In a recent video interview, Kathy Cuff, co-creator of The Ken Blanchard Companies’ new Legendary Service program, identifies three ways senior leaders can help create a culture of service in their organization.
See service as everyone’s job
Cuff recommends that organizational leaders begin by expanding responsibility for customer service to everyone in the organization-not limiting it to a specific department or group of people.
“The best organizations understand the importance of creating a consistent culture of service throughout the organization. They don’t provide training for just one or two departments or for the front line. They recognize that everyone has customers—either internal or external. Legendary Service starts with a serving mindset and a culture of serving others.”
Be sure to measure incremental improvement
Next, Cuff recommends that leaders create a process for measuring improvement. The challenge, according to Cuff, is to capture incremental improvements.
“Leaders need to have ways of benchmarking how they are doing—and they have to do it in a way that the customer doesn’t see as a waste of time.
“I have to admit, half the time I don’t fill out service forms unless my experience was either really bad or really great. Organizations need to make giving feedback interesting for customers so that they want to do it. This way, the organization is able to continually evaluate how it’s doing and then use that data to keep improving.”
See direct reports as customer #1
Finally, Cuff recommends that senior leaders encourage managers to see their direct reports as their number one customer.
“Are your managers setting their people up for success? No matter how much training you offer, people won’t deliver Legendary Service if they don’t feel valued by their organization and by their direct manager.”
An Inside-Out Proposition
Cuff believes that better customer service is an inside-out proposition that begins with the individual. The good news is that this approach pays dividends both personally and organizationally.
“If you constantly look for opportunities to surprise your customers, you’ll be amazed at how much more joy and satisfaction you’ll get—not only from your work but also from the pleasure you provide to others!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Witt is a Program Director for The Ken Blanchard Companies. He is an award-winning researcher and host of the companies’ monthly webinar series. David has also authored or coauthored articles in Fast Company, Human Resource Development Review, Chief Learning Officer and US Business Review.