Challenging a Neighborhood for Change

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Challenging a Neighborhood for Change

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I was talking to a friend of mine about his business success.

“I never wanted to be a  business person,  he said, I just wanted to make people’s lives better.” My friend is a Catholic priest with a large mission.

I started thinking, how do most people go into business and what is their mission or intention? Is it to just make a lot of money? Do you have to want to make a lot of money to be successful?

Obviously caring about people is not a recipe for failure.

People that want to serve people are few and far between. Serving people is the basis for customer service but many companies seem to be on a different path. Are they afraid if they care about people they won’t make money? Are they thinking they will have to ‘give away the house’ to satisfy the customer? Companies like Zippos and Nordstrom are always cited for their customer service policies—exchanging items that have been worn, shipping articles without freight charges and just loving their customers. They are customer friendly and highly profitable.

So what makes the difference? It would appear that a mutual respect must exist between the customer and the business.

My friend went on to talk about the customer relationship. He is in the housing business and provides housing for many in need. Providing housing does not mean giving it away or leaving the  customer out of the equation—on the contrary. The consumer is considered an integral part of the plan.

“In order for people’s lives to be better, says my friend, they must also want better lives. When it comes to housing, they must take care of their property and be proud of what they have. This means no garbage or graffiti, and  caring for their next-door neighbors. There are noexcuses.”

Basically, if the customer isn’t part of the solution, they are part of the problem. (Who needs this kind of customer?)

It assumes there  is a synergy that  exists between the customer and the business. The responsibility for everyone’s success lies in the understanding that all involved must play a part.  In housing, for instance, people must take care of their homes and their neighborhoods. Without this partnership, neighborhoods will not grow and property will eventually deteriorate. This is what often happens in neighborhoods where people take little responsibility and are not held accountable.

Respect for the customer as well as respect for the business lies at the bottom of this equation. One must always be willing to examine the situation reflect on the original premise. Is this what we set out to do? Getting away from the original mission and path is a recipe for disaster.

Customers need to be treated with respect and dignity and held responsible.

The commitment to the community has been the cornerstone of  building and changing neighborhoods. I choose to call this customer service because it’s about giving and providing service for people.

Without this underlying passion for changing lives nothing would be accomplished for the customer or the business.

Lisbeth Calandrino helps business build loyal customers through customer service training and social media marketing. For training or speaking, Lisbeth can be reached at her web site:



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By |2017-03-03T12:07:01+00:00May 11th, 2013|Blog, Customer Service|2 Comments

About the Author:

Lisbeth Calandrino is an award winning trainer, entrepreneur, and blogger and has spent over twenty years developing custom tailored marketing and customer service programs for businesses. Her recently published book, Red Hot Customer Service, 35 Sizzling Ways to Heat up Your Business and Ignite Your Sales defines the steps necessary to build a competitive advantage and turn great companies into unforgettable or red hot companies. Lisbeth admits that much of her knowledge came from her Italian grandfather who despite very little formal education and a limited English vocabulary, managed to became both successful and wealthy. Lisbeth has wonderful stories about Grandpa DiBiagio’s and her time spent learning how to managing Grandpa’s fruit stand. Because of Lisbeth’s experience as a business owner, having been the managing partner and owner of 7 furniture and carpet stores for 14 years, she is able to bring her extensive business knowledge and experience to all of her clients. Lisbeth’s awards include executive of the year award from the International Executive Association, Albany chapter (a business networking group) and first place honors in an international marketing contest for alternative medicine. A two time cancer survivor, she has spoken extensively about her experiences of cancer, offering words of comfort and inspiration. As an activist, Lisbeth has initiated and contributed to many charitable causes. She has worked with at-risk youth, spoken out against injustice and advocated to and helped to build resources for women. As a presenter, Lisbeth Calandrino is highly motivational, information-rich, and very entertaining. Her acute business sense, contagious enthusiasm, positive energy and fun sense of humor make her a dynamic presenter. Lisbeth is a member of New York, Historic Albany Foundation, educational director of Business Referrals Networking Group and member of the board of directors of the Animal Protective Foundation of Scotia, New York.


  1. Joe Piazzo May 12, 2013 at 6:27 am

    Do you remember the New York landlord sentenced by a judge to live in one of his filthy apartments for a week?

    Customers will never respect a product that does not work as advertised and business owners MUST be willing to eat what they cook, live in what they rent, and let their kids ride in the cars they sell and fix. Once the business starts selling hamburgs while eating tofu – it is all over….

    Good article Lis

  2. Lisbeth Calandrino May 12, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Hi Joe, thank you for the comment; I never saw the article but it sounds fitting. You’re right–funny about the tofu.LOL

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