Companies that deliver great customer service have faith. What do I mean by faith? Having faith means, believing in something you have no proof of. We think that smiling, making eye contact, and using the customer’s name will bring them back but, we really don’t know it does. There are very few studies that report a customer saying. “I came back because she smiled.” But, we do these things because we have faith that it will bring them back.
So many times participants leave my workshops with some great ideas to deliver outstanding customer service and separate them from their competition. And of those who practice the slight edge of courage and put their ideas into action, many will drop the idea after a few weeks or months of not seeing the results they had hoped. They lack the faith needed to stick with it, to push on. And when you demonstrate a lack of faith, your employees lose trust that you will ever follow through on anything.
Faith is all about measurements. It’s easier to keep the faith if we have something to tell us we’re on the right track.
Let’s say your Big Picture is to live a healthy lifestyle. And to do that you’ve decided to put yourself on a diet and exercise plan to lose ten pounds. What measuring tool would you use to let you know you’re on track? A bathroom scale, right? You start your plan and after a few days you step on the scale and you see you lost 2 pounds—great, you’re the right track. After a few more days you step on the scale to find you lost a few more pounds—better yet! The scale builds faith you will reach your ten pound goal. No scale and you will have to use other, less accurate methods like notches on your belt. Or worse, you won’t have anything to go by. If this happens, you are very likely to stop pursuing your goal.
Having faith is about measurements; you need to put things into place that demonstrate you are on the right track. If you develop a new customer service performance standard and you don’t have any signposts to help make sure you’re getting the results you want, you are very likely to stop doing it.
If you ever want to read a really good book someday, read “The Game of Work” by Chuck Coonradt. In his book the author gives you methods of how to measure, or keep score, of how you are doing. The key is to put something, anything, into place to help you keep score.
Many thought leaders recommend this idea of a score board or score card. They work in so many ways. They show your progress, they help you keep the faith, they engage the employee, they provide quick feedback—these are only a few benefits.
The scorekeeping method you use is best if it is
(1) Objective; there is nothing subjective about the bathroom scale. Make sure your signposts are specific.
(2) Self-administered; ask your staff what measuring method they would like to use on themselves. You will be helping the staff take ownership of the idea by valuing their input.
(3) Dynamic; use two or three methods of measuring. Allow the employee to compare current performance with past performance.
Here’s another aspect on faith. People who lack faith, live in their history. They are always looking back on things. They say things like, “This is the way our industry is.” Or, “This is the way we have always done it.” Or, “I could never run a marathon, earn a million dollars, own a business.” These people are living in their history, they see life as it’s always been.
But people who have faith live in their imagination. They look at how good things can be. They don’t look backwards at what are limiting patterns, they look forward to unlimited possibilities. They have faith that this new idea or new initiative or new goal will not only work but be filled with rewards.
This is not dreamland, this is about living in your imagination and seeing how great things will be, taking that first leap that and putting your idea into motion and then having a scorecard to measure your progress and help keep your faith.
Keeping the faith is all about measurements and living in your imagination. Don’t let good ideas die on the vine. Have the courage to take action on your idea. Think about how good things will be. Use signposts to make sure you’re on the right path. Give feedback to nurture the actions and help the staff take ownership of the idea.
Don’t become frustrated if you don’t get immediate results. Remember, unsuccessful people take forever to make a decision, and then change their minds quickly. Successful people make decisions quickly and are slow to change their mind.