If your organization is truly committed to delivering world-class service, there are three essential elements that must be considered: your culture, your people, and your processes.
A culture begins at the top of the organization. Leadership sets the tone through their words and actions. They must walk the talk of great service in how they treat their direct reports and all of their employees. Leaders must keep their promises, and when the rubber hits the road and tough decisions have to be made, it is very clear the customer experience rules.
Leaders must be committed. There’s an old riddle: In a bacon-and-egg breakfast, what’s the difference between the Chicken and the Pig?
Answer: The Chicken is involved, but the Pig is committed.
Leaders can’t just be involved and “say” they support this culture, they must be committed. This involves making excellent service a key corporate value, establishing measurement, goals, and giving recognition.
The people in your organization must be recruited towards those who give high priority to customer-focused attitudes. These people must be trained for competency in knowing their jobs and the capability to deliver excellent service consistently.
Reward and recognition strategies should center around the delivery of world-class service and defined service standards.
Processes should be designed looking through the lens of the customer and must be capable of being consistently delivered. Continuous improvement and innovation of processes must be nurtured and encouraged among employees.
Processes should be designed for the masses, but flexible enough for the few. This empowers employees to delight customers in the moment when appropriate and gives greater autonomy to competent staff. Employees can become heroes vs. victims of the processes.
Delivering world-class service is not easy; otherwise, all organizations would be doing it. However, it is a huge opportunity to gain the competitive edge for those willing to make the commitment.