Stand-out companies go beyond providing great customer service, even beyond exceeding customer expectations. These organizations have a jaw-dropping awe factor: They dazzle their customers!?In this article I want to share?the fourth in my series?of values of a great team: dazzling our customers.
I?ve seen writers describe the?creation of the iPod and the iPhone like this: ?Steve Jobs dazzled us with his revolutionary and beautiful inventions.? We are truly amazed?when we go to the Apple store. We are consistently impressed when we look upon the simplicity of the designs and aesthetically beautiful machines Steve envisioned and brought to life over ten years ago.
So what do you think about ?dazzling your consumers? as an organizational value for your team??You may be wondering to yourself, Sounds great, but how? How can I get my people to do that?
Like anything else we do in leadership, it all starts with inviting people to dream big with us, and then inspiring them forward toward a shared goal.?People will usually join?us when we come alongside them first and genuinely seek their participation on the journey. Working together to see the vision come to pass, a?select few will be so driven that they will sacrifice, toil, and shape the dream with us. They will help us see it through.?If you make dazzling your customers your goal, it can happen. It requires consistent, hard work together with your people, but I believe you can see it to fruition.
If your team is not there yet, don?t give up. Pause and think of how to slowly change the ship?s course by gradually moving the small rudders. Allow me to offer you some ideas on how to begin dazzling your customers.
Go the Second Mile
This is a Biblical principle. I shared it in my article on Second Mile Organizations. It means that on our team, we intentionally exceed people?s expectations.
Two weeks ago our team was meeting in our lobby twenty minutes before we opened our doors. A man was standing outside the front door. He was not expecting us to open the doors for him. Yet despite the productive discussion in progress, one of our team members stopped to open the door for him. She discovered that he was waiting for the orthopedic surgeon next door and invited him to come wait in our lobby until they opened their doors.
We stopped our meeting for this gentleman. We did not have to do that. He was not even our patient. But when going the second mile is our team value, small acts of kindness happen all the time. Small acts of exceeding people’s expectations become our daily practice.?I hope that in a small way, we dazzled their patient that day.
Obsess Over the Customer’s Experience
When we set out to improve the customer’s experience, most of the time we are unaware of all the contact points by which the customer interacts with us. As a business owner, I am focused on what I see: the patient walking in, being treated, and getting their problems resolved. It would be easy to?presume that this sums up the whole interaction that a person has with us. But that?s far from the truth.
How about the phone call beforehand, the wait time on hold, and the several levels of ?press this? and ?press that?? How about our website? And online reviews? How about our parking lot? And waiting room? The patient experience encompasses the entire spectrum of interactions that the patient has with our organization.
Great teams are obsessed with the entire customer experience. ?The medical definition of obsession is having an abnormal number of recurring thoughts. Great teams have an abnormal number of recurring thoughts (and actions) aimed at improving their consumer?s experience.
Aim to Wow
When was the last time you interacted with a person, a team, or a company and left saying Wow!?because they were out of this world, unbelievably amazing?
I recently read a story about a regular customer at the Gaylord Opryland who fell in love with a clock that plays high-end spa music in her hotel room. She said she had never had better quality of sleep as she did during her stay because of the melody of that clock. She searched and searched, but could not find the same clock on the market. After the hotel personnel found out about her via their Twitter feed, she was surprised to come back to her room and find one such clock just for her with this handwritten note: ?Christina, thank you for following us on Twitter. We hope you enjoy these spa sounds at home. If you need anything, please let us know.?
Insist on Excellence
Dazzling customers, or patients, starts with insisting on the highest standards of excellence. ?At what level would you say your team operates??Becoming excellent doesn?t come from nagging everyone to do their jobs well. A culture of excellence has more to do with the leader than anyone else. Are the systems defined and simple? Is high quality training consistently required? Are there measurements and accountabilities set in place?
Friend, decide to take your team to new heights! It is not easy to get there, and it is quite difficult to remain there. But it can be done, and I know it is worth the effort!
Actionable step: Decide to make dazzling people a team value. Discuss it with you team, and make a strategy on how to get there in the next six months to a year.
About me: I love to connect with people over breakfast. My favorite place is Cracker Barrel in Burleson, TX. I usually order decaf coffee, three poached eggs, three pieces of dry white toast, and three slices of tomato. It?s my Saturday morning routine.
For Further Reading:
Three Traits Confident Leaders Expect from Their People
Podcast: 3-Step Formula For Bringing Teams Together