==== ==== Charles McDuffie is the owner of The List Building Academy, and offers a free 7-day e-course that shows men and women how to have a successful online business online by first building their optin subscriber list. He believes while the money may be in the list, the fortune lies in the follow up! http://www.listbuildingconcepts.com ==== ==== ID: 2190308 Author: Theo Gilbert-Jamison Date Published: Apr 06, 2009 Title: Raising the Bar to Achieve Service Excellence Summary: What does it mean to "raise the bar" when is comes to service? Well, I believe that there are ten basic things tha... Body: What does it mean to "raise the bar" when is comes to service? Well, I believe that there are ten basic things that anyone can immediately begin to do, whether you are an administrative assistant, a nurse, a financial adviser, or even the CEO of a prestigious Fortune 500 organization.I challenge you to try these ten simple basics over the next 21days. I guarantee it will take customer service, loyalty, and delight to new heights within your team, department, or organization. As a matter of fact, I challenge you! Take it a step further by also applying these twelve basics with your internal customers (your manager, counterparts and other co-workers).Ten Simple Ways to Raise the Bar and Create Customer Loyalty: Greet every customer (internal and external) with a warm, delightful smile. When possible, practice pro-activity by anticipating and complying with the needs of your customers before they have to ask. Whenever possible, use your customer's name. Also, learn something new or unique about each repeat customer to personalize the experience. When interacting with a customer, use positive eye contact to indicate that you are interested and attentive. Be polite in your speech, using works like "I'll be happy to," "please," and "thank you." Use professional telephone etiquette by answering with a smile, thanking the caller, giving them your name, using hold carefully, and keeping them updated if they are on hold. Listen carefully and emphatically with your ears, eyes, and heart. If the customer has experienced a problem, apologize and work to quickly resolve it. Then follow-up to ensure satisfaction. Apprise co-workers of the situation to ensure it does not occur again. Maintain a professional appearance, as well as a clean, well-organized work area. If a customer ask for directions or appears to be lost, offer to escort them to their desired destination instead of pointing it out. Return email and voicemail communication with a sense of urgency (in 24 hours). Even if you cannot respond with an immediate answer, it is always professional to acknowledge receipt of the message. You may look at this list and say, "Theo, we are already doing these things." If so, I challenge you to re-evaluate the level of CONSISTENCY with which you practice these basics. Are your
employees (from the top down) held ACCOUNTABLE for consistently demonstrating the actions and behaviors that are exemplary of service excellence? Consistency, my friend is the key to achieving and sustaining a culture of Service Excellence.At the beginning of this article, I intentionally outlined ten simple basics that any self-motivated employee could follow to create a higher level of service within their department or team. So often, people come to me and say, "Theo, I am just one person in a large organization; there is no way I can make a difference." I use these ten simple examples to show them that they are wrong. One person CAN certainly make a significant difference within an organization.LEADERSHIP'S RESPONSIBILITY If your organization already has Core Values, Standards of Service, or Basics that are similar to my ten simple basics, I urge you to review and re-evaluate them. Ensure they cover all of the "key touch points" a customer experiences when interacting with your department, team or company. In example, do they clarify for your employees: (1) how the telephone should be answered; (2) grooming and appearance standards; (3) how customer problems are resolved; (4) how employees should interact with customers, etc? If they do not, you are leaving it (the customer experience) to chance.As a leader, you should never assume that employees know what is necessary to create a culture of service, performance and operational excellence. It is your responsibility to tell them, over and over again, and to be the walking, talking epitome of excellence EVERYDAY! If you cannot commit to this, you will never be able to hold your team or department accountable for consistently providing superior customer service.SENIOR LEADERSHIP'S CALL TO ACTION By now, it is abundantly clear that I believe it is a waste of good time to create and communicate service standards or core values that are not applicable to every employee, at every level of the organization. Your service standards, basics, or core values cannot be perceived as something just for line and support staff. If senior leaders are not 100% committed to also aligning their behaviors with the service standards or core values, your entire service excellence initiative will be a failure.Here are a few of the common pitfalls that must be dealt with in order to RAISE THE BAR. Check those which are applicable within your organization, then search for simple ways to overcome them: Our standards are only for the employees who deal with external customers Our standards do not apply to executives (i.e., C-level leaders, lawyers, doctors, partners, owners)
Our standards are only applicable when we are in the presence of a customer Our standards do not apply during employee-to-employee interactions KEY POINTS ABOUT SERVICE STANDARDS CONCERNING RAISING THE BAR A major shortcoming of organizations is that they assume that once the company's vision, mission, and business objectives are in place, employees will automatically know those specific behaviors that are expected of them.Total employee involvement in the creation or refinement of your company's service standards is the best way to ensure buy-in and support. The worst thing any company or leader can do is create service standards in a vacuum without the involvement of employees at every level. In order to "raise the bar," every level of the organization (from the top, down) must be committed to demonstrating and energizing the service standards.Bottom-line, to achieve service excellence, employees must understand exactly what they are expected to do. They need to know what specific behaviors you expect them to consistently demonstrate and exemplify.
Theo Gilbert-Jamison is CEO of Performance Solutions by Design, a global performance consulting firm that caters to luxury and premium brands with an emphasis on transforming organizational culture. She is also the author of two books, The Six Principles of Service Excellence (2005), and The Leadership Book of Numbers, Volume I (2008). As the creative force behind Performance Solutions by Design, Theo is a highly sought after speaker and consultant to CEOs and senior executives in high profile organizations.
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URL: http://ezinearticles.com/?Raising-the-Bar-to-Achieve-Service-Excellence&id=2190308 ==== ==== Charles McDuffie is the owner of The List Building Academy, and offers a free 7-day e-course that shows men and women how to have a successful online business online by first building their optin subscriber list. He believes while the money may be in the list, the fortune lies in the follow up! http://www.listbuildingconcepts.com ==== ====