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Taking your organization from good to great to WOW!

People! Enough with the ‘ F’ word…

I’m done with the ‘F’ word.

Eradicating it from my vocabulary. No mas. It’s a dirty word, after all.


“How was your stay?” – Fine.

“How is your meal tasting?” – Fine.

“How are you feeling?” – Fine.

Fine? That’s it? How boring. I’m doin’ just fine. Just fine? What is that masking? Just enough to get by… Pass the soap so I can wash your mouth out!

Fine is a reflection of status quo mindset. Another phrase for good, and we’ve learned good is the enemy of great. So fine is good, but not great, and definitely not wow, fabulous, amazing or exceptional.

If this is your customer, guest, patient, friend, spouse answering the questions are you settling for “fine”?


I'm fine wordle


Working with organizations in customer engagement and service excellence I find f-bombs dropped on a regular basis. Our service scores are fine and customers keep returning, so what’s the problem?  We pass our colleagues in the hallway, ask, “How are you doing?” hardly waiting for the answer we hear, “Fine”, and keep walking.

The problem is once we settle for fine (good) we are not striving for greatness. No expectations are exceeded and service will never be excellent, much less legendary, in this status quo environment.

Settling for fine is easy. Why cast a light on any issues and create more work when things are “just fine”?  If this is your strategy, it’s pure laziness.   

In my estimation, customers are not becoming less discriminating in their tastes and expectations of differentiated experiences and service excellence are higher than ever before.  

And we expect all the above to happen very quickly, like finding our desired answer above the fold on the first Google search page or in the speed of a swipe right.

If I walk into your medical practice today, my minimum expectation is that you do your best to fix what ails me (or more likely in my case, properly suture my latest goofball, klutzy accidental wound).  What are you doing to show me you care that I selected your practice and trusted you with my needs? What is my first impression when I walk in the door?   An uninterested, unengaged receptionist on Facebook and a waiting room as clean as the greyhound station?

Checking into your hotel, she’s tired from a long day of delayed flights and dragging, well everything, but most noticeably a toddler and too much luggage. Mr. General Manager, can you be bothered to slow down from the task list to engage the child with a coloring book or toy just long enough for mom to dig out her wallet and reclaim her sanity?

In these examples, I’m likely to have good experience at the Dr’s office as long as I’m healed and Mom is likely to check-in and enjoy a good stay without the cute toy to save the day, but without any extra effort placed on the experience or attention to details that surprise and delight we will never take our organizations from good to Great to WOW.

Want to stop dropping the ‘F’ bomb? I’ll share tactics in my next post, but meanwhile feel inspired and decide to quit having “just fine” days.  Then make a commitment to engage in a transformation from good to Great to WOW experiences.  Let me join you on the journey!

it takes a brave heart image

Going into Battle Against the “F” word (Yes, it takes a Brave heart)!

If you’ve settled for “fine” quit reading now.  If good is good enough, bye Felicia.

If you’re comfortable with good feedback, good satisfaction scores and good employee morale save yourself time and switch to some mindless social media skimming.  Check out photos of all your friends’ dates/dinners/darling children who are all ‘just fine’.

Now, for the rest of you brave hearts, this post is a follow-up to my rant on the F-word (“Fine”) and starts the wheels turning on how we go from good to Great to WOW experiences in our organizations.

Since you’re still reading, by simple deduction I know a few things about you:  

  • First, you’re very smart and curious – You’ve continued picking up what I’m laying down here for this hot topic
  • I know you’re not lazy or complacent – No “f” word or status quo for you
  • We’re most likely in the same Tribe  – Like me, you believe we can beat drums to eradicate “fine” experiences in our businesses, organizations and communities
  • So therefore, and maybe most importantly – You’re brave!  It takes some real nerve to admit things need to go from good to Great to WOW

All of us professionals with some fire-in-the-belly realize we are not perfect and continuously seek ways to improve.  It must start with that fire, but then the bravery needs to kick in.  Bravery from the heart to say it out loud, to not take it personally when critiqued and a willingness to admit settling for good is not enough.

How do we find bravery?

Football coaching legend, Vince Lombardi, challenged us all by noting, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” In sport, business and in life we’re not perfect but in a sincere and purposeful pursuit of it we will achieve heights once unimaginable. Once bravery is unleashed, then a drive to find excellence in a chase for perfection is readily achievable.  Bravery is saying “Yes”.  Bravery is progress, not perfection.


Bravery is progress, not perfection.


A lot happens in the margins between hoping to be better and arriving at excellence.  It doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by design.  Be brave and commit to excellence!


In partnership with brave organizations ready for a commitment to excellence, I’ve assisted in creating experiences to surprise and delight, engage and excite, or comfort and nurture – all by design.   Contact me to learn how to create experiences to get from good to Great to WOW!

boomers vs. millennials cartoon email conversations

If You Don’t Like the Stereotype … Change it!

So many theories on Millennials in the work place, so many funny cartoons.  

Stereotypes or truths?

I’d argue … Both.

My belief is stereotypes are generalizations based on some element of truth (like it or not). The stereotype might play out in the end to be painful/harsh/ugly/unfair, but somewhere in the annals of time it was true of someone, somewhere generally speaking. Then, generally, it was true of multiple people, several places or many people, widespread.

Keyword above and saving grace – general.  That’s good news!  Because they’re general it means stereotypes are not, ‘one size fits all’.  

I also believe if you don’t like a stereotype about yourself/your group then work to change the perception. Or phrased another way, in Mad Men fashion: “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” – Don Draper

Don Draper quotation

Ran across this quick article on the Millennial generation in the workplace and why they’re “getting fired”.   This writer states a lot of truths (stereotypes?) related to young professionals’ issues and offers some tips on how to avoid the fate of workplace misery –or worse– getting fired.

Good article, but it got me thinking …how has it gone this far, this quickly? This generation is so young in the workforce – yikes. How can I help those who don’t want to fit in this “box” break out of the stereotype’s pop culture destiny?           

Yes, I’ve run into this general malaise, but it’s not every Millennial I encounter.  But then again, as with any good stereotype, you begin to believe what you hear consistently and most often, and currently those labels especially include, “entitled and narcissistic” over and over. Every generation claims stereotypes (even my “forgotten” GenX brothers and sisters), but never before do we have so much access to so many pundits summing up an entire generation before they even make their mark.

My conclusion: Change the conversation.   

Everyone – stop pontificating.  Engage in real, straight-forward conversations.  Cut through the blogger experts, Reddit rants, sketchy statistics and plain-old excuses and get to the point in your situation.

If you’re a Millennial and you’re reading that article thinking, “That’s not me…”, then I say, prove it.  Change the conversation.   Tell people who you are, whatyou stand for, why you believe as you do, and more importantly SHOW them.  Actions speak louder than words (pretty sure that advice precedes even the Boomers).

If you’re a Boomer or GenX (and especially if you’re the Boss) then engage in some crucial conversations.  Lead the way, even if it’s uncomfortable at first. Change the dialogue, allow for their input.  It’s up to us as leaders to outline clear expectations in the work place culture and design the experience for our employees so they can deliver the experience to our customers.  

I’m no expert or authority on this subject matter, but I sure am curious about how this continues to unfold and shape our country.   No matter which side of the age-bracket or argument you’re on, I’d love to hear your comments!