When I speak about awesome service to business owners, they almost always agree that it is crucial. They also tell me they have it. Yet when I ask them to show me the systems they have in that area, I get a blank stare…
Isn’t awesome service just something you do? Doesn’t that come from hiring great people?
Everything but Awesome Service
People will put detailed systems in place in operations, finance, marketing, human resources, and forget all about awesome service.
…is it because “awesome service” is considered…
Too Touchy Feely?
Anything that is not grounded in the nuts and bolts of the business can often be seen as fluffy, not important enough to warrant implementing detailed systems and training.
And, if you don’t invest time and money in “awesome service” then it is not important to you.
Sorry to say it so bluntly.
In a slightly different area, let me give an example.
My wife and I have initiated permaculture projects (purely organic food grown by following nature’s design principles) in Africa.
I have spoken with some experts in Canada about the critical importance of sustainability. They all agree – it is very important. One person even told me they have it in their mission statement.
Great! However, when I ask the next question -how much do you have budgeted for “sustainability” to ensure that the great work you do in the front-end will last and that the project will be working in 6 months? One year? And so on.
Nothing. Zero budget. Just empty words.
Take a look at your mission statement, if you have one, and pull out all the motherhood statements, like “awesome service”, “we care for our customers”, and ask yourself some tough questions – how much do we invest – time and money – in these areas that we say is important. What detailed systems do we have in place?
Without a System, How Do You Manage?
If you have no systems in awesome service, how do you manage when people don’t follow your phantom systems?
I have seen some business owners (the dictator types – of course, no one reading this Blog!) just assume that their Team should just do awesome service like they do.
Then they turn around and treat their Team like, well, third-class citizens. Hmmm, how is that supposed to work?
You Cannot Just Leave It To “Personality”
Others will tell me that we hire based on personality and we let people just fly at it with their own unique and wonderful ways.
So, how is that going for you?
Everyone’s idea of awesome service is so different that you end up with no consistency in your service delivery.
A quick example from our own business. Every one of our Team members are amazing, hard working people with warm, caring, loving personalities.
We also have (this is one area only) a very specific set of guidelines (systems) for writing emails.
One Team member, when she was hired – and she has a particularly warm, people personality – sprinkled her emails with abbreviations and emoticons.
She thought she was doing great. And as we taught her the systems that we adhere to she changed to conform to the standards we set.
Did she lose her unique personality in the process? Absolutely not! She is the same, yet all our company emails have a similar tone, and they reflect our professional, awesome service commitment.
Your Sensitive Points
Awesome service needs systems at every touch point, that is every single point of contact for your business.
They would include things like:
- How you write and respond to emails
- How you answer, conduct yourself, and end phone calls
- What your office or store look like, and how people are greeted when they come in
- Driving into your parking lot. Is it clean? Do you have good signage?
- Are your washrooms spotless with extras like creams and lotions?
- Is your website up-to-date and friendly?
- How your Team dresses
The Only Differentiator Left
Everything is moving more and more towards a commodity. Think of how Apple literally invented the Smart Phone and now just 10 years later we have dozens of companies offering phones as good or even better than an iPhone.
The only way you can stand out from the sea of sameness is awesome service.
And, shhh, here is a secret, almost no one really does it – you do it and – bam – you are head and shoulders above the rest in your industry.
Must Be Modelled by Owners
Awesome service must be modelled by the owners. And the owner’s customers are…. drumroll her or his Team! You cannot treat your Team like crap and expect them to deliver awesome service.
At our firm, I am so dedicated to my Team, that I will (and have) let go of clients if the Team tells me that they cannot work with them because they have a toxic attitude. We first, of course, do our best to transform the situation. If there are no fundamental changes then we end the client relationship. We keep the Team member.
My Team are my customers. And they pay it forward to all our A clients.
Thanks for reading…