to be a regular churchgoer to often hear one of life’s most sensible maxims: “Do unto others as you would be done by” It is this maxim alone, more than any other that epitomizes the principle of customer service – simply provide the level of service that you yourself would be happy […]

Shifting Customer Expectations

Communication: When I attended boarding school in the early 70’s I’d painstakingly write a weekly letter to my parents, typically 3 pages long with my news. I’d fold it carefully, place it in an envelope, put a stamp on it and make sure it reached the mail bag in time for the weekly mail collection. […]

The Value of Acknowledgement

A mother asks her teenager to please lay the table. She receives no response. Twenty minutes later it still hasn’t been done. Now what? Was the request heard? Was the teenager busy or just preoccupied? Is he still intending to do it? Mom, herself once a teenager – she reminds herself, ends up setting the […]

When To Email and When To Phone

Don’t you just love requests for information by email with a name, but without a signature? If you don’t know me personally, at least supply that vital bit of information that identifies beyond a name who you are, who you represent and a choice of contact details including location. Your signature or lack of it determines […]

Conflict: A Secret Weapon?

Being human we experience a powerful compulsion to retreat from conflict that is not of our own making. Put simply, if it’s not my problem, why should I have to deal with it? Answered simply, there can be many lasting benefits to approaching conflict as an opportunity – rather than as a barrier to peace. […]

Are You Afraid of No?

A pool company commissioned an online sales campaign generating fresh leads that were forwarded to their sales team according to area. Leads were allocated to sales folk in their designated areas. However, failure to convert that lead within a month resulted in that lead being re-allocated. The process was that an appointment would be made […]