Category: Media


A couple of weeks ago I laid out 13 tips for wrapping up 2012 and preparing for the new year at work. My expert sources suggested that you complete outstanding projects; establish new goals; reflect on accomplishments; get organized; and tie up loose ends–among other things.

Now, as you return to the office in 2013, there are a few things you can do to ensure you start the year off right.

forbes“A new year is a brand new beginning,” says Anna Sidana, VP of marketing at Simply Hired. “If we take the time to step back from our day-to-day and hit reset, it is a chance to look ahead with a new perspective and make every day count.”

She suggests you take a moment to reflect on your life–both professional and personal–and kick off the new year with renewed energy and a fresh focus. “Close out any small, nagging projects and focus on the big ones that can accelerate your career. Reach out to colleagues and strengthen those dusty relationships. A new year offers this unique opportunity to step up the game and become laser focused.”

Michael D. Brown, a career consultant, author, and motivational speaker, adds: “In this continuing economic tsunami of 2013, you must be clearly purposed and focused on success with a well-defined and proven game plan to transition yourself from a generic to a fresh and powerful personal brand,” he says. Companies and organizations can no longer afford to invest in generic employees with anemic or non-existent ROIs; and they’re not able to be competitive if they don’t have a fresh, branded and competitive workforce.

“The best success navigation plan you can have is to turn yourself into a clear, compelling, and competitive personal brand,” Brown says. “You can’t wait to do this in August; you must do this now. As such, you will be seen as someone who can add and deliver value in these turbulent times.”

Click here to read the full article.

What a sad site at the Lehman Brothers’ headquarters on Sunday night. You could see scores of employees entering and exiting the building with boxes, bags, personal items and suitcases. Lehman Brothers announced that it is filing for bankruptcy after all potential buyers declined to participate in a buyout.

We have seen three powerhouses : Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch crumble as a result of their shaky home lending portfolio.

Though I am concerned about the distress that this will cause to the overall economy; I am equally concerned about what will happen with the 26,000 employees at Lehman Brothers who had to walk away Sunday.

Do you think the government should offer assistance to these employees?

http://www.TheMichaelDBrown.com

A Bronx, NY bride was left at the altar, but it wasn’t the groom who stood her up – it was the court clerk, who refused to marry the couple because she claimed to be tired and hungry.
“[The clerk’s] upset with the staffing. She refuses to do any more [ceremonies],” the bride said, choking back tears.

Her groom, Harold Poueriet, 22, all decked out in a white Armani shirt with gray pinstripes, said, “[The clerk] says she’s tired and she’s hungry.”

But Ortiz’s wedding day was saved when a lawyer, court officers and a judge stepped in for the weak and weary clerk and performed the ceremony Friday.

Appalled at seeing the crying, four-months-pregnant bride, lawyer Maxine Susseles, Maj. Raymond Diaz, Sgt. Tamara Glover and others came to the rescue. The newlyweds said they had a big reception planned for Saturday in The Bronx and are now on their honeymoon in Atlantic City.

Edwina Townes, in charge of the bureau in the absence of head clerk Carmen Baez, had no comment.

Should the employee be reprimanded?

Yes or No

http://www.FreshCustomerService.com

Chrysler announced an offer that caps the price of gasoline at $2.99 a gallon for three years for people who buy or lease new vehicles from Wednesday through June 2. The offer is based on 12,000 miles of driving per year at the vehicle’s rated fuel economy.

Customers will get a card for buying gas that is linked to their own charge account, Chrysler said. The customer will be billed $2.99 a gallon, and Chrysler will pay the rest.

Actual savings depend on what happens to gas prices over the next three years, but based on the $3.61 a gallon average price reported Monday by AAA, someone buying a 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser, which gets an estimated 21 miles per gallon in city driving, would save $355 a year.

How likely will this deal make you buy one of the 23 Chrysler cars?
A. Very likely
B. Somewhat likely
C. Not likely
D. Maybe, maybe not

http://www.FreshCustomerService.com
http://www.TheMichaelDBrown.com

Today Delta Air Lines announced a long talked about deal to swipe up Northwest Airlines for about $3.1 billion. This deal will produce the world’s largest airline and could lead to an avalanche of mergers. I don’t think it’s a matter of if – it’s a matter of when the other airlines will announce mergers.

With the price of jet fuel, labor, a crawling economy, ANGRY customers, massive flight cancellations and the recent announcement of four airlines to leave the friendly skies and Frontier filing bankruptcy more mergers are just inevitable.

Do you think the merger will be a good or bad thing for consumers?

Who do you think will merge next?

I think it will be Continental and United

http://www.FreshCustomerService.com

Who can you trust with your money/assets these days? The banks, mortgage companies, company 401K plans have all seem to cause people to loose their life savings. Now check this latest story out.

Ameriprise Financial Inc. settled a civil case with New Hampshire regulators alleging that the company’s financial advisers forged at least 96 customers’ signatures.

Ameriprise agreed to pay $3.84 million in fines, investigation costs, and investor refunds to settle allegations that six financial advisers at the company’s Portsmouth, N.H., office forged clients’ signatures to make it seem that undelivered financial plans had been delivered. Regulators say Ameriprise advisers did this to make their sales numbers look higher.

Not only is this bad customer service it’s just plain unethical!

Do you trust anyone with your money or are you going to just put it under the mattress?

http://www.FreshCustomerService.com

Starbucks is closing the doors at its 7,100 stores across America for a brief barista re-education.

CEO Howard Schultz announced the 3-hour closure starting at 5:30 p.m. local time Tuesday to energize 135,000 employees.
He wants baristas to share their passion for making espresso, or as he says, “to pull the perfect shot, steam milk to order and customize their favorite beverage.”

Schultz says it’s part of his refocusing on the coffee customer experience.

Since the chairman returned as CEO in January he has been making changes to revive Starbucks’ growth.

This is a bold move, but I think it’s a needed one. More retailers should look at providing refresher training. The only way to survive and prosper for the long haul is to stay Fresh.

The London government has awarded McDonald’s, a rail company and an airline the right to award credits toward a high school diploma to employees who complete on-the-job training programs.

The government is giving the U.S. burger chain — along with a rail company and an airline — the right to award credits toward a high school diploma to employees who complete on-the-job training programs.
The plan, announced Monday, is part of a push to improve skills among young people and offer even workers who dropped out of school years ago a chance to gain official qualifications.
It’s the first time commercial companies have been allowed to award nationally recognized academic credits for their own workplace training plans. Experts and business leaders had a mixed reaction to the plan, already being dubbed “McQualifications.”
McDonald’s employees will initially be offered a “basic shift manager” course to train staff in everything they need to know to run a McDonald’s outlet — from hygiene to customer service.

One of the biggest gripes among retailers is their complaint that frontline employees lack education and skills. They go on to complain that our education system is not adequately preparing young people for the work force. London has taken a radical step in a good direction by allowing companies to help educate the workforce.

Not only will this help the employees gain credit toward a diploma it will give the much needed training and skills that will help the business deliver a higher level of customer service which will lead to a healthier bottom line.

Do you think this is a good idea?

http://www.freshcustomerservice.com

Sprint Nextel Corp.’s stock plunged Friday after the wireless carrier said it will cut 4,000 jobs and close 125 retail locations in response to a steep drop in its customer base.

Sprint shares plummeted nearly 25 percent, prompting analysts to forecast even more cuts in the coming months as the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier struggles to compete with AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless.

The layoff of about 6.7 percent of Sprint’s work force and closure of 8 percent of its stores is to be completed in the first half of the year. Sprint said in a news release that the cuts will trim labor costs by $700 million to $800 million a year.

What do you think Sprint Nextel can do to fix their problem?:

A. Better service plans
B. More attractive phones
C. Improve customer service
D. Lower their prices

http://www.freshcustomerservice.com

transactions per store falling for the first time ever during the company’s fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 30.

In retaking the reins of Starbucks Corp., Howard Schultz will have to fix a coffee empire that he says has become stifled by bureaucracy and has lost the courage that helped it change how Americans get their coffee.

Starbucks ousted CEO Jim Donald yesterday and said that, effective immediately, Mr. Schultz, the chairman, will take on the additional role.

Once one of the hottest growth stocks, Starbucks shares were at $18.38 at 4 p.m. yesterday, down 48% from the $35.14 price a year ago. After the news, announced after the close of the market, shares of Starbucks rose $1.65, or 9%, to $20.03.

What do you think has contributed to Starbucks decline?

A. The price of their products
B. The store experience
C. Front line employees
D. Something else

http://www.freshcustomerservice.com