The other day, Cassie and I had a rough day. Both of us felt like we had been put through the ringer. So instead of heading home to get something to eat, we stopped at a little diner to recharge.
The diner we stopped at is a favorite of ours. The food is consistently great and, until now, the service has been as good as most other restaurants that we have been to. On this night everything I believe about the importance of customer service was reaffirmed.
The restaurant in question has worked pretty hard to create a great experience for their customers. The owners have gone to great expense on the decor, their recipes, their menus, etc. They should be wildly successful, but…
There is a missing element. For the most part, their team does a good job. They seem to enjoy what they are doing and they are conscientious. They are like most waiters and waitresses I have met. They know they are in a service industry and they try to take care of you. However, in today’s world this type of service is the basic expectation. It won’t ever win over loyal customers.
You have to be fanatical and you have to empower your teams to be fanatical as well.
Here are two of the best resources I have found for building these types of teams.
Drive, by Dan Pink (amazon affiliate link)
I read Dan’s book several months ago and since then I keep going back to it over and over again. I have recommended this book to friends and coworkers more than any other book that I read this year. If you are interested in building teams that love what they do and ensure that they will remain loyal to your company, read this book!
Dan explores three key ingredients for building successful teams (with a big emphasis on Gen X and Y team members) – purpose, autonomy and mastery. You must provide your team with a purpose that extends beyond simple business goals. You need to empower your teams and give them the ability to work in an autonomous fashion. You need to provide them with projects that will help them master the skills they love.
Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh (amazon affiliate link)
By now, I am sure you have heard of this book. Tony’s book chronicles his personal history and describes the many trials the Zappo’s team went through to build an amazing company. What I love most about the Zappos team is that they have taken jobs that are typically not held in the highest regard (call centers and warehouses) and have figured out a way to engage these team members in fun, meaningful ways.
If you operate a retail establishment where your team has daily contact with your customers, reading this book is a must. It will help you start down the path to making customer service a core business driver and difference maker.