In keeping with the holiday spirit, I would like to first wish all of my readers a safe and happy holiday season. Thank you for your comments and feedback in regards to not only providing you with articles on topics of interest, but helping me to improve each and every time I write. I would like to share this “gift” because it came up in a discussion with an industry friend who called to pick my brain on how to help improve their bottom line. Here is a bit of what we discussed.
As we close the year out and everyone is reviewing their business goals, prepping for 2014 one thing you need to remember is that any success, especially customer service is an outgrowth of accountability. It is easy to look outside of your business to blame the economic climate, or your competitors or even internally pointing the finger but if you really take a hard look at what your employees delivered in terms of service you will find areas to improve.
You know that from my articles see that I am a customer service fanatic. I look for those doing things well and also inspect the incidences where service was below par. You do it as well. As soon as something goes wrong, a little radar blip goes off in your head and the dialogue begins, “What is wrong, why don’t they care, is anyone going to help?”
If you got all of your employees together and without repercussions asked them to talk about areas they feel you can improve on, that dialogue that was in your head may have been happening in your customers heads. While you are listening, please write down the instances where it happened. Now comes the hard work but work that will set you up for success in the future.
- Dive in to review how your team executed the process.
- If there were any steps that were left out, retrain your team to implement the process correctly.
- Next make sure that you have a better accountability process in place.
- Who is doing the inspection of the results.
Many times you may feel that if I inspect my team I am not trusting them or not treating them with respect. On the contrary, you are doing a bigger disservice to your team by NOT holding them accountable.
Being a big sports fan, we discussed how sports teams have a coach on the sidelines watching the team execute in order to win. Why would you not have someone inspecting performance to make sure you can win as well. If you want to treat them like friends, then care enough to tell them when they are doing well and help them when they are not.
He agreed that he has been hands off and trying to be more of equals instead of a boss. I explained that everyone has a role and someone’s role is inspector and accountability chief. IF no one is responsible, then who is pushing the team for success.Lastly I posed this question to him.
If you could improve your closing ratio on the same number of appointments that you had this year, would that be a win for you. Of course he said it would. I then finished up and said that inspection, accountability and a little push here and there will change most of those lost opportunities your team felt they let get away.
Remember, your team WANTS you to hold them accountable. Don’t be a Scrooge. Share accountability as if it was the best gift of all. It makes their job easier to do and they will be grateful for your generosity.
Happy holidays to all.