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The Secret Sauce

The Secret Sauce

This is a continuation of last week’s travel blog during my April Midwest Trip.

I was in Indianapolis to serve Chapman Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing with two, half-day seminars.  When I entered Chapman’s facility on the first morning, the optimism and effectiveness was unmistakable.

“There’s something special going on here,” I thought to myself.

Very few business models possess anything really special in terms of products and services.

The Secret Sauce, in my opinion, is the person at the helm.   It is through this person that employees achieve outstanding synergy.  What is synergy? It is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts.

Jeff Chapman is the leader at Chapman Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing and he’s got the Secret Sauce.

Jeff Chapman engages with employees in the back of the room while I serve up front.

The seminars were held in Chapman’s warehouse.  The Chapman team set up an efficient and comfortable educational environment.  The best companies make the most of what they have in terms of space (refer to last week’s Tool Shed blog).

After the first seminar day, Jeff Chapman treated me to a delicious dinner at Papa Joe’s – a local restaurant with a long and fun history.  It was during dinner that Jeff and I exchanged boyhood stories and lessons learned.  A fun time indeed.

What is synergy? It is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts.

My seminar’s message focused on “the customer’s experience” as the key business differentiator.  The companies who invest in employee development and a stable process infrastructure are the ones who ensure consistent and outstanding customer experiences.

Achieving stability does not have to be complicated.  However, it must include every customer touch point – even the basic touch points such as transferring a phone call.

Every customer touch point is part of a the overall customer experience.

Prior to my Indianapolis arrival, Shirley Stewart, Chapman’s office manager, informed me that a local R.E. Michel sales rep asked if he could attend my seminar.   “He agreed to buy breakfast for our employees,” wrote Shirley.

 Sure enough, Don Gillis from R.E. Michel, brought an abundance of breakfast food on both days.  Don’s generosity spoke loudly about his relationship with the Chapman team.  Again, great synergy.

Don Ellis and I. A panorama of the Chapman warehouse converted into an auditorium.

Serving the Chapman team reinforces my belief that the best companies want to be better.

Sure enough, Don Gillis from R.E. Michel, brought an abundance of breakfast food on both days.  Don’s generosity spoke loudly about his relationship with the Chapman team.  Again, great synergy.

During my time in Indianapolis, I taught a soft skills class at Ivy Tech Community College.  The Ivy Tech faculty spread the word about my visit.  The large classroom in which I taught was filled beyond capacity.

Jerry Alderman, the Ivy Tech instructor, was a terrific host.  The students asked pertinent questions about job opportunities, employer expectations and future industry trends.

Teaching at Ivy Tech. Jerry Alderman and I after the class.

After my Ivy Tech soft skills class, one persistent student asked lots of questions and he wanted more material.  I admire persistence.  This student followed me out to my pickup and his persistence paid off.  I had an extra soft skills DVD in my pickup so I gave it to him.

Ivy Tech Community College continues to be a valued partner.  I have taught at Ivy Tech campuses throughout the state of Indiana and their interest in helping students is second to none.  

My trusty pickup continues to transport me from region to region.  I think I have the best job in the world.

Go ahead and ask yourself whether or not you have the Secret Sauce.  If you think I can help, call me at 610-853-9836.

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Steve Coscia

The road from professional musician to thirty-year customer service veteran to best-selling author and speaker is not a typical career path, but Steve Coscia may have started a new trend.

Coscia is one of the most widely published and quoted authorities in the customer service industry. He has published more than 200 articles, four books and a series of training DVDs. His college curriculum is taught at institutions of higher learning throughout the United States and Canada.

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