Since we are all on the high of a new year and we have at least a bit of momentum, I thought this was a good topic. If you’re not feeling like you have the energy to raise the bar, try reading this great post by Coach Colin, “How to be more awesome”.
Raising the bar in a service environment is a necessary thing, because of the natural attrition that occurs. Everyone is keen when you develop a new way to WOW your customers, and they love the recognition and the reward of a customer’s reaction. Those elements are some of what takes you from customer satisfaction to customer loyalty. But often that WOW eventually becomes an expectation if you do it all the time, and then you have to think of something else to add into the mix. (Seth Godin calls this phenomenon a “purple cow” – anything can become mundane once you’ve seen it enough times.) I like to say that you have to work against gravity and keep shooting for the moon. Comedian Dave Barry has a great quote:
If you keep strategizing and planning to stay ahead of the curve, then you will counteract gravity enough to stay afloat. Meanwhile, the duct tape can help things stay together and you can always hope that the dogs you encounter are friendly 🙂
- encourage your employees to make suggestions and mention innovations they think up
- ask your customers what they want next
- check out other markets and see what they are doing that’s different or new
Reviewing feedback and brainstorming new ideas is a constant part of a successful business, and in the service industry the words of your employees and your customers is equally important. Ask for their feedback, review the results and take action to innovate on a regular basis. It will feel like more work in the beginning, but it will be far more fun in the long run.