Business is like Ballet

I took ballet from the age of 7 until I was 17 years old. It is a highly disciplined art and I loved it! Dancers spend hours upon hours of perfecting their technique, so that when performance time arrives, they are able to perform at their peak. However, the performance is not just about the dancer. Typically, there are lights, sets, costumes, and music that all come together with the dancer to create an experience for the audience. This means everyone must work along with each other to ensure that at the moment of truth, Showtime, it is a seamless experience.

As a customer of an airline, restaurant, hospital, university, etc. the experience is very similar to that of putting on a performance. The pilot, chef, surgeon, professor all spend hours perfecting their specialty; just like the ballet dancers do. And at the culmination of Showtime, whether that is an airline flight, a surgical procedure, a meal on the table, or a lecture in a classroom, a complete experience involves others that contribute to making it a memorable performance. Some will be frontline employees, others will be back office employees, but each will contribute to the overall execution of the show.

That is why customer service must become a part of the fabric of your organization’s DNA. It should start at the top with the CEO and permeate throughout every department and every individual. Internal customer service reflects external customer service. In a ballet performance, while the star of the show may be called a Prima Donna, that dancer knows that without everyone else contributing their expertise to the performance, they would not be able to shine in their role.

The key is to remind every employee of their importance and where they fit into the big picture of the organization. Clear expectations, recognition, and accountability all help to ensure a strong culture of service excellence is defined. When people have the opportunity to do what they love to do, in an environment that shows them appreciation and fosters teamwork, each and every performance is a chance to WOW and delight your customers.

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