By Micah Solomon, forbes.com, 22-08-2014
To provide successful leadership, you need to serve your customers, and the employees who serve your customers, successfully. Here are seven elements of doing so that I find often overlooked.
1. Consistently good customer service comes through systems, not just smiles. Any frontline employee, even any random CEO, can give great customer service on a one-off or once-in-a-while basis.You can’t always be “rising to the occasion”: in between your heroic gestures you need the backing of systems to ensure most things go right most of the time.
2. Extraordinary customer service comes through smiles, not just systems. Having the best systems in place is crucial, but your systems are only energized by the extra efforts and emotional involvement,of your employees.
3. Having the best customer service and best customer experience in your own industry may not make you all that good. You have to draw your models from everywhere. Truly. This is why Apple benchmarked Ritz-Carlton Hotels And Resorts, not CompUSA, when they wanted Apple Stores to be the best in the world, not just the best in electronics retailing. (Conversely, this is why Ritz-Carlton benchmarked great manufacturing operations to reduce their level of defects: because being the best in service industries wasn’t sufficient for them; they wanted to incorporate the best they could learn from everyone.)