In this piece we take a look a look at some of the key ingredients to developing a sustainable culture of service excellence...

 

 

 

Be rigorous about Recruitment

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  • Whether you are recruiting a waiter or a department head, any client-facing position within your team is critically important. The key is to hire someone who has the innate appreciation and respect for fellow colleagues and customers. The rest in most cases can be trained. The deciding question with any candidate should always be, "If he or she or he started working with us right now, would they fit into our company culture?" It is also vitally important the employee responsible for recruitment in your company has the skill to separate the stage act from the real deal - often much easier said than done. A rigourous recruitment process based on culture-fit ultimately saves all parties a lot of valuable time. 

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Map your Customer Journey clearly

 

  • The old saying goes that a vague instruction most often results in a vague solution. Whatever the envisaged standards are for service within your comany, make sure that every role player is comprehensively in the know as to what this entails. The world's top customer service brands spend significant resources toward mapping their ideal customer journey and consequently educating their teams on their objectives in this regard. The more specific the expectation, the easier it is for your team to meet the envisaged service standards. 

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Address the Concept of WHY in Staff Training

 

  • The bulk of staff training on offer today is focused signifcantly on the how. While the skills behind creating a top customer experience are undoutedly critical, the concept of WHY WE ARE HERE and WHAT WE ARE HERE TO ACHIEVE needs to be understood by the entire client-facing team. Once understood fully, it becomes far easier to achieve the desired buy-in from your key service oriented role players. The concept if WHY is all about your team's mindset towards your clients and customer service in totality. It is very difficult for a staff member (let's use a waiter for example who has never been a guest at your calibre of establishment) to understand the level of expectation harboured by your typical level of clientele. Training which develops the understanding of your customer's expectation in sufficient detail is paramount toward achieving consistently high levels of service delivery. 

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Provide constant Feedback to Staff through Objective Evaluation 

 

  • Who is the ultimate decider of service excellence? It is the customer of course. Their impression of your staff and overall experience is what determines future engagements and consequent sales. In order to stay in touch with contemporary customer expectations it is important to develop a customised, closed-circuit feedback platform that allows for detailed feedback on a recurring basis. Platforms such as Tripadvisor are useful for the end-user in terms of basic level feedback but seldomly is the feedback detailed enough to constructively develop one's team and customer journey. Research shows that mandated mystery shoppers who are briefed on what to look out for are far more effective and objective in their analysis. It is of the highest importance that every staff member involved in the customer experience be privy to the feedback report. Through structured and objective feedback, one is simultaneously building emphasis around key success factors of your customer experience. 

 

 

 

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DEVELOPING YOUR SERVICE CULTURE