Many businesses understand the need for training front-line workers to be polite, empathetic, and knowledgeable.
But great front-line service is simply not enough. Everyone in the business is responsible for delivering the results the customer wants.
As a manager, you have the power and responsibility to strengthen the first link in the Service Profit Chain: the capability of your team members.
Most managers sincerely want to make changes that would “turn things around,” but good intentions often fall by the wayside due to the pressure for short-term performance.
How can a cycle of mediocrity be turned into a cycle of success?
You can create the cycle of success by starting at the beginning.
Select for attitude, train for skills — skills can be taught, but it’s difficult to train someone to have the right attitude.
Invest in training — make sure new team members receive training in the skills and tools they need to do their jobs well. Training should include an proper mix of interpersonal and technical skills.
Provide tools and support — once you’ve hired winners, you must give them the chance to “win” in their jobs. When you give your team the tools and support they need, they’ll do better.
Allow latitude within limits — micromanagement is demeaning and frustrating to capable people. A degree of latitude gives them the power and responsibility to make quick decisions and to recover decisively from mistakes.
Reward for results — recognise and reward your people for their ongoing contributions to service. Tie rewards directly to goals. Rewards should reflect the culture and values of your business and should take into account what motivates your team.