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Dianne Crampton

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Stranded Team Culture Expert Dianne Crampton Sees Lessons for Business in Chaos Caused by Volcano


“What I am observing on a daily basis after being stranded for two weeks in Spain is unprecedented disorganization caused by breakdown in communication, collaboration and sensible customer service policies among governments, businesses and air carriers that is paralyzing travelers due to lack of planning for any unforseen acts of nature."

Bend, OR, April 28, 2010 --(PR.com)-- Business team culture expert Dianne Crampton of Bend, Oregon, author of TIGERS Among Us: Winning Business Team Cultures and Why They Thrive, is among the tens of thousands travelers who have found themselves stranded in Europe due to the Icelandic volcano eruption. Crampton was in Europe taking a look at team behavior in businesses operations on the continent. The prolonged airline chaos gave her a chance to observe up close and personal institutional responses to a crisis for which airlines and governments were clearly unprepared to handle.

Crampton found herself stranded in southern Spain unable to catch flights to Paris and then on to the United States. Information from the airlines, governments, and media was always confusing and often contradictory. Travelers struggled with decision-making: Do I go to the airport? Do I rebook? Do I simply sit and wait? What if the volcano blows again?

“How airline authorities, businesses and governments are dealing with the crisis is either calming or adding to the chaos caused when up to 80,000 people are stranded daily by flight cancellations,” Crampton said.

“What I am observing now is disorganization caused by breakdown in communication, collaboration and sensible customer service policies among governments, businesses and air carriers. This has resulted in individual travelers initiating their own responses without enough good information. The outcome is that in trying to return home, many travelers only found themselves in worse situations than if they had just stayed put and waited.”

Crampton’s book TIGERS Among Us provides breakthrough guidance on corporate behavior that not only improves customer satisfaction and customer loyalty but also improves team business practices that leads to increased business success. She defines an approach to corporate behavior that allows for the satisfaction and productivity of both customers and business by employing ethical behaviors that support trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success – TIGERS -- in the workplace and that meet the closest scrutiny.

Businesses that are calming the chaos are extending traveler lodging at reduced cost, assisting travelers with information that improves their problem solving and offering discounts on meals. And for those travelers who have opted to stay put like Crampton, as more good information filters through the chaos, better decisions can be made.

“What this shows to other businesses is that it is important to think through and anticipate any crisis or challenge that calls for contingency planning. This is a worthwhile exercise for teams to contemplate and could help strengthen business strategies that lead to success,” adds Crampton.

Current examples of proactive Spanish business policies include:

1. Condominium travel clubs allowing stranded guests to extend their stay on a week by week basis when space is available and when air flights are canceled.

This action reinforces all six of the TIGERS values. The RCI travel club, for example, has resort locations around the world and has experienced natural disasters such as earthquakes, title waves and fluke weather storms that have disrupted travelers in the past. The policy to cooperate with stranded members is a win-win for everyone. It keeps independent businesses within or on the periphery of the resort facility busy with customers. It keeps resort staff busy and employed. The aftermath of natural and weather-related disasters often results in future canceled tourist travel plans which results in vacant facilities. By helping stranded members in times of crisis, the company insures customer satisfaction that frequently results in referrals that frequently result in business growth.

2. Small merchants willing to accept foreign currency from travelers unable to access euros so that travelers can purchase emergency food and necessities. The common practice is to refuse the currency and make travelers take the bills to banks for exchange. The practice of transferring the problem to banks results in heightened anxiety and more problems for tourists already impacted by scarcity.

3. Small restaurants patching together wholesome and affordable meals for stranded travelers at substantially reduced costs experience business growth. Stranded travelers who are looking for affordable meal options are quick to refer restaurants to fellow stranded travelers. They are also quick to report experiences of dissatisfaction to others as well. Therefore, offering good meals at a modest profit benefits restaurant owners looking to fill plates and keep staff busy when traveler resources grow more depleted.

Dianne Crampton founded TIGERS Success Series in 1987 and has helped merging companies and entrepreneurs build highly successful businesses. In TIGERS Among Us she shows how businesses such as Tribe, Inc., Zappos.com, 4Refuel, and Dos Gringos have built highly successful businesses that demonstrate trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success on a day-to-day basis. For more information go to www.tigersamongus.com or contact Dianne Crampton at tigers@uci.net.

TIGERS Among Us: Winning Business Team Cultures and Why They Thrive is published by Three Creeks Publishing ( March 2010).

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Cook Public Relations
Sharon Cook
541-389-9344
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