Sometimes, teams and organizations find themselves in a place of losing their service edge. Often times, leadership rushes to the conclusion that employees simply need to serve better. To that end, more standards are put in place and training classes are assigned. Unfortunately, those activities rarely solve the problem. Service is not just a standard or the subject of a training class. Service is a matter of the heart.
If we want our teams to serve customers and others better, then we have to help them care more. Service without care is simply fulfilling an obligation and a directive. When we truly care, service is a resulting behavior that is authentic to the one who receives it.When we truly care, service is a resulting behavior that is authentic to the one who receives it. Click To Tweet
For me, there is no greater example of care than what I experience in my own organization. Chick-fil-A franchisees have done a tremendous job of caring for their team members. How do I know this? I observe how much the team members care for their guests. They not only know their names and their regular orders when the guest visits, they often know their story, too.
If you want to improve service, then care more at every level of the organization. Start with the guest. Is the guest being cared for well? If not, then perhaps, the team member is not being cared for well. Why is that? Perhaps the leader of the team is not cared for well. Maybe that’s because her leader is not cared for well. Trace it through the chain of command until you find the gap in care.
Now that you have found the gap, how can you show you care . . . more? There are many ways, but here are a few to consider:
Engage with employees every day. One of the leaders at my company talks about, with fondness, his days as an hourly team member. He remembers that his boss spoke to every employee as they started their shift each day. He knew what was going on in their lives because he took time to listen. He had high emotional intelligence and knew that if his team members felt genuine care, they would serve better. At the end of the shift, this same boss thanked every team member for working and serving.
Identify a dream and make it come true. These can be really small dreams and sometimes they are big dreams. Each leader has to identify the capacity available to help people’s dreams come true. However, most leaders can do something, no matter how small. It could be that you have employees that dream of making an impact on others. You can provide the opportunity for them to serve and volunteer. It’s more powerful when you serve along with them, so consider joining them as they give back to others. One of the franchisees I know grants the dream of a beautiful smile to his team members. He is grateful for his opportunity and his success and he shares it by providing orthodontic care to his team members. He cares so much that often his wife will even drive the team member to their appointment!
Remind employees of the value they each bring. At the Ritz-Carlton hotels, their employees are “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” With this ideology, the Ritz-Carlton defines how they view the guest by starting with the honor to which they give the employee. Most leaders know and understand that every single person on the team serves a valuable and critical role, but sometimes we forget to express it. Valuing differences in skills, experiences, cultures and perspectives is another way to demonstrate more care. A restaurant franchisee in Atlanta has a very diverse team representing many countries. He regularly invites them to his home for a meal to learn about their culture. When their families visit from other countries, he hosts them at his home.
If you find service lacking in your business, then maybe it’s time to assess how much you demonstrate care to your employees. If they feel cared for, then they will care for your guests and better service will be a natural outcome.If you want to improve service, then care more at every level of the organization. Click To Tweet
Care more. Serve Better.