30 Years ago today (February 1st) I took the great leap of faith and jumped off my corporate ship in search of something that I believed would have more heart and meaning for me. While I absolutely loved my direct marketing career – mostly because of the wonderful people the field attracted – my soul seemed to be aching for something new.


At first I set out to teach companies the importance of changing their thinking from the goal of “closing sales” to “opening relationships” through integrated marketing. Then, directed by the needs of my customers things expanded from there into a career in customer experience.


My growth has been more organic than strategic since following what customers needed has always led me to the next right place.


Today I woke up with pep in my step remembering the excitement of the morning I began this journey. I’d like to share with you – in no particular order – 30 of the insights I’ve gleaned along the way.

Here you go:

“How you VIEW your job is as important as how you DO your job.”


“We change a culture by changing the conversation first.”


“A company becomes the best version of itself when the people in it become the best versions of themselves.”


“Organizations don’t change, people do.”


“The organizations built on value-packed relationships are the organizations that thrive.”


“An ‘Exquisite Customer Experience’ is key to creating a competitive edge. My definition:

The Customer Experience is the sum total of feelings evoked
as a result of any interaction that takes place at any touch point in an organization.
It’s based on the perception of value delivered,
both tangible and intangible.”


 “An “Exquisite” Customer Experience is a positive experience. It’s one that sends the customer away feeling really good about the choice they made to do business with you.”


“People don’t want to be “serviced” they want to be cared about.”


“There’s a difference between customer service and customer care. ‘Customer CARE’ is proactive and based on building stronger relationships. Creating Authentic Relationships with Energy and Enthusiasm is the link to loyalty all businesses are looking for – it’s the emotional bridge between satisfaction and genuine, profitable loyalty.”


“Optimism & happiness belong in the workplace.”


“Achievements are the result of conscious choices and continuous practice.”


“You can live by design or by default; in each moment, the choice is yours.”


“Happiness is a choice, it’s a skill, a habit, it can be learned and practiced, it’s a “work ethic”.


“Happiness is a KPI – it can be measured and monitored over time and directly connected to business results.”


“Customer caring organizations look to understand and fulfill customer needs, even the ones customers don’t know they have yet.”


“Customer caring organizations are focused on achieving the best and highest good for everyone, and they’re always searching for ways to provide more value.”


“Being proactive means looking for a need to fill, a gap to close, a favor to do, a new way to create value, a faster, better and more user friendly way of doing business.


“No Problem” is not an appropriate response to a customer.”


“If you don’t have a CXO or CSO or CX Director at the “big table” with you when you make important decisions, buy a mannequin to represent the customer and give it a chair. Be forewarned – they come naked.”


“When a leader’s communication is clear, concise and frequent people have less tendency to waste time making stuff up (MSU)”


“Creating emotional safety is a key job of a customer experience leader –people need to know they have both freedom and fences.”


“In order to create value in the marketplace, you have to create value in the workplace.”


“You are the point of origin – it actually all starts with YOU, no matter where in the organization you sit, you have the power to create value.”

“People with great attitudes are more likely to get great results”


“Caring is a quality of the heart. Want to connect to yours? Close your eyes, put your hand on your heart, breathe deeply and slowly and think of something you deeply appreciate. Easy, quick and full of benefits for your whole body as well as your team and customers.”


“Some days you just don’t feel it. That’s a good time to act “As if.” As if you didn’t have that headache, as if you’d had a good night’s sleep, as if things were going well at home. The brain can’t tell the difference between something real and something vividly imagined. Imagine “as if” you could do it!”


“Make a habit of asking, “What else can I do for you today?” Don’t wait for a customer, external or internal, to bring up additional needs”


Go on a “Sacred Cow Hunt” and get rid of all the old, outdated systems procedures that you haven’t changed in your organization that stands in the way of making your customer experience “Exquisite.”


“When we realize that it’s our egos we should be leaving at the door and not our emotions, we’re one step closer to creating an environment conducive to happiness – ours and the customers”


“When people have a sense of purpose they are inspired to contribute to something larger then themselves. That helps them bring the best of themselves and their personal values to work – and to their customers.”

There you go – a thought for every year I’ve been in business. What fun!


And one or two extra for this New Year:

“When people feel happy at work they are creating more positive emotions. Positive emotions evolved in humans because they serve an important purpose – to build and broaden our capacity to create solutions!”


“Mastering the art of “Soft skills” provide hard bankable results – and now we can prove it!”


My focus these days is bringing more happiness to companies – because happiness had a direct line impact on the customer’s and employee’s experience. It seems fitting my first book was subtitled “101 Ways to Keep ’em Happy, Keep ’em Loyal and Keep ’em Coming Back.”


There’s a BIG return on happiness in business. Come explore the possibilities.


With so much gratitude to you,



PS – my first book Winning at Customer Retention – 101 Ways is now an e-book. Email me JoAnna@ReturnOnHappiness.com if you want me to send it to you! Timeless Wisdom.



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