Nairobi to Shanghai: A World of Service
By Jeff Eilertsen Posted on 24 February 2015
When considering quality of service around the world, many stereotypes can be applied. We may think certain countries or cultures naturally excel at service, while others are very efficient but not very friendly. And we may even see some countries where service appears to be an altogether low priority. Yet while stereotypes persist – and may have basis in personal experience – I have accumulated more and more experience in countries across the globe, and everywhere I teach and travel, I observe 3 things we all have in common:
1. Service expectations are local.
How people understand and evaluate service, especially front line customer service, is based on the world they live in every day. We judge the service we receive by comparing it to our own experience. This everyday experience varies widely for people from Nairobi to Shanghai to Delhi to Seattle. Defining service excellence is relative to what we experience around us.
Why Building a Strong Service Culture Answers CEO Top Challenges
By Jeff Eilertsen Posted on 28 October 2014
Each year The Conference Board publishes survey results of the Top CEO Challenges for global organizations. In 2014 the top four challenges are:
1. Human Capital
2. Customer Relationships
4. Operational Excellence
The Conference Board says business leaders are seeking to drive growth by “focusing on people, performance, reconnecting with customers, and reshaping the culture of work. They see a renewed commitment to customers, innovation, and the corporate brand.”
How to Use Service to Charge Higher Prices and Grow Market Share in a Price Sensitive Market
By Ron Kaufman Posted on 7 October 2014
Indian telecommunications is one of the most commoditized, competitive, and chaotic markets in the world. Hundreds of stores sell identical phones and tablets. Price competition is intense. Customers are spoiled for choice. In this challenging […]
Q&A with Ron Kaufman:
Harnessing the Power of Service in India through Human Resources
By Surbhi Dedhia Posted on 30 September 2014
Q: In your opinion, what are some key differences in Indian service culture compared to global practices?
A: The volume of people in India both – as service providers and customers – has an impact on the way people think about service in the country. With such an enormous number of available people, there is a common sense that talent is replaceable, and customers are, too.
So employers, don’t put as much effort into attracting, keeping and growing their employees as their counterparts do in other developed countries. There seems to be an ease or an acceptance that people come and go…and someone new is always coming. But over a long term the danger of this view is that people do come and go, and the human resource department focuses on getting more on new hires rather than retaining the best people as colleagues.
A similar problem exists in relation to providing customer service. With so many people to serve as potential customers, companies don’t put in
as much effort to retain the loyalty of those they have. Continuous customer churn tends to be the norm, while providing truly excellent customer service is the rare exception.
Everyone Can Do Service Benchmarking
By Ron Kaufman Posted on 13 June 2013
Traditional business benchmarking is a high-level activity with careful target selection, substantial pre-visit planning, and a rigorous process of post-visit evaluation and implementation. You can do this, too. But don’t let a thorough and detailed approach stop you from encouraging a much simpler version of benchmarking. Remember, one of the goals is for everyone to become curious about learning and improving.
Can You Really Overhaul a Nation’s Customer Service Culture? Part Two
By Ron Kaufman Posted on 17 January 2013
Some of the building blocks used by nations for engineering an uplifting service culture:
Stay covered with great leadership. True service leadership is not a demand for better performance pointed at the frontline service department. It’s not a campaign slogan that gets splashed across the wall. True service leadership means creating an environment where every member of the team can take the lead in improving and uplifting—from the top down, from the bottom up, and from every position in the organization.
Can You Really Overhaul a Nation’s Customer Service Culture? Part One
By Ron Kaufman Posted on 9 January 2013
In a harsh global economy, great service is the price of admission. Companies whose cultures aren’t built around the ability and the willingness—no, the eagerness—to delight the customer won’t survive. You know this. And if you’re a leader at global enterprise, no doubt you’ve gained more than a few gray hairs worrying about it. It’s true: Transforming a culture that crosses many boundaries is no small task.
But I have a question that might put it all in perspective: If an entire nation can build a service-based brand and culture, what’s stopping YOU?
Selecting Uplifting Service Stars
By Jeff Eilertsen Posted on 8 September 2011
A young man I have known for several years was recently hired to work the front desk at a major hotel. Based on my experience with him I know he will do very well in this position and business. In his short tenure he has already impressed his managers with his service to guests. Did this hotel get lucky or do they know how to find the best service talent?
Best Practice is Not Good Enough
By Up Your Service Posted on 26 April 2011
Many organizations are eager to learn and implement best practices. However, simply trying to replicate what works in another organization is bad practice. Wal-Mart’s much-publicized $1.85 billon mistake is a timely reminder.
So, what went wrong?
Benchmarking Inside and Out
By Ron Kaufman Posted on 30 December 2010
Benchmarking means comparing yourself with – and learning from – the very best in any field or endeavor. We recommend you benchmark service leaders from your own industry and other industries as well.
What do you want to do better? What do they do exceptionally well? What best practices have they adopted? How are they changing and preparing for the future to maintain their leadership positions?