It begins and ends with how an organization treats the people within its organization first and foremost. Those who treat individuals within their organization with respect and appreciation, will inevitably offer better service to their end customers, and other institutional partners.
It’s easy to see because it permeates the entire organization. People are visibly happier and naturally service customers better because it’s representative of the environment they work in. When it’s expected and organically measured by standards of accountability, it is consistently supported at every turn.
From what I have witnessed in my own 40 plus years as part of a larger team, as well as, in management roles—a lot of people will talk service, but it’s the exception to consistently deliver on it.
On a flight years ago, I had a conversation with the passenger next to me about customer service. I was telling him about how I feel it comes down to consistently standing by the people within your organization, your customers, and your partners. He agreed and said that our conversation reminded him of an acronym of wisdom his dad gave him years prior about service. His dad said that customer service is easy, but people complicate things, and inevitably fall short. The acronym was, DWYSYWD or “Do what you say you will do.”
Now that shouldn’t be any sort of epiphany, but when we look around, it is largely the exception to the rule. We see it within all levels of organizations. Unfortunately, it can become like a cultural cancer to people who are apathetic or indifferent. They have become assimilated in a way that is numb to what really matters. They forget (if they ever knew), that superior customer service not only separates average companies from the good, but also the good from the great.
So, why is it that companies are not able to tow the proverbial customer service line? It goes back to culture and leadership. Leaders need to set the trust pace by having their character line up with their competence. Both areas are equally important in guiding a higher standard of customer-centricity. Both areas also equally contribute to having a culture that exudes integrity on all fronts.
Our character is who we are and what we espouse, and our competence is what we do. My acquaintance’s dad lives on with his DWYSYWD acronym, and remembering this acronym through the years has served me well. I hope it does the same for you.