Serving customers is one of the most challenging jobs out there. You need to be a good listener, an effective communicator, a calm conflict mediator, and an analytical problem solver all rolled into one. You must be very organized and have infinite patience. Plus you need to wear a sunny disposition even on days when you don't feel like it.
Many have endeavored to capture the key ingredients in customer service, so I have decided to throw my hat into the ring as well.
I call my approach Customer Service With HEART:
H = Help and Hear - You are there to Help the customer. Plain and simple. And the first (and most important) thing you do is listen. Hear the customer fully before responding. This may be the toughest part of listening. We have to make the choice to listen, especially when we are busy, preoccupied, stressed, and distracted. When you focus on the Other, pay attention to What is being said, as well as What is not being said. This includes the non-verbal signs the person i…
Have you ever read The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis? It's a little book about a junior level Devil who is being mentored by his uncle, a more senior Devil named Screwtape, on the ways to tempt and entrap a human soul.
In the spirit of Lewis' classic, here are some fiendish tips from another Devil on some of the worst ways to lead people through organizational change.
"Off with their heads" - In an M&A, make the first order of business a massive blood-shedding. Immediately eliminate all the old management that could threaten or block progress.
"Ram it down their throats" - At the first Town Hall meeting, make it crystal clear that "it's a new day" whether you like it or not. And you had better get with the program.
"You people suck" - Round up the "survivors" of the downsizing and herd them into an intense indoctrination session where the facilitators belittle and demean everyone in the room.
"Leave the workfor…
Continuing with some additional tips for members of a Board and the executive team that want to have a positive impact on the culture of their organization, here are some ideas for the next phase of the process.
4. Use your Imagination - The poet once said "Nothing happens unless first a dream." Leaders, What is your dream for the culture of your organization? Imagine it at its best. What are the values? What are the actions? What are the outcomes?
5. Gather the System - With a nod to Marv Weisbord who gave us the maxim "Get the whole system in the room," leaders should extend an invitation to all the members of their organization, as well as all key stakeholders, to join in the process started in point # 4. Get everyone's imaginations activated.
Get people into groups. Equip each group with flipcharts, markers, and facilitators. Give them the "green light" to unfetter their thinking about how great the organization can be.