It is the people, Duh! Are you a 10?


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Frequently, I start my day by reading “tweets” and they often set the stage for my blog topic.  Today I drew inspiration from a tweet crafted by Bill Pryor (@shoebuyguy) which simply reads:

“It’s the people: 2 service stars at local Starbucks departed and experience/quality dropped significantly.”

Two employees leave a business and a regular customer feels a drop in both “quality” and the overall “experience – Yikes!

The power of Bill’s tweet comes from the amazing lesson it packs into a handful of words.

Since Bill is speaking directly about Starbucks, it seemed worthwhile to note that Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, essentially agrees with Bill.  Howard notes that”the most fragile aspect of an experience is the human component.”  Howard has indicated that products and environment can be perfect but executing human service can either result in is magic or disaster. Even with Howard’s insight, Bill’s Starbucks experience has been affected by the departure of a couple of Starbucks partners!

In a far less eloquent way than Bill or Howard, I have long  suggested that customer experience hinges on “selecting service talent, training that talent to realize it’s potential, and inspiring consistency across all customer contact points. In essence, business is about profiting people through people.”

Consistent with understanding the human ingredient in great experience delivery, Zappos’ post contact center email survey, essentially asks:

On a scale of 1-10

If you ran a business dependent on customer service, how willing would you to be to hire the person who served you today?

How many of your customers would give you a 10 on that question?

Are you selecting for and training people to receive 10′s on a question such as that?

Is your service team broadly skilled, such that the departure of a couple of staff would not affect quality and customer experiences?

Talent matters, training matters, service matters.  Are you investing in developing yourself and your team in the direction of service professionalism and customer experience excellence?  Is your vision for service excellence making it’s way down to the actual experience of your customers?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Michelli, Ph.D.
Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., an organizational consultant and the chief experience officer of The Michelli Experience, authored The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and the best-selling The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary.


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