Here are two questions for you. 1) Where does an employee receive the necessary skill set to become a customer service superstar? 2) How can we identify the needed traits of a potentially great service provider?
I was thinking back to my daughter’s high school awards ceremony. She, as well as over 100 other students, were being recognized for their athletic and academic achievements.
As each award or scholarship was announced the winning student’s skills of good sportsmanship, teamwork, confidence, humility, focus, and academics (just to name a few) were loudly stated over the microphone.
There we sat, as parents, basking in the glow of our child’s accomplishments, with a smile on our face and a camera in our hands. It was a proud day for us parents.
Listening to the announcer point out the student’s skills, I realized that these skills will serve them well as they prepare for college and life ahead.
As owners and managers of our business, have we done the same for the members of our team? I sure hope so.
But too many times we rush a new employee to the “front lines” ill-equipped “for battle”. The customer is a determined foe. They want what they want, as they should. They expect service, as they should. They want convenience, as they should. And, they appreciate when they’re made to feel special.
Do you need a superstar employee to make this happen? No.
But, just like in high school, you need a nurturing and positive environment that expects the best from each employee to make it happen.
Example: Remember the San Francisco 49ers football team with the great Joe Montana at quarterback? Oh, how I loved watching that team play. As a winner of four Super Bowls, Joe was one of the best when his team was down a few points and they had less than 2:00 minutes to play. As he calmly sat in the pocket surveying the field you “just knew” he would make a comeback and direct his team to the end zone and a highlight victory.
Then, when Joe neared the end of his tenure, the thoughts were, “Who would take his spot as the quarterback?” “Who could be as good as him?” “What are we going to do?”
Then, they looked on the bench and saw Steve Young. A lefty quarterback who spent more time watching Montana from the sidelines than being on the field himself. But he paid attention.
He learned the plays, he asked questions, and he evaluated Montana’s actions and the results. Steve was a good student.
When he had the opportunity to become the 49ers’ starting quarterback he excelled in ways “nobody” expected. He too was a superstar and took the team to another Super Bowl championship with a record-setting 6 touchdown passes. His skill set was different than Montana’s as well as his approach to the offense. But the players were able to adapt. They were professionals and welcomed the opportunity to work with another leader who had the same desire to succeed as their previous one.
- Does your business have a “Steve Young” who is patiently waiting for an opportunity to shine?
- Do you develop leaders with a similar drive to be the best?
- Is your business culture such that potential superstars are willing to stay with you and work diligently while waiting for that opportunity? Or do they jump at the first chance for a promotion or other leadership role with another company as soon as it appears?
Your next superstar may be right under your nose. All you have to do is to provide an atmosphere for him/her to develop into the leader your business needs.
Here is a previous post where you can watch my video and learn the “8 Remarkable Traits of Leadership”.