If your company is going to pursue building an uplifting service culture, leadership must initiate and support the process. But service leadership must be extended and ultimately embraced at all levels of the organization. Let’s take a closer look at how to lead from all levels.
In my last blog post, I described the six most common reasons why customer centricity initiatives often fail. One of these is the lack of commitment demonstrated by senior leaders in the organization.
Here at five types of leaders you see most often, and their level of involvement:
I have been in the field of training, leadership, and organizational development for over 20 years. Through all these years, I have heard a one message (and complaint) from practitioners, consultants, authors and gurus: for cultural change to succeed, top leadership must support it. It’s amazing. This message is so consistent. And there is so much evidence to prove it!
Yet the issue persists as a key barrier to successful culture change.
At UP! Your Service, we work with clients around the world who want to create positive cultural change by building an Uplifting Service Culture. While these clients vary from global, multi-national organizations to government agencies, our experience shows that leadership is always a vital predictor of success.
We note three characteristics of successful personal change that also apply to leading cultural change in a large organization.
Many CEOs and senior leaders have risen to the top as experts in their industries or as specialists in technical competencies – not as experts in building a strong and sustaining service culture. This often results in initiatives to improve service being considered a frontline or a human resources issue. This is a fundamental mistake.
Building a service culture needs great service leaders and leadership teams. The power of senior leadership to set the vision, focus the entire organization, reward success and remove roadblocks, and role model correct behavior cannot be delegated to others.
Leaders and leadership teams must embrace four key roles to ensure a service culture building effort does not fail.
An excellent blog post from Tony Schwartz on Harvard Business Review encouraged us to write about successful leaders in organizations that are building a service culture.
Leaders must inspire action. Building a service culture is a strategic, long-term initiative that requires sustained focus and commitment. We apply Tony’s list of four “great capacities” of leadership to describe the actions service leaders must take to achieve great results.
Service education is only effective when learners take new actions to create more value for customers and colleagues.
As a leader, you have a personal responsibility to ensure that new learning is ‘put to work’ on a daily basis.
Here are five action steps to make this happen:
The issue is not whether excellent customer service is good marketing, or if marketing should be approached as a form of service. The more important question is whether we are marketing the right message about “service”.
Every culture shares a common language, a set of practices, traditions, stories, strategies and standards. These common elements influence and shape human behavior. They keep us in the flow of a discourse that already exists.
We are all born into cultures. We are educated in cultures. Our sports and religions and music are all examples of long standing cultures.
This blog is an open conversation for sharing insights, examples and ideas on how to build a Superior Service Culture.
This is a community space to share experiences, stimulate thinking and explore different points of view. We will share our thoughts with you and welcome you to share yours.
The problem with Customer Service Training
Many organizations spend