Uplifting Service - Blog

6 Ways to Get Customer Feedback to Improve Your Service Brand

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Brand perception is simply the way customers perceive your organization. This perception is influenced by many factors: your products or services, style of communication, corporate culture, and the quality of service you provide at every “perception point.”

A prime example of effective branding is Starbucks. Core values of the company are service and relationship and this is clearly articulated in the brand message. Starbucks isn’t simply a place to buy a cup of coffee, it is distinguished by offering a personal touch to service. Regular customers at many Starbucks locations form relationships with baristas who know their preferred beverageand other details of their lives. Starbucks has also given rise to the term “third place” since it accommodates both social and business meetings. Walk into any Starbucks and you will invariably see students and business people sipping their lattes with laptops open.

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Three Questions to Manage Performance in a Service Culture

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Building a service culture in any organization requires that systems and processes reflect and support service as a key business driver. One system is performance management.

Performance management, performance appraisal, employee review – whatever name you have for it – is a common, often dreaded, and largely under-utilized process for managing an organization. Yet it can be one of the most effective tools for leading change – ensuring a service culture, or any cultural focus, can be created and sustained over time.

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What is the real value of service education?

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Richard Whiteley’s blog post – ‘Six reasons why ‘customer centricity’ initiatives fail’ – highlights how often initiatives fail due to inadequate education.

He wrote: “While mindset matters, great service needs great skillsets too… Proper training is required”

This stirred up memories of my early experiences working in a retail company.

Most new frontline staff joined the company with a very positive mindset and uplifting attitude – but as they regularly encountered situations they were not prepared for, their enthusiasm started fading.

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Is serving your customers faster really better?

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Many organizations use waiting time and processing speed as key measures of service quality. This is fine – as long as they don’t become the only metrics that matter. An obsession with such ‘numbers’ can make you lose sight of what is really important: how your customers experience what you are doing for them rather than how efficient your systems and processes are.

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Five Steps to Help Employees Understand – and Care About – Your Metrics, Scores and Targets

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Few leaders ‘meet employees where they are’ and effectively translate scores and targets into the ideas and actions employees care about.

To help your employees understand and care about quantitative measures, consider and then take these five steps:

Step One: Identify and quantify the changes you want to achieve
Step Two: Design and deliver effective communications
Step Three: Measure intent first, not outcomes
Step Four: Design effective systems and processes for support
Step Five: Realize your managers are more important than you

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What is the real cost of lousy service?

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It has been well documented that providing excellent service to your customers will reap both personal and financial rewards.

But what happens when service falls short? What happens when your staff members, your procedures, or your operations fails to fulfill the corporate goal of quality? Worse yet, what happens when even the desire to provide great service fades away?

The American Express Global Customer Service Barometer tells us that a lack of quality service is far more costly than most people realize.

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What is the Dollar Value of an Uplifting Service Culture?

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How much is an Uplifting Service Culture worth to you?

Many people think quantifying excellence in service is an exercise in “fuzzy math”. Do you think so, too? Can you put a hard dollar value on consistently delivering uplifting and outstanding service? Do you know how much money is left behind when your service doesn’t measure up?

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Benchmarking Inside and Out

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Benchmarking means comparing yourself with – and learning from – the very best in any field or endeavor. We recommend you benchmark service leaders from your own industry and other industries as well.

What do you want to do better? What do they do exceptionally well? What best practices have they adopted? How are they changing and preparing for the future to maintain their leadership positions?

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Four Capacities a Leader Needs to Build a Service Culture

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An excellent blog post from Tony Schwartz on Harvard Business Review encouraged us to write about successful leaders in organizations that are building a service culture.

Leaders must inspire action. Building a service culture is a strategic, long-term initiative that requires sustained focus and commitment. We apply Tony’s list of four “great capacities” of leadership to describe the actions service leaders must take to achieve great results.

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13 Questions Before You Change Your Company or Service Culture

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1. Why do we want to change our culture? What do we want that we currently do not have? What do we currently have that we definitely want to change?

2. How will we know we have succeeded? What will we see and hear that is not happening today? What will we stop seeing and hearing?

3. How will we track our progress? How will we measure results? How will we know we have succeeded?

4. What is the business value of this change? What strategic advantage do we seek to achieve? What is the intended financial impact?

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