What is world class service?
I’ve been struggling with this over the past few months. Having lived a ‘cheap‘ student life (where the primary criteria for choosing one service over another is typically cost), it’s been a different transition to work life where you have significantly more spending power.
The incident that got me thinking was when I was upgraded to Business class (because I asked) and was treated like I was royalty. And I just asked myself as to what made the experience special – and the answer was simple -> the people were nicer!
So, in short, we pay huge amounts of money to just ensure we are treated nicely by people, to just ensure that we are greeted and treated politely. And that basically means there are 4 service levels –
1) Crap service (20% of the crowd): This is where you are treated like you are interrupting the person you pay and causing them unhappiness. I experienced this when staying at a budget resort in Indonesia.
2) Medium service (60% of the crowd): Where the nice-ities are kept to the requisite levels. The smiles feel brisk and artifical though..
3) Excellent service (15% of the crowd): This is when you feel really good about yourself and the place. Everybody has a smile, everybody wants to make sure you are happy and all in all, there is just a feel good atmosphere about the place.
4) Royal service (5% of the crowd): When you are made to feel like royalty i.e. every conceivable need is thought of and everybody seemingly goes out of the way to make sure you are happy.
Now, the sad thing is that we have gotten used to crap service (Think waiting for hours to get connected to a customer service rep, an employee not allowing you to do the bleeding obvious because it is ‘against policy’). And it amazes me that the average human interaction generally involves making other human beings feel like crap.
It just goes to show that there is HUGE room for us to differentiate ourselves in this world. If we think of ourselves being in the service industry (i.e. You Inc as a company and being of service to others), then it seems like we would already be in the top 20% if we just made sure we did the following –
1) Be nice to others. Say lot’s of ‘please‘, ‘thank you‘ and ‘sorry‘ when applicable.
2) Make others feel good about themselves. And teach through encouragement rather than criticism and embarrassment.
3) Go out of the way to make sure they have a shot at getting what they want. (The service analogy of this is – If you are at a hotel to get work done over a weekend, make sure you’re setting the right environment and being of help.)
It’s THAT easy and what’s more – 80% don’t do it! Let’s give it a shot!