Blog Posts

How to Lead When You're Not a Leader

Posted by Elnian Gilbert on 3/28/19 5:11 PM

In the Servant Leadership workshops we teach, we often lead in to the content we’ve adapted from Robert Greenleaf by asking the group:

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Topics: Leadership

CASE STUDY: Zingerman's Business Practices Have Gone to the Cats and Dogs!

Posted by Emily Sandelands on 3/19/19 3:15 PM

 

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Topics: Organizational Systems, Customer Service, Visioning, Training

Why the Best Performers Aren't Always the Best Trainers

Posted by Maggie Bayless on 2/26/19 10:24 PM

OK.  How many of you are willing to admit that you’ve experienced this scenario: You needed someone to train a new hire, automatically chose the person who was the best performer in the job that needed to be trained—and then were disappointed with the results?  Unfortunately, it's likely that we’ve all done that at one time or another.

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Topics: Training

4 reasons to consider open book management

Posted by Katy Alexander on 2/14/19 11:00 AM

Open Book Management was a brand-new concept to me just four months ago. I hopped on the ZingTrain in October 2018 as the next-generation ZingTrain Concierge, a position responsible for coordinating ZingTrain's public seminars and workshops here in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In addition to that, I report on, forecast and track ZingTrain’s public sales numbers at our weekly huddle. (What is a huddle?, you may ask. Learn all about huddles here!)

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Topics: Open Book Management

Making a Great First Impression: If You're Only Going to Teach Your Employees One Class...

Posted by Maggie Bayless on 1/24/19 3:27 PM

How do you welcome new hires into your organization? Do you hand them a uniform and point them in the general direction of the front counter? Do you have them attend several days of classroom training before they ever talk to a customer? Do they learn about your organization’s history and vision from someone in leadership? Or do they get their information from the disgruntled employees out on the back dock?

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Topics: Leadership, Training

Bring Your Best Self to Work

Posted by Joanie Hales on 1/14/19 2:25 PM

Back in 2007, when Zingerman’s wrote Zingerman’s 2020 Vision describing what the business would look like in the year 2020, we wrote that “we [Zingerman’s] have successfully quantified fun, measured fun, and improved our fun factor by at least 380% since 2007. We actively teach people how to have fun at work. We have games to increase the volume of fun we experience and reward ourselves with added fun.”  

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Topics: Customer Service, Leadership, Training

Giving Great Service to Your Staff

Posted by Maggie Bayless on 12/18/18 3:14 PM

We all know service is important—right?  We’d be surprised if there were a company left in the US which hasn’t incorporated some version of “the customer is always right” into its employee handbook.  Every politician and business leader can quote statistics about the pros and cons of the relentless move towards a “service economy.” And service is the topic most requested by clients who want ZingTrain to speak or work with their organization.  On the other hand, many people feel that the level of customer service that they receive as customers is lower than ever.

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Topics: Customer Service, Leadership

6 Tips for Creating a Truly Great Customer Experience

Posted by Mara Ferguson on 12/4/18 11:00 AM

What does a truly great customer experience look like? We spend a lot of time thinking about this at Zingerman’s. In fact, we actively measure the customer experience  by way of the Zingerman’s Experience Indicator (ZXI), which is our adaptation of the more commonly known Net Promoter Score. As Ari explains in this article, “the ZXI has provided a measurement tool to help us track and stay more focused on how well we raise every customer’s experience to a level of greatness. Briefly, the measure tracks customer response to the one ultimate question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, (10 being high), would you recommend Zingerman’s to a friend?” Nines and 10's are considered promoters, 7's and 8's are neutrals, and anyone who scores 6 or below is deemed a detractor.”

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Topics: Customer Service

When Things Get Hectic... Appreciate!

Posted by Emily Sandelands on 11/29/18 4:55 PM

When the holiday season rolls around, most of us have the 'Busy Dial' turned up to 10, or even 20 on some days.

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Topics: Organizational Systems

Educating Your Customers: Using Every Opportunity to Teach and Sell

Posted by Maggie Bayless on 11/14/18 1:00 PM

For those of us who sell specialty products, customer education has always been part of the selling process.  Sometimes we’re offering products that most customers have never heard of. Other times we have items with familiar names but vastly superior ingredients or construction. Almost always the prices that we charge are higher than what is being charged somewhere else in our market for something that can SEEM to be the same thing. Our success depends upon customers understanding the differences between our products and the competition’s.

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Topics: Customer Service

Your Guide to Training

We're glad you're here.

Enjoy the nuggets of wisdom, techniques, tips, and insights we've gathered from sharing the Zingerman's unique approach to business for over 20 years. We've offered training to thousands of people on topics like customer service, leadership, visioning, open-book management, among many others, and we plan to share as much of that insight we've gathered from doing so with you here.

Linger. Read. Assimilate. Participate. 

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