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.
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.
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?
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?
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 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?