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NL: Hi everyone! My name is Natalie Ledwell and this is the Inspiration Show. Today on the show I have a very special guest of mine who I know from the business world. She’s been helping a lot of entrepreneurs be able to really take their business to the next level. We’re going to be talking a little bit about customer service – how we can improve on that and she actually has a new book out, which is an adult coloring book, and I’m gonna let her tell you more about that in just a moment because it is a coloring book with a message, it’s actually a fantastic idea. But before I introduce my special guest I just want to remind you that when the show is finished make sure that you click the link below this video so that you can download a free eBook version of my best-selling book Never in Your Wildest Dreams. So let me introduce my special guest, Marilyn Suttle, how are you, Marilyn?
MS: I’m doing great. How are you?
NL: Fantastic! Now Marilyn and I have known each other for several years. We’re both members of the Evolutionary Business Council and I know that Marilyn does a lot of work with entrepreneurs. So Marilyn, tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into doing what you do.
MS: Well, I started doing this when I realized I was in the wrong field - my years as a consultant in the IT world, and it just wasn’t who I was. I’m a people person and I was in a little cubicle that was teeny tiny and I broke out and you know they say that you don’t break into what you’re supposed to do till you have a breakdown. So I had, you know, two of my sisters at the same time got sick and I lost one and I thought, we’re here for just two seconds in the world. I want to be doing something that means something to me. So that’s how I found my way into helping entrepreneurs, helping their team, helping people really connect with other people because that’s what business isn’t an entity, it’s people.
NL: Absolutely. So I know that you, like, we’ve alluded to you before you have a new adult coloring book that’s coming out, but it has a very specific meaning or a specific message, so tell us a little bit about that and how you had the insight to be able to create this?
MS: Well a lot of call centers, a lot of businesses, will have coloring books for their staff to de-stress with because you deal with so much pressure that expectations are so high, so you know we found adult coloring books help you with de-stress, but I was talking to a couple of my clients and saying you know, what if I created a book that they could color and use their imagination and relax, but it also has a sentence starter that would kind of get them thinking about all the good things they do and how much it means to people and they’re like, ooh show me that. So you know, it was an inspiration and I created it and just really excited about how it can shift people from, you know, it can be used in training, it could be used at the beginning of a meeting, you know. Can I show you one quick page?
NL: I would love to see that.
MS: So here is the book and one of the pages, every page has a sentence starter but some of them, like the best customer service advice that I ever got was, and imagine you are at a networking event and everybody’s coloring and they’re talking about that answer, you’re gonna have inspiration all over the place or someone who inspired me to do my best is one of those. These are what I do to anticipate customers’ needs, like there’s just all kinds of sentence stories that have you thinking, Oh I do that, oh how do I do that? Like, how do I make a good first impression? Hey, I’m pretty smart. It really helps you see that every little thing you do, every kindness, actually makes an impact.
NL: Yeah, so how did you come up with the idea for the sayings in the book? I mean this is from a lot of the training that you do for customer service?
MS: Absolutely. Well, you know I started in the personal development world, doing all kinds of relationship strengthening, whether it was with your family members or people at work or with yourself, and so I realized that, you know, you could tell people what to do and it’s not going to have an impact, but if they tell themselves what to do, they got to listen to that. So these, it was inspired by what works for the human mind, the human brain – the way we’re wired. And so my goal was to have work feeling more like play, to have people really take the stress down a notch and get creative.
NL: Right. Yeah, absolutely, because creativity does seem to open up a portal to being able to work more efficiently, right?
MS: Oh, yeah. I mean what you do with Mind Movies is creative, right. It’s, creativity is not just for the musician or the singer or the artist. It’s for all of us. The genius, you know, we have the genius with their creative ideas. Well, we’re all geniuses, we all have creative ideas in us but wouldn’t you say that society kind of sets us up to be like, you must be logical, you must be serious, you must look at this problem seriously. Well, what if you looked at a problem creatively? All of a sudden ideas start popping. It’s really exciting.
NL: Yeah, because creativity comes in different forms. Like I know when I was younger, I used to say oh god I’m not very creative, I don’t have a creative bone in my body because I only equated creativity with painting or writing or something like that. Then of course I realized that, I mean, creative in so many different other ways, you know, like as in putting together the programs and you know being able to do all of that. So I think that a book like this could be used to really help to open up that creative space for someone. So I know that adult coloring books are really good for de-stressing, but it sounds like that this book is actually a really good place, a good way to have a conversation starter within the workplace. So what are some of the ways that you see people using this in the workplace?
MS: Well, I actually put a guide together so that it’s a free download and it’s all different kinds of ways like, you know, how you have your weekly meeting or sometimes you have a morning huddle. Well, if you would take one page of it, this book, and make that the topic and you spend the first 15 minutes of a boring meeting focusing on that and then coloring while you’re having the meeting, it’s sort of like a stress toy, you’re going to attend better to the meeting and pay more attention if you have something in your hands. And this way, you’re being creative and your mind kind of goes off on all these different avenues.
NL: Yeah, and you’re starting a boring meeting with a high level, high vibrational conversation.
MS: Right, right and you know speaking of that, to keep it high vibrational, I intentionally did not put a little box at the bottom of each page for you to fill in the answer because all of a sudden it goes from, you know, creativity to stress - people are going to see my answer, it has to be the right answer, it has to be the best answer. So what I did is, I put pages at the back where if they think of great things, they can go back there and write them afterward or, you know, after this is usually not our first idea that’s our best idea. But if your mind is just free to really be creative and color all these images, all of a sudden, oh there’s another idea, oh there’s a better idea.
NL: Yeah, absolutely. So with, when it comes to customer care, what are some of the things that people want to be thinking about when they’re doing a job like that and that this book can help them step into?
MS: Well, you know one of the most profound statements, I spent a year and a half interviewing the best of the best and I was interviewing the people of Singapore Airlines and they are like a number one airline, they spend ten million dollars a year on wine. They’re really high-end and what they say is, high expectations are the price we pay for being known as the best. We sometimes say, oh we’re known as the best, but these customers have such high expectations. Well, you know a subtle shift in the way you think about it, it’s like, oh, it’s those high expectations is because they trust us and they’re gonna expect more and the reward is wow, we’re known as the best. So it’s a shift in thinking that takes the stress away from people being so demanding.
NL: Right, absolutely. And what about consistency, what role does that play in customer service?
MS: You know, if you think of the first time you go to a good restaurant, you know, just in its opening week and you go and the meal’s amazing and so everybody’s writing good reviews and recommending them and you go back a month later, have you ever had this happen? It’s not so good. Well, they go away. You know people do not go for inconsistency it’s the first stressor that makes people look for another alternative. So it’s really important that you have a consistent message, that you’re consistently on time, that you say, well, you what you do is what you do, what you say you’re gonna do, is what you do.
NL: Yeah, no, absolutely. So, and I know that you’ve worked with many different companies and people over the years, can you share a story of an experience that you’ve had where you’ve actually seen a company really turn around and go from a place of where they were struggling, like in a place of stress, to somewhere where they’ve really felt proud and, you know, to be able to do the job that they do?
MS: Well, I was working with a CEO and he had two offices and staff at both offices and he grew up during the time, it was in his 50s, and during the time where command and control, you know, you tell that person what they’re doing wrong and he had a real issue with millennials and he was just like oh millennials, it’s like oh please don’t do that and so we talked about it, like his customers coming up are millennials, you better adapt. And honestly, they have so much to offer and they need mentors not tormentors. So I started working with him, coaching him and then coaching his staff separately and he would text me, my staff just said Marilyn just came right out of your mouth. He started giving compliments, not to trying to be phony, and make them feel good but genuinely noticing what people were doing right. No one gets enough appreciation, but when you give appreciation in the workplace people will work harder, I mean that sometimes means more than the money.
NL: Yeah. Well that’s the thing, and you know when I find it’s not just, you know, not focusing it you know, spending time focusing on what’s going right but also in the language and the communication that we use because it’s really easy for us to tell someone to don’t do that but we get more out of that we actually had they get the behavior that we want if we tell them actually, what we actually do want.
MS: Yes, exactly, language is hugely powerful and even like when we’re dealing with customers and customers just ranting and maybe they’re justified in it, but they don’t want to stop to give you a chance to speak. The moment you have a chance to speak, when they take a breath, you can say, you’re right and they’re like what? You’re right, I can see why you’re upset and only say that if they are right, but, or thank you for telling me, and then they’re like, what? It’s powerful language because they’re already, you know, they’re feeling upset and conflicted and nobody likes conflict. So if you can be that calming place in the storm, you’re gonna go, oh here’s somebody who cares. It’s huge.
NL: Yeah, very big. Very big. So I just want to, with the illustrations that you have in the book, did you draw these or where did these come from?
MS: I didn’t draw them myself but I picked what they should be for each one. So some of them, like this one here, this is the tone of my voice has the power to, and I wanted it to be musical so I said, you know, put some musical pieces in there and you know I do have one that I showed it to one girl in my family and she said ooh, I don’t like that but I do, I’ll show it to you, it’s a brain with muscles, okay. What I’d like more training in would be, but I think it’s kind of funny. Although I did I mean, I did, you know, I didn’t just create it, I went to five of my clients with all of the sentence starters and I said would your staff respond to this and then they say yes, yes not that one and so it’s not just off the top of my head, but it’s researched as well to make sure that it lands for real businesses working really hard today.
NL: Yeah and what I like about it is that it’s not like intricate like I’ve seen some adult’s coloring books, and I look at and go okay, I’d be stressed coloring that.
MS: Yes, I mean that is so true and I’m going to get stressed with coloring books if they’re too intricate. So you know, here’s this, I was really happy with this, just as little as can you see if I don’t if you can, just enough where you could do for about 10-15 minutes and have something pretty. And then you know I think, too, one of the things I’m going to, I mean this is coming out like, the launch is coming really soon, but I have the first batch and I’ve been showing them to some clients and they said, you know, have a contest, a coloring contest and have everybody put their page up there and then maybe have a separate paper where they could write their answers in, so nobody’s like oh, you know, checking who had a better answer. It’s not about that but then give prizes, even give prizes, and you’ll be surprised how fun and creative people can really be and when people are having fun, the stress goes down and the intelligence goes up. It’s just the way our brains are wired.
NL: And way more willing to do, you know, to serve and to, you know, to step into that role of customer service and, you know, we’re coming from a positive energy as soon as we start the call, as soon as we have that interaction with the customer.
MS: Right, right and it’s so like one of the questions I have in here is what I want to be known for is… It’s like you have to kind of think, well, what do, what am I known for now? Maybe I’d be able to shift that a little bit or I have a couple others that you know, what would my co-worker if my co-worker could describe me what would they say? So you can start to think well, how am I coming across, is that how I want to be coming across? Some pages are internal customers which are anybody inside the company who is affected by your work and those that are outside that bring money into your company.
NL: Right, yeah, I know I think it’s a fabulous idea and I know that if you’re watching this show and you’re in a workplace where it is, you know, you can have high stress then you know purchasing the book and even putting, you’re getting your workmates to all be on board with this is a really great way to raise that vibration and to get into a much happier mood and to really start some meaningful conversations that can really help to build relationships within the team as well as with the customers that you’re serving. So you’re doing a great job, Marilyn. So darling where do we send people if they want to get their hands on the book?
MS: If you want to, well it’s out on Amazon now but if you go to Marilynsuttle.com/colortheirworld I have a free download where you can get a whole instruction guide with all kinds of ideas of how to use the book so that you the staff, if you go beyond just a de-stressor but an actual reinforcement or training tool.
NL: That’s wonderful, darling. Thank you and thank you so much for joining me today and sharing your wisdom. It’s always great chatting to you, good to see you again.
MS: I always love seeing you, Natalie.
NL: Yeah, awesome. So guys I encourage you please share this video, let’s get the word out there by clicking the Facebook and the Twitter share buttons on this page. Now there’ll be a link either below the video or a banner to the side where you can go directly through to Marilyn’s website so that you can get all the information on the book there or don’t forget you can purchase the book on Amazon and once everything is all over and you’ve done all of that don’t forget to click the link below that so that you can download a free eBook version of my best-selling book Never in Your Wildest Dreams. So until next time, remember to live large, choose courageously and love without limits. We’ll see you soon.