Adding value via service is a part of success in the experience economy where customers seek quality standards in addition to that wow factor, writes international keynote speaker, trainer and coach, Mark Carter.
Technology allows service standards to improve things like efficiency, speed or mitigation of risk. At the same time, innovation also detracts from service standards. An over-reliance on technology dumbs down our own critical thinking. Plus in a hyper-connected world, it’s easy to have your attention pulled away from a crucial element of basic great service: being present!
So what are some things we can do to improve our game when it comes to delivering better service?
1.Process problems differently
Catch the inner dialogues you’re having. Where’s your current focus? Are you stuck on problem thinking? Analyse issues or gaps in service at hand with the intent to remedy!
This means understanding the problem then consciously ‘flipping the switch’. To keep talking an issue out, again, again and again doesn’t change it. A shift in thinking will. Ask yourself better questions to help your mind navigate this directional service solution-oriented change.
2. Mastermind problems
Who can you ask for input when processing issues or concerns around service standards? Don’t rely on the usual suspects, colleagues or a handful of friends. Are you asking the people who will tell you what you want to hear? Make sure to identify folks in your circle with credible input. Nobody is great at everything so look for ideas from those with a fresh perspective on root problems or service and solution issues at hand.
3. Make Amends
It’s possible a part of our past plays on our minds. Yes! Whatever it is that just sprang up as you read that. That one! Cool, so acknowledge it, call it out. If possible, tidy up any outstanding mess. We are meaning-making machines! Negative experiences may be imprinted in a way that affects our ability to trust or be fully present. If you were on the receiving end, find a way to forgive. If you were responsible find a way to make amends. Metaphorically if you had accidentally run someone over you’d likely do your best to ensure they had medical attention and help rather than be responsible for a hit and run! The same is true in so many other, non-physical, situations. Taking responsibility and accountability not only frees you up, it sets you up for greater service in the now and future.
4. Pause before you leap to decide
As a result of all the layers of what it is that makes us human, we may have a tendency to do one of two things: leap before we look or make choices based on preconceived, habitual ideas. Perhaps pause a little longer before committing to ideas, solutions or service standards. Ponder a little longer the ongoing possibilities and consequences that may play out.
5. Try walking in my shoes
Imagine yourself in the shoes of other parties impacted by your choices or service standards. What may have happened in their world or their past to make them act or react to situations the way they have? Then ask how can you leave an indelible positive watermark on their world and experience rather than add to any duress or an additional ugly stain?
6. Intentional activities for self and others
When we put a greater focus on ourselves we simultaneously turn up better for others. Find a hobby, or participate in several, with the only intention being that of finding your own bliss. What are some activities you’ve always wanted to try but have potentially put off? Perhaps include them on the list too! Then do the same identifying activities that may add to the joy of others.
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