Providing great service, day after day, requires a sustained effort at creating teamwork. Great teams are not only the foundation of service; great teams make service fun!
I recently trained a human services organization known for providing great service, despite working in a field known for job burn-out. They had high energy, great focus and a wonderful sense of humor. How did they do it?
Everyone can succumb to service stress, and I'm sure they have their days. After all, demanding customers and tight schedules are issues they face every day. So do the rest of us. What I found with this group was a sense that while the stress of service is real, so is the joy when you make the most of your connections.
How can we be a team that achieves great service? By building positive connections with each other, three ways.
A very simple way to authentically connect is help each other. When my favorite quarterback fumbles the ball, the rest of the team doesn't jump back and say, "Not my football! That's yours..you dropped it, YOU go get it." NO! Everyone immediately moves into action to help the one in trouble. When you help each other, you build a relationship that says, "I can count on you!" And that's critical for customer service.
Teams build connections by having a shared purpose. Teams that achieve great levels of service place customer service as job #1, their "why" for existing. A focus on customers means celebrating with each other when obstacles are overcome, when great service is delivered. It means everyone has eyes and ears open for service examples, shares them at staff meetings to inspire others to provide the same levels of great service. In fact, that's a great way to reinforce teamwork and service: start your staff meetings by having employees report on service examples they've seen in the last week. You usually get more of what you're looking for, so have your team help look for examples of great service.
Teams also make build connections by being fun and using a sense of humor. Laughter is always a great way to connect with others to help lighten the load. Find ways to bring humor to the workplace. Bring jokes, cartoons. Bring your own stories and be able to laugh at yourself. Laughing builds connections that are heartfelt and meaningful.
Service is a journey best delivered by well-connected teams. Make your journey great by being the team member who is connected to others in ways that helps, shares a commitment to customers and finds ways to laugh, every day. That makes a team worth being on.
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.