How to Create Excellence in Customer Service?
In a previous article we began talking about Excellence in Business. In this article we’ll begin talking about your client’s experience with your business.
When was the last time you took an audit on your customers’ experiences with your business? If it’s been a while, here’s a chance for you to take inventory and find out whether the experiences your clients are having are in alignment with your business goals.
Following are 5 key points for your business audit:
1 – Know Your Business and Your People
If executing exceptional service to your clients is important to you, you have to be in the trenches of your business’ day-to-day realities. Leaders must live their businesses.
I’ve been fascinated by the TV show Undercover Boss, a reality show that has some of America’s top executives going into their companies’ trenches to get a taste of “real life” on the frontline. Why is this show so powerful that it gained so much attention in the media? I think it’s the human element of building a business and making employees feel appreciated that resonates so much for the viewers each week.
People have always thought, “I wish my boss knew what I do. I want to make a difference, but nobody notices me.” Or, “I have some ideas, but I don’t feel like anyone cares.” This show highlighted some powerful stories about the people on the business’ frontlines.
One of my favorite episodes featured the restaurant Hooters (a restaurant and bar known for its famous “wings,” and whose first restaurant featured topless waitresses!) Profits for Hooters had been down in 2010, and leadership wanted to figure out how to increase business.
As the CEO went undercover and got into the trenches of the day-to-day business operations alongside some of the employees, he realized some critical realities: He had no clue how many people thought his company was demeaning toward women and that women (and families) didn’t want to go into his place of business. (These days, the waitresses at Hooters restaurants aren’t topless, but they still sport tight tank tops, leaving little to the imagination.)
He also discovered how poor leadership impacted business. One of his top-producing locations was managed by a womanizer who humiliated his employees and disgraced the company. How could someone end up in a management role with such poor leadership skills?
Like most companies, Hooters needed to acknowledge its people. After the Hooters’ owner saw what his company was like on the frontline, he decided to make several changes. Now, as the company puts new systems and processes in place and leaders who deserve to hold those roles, it will increase workers’ pride in their work, which in turn could help the restaurant chain to succeed in offering the public a more consistent experience. It will be interesting to see whether things change for Hooters….because, they DO have good wings.
The reality is that a business’ human capital – its team and the players on it – is its greatest resource. Human capital is arguably the most valuable asset held by an organization today. This capital simultaneously represents the single greatest potential asset and the single greatest potential liability an organization will acquire as it goes about its business.
Ask yourself: How balanced is your team’s scale?
- Are you investing in your people?
- Do they have clear job descriptions?
- Do they have a professional development plan to guide them?
- Is everyone committed and engaged?
2 – Know Yourself
Emotional fortitude: It’s a vital part of being honest with yourself. Let’s face it; it isn’t always easy to take a look in the mirror and hold your gaze. But the reflection defines your true reality. And part of leading is having the courage to stand in our absolute truth, even when it’s hard.
Here is where things tend to get emotional. I get emotional writing about my role in business, because, for me, it’s taken years to figure out what my real contribution is to my business and to my clients. I wish I could do it all and be it all. But frankly, I’m not good at everything. And, as the great innovator Michael Dell once said, “The key to success is in surrounding yourself with people who are better than you.”
Leadership is not for the faint of heart. Once we are clear on our role as a leader, it takes courage to step into it and strategy to design a path that others will follow.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about your role as a leader:
1 – What are my greatest assets?
2 – How do I best contribute to my organization?
3 – What do my clients count on from me as the leader of my team?
4 – What do my team members need from me so I can lead them successfully?
In our next article we’ll discuss the final 3 key points for your business audit.
I can help you build a great customer experience in your business.
Order my book today or contact me at 425-241-4855 to schedule a workshop.