By feature writer Bryan K. Williams
“If I have no other qualities, I can succeed with love alone. Without it, I will fail though I possess all the knowledge and skills of the world. I will greet each day with love in my heart.” –Og Mandino
It’s about your heart. With all I’ve written about touchpoints, anticipating needs and steps of service, none of them can compare with your heart. Your heart is what connects with people. Your heart is what allows you to listen empathetically. Your heart is what causes you to give a genuine smile to acomplete stranger, who you find yourself now serving. Yes, the heart is what pushes you to love. Love IS service, and service IS love. To create consistent, world-class service on your team, there must be a regular discussion about the heart and its role in driving service excellence.
S.I.F.I. (Superficially interesting, but fundamentally insignificant)There are those who will mentally fast-forward through any discussion (or article) about the heart. They view this topic as superficially interesting, but fundamentally insignificant. In their minds, they believe that tactics and strategy, alone, will enable them to accomplish their service objectives. Tactics and strategy are not bad things. In fact, they are a necessity. But tactics and strategy are incomplete without a discussion about the heart. Imagine a beautiful car with no driver, or a sleek jet with no pilot. Without the heart, tactics and strategy are simply shiny hunks of metal with no soul.
If you look at some of the world’s most iconic service companies like Disney and Four Seasons, you will notice that they are blatantly open about their hearts and how much they care about who they serve. They don’t look at service excellence solely as a competitive advantage, but rather as their sacred duty.
So, how do we make the heart our central focus in delivering great service?
- Be thankful for the opportunity to serve people who actually want the service/product you provide. Not only do they want it, but they want it from YOU! Don’t take that for granted.
- Challenge yourself to WOW somebody everyday.
- Before asking for anything, offer to give something first. Remember: Give-Share-Teach.
- Learn at least one preference about one customer everyday (preferred name, hobby, pet peeves, favorite food/beverage, preferred mode of communication, line of work, birthday, anniversary date, favorite TV show, favorite music genre, etc). The list can go on and on.
- Tell your customers how much you appreciate them (and mean it!)
More than the fancy furniture, expensive equipment, chandeliers, and manicured lawns, every customer is saying, “I want you to know me, pay attention to me, and care about me!” Love is service. Service is love. Use your heart to reach other hearts and success will surely follow.