Four Ways to Motivate Service
The only thing harder than delivering excellent customer service consistently is motivating someone else to deliver excellent customer service consistently. Customers are more demanding than ever. Professionals are more difficult to hire and retain than ever. Splitting an atom might be easier than rallying an entire organization to Wow customers. Yet, some organizations succeed. Four motivation strategies can help your organization succeed too…one professional at a time.
Dig deep. Feigning excitement is impossible because people's insides come equipped with an infallible phony-detection system that is always on and has an amazing range of reception. Are you genuinely excited about the work your team produces? Whether we manage rocket scientists or the custodial staff, we need to fall in love with our team's contribution. A rah-rah attitude at the staff meeting, ho-hum attitude everywhere else will quickly be discovered.
Hire Motivated Professionals
Do you believe that professionals exist who would revel in the kind of work your team produces? The answer is…they do exist. However, if we are not excited about the work our team produces, we will never attract and hire people who are excited to do it because like attracts like and birds of a feather flock together. Consider that Disney esteems cleanliness. They hire only street sweepers and house cleaners who delight in cleaning. Result: Disney parks and resorts are immaculate.
Measure something, but make it relevant to your employees, your customers, and your bottom line. Measuring performance biases employees' energy like a highlighter biases the eye on a written page. Highlight too much and we overwhelm. Highlight the essential nuggets and we assure attention to the highest priorities.
Measurements motivate employees for different reasons. Some employees are very competitive and thrive on distinguishing their performance from others'. Some are very competitive and thrive on distinguishing their own future performance from their past. In other words, they compete with themselves. And some employees are not competitive at all. They are very dutiful and focus their energy on whatever is highlighted for them.
Institute Profit Sharing
Sales professionals receive commissions based on their measured results: sales and sometimes repeat business or renewals. What about everyone else? A manager of a printing company told me that he measures wasted paper. He sets a goal for "waste". If the production employees meet or exceed the goal by producing less waste, the company splits the profits with them. My auto service center informed me that their sales, service, and auto body departments administer customer satisfaction surveys to every customer. If, together, they hit or exceed a certain predetermined satisfaction rating, they all receive enhanced benefits and bonuses from corporate.
Rewards add precision to measurement inspired motivation. If we want salespeople to simply make sales, we emphasize the first sales commission. If we want salespeople to create relationships and long-term accounts, we emphasize the backend commission. By rewarding team measurements, we can influence internal customer service in addition to individual service efforts.
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