Stellar Service Requires A "Bias to Action"
by Craig Harrison

"Peak performers and high achievers have a bias to action." So says Bill Cole, MS, MA, known as America's Mental Game Coach™. According to Cole, who coaches Davis Cup Tennis Players, Olympians and executive achievers: "high achievers can't wait to get started, they want to take action now, have a can-do attitude, and a 'good as done' vision of success that drives them."

Moreover, according to Cole, who coached professional tennis clients at the US Open and Wimbledon in 2001, "peak performers consider their success a done deal and act with confidence, starting projects now and adjusting as they go along."

The same holds true for the best sales and customer service practices. For example, top service and sales professionals:

  • See a need and fill it (exemplifying this same 'bias to action')

  • Anticipate a problem and head it off (proactively serving)

  • Don't rest on their laurels or reputation ("standing pat")

  • Are always looking for better ways to serve their customers (continuously refining and improving)

  • Explore new and emerging markets before their competition

  • Respond immediately to serve customers in need

It is said that there are two types of people in our world: Those who make it happen (demonstrating this bias to action) and those who let things happen to them (the passive set).

Those in the latter group, who 'lay back and wait,' are wont to ask "what happened?" as their customers migrate toward those more biased to action. Make sure your service staff and sales professionals are biased to action. Can you answer these questions about your own staff?

  1. Do they anticipate their customers' needs?

  2. Are they poised to serve? (If not, they'll swerve reflexively when they should serve instead.)

  3. Are they trained and empowered to act independently without supervision or permission?

The Ritz-Carlton hotel staff is not only trained to serve, but empowered to rectify problems wherever and whenever they are found. Each employee, at any time, is authorized to spend up to $150 per guest to fix a problem or rectify an unsatisfactory situation to the benefit of a hotel guest. The results: Instant action! No excuses such as "I don't have the authority…" or "it's not my responsibility."

Your staff should similarly be biased to action to solve problems, improve systems, train new personnel, up-sell and cross-sell, and enhance customers' experiences in any number of ways. Once you are biased in this way the opportunities to serve multiply. The difference is in one's orientation. When you are looking for ways to serve customers they suddenly appear, in little and big ways.

Customers pine for staffs that are more than pledged to serve, but poised to serve. Help your staff be biased to action and the reaction of customers will be great. On your marks, get set, ACT!

Craig Harrison is a speaker, trainer and consultant who makes communication and customer service fun and easy for his clients. To hear his voice, call (888) 450-0664. Otherwise you can visit his website .

Many more articles in Customer Service in The CEO Refresher Archives


Copyright 2006 by Craig Harrison. All rights reserved.

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