Blog Posts

The Best Swag for Your Event

Posted by Mara Ferguson on 10/14/19 2:28 PM

It's October. So naturally, we're looking nine months out and thinking about our annual symposium, aptly named ZingPosium. Determining the content we'll share and theme of the event are important, but something else we'll be spending a lot of time thinking about is the Swag we'll give to attendees. 

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The Manager's Role in Staff Training

Posted by Maggie Bayless on 9/23/19 12:03 PM

My formal education was first in German literature and then later in business administration.  What I know about training design, development and delivery I’ve learned through on-the-job practice and self study.  I’ve gone to lots of seminars, designed hundreds of classes and workshops, and helped to implement effective training here at Zingerman’s.  Along the way I’ve read many, many books. One of the most influential has been The Learning Alliance, co-authored by Ann Arbor consultant (and regular Zingerman’s customer) Stephen Gill.  The ideas advanced in that book, which emphasizes that employee learning should be integrated into all aspects of the organization not just delegated to the “training department,” formed the basis for Bottom-Line Training™, Zingerman’s approach to training.

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Topics: Training

Strong Systems to Greet Customers: Celebrate 10-4 Day with ZingTrain

Posted by Elnian Gilbert on 9/19/19 4:28 PM

The article below was originally published in Lawn & Garden Retailer in 2017, as a collaboration between former ZingTrain Community Builder, Gauri Thergaonkar, and myself.  I vividly remember sitting at a table in our lobby area, discussing all of the fine points of the 10-4 Rule - what would be the most useful to our audience and hotly debating what to include (and ultimately leave out, though it was a hard call to keep anything back!)  We had a lot of fun writing it, and I’m proud of what we created together. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve shared this article with folks in training, and now we’re sharing it with you!

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Topics: Customer Service

7 Common Customer Service Mistakes

Posted by Elnian Gilbert on 8/30/19 1:37 PM

Over the years that I’ve been a Trainer and Speaker with ZingTrain, sharing how Zingerman’s builds a culture of great service, I’m sure you can imagine how my awareness of the way that different companies deliver customer service has only increased.  Of course, there’s a wide range out there - I personally try to patronize businesses that prioritize service and give constructive feedback when my expectations aren’t met.  And thankfully, the clients we get to work with at ZingTrain are typically high performers when it comes to customer service and don’t fall into these customer service traps.

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Topics: Customer Service

The 6 Characteristics of an Effective Servant Leader

Posted by Katie Frank on 8/22/19 2:34 PM

Before we dive into what it means to be an effective Servant Leader, I want to tell you a story...

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Topics: Leadership

Why Write a Company Vision and How to Get Started

Posted by Maggie Bayless on 7/29/19 3:29 PM

It’s January 1, 2025 and your business has been quite successful.  What do you see, hear, smell and feel going on around you that is evidence of that success?  If you can describe that scene, you’ll have a vision of greatness for your organization - an incredibly powerful tool to get everyone working together and moving in the same direction.

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Topics: Visioning

How to Give Great Customer Service Over the Phone

Posted by Joanie Hales on 7/26/19 9:44 AM

You’ve probably spent some statistically significant portion of your life on the phone. You know how to pick up the phone, basic phone manners, and how to hang up. We’re all, most likely, perfectly capable of picking up a phone and talking into it...

But we also need to learn to take the art of telephone service seriously. At Zingerman’s, we do millions of dollars of business a year on the telephone so it's imperative that we give the best, most professional service possible whenever we are on the phone.

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Topics: Customer Service

5 Elements of Building an Organizational Culture

Posted by Ari Weinzweig on 7/15/19 4:08 PM

We are often asked, “How did Zingerman's build this great group of people? How do you get people to care and have such a good time at work?"

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Topics: Visioning, Organizational Culture

New to Visioning? Read This First...

Posted by Ian Gurfield on 6/25/19 9:42 AM

Ian Gurfield, Co-Founder of Ian's Pizza, is a long-time client and dear friend of ZingTrain.

Below, he shares how he came to learn about Visioning, what the process of writing his first Vision was like and the impact it's had on his business. And be sure to scroll down to to the end of this post to see his January 2018 Vision realized... it involves delicious Italian pizza!

Check it out below and prepared to be inspired!

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Topics: Visioning, Training, Case Study

ZingTrain Celebrates 25 Years!

Posted by Emily Sandelands on 6/7/19 2:07 PM


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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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