In our work with organizations all over the world, we encounter six signs of substandard service culture. Each of these signs can defeat the best intentions of service leaders and degrade the best effort of service providers. Do any of these signs look or sound familiar to you?
We all live in a world of service. Most of our interactions involve serving others in some way. Service is simply taking care of the needs or concerns of those around us. We define service as “taking action to create value for someone else.” And we all want this. We expect it as customers.
In my experience working with leaders of many of the world’s outstanding service organizations, I have discovered seven essential rules these leaders always follow. Some leverage the power of one rule more than another, and you may do the same. But each of these rules is essential to lead your team to success.
In this video, captured live in a Service Leadership Workshop held in Abu Dhabi in the UAE, Ron Kaufman shares examples, ideas, and suggestions for putting these rules to work – where you work.
2014 will bring changes, opportunities and dangers for your business. Industries are collapsing, careers are converging, and work is migrating or disappearing altogether. Each of us must orient ourselves in a world of constant disorientation, and find new ways to create value and provide service to others. Make the right choices and next year will be your best year yet. Make these 5 mistakes and things will be more difficult for your business and your life.
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.
Unusual people and events have powerfully shaped my life, and the lessons I’ve learned from them are the roots of my unrelenting passion. My grandmother was my earliest inspiration. She taught kindergarten in New York City for 40 years, and when I visited her class, I felt like the most important person in the world. My grandmother made everyone feel like the most important person in the world.
For the past 40 years I have been on a mission to improve the world. The vision that motivates and sustains me is a world in which everyone is educated and inspired to excel in service to others.
In support of this mission, I have flown more than ten million miles, visited three hundred cities, and worked with businesses in every industry from high fashion to high technology, government agencies, schools, associations, and voluntary service organizations. I help people become better service providers, and help organizations build uplifting and self-sustaining service cultures.
Don’t start only with customer-facing teams. Starting your service transformation with customer-facing team members might seem like the obvious move. But if your objective is to build an uplifting service culture, this approach can be very problematic. Because your people in “customer-facing” roles interact with customers daily, they already understand that service is important. They know that upset customers complain. They know happy customers are easier to serve. What they don’t know is how to fix the behind-the-scenes issues that often affect the customers’ perceptions.
Read the other tips for a fast and furious customer service revolution…
You know you’ve got unhappy customers so you’ve decided it’s time to do a complete service overhaul. You’ve spent hours with your C-level executives crafting a strategic plan and making sure your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed. The idea is to roll out the new plan in one area of your company—for example, your call center—and get things under control there before you move on to the next department. Over time, as you get your strategy perfected and everyone buys in, you’ll surely reap the benefits. Makes sense, right?
Sorry, but that’s no way to start a revolution…
When all the 12 Building Blocks are in place, you create an uplifting service culture where everyone is fully engaged, encouraging each other, improving the customer experience, making the company more successful, and contributing to the community at large.