by Loren G. Edelstein | April 16, 2018

"Customer service is terrible in some places," stated business coach and presenter Mike Staver in his opening keynote address for Destination California, the hosted-buyer produced by Northstar Meetings Group, which is now taking place at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort near San Diego. "Why is it so terrible? Because we've forgotten how to act with one another as human beings."

Staver, sponsored by Northstar partner Goodman Speakers Bureau, mixed humor and sage advice on the topic of creating an exceptional customer experience. His lively address underscored the importance - personally and professionally - of face-to-face events. After all, he said, "human beings connecting with human beings is what creates ultimate human experiences."
 
To achieve those experiences, we need to be highly engaged in our interactions. But human nature is to shy away from doing anything that seems difficult or uncomfortable. "The average American stays committed to their New Year's Resolutions for 14 days," noted Staver. Participants shouted out reasons for why people give up: "It's too hard; I'm tired; I'm busy; I don't care; It's the dog's fault." This lack of commitment and accountability often carries into the workplace, he said.
 
Staver cited a Gallup poll that found only 30 percent of Americans show up at work engaged in what they need to do. "That means 70 percent of American workers show up at work already feeling disengaged. Of those, almost 20 percent are actively disengaged, meaning they're actually looking for ways to not do their jobs. Now look around at the other people at your table," he quipped. "You do the math."
 
Reversing that dynamic - or lack thereof - requires a change in our attitudes and our approach to people-to-people interactions. Among Staver's tips:
 
• The fundamental motivator for all human beings is moving away from things that feel uncomfortable, but it takes a willingness to be uncomfortable to create a superior customer experience. Progress is not supposed to be comfortable.
 
• There are three things humans want in any interaction: significance, certainty and self-esteem. You want to feel better about who you are as a result of connecting with another person.
 
• Give up on the need to be right: Ask more questions and develop a curious heart. People just aren't curious enough anymore.
 
• It's been scientifically proven that gratitude can rejuvenate brain cells. Take three minutes every morning to feel gratitude. Don't just think it; you need to feel it in your heart. Within six weeks you will notice a difference in your attitude.
 
• Forget about time management: You can't manage time. What you can manage is your energy. You can bring energy into what you do to wow and to create an incredible experience.
 
• Think of the acronym "ATTACK," which stands for:
Accept your circumstances as they actually are. Say to yourself, without any judgement, "This is what's true."

Take action. We don't have the luxury of taking time to get ready to do something. What can you do right now to create momentum?

Take responsibility. 

Acknowledge progress.

Celebrate achievements.

Kindle new relationships.