“What is Excellence?” Ron Kaufman on Excellence as Momentum, not a Position

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Transcript of What is Excellence?”, from a keynote speech by Ron Kaufman for the SWIFT Operational Forum Asia event in Singapore.

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Now, some of you are saying, “Excellence has to be Unbelievable.” The rest of you are saying, “No, no, no. Let’s be realistic.” Excellence is when you surprise or when you just serve somebody the way they like it. And some of you are saying, “Anything above expected is excellent.”

But you know what? Tricky question. Because the six steps are not steps. They are not stairs. They are not fixed in today’s world. This is an escalator. It’s in motion. And it’s always going… down. Why do I say that?

If you do something Unbelievable, it will be the first time you do it. If you do it again, it’s not Unbelievable anymore. It’s a nice… SURPRISE. Do it again. That’s what they… DESIRE. After a while, it’s only… EXPECTED. Then it’s just… BASIC. And then, if you don’t do it, you’re…

I’ll show you some examples. How many of you remember this? Do you know when that came out? It was… Today, BASIC. How about this? Kodachrome. How about this? How about this? …which went to plastic, which went to devices, which goes to biometrics. And by the way, when you’re in Singapore shopping, I want you to be careful. Because if you’re in a store, and you say, “I love it”, they say, “Great. Just look over here. Okay, thank you. We have your money.”

So, if the stairs keep slipping down, then where is excellence on The Six Levels of Service? Talk to your partner again. What does it mean to be excellent in a world where expectations keep going up and the stairs keep flipping down? Talk

Very good. When I see hands going like this, I know people get the idea. Excellence is today a moving… target. If the stairs keep flipping down, excellence means finding and taking the next step. Ah. So, excellence is not a position. It’s a movement. It’s a commitment. It’s a devotion. It’s an intention to do better than you’re already doing.

And if we take this idea of excellence, and we marry it to this definition of service, we should get a definition of Service Excellence. Well, here’s one. Read it with me. Service Excellence is taking the… next step to create… …for someone else. And by the way, all the phones that I see going up to take a picture, smart. I wrote 14 books. It’s the most important sentence I’ve ever written.

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Ron Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling author of “UPLIFTING SERVICE: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues and Everyone Else You Meet”, and is the founder of Uplifting Service.

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Visit http://www.RonKaufman.com/demo to learn more about Ron, watch a keynote speech, and hear from his clients.

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