Picture, picture on the wall — who’s the top server of them all?
As a customer service and customer loyalty expert, I am constantly challenged to “set the standard” and “set the example.”
For the past 20 years I have lived by the 5,000 year-old Chinese Proverb: “To Serve Is To Rule.” I found that the more I served, and the better I served, the more I succeeded.
Funny coincidence? I don’t know. Maybe Lexus, Nordstrom, or Southwest Airlines could give you better answers.
Several months ago, my wife Teresa got cement on her car from a construction project that was being completed next door to our office. She got film for our ancient Polaroid camera to take some shots of her car before the cement was removed. (Surprise. Insurance companies require proof before they pay a claim).
While she was fiddling with the camera, our Technocom copy machine repairman arrived to “fix us.” Teresa got the great idea of taking a picture of him to remember his name and then had him sign the Polaroid picture after it had developed.
Well, one idea led to another, and she took pictures of ALL the people who service our home and office and had them autograph their photos. The pictures included the UPS man, mailman, plant lady, computer guy, electrician, phone guy, cleaning lady-well, you get the idea.
We now have a bulletin board covered with photos of our service people, and at the top it says: “To Serve Is To Rule. Good or Bad Service? How Do You Rate?” Then we placed the “customer service bulletin board” in the walkway where all the service people could see it as they enter our office.
Not only does it help everyone in the office remember their names, but imagine the sense of pride our vendors have when they see their picture on the board listed under “Good Service.”
And, of course, we have a “Server of the Month Award.” We place the featured server in the center of the board because of the extra service he or she provides.
Daniel, our FedEx guy, is also a gourmet chef. For a week, Daniel prepared his special soups for us, so he was featured. John, our computer-wiring guy, worked 16-weekend hours to get a job completed for us-naturally, he was featured.
How do you think our service people feel when they see their autographed pictures on the wall? How do you think it inspires them to serve? How do you think they feel if they win the “Server of the Month Award”?
Once our service people see their autographed photos on the wall, they become more aware of their actions, do a better job, and take a greater sense of pride in their performance.
Here are our criteria for good service:
1. Be universally friendly all the time.
2. Do not blame, complain, or make excuses.
3. Be reliable-fix the problem-get the job done.
4. Exceed our expectations whenever possible.
4.5 Try to win the monthly award.
Now I know you’re thinking “That’s so basic.” Well, it is and it isn’t. It has to do with the person. “Basic” to some is “Not my job” to others.
You would be amazed at the people who could not make the “Good” side of our board. Clarence, our regular UPS driver, won the award two straight months. But Clarence’s substitute demanded our help carrying boxes to the truck and complained the whole time.
Stan, our mailman, won the monthly award, but Stan’s substitute didn’t deliver our mail one day because “There weren’t enough letters.” I guess the post office has changed its slogan to: “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor NOT enough letters shall keep the postman from delivering the mail.”
And we serve those who serve us-drinks in the fridge and snacks on the counter for all. We even bake cookies every day at 2 p.m. Result? Well, for starters, two people who used to pick up and deliver at 3 p.m. now come at 2 p.m.
But more important, this recognition has created a sense of pride in our service providers. It’s a simple picture on the wall. Or is it?
I believe it reminders them that they have come to a place that respects them, honors them, and expects them to do and be their best. It also has brought us closer. We have built friendships and relationships with all who enter our doors. People like to come and help us.
We serve our service people.
Do we get any better service as a result? Try it yourself and you’ll understand the mantra: “To serve is to rule.”
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Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, is now offering licensed training programs to corporations, as well as distributorships to individuals based upon his best-selling books and the TrainOne on-line learning series. This process is starting with his newest book The Patterson Principles of Selling. Jeffrey can be reached by phone: 704/333-1112 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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