Drive Innovative Service
Providing incredible service.
You want to provide service that sparkles, service that stands out, service that inspires.
That’s core to Chip R. Bell’s mission. He helps organizations deliver not only “core service” but a service that is value-unique.
I recently spoke with him about his latest book, Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.
Mirror Core Values
Why a kaleidoscope?
We think of a kaleidoscope as a creator of colorful images—like great service. But, the images are created by the way jewels are mirrored. Innovative service that is profoundly remarkable has character—core values reflected or mirrored in its delivery. The images produced may change, but the jewels never change. We do not open up a kaleidoscope and put in more gems or jewels.
Give us an example of “innovative service that sparkles”?
It is the diner waitress who places a bouquet of flowers on your table and tells you they were sent to her the day before by her husband for their anniversary, “…and, I just wanted to share them with you.” It is a service tech in an auto dealership who programs in the radio stations into a customer’s new car from her trade-in and just lets the customer discover it. It is the flight attendant on a flight who writes you a personal handwritten note thanking you for your loyalty.
Leadership Values to Create Powerful Service
First, it is leaders creating a clear, compelling purpose, vision or mission—in terms that both instruct and inspire. Second, it is leaders who demonstrate (by their actions) that they have complete trust in their employees. Third, it is leaders who treat employees with the same care and attention they expect those employees to demonstrate to customers. Finally, it is leaders who constantly look for ways to more effectively resource their front line (support, training, authority, guidance, etc.).
What makes a customer loyal?
Loyalty comes from many practices. It starts with a demonstration of respect and gratitude. Customers have many options; we should thank them for choosing us. It is about promise keeping—always being worthy of the customer’s trust. It includes looking for ways to involve customers—people care when they share. It also involves helping customers get smarter. And, loyalty can also come from making the experience unique and special.
What are some of the ways the best organizations stand out and sparkle?
The best organizations decorate as many customers’ experiences as they can. Making experiences special signals you care. They care about long term relationships far more than short-term transactions. They are community-centered and work to be great citizens in the space where they do business. They promote growth—for associates and customers. And, they go out of their way to celebrate greatness (and goodness).
Inspire a Culture of Service
How do leaders inspire a culture of service?
By serving their employees in the fashion they hope those employees will serve their customers. Leaders inspire a culture of service by talking about customers far more than about rules, chores or the bottom line. Leaders inspire a culture of service by spending time on the front line.
What are some of the most common service mistakes organizations make?
Failing to listen to their frontline scouts about what matters most to customers. No one has more customer intelligence than those face-to-face, ear-to-ear, or click-to-click with customers every day. Yet, leaders too often fail to tap this frontline feedback, ideas, and observations.
Since I’ve been in the book business for many years, I take notice of a book’s design. You have created a book that sparkles! Not only that, you were clever in sending a toy kaleidoscope out to get attention. Nicely done!
Book covers and design are like the presentation of a great gourmet meal. I believe deeply in what I write. I want it to be the very best it can be for the reader to enjoy. I also hope the content is a catalyst to their growth. Even if a great meal is a celebration to our taste buds, how it is presented may shape whether the diner even tries it. Book cover and design need to be congruent with the content and offer a metaphor that is invitational and intriguing.
For more information: Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles