Disconnects can easily occur across departments, and between
levels in a large organization. For example, managers may focus on
service metrics, benchmark scores and share of wallet, while
frontline workers talk about today’s schedule, a colleague’s
problem, or an angry customer’s remark. Excellent service in one
office may mean something quite different in another. For example,
new procedures may be introduced that improve control for one
department, but make satisfying customers more difficult in
In these situations, confusion can easily arise about what the
word “service” really means. And in the worst cases, otherwise
motivated service providers will simply leave in frustration. These
are a few of the challenges leaders face as they seek to build a
strong culture of service. Fortunately, it is possible to engineer
an uplifting service culture that addresses and resolves these
concerns. Yes, an entire organization can be engaged to collaborate
and aligned to deliver great internal and external service.
One vital building block of service culture in large
organizations is creating an
Engaging Service Vision. An Engaging Service Vision is a
rallying cry, a focal point, an ongoing source of inspiration for
all staff, at all levels, and in all locations. It is the shining
light that guides the entire organization to grow in the same
direction. It is a touchstone for choices and decisions about how
to serve a client or colleague.
A second vital building block is developing and promoting a
Common Service Language across the enterprise. This enables
listening and understanding with a common set of terms, principles
and distinctions about service. When we can evaluate and improve
service with a
Common Service Language, then the actions of one department,
function, or country may differ from another, but your team’s
understanding of the customer experience – and how to improve it
– will be consistent.
Leading with an Engaging Service Vision and speaking with a
Common Service Language are early steps in building a culture that
focuses on continuous service improvement. These two building
blocks provide leaders with the terms and tools they need to engage
staff and remove barriers. These important building blocks should
not be delegated away to only the marketing, communications or
training departments. All leaders must walk the talk – and talk
the talk. When leaders speak consistently, then team members listen
and learn. When leaders speak in different tongues, team members
are left to wonder.
When everyone shares a Common Service Language and knows the
Engaging Service Vision, communication is easy, clarity is
understood, and personal commitment follows.
What roadblocks to better service lurk inside your organization?
What gets in your people’s way? What prevents them from taking
better care of your customers? What stops them from helping
colleagues? With a vision of what you want to become and a shared
language to talk about service, your questions be discussed and new
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