Last week, I was invited to Orlando to deliver a speech at one of the Disney resorts. I had been working and traveling all week and showed up at 11:00 p.m. I was greeted at the car by Loren, a uniformed man with a welcoming smile and a genuine interest in how long and how far I had traveled to arrive at their establishment.
Loren passed me to a gentleman with an electronic tablet, Tom, who walked me to reception (probably so I wouldn’t get lost) and introduced me to a desk clerk named Jenna. She gave me my room key, directions for the quarter-mile walk to my room, and a schedule of nearby events that would be taking place during my stay.
Upon completion of her tasks, Jenna called over a bellman, Travis, and asked if he could show me to my room since it was so late. Not only did Travis walk me there, he found out what I was doing at the resort, chatted about my speech and, upon learning that I had forgotten to make some copies, offered to get them made for me and leave them at the front desk. He absolutely radiated care and concern.
What did all of these interactions have in common? Service providers who:
- were genuine;
- desired to help me;
- had the ability to act on what they knew to be true;
- knew what their job was and how well they were doing; and
- were confident in their ability to make a difference.
We need to ask ourselves five questions to effectively serve our internal customers (our people) so they can deliver on the promise we share with our external customers:
- Am I genuine with my people?
- Do I clarify my expectations about how to serve customers?
- Do I build competence by sharing information and teaching skills for success?
- Do I value the unique contributions made by each person?
- When people are competent in a task, do I build confidence by asking them for their ideas before sharing mine?
Customer service is an inside-out issue. Wowing external customers begins by wowing internal customers. What can you do to build competence, confidence, and energy in your people? Model the behavior you want to see to create a positive work environment that drives praise from customers like me, who so appreciated the kindness and care I was shown.
About the author:
Vicki Halsey is a senior consulting partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies. You can read Vicki’s posts as a part of our customer service series which appears on the first and third Thursday of each month.