It’s Customer Service Week making it an ideal time to review your customer service strategy.
Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to talk with one of the world’s authorities on the customer experience. Shep Hyken is an author, speaker, and consultant to some of the world’s largest companies. He is a member of the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement and is a member of the distinguished Speaker’s Roundtable. His books include The Loyal Customer, Moments of Magic, and the bestselling books The Cult of the Customer and his latest The Amazement Revolution.
In The Amazement Revolution, Shep outlines seven powerful strategies to increase customer and employee loyalty. As Shep says, the Amazement Revolution is, “The strategic decision to remake your organization or your team based on the principle of amazement.”
It seems simple, but it’s profound. What if you and your organization really remade everything in your company around creating an AMAZING customer experience? What would happen?
Photo by verticalpharmacy on flickr.
That’s the number of consumers who switched to a competitor after a bad experience.
That’s the number of consumers who will pay more for exceptional customer service.
These statistics from Harris Interactive emphasize with numbers what we all know: customer service matters. We are more likely to stay with a company, to recommend a product, or to buy more services from companies who do it well. And, when we have a negative experience, social media can become an outlet for frustration.
I’m a believer that everyone in a company is in customer service. Decades ago, Peter Drucker said, “There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.” Servicing the customer is central to success.
Photo by Ruth Flickr on flickr.
Someone, who I will call Michael for this post, once told me, “If you want to know what Michael thinks, ask Michael.” Apparently Michael had seen this before. Many of the things he supposedly said were distorted when others repeated them. In some cases, his supposed conversation simply never happened. And this was a recurring event.
There are many reasons this can happen. It could be simple miscommunication or a mistake. It could be the sign of a manipulative person. It could also be a damaged culture, creating conversations to serve various political interests. The fact that it happens frequently is definitely a concern. The fact that others may run with it without verifying it is also a concern.
Yogi Berra once said, “I never said most of the things I said.”
Image courtesy of istockphoto/Moncherie
Lead With Love
Joel Manby is the incoming CEO of SeaWorld and the former CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment. Herschend is the largest family owned theme park in the US owing 26 locations including Dollywood and Stone Mountain. If he looks familiar, you may recognize him from his appearance on CBS’ Undercover Boss.
Joel’s is the author of Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders, a book about practicing love at work. Talking about love at work may seem strange coming from a hard-charging executive who spent years in the automotive industry before joining Herschend. After reading this book, I could tell that Joel meant every word of it. Still, I had to start with the question about love at work.
This is a business book, but the title and the theme are all about Love. Joel, you were an executive at GM, Saturn and Saab. It’s all about metrics. Numbers. Results. But, you say no, Love Works. Tell me more about your transition from hard-hitting analytical executive to someone who sees love as a business success factor.
It’s still about metrics; the key question is which metrics? At HFE we measure all the standard business metrics including financial results, customer scores and employee scores. We all have to hit those numbers. In addition, we are also measured on HOW we go about hitting those numbers. We are all evaluated on the seven words outlined in Love Works. In fact, the top raises are given to those who hit both measurements; and all senior leaders are expected to be good at all of the above.
Success Defined By Love
How do you define personal success? Corporate success?
I define personal success as being consistent to my own personal mission statement: to love God and love others. I can achieve that in a number of personal endeavors; but feel blessed to be able to achieve it in a growing, profitable business. Corporate success should be defined the same way: ultimately, what is the mission statement of the company? Ours is to “create memories worth repeating.”
Image courtesy of istockphoto/PinkTag
On a recent business trip, I was reading Work Happy at breakfast. A server walking by noticed the book’s title and said, “I’m all for that! Who doesn’t want to be happy at work?” Then we started talking about what makes a great workplace.
The author of the book is Jill Geisler. She leads the management faculty at the Poynter Institute. She has one of the most popular management podcasts, “What Great Bosses Know,” with over seven million downloads on iTuneU. When I read her book, Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know, I was thrilled to find so much excellent management advice packed into a single book.
I didn’t just read the book; I put it to immediate use. For instance, I recently followed some of her advice on giving feedback. It was remarkably well-received, and I credit Jill for that. In another example, how do you answer an employee who stops you and says, “Got a minute?” when you truly are swamped and don’t have 20 seconds. Jill offers tips that I have already used.
Why didn’t you write this book much earlier in my career? You could have saved me from making many mistakes! What inspired you to write it?
Skip, you and I apparently share the same goal: to help managers avoid the mistakes we made as bosses! Your blog is a great contribution to that end, and for my part, I’ve been teaching, coaching, writing columns and producing podcasts on leadership and management in my faculty role at the Poynter Institute. But the book’s inspiration came from discovering that my “What Great Bosses Know” podcasts on iTunes U have been downloaded millions of times by people all over the world. It was evidence of an unsatisfied hunger for credible, practical help among men and women on the frontlines of leadership. That’s why I wrote this workshop-in-a-book.