May 24, 2016
Dana BaldwinHow is your company's customer service? If it has improved, what have you done to improve it? If it needs to improve, what is your plan to improve it? Does your leadership support good customer service? Do your employees understand the importance of good customer service? What are you doing to insure adherence to the goals and standards set by top management? Please comment on our blog.


M. Dana Baldwin

Another Look at What Makes Good Customer Service

By M. Dana Baldwin

Dana Baldwin How often have you gone into a store or a restaurant, called a service department on the phone, emailed a customer service unit of a company, and had anything but outstanding customer service results? All too often, customer service contacts don't address your problem directly, or don't serve you well, or worse, serve you indifferently. You can go through layers upon layers of automated phone attendants, only to have to start over when one of the buttons you pushed ends up putting you on a wrong track.

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Questions & Answers

We have heard that a company should start the planning process by developing a Mission Statement. Why doesn't the Simplified Strategic Planning process do this?

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How do we get alignment between our budget process and the Strategic Planning process?

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This column is intended to answer common questions related to strategic planning and strategy in general. In each issue we will answer questions posed by seminar attendees, our clients and our readers. Please send your questions to - Mail: CSSP, Inc. PO Box 8272, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Article Archives

Did you miss these recent articles?

Five Ways to Think More Strategically Every Day

By Robert W. Bradford

One of my favorite parts of my work is speaking at conventions. Interestingly, I've noticed far more interest in hearing about strategic thinking than strategic planning in the past few years. While this trend is likely because most people are doing strategic planning the wrong way, it's still interesting to ponder why people have difficulty thinking strategically.

Strategic Planning: What Did You Learn?How One Company Went Off Course

By Denise Harrison

"Follow the plan; don't get distracted by seemingly large opportunities," replied one CEO when asked the question: What was one key lesson you learned from following a systematic approach to strategic planning. How did he learn this? The hard way, of course.

Why Don't Companies Plan?

By M Dana Baldwin

What is there about strategic planning that keeps companies from making the effort to plan their futures? Why are companies afraid to plan? We have some experience in overcoming this hesitancy through exposing companies to strategic planning in our seminars: Simplified Strategic Planning. Let's look at some of the reasons why companies avoid going through the work of building a strategic plan.

Is Strategy About Perfection?

By Robert W. Bradford

In a word, no. There is no perfect strategy, and even the best strategy can become obsolete given time. Strategy is about finding what works, and in a world of imperfect information, that can mean experimentation.

Lessons Learned: Flint, Michigan

By Denise Harrison

How do you anticipate unexpected outcomes from good ideas? Flint, Michigan under financial duress made many decisions to improve its financial condition. One decision was to change its water source from Detroit Water Sewerage Department (DWSD) to an alternative, cheaper source. The three year transition plan was put in place. What happened?

What is a "SMART" Objective?

By M Dana Baldwin

In strategic planning, we often talk about "SMART" objectives. But when it comes down to actually picking our objectives, are we really being smart, or are we simply reaching for an easy way out?

We define an objective as a task or project that is necessary to accomplish, but for which we do not have an established procedure. The task is supposed to be strategic in nature, meaning that it is necessary to accomplish the task in order to further our progress in our strategies.

Which threats are truly strategic - and which threats contain the best opportunities?

By Robert W. Bradford

In the thousands of strategic planning meetings we've conducted, we've run into a fair amount of threats. Interestingly, some of those threats - even those deemed extremely unlikely - have come to pass with some clients. One unlikely benefit of these otherwise bad experiences is that I've been able to notice three things about threats that will be useful to you in your strategic planning.

New Year's Resolutions: What resolutions have you chosen?

By Denise Harrison

Many folks take time to make resolutions at New Year's to better themselves: lose weight, exercise more - you know the usual suspects. But do you make resolutions for what you will do as a business leader? If not, you may want to take some time to reflect on last year's successes and disappointments and look at trends that are changing the workplace. Then think through what you would like to resolve to do this year. What do you need to change? What do you need to do more of? What do you need to stop doing?

OBJECTIVITY - A Key to Good Planning

By M Dana Baldwin

Is your team being objective about the situational analyses you are making in your strategic planning, or is it looking through rose-colored glasses? Objectivity is key to making good decisions. Objectivity is difficult enough when interpreting the current situation.

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Company Presidents or CEOs attend free of charge when accompanied by one or more additional paid attendees.

Poor strategic planning is worse than no strategic planning. It can be a big waste of time and money. Even worse, it can lead to disaster. Avoid all this with Simplified Strategic Planning - a proven process to focus for superior performance without straining your resources.

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About Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.

Strategic Thinking

Success in today's business environment requires that a company's leaders have the ability to create a vision of the organization's future direction as well as the course it needs to get there.

While various business improvement techniques such as Total Quality Management and Re-engineering are often extremely beneficial to the ongoing progress of a business, correct Strategic Focus remains the single most important element in a company's success.

Since 1981, Center for Simplified Strategic Planning has provided client companies with the strategic planning tools and leadership required to obtain superior strategy results.

We understand the challenges typically faced by our clients in installing systems and practices necessary to support growth, while maintaining day to day operations.

Call today for more information! 1-734-995-3465

Robert Bradford, CEO
Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.
PO Box 8272
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

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