In 2010, IBM announced the findings of a study that showed creativity was considered the most important leadership quality for success in business. The top two areas business leaders wanted people to focus on over the following five years? Getting closer to customers and people skills.
Customer service is a journey in creativity. As long as customers and products change, creativity will be a critical skill is delivering service that creates a great customer experience.
Creativity can be easily undervalued, since it stems from the right side of our brains. It can easily be considered "fluff" by those who are driven by reaching goals and following plans. But creativity can be a tool in your service kit that helps solve problems and find better ways to serve customers.
Creativity renews, restores and inspires. And the cost is low. As a leader, you are tapping into brain cells that already exist in your organization. You can easily do this by having a meeting with staff--a fun meeting--where you ask them to identify service strengths and areas that could be improved, you then tap into their creativity to find those improvements. Let them run with ideas and find new ways. Let them create solutions and applaud each other for new ideas.
Creativity has been described, simply, as the ability to look at the same thing, but seeing it differently. Try asking different departments how they would handle the challenges identified in the staff meeting. Different eyes from other places can see things that we can't when it's in our world every day.
Proof of this? I recently wrote a new ebook. I proofed it several times. I have even worked as a professional proof reader, and I'm sort of a grammar/spelling nerd who likes to read dictionaries. I showed the ebook to a writing friend mostly for a confidence boost. She loved it...and in the process of reading, found six errors.
Humbling? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely! Did I say thanks? You bet I did!!!
The same applies to service. It can be humbling to ask, "How can we make service better?" Especially if you have worked hard to make it great. But people and products change, and there is always a better, new way to serve. That keeps the relationship with the customer fresh and exciting, and your gratitude for those creative improvements encourages more of the same. Isn't that a service win for everyone?
Dee Dee has helped create and coach "customer care" programs and cultures for healthcare, government, travel, financial services, plumbing, retail, publishing, automotive and entire communities.