Brian Braudis’ 1-Minute Morning Memo: May 20, 2013-Today’s Focus, Customer Service

Today’s Coaching, Customer Service —Innovation is more than technology. It seems we should have this one down. We know how to treat others; we know how to build loyalty—inside with employees and outside with customers.
“Experts” will tell you that we have advanced technology and we have innovated business systems to create accurate orders, efficient delivery mechanisms, in a word, service. But the “service” without a smile, well that’s called a machine.

People have the ultimate influence over a great customer experience. Technology and innovation are nice additions, but they are not as influential in the customer’s experience as people.

A recent Wall Street Journal Article cited McDonald’s efforts to climb out of a current slump in earnings. The fast-food giant is now encouraging franchisees to increase focus on people to address customer satisfaction issues. Customer feedback points to problems with speed and disorganized service. But the number one complaint noted was, “rude or unprofessional employees.”

Unfortunately McDonalds is not the only company with this issue. When I encounter a “grump” at the coffee shop first thing in the morning, I think, “This is what it’s like before anything happens? Is it going to get better or worse as the day goes on?” I don’t envy those who have no choice but to be there to find out.
Rude and unprofessional employees will kill customer service no matter how good your innovation, technology or product is. We need to fix this.

There is an old maxim supervisors and leaders use, some with more diligence than others (obviously). “Hire for attitude, and train for technical skills.” Imagine trying to train for attitude, this is what McDonalds (and others) are up against right now.

Why not first get the right people in place then innovate. Innovate your leadership and innovate your communications. You will consequently revolutionize your service.

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