When we care we listen to needs. Then we can provide excellent service. This article to help learners develop their positive attitudes to service, build their passion for service excellence and improve their face-to-face and phone service skills.
Service is integral to Cutting Edge; if a client is not happy, they can lose business. Marcus likens service to a gecko’s suction capacity and open eyes; with clients, you never blink or let them go. Marcus introduces Barney Bradley who instructs everyone to close their eyes and imagine a computer support frustration. He then asks them to imagine the joy one feels when great service is finally delivered. Sam explains the importance of GECKO. Get it right first time – no mistakes. Efficient – one can simultaneously field a call and acknowledge the presence of someone who needs service. Having a Can-do attitude is vital – the notion that a company ‘might’ do something, conveys the impression it won’t happen. When clients count on you, it builds confidence. Alex likes her customers to feel special; it helps grow their customer base. Sherry loves Knowledge – finding out about her customers; the more she knows about them, the better the service she can give, whilst for Serena knowledge is part of preparedness. Outcomes are about finding an answer, setting a deadline, and sticking to it. Steve’s motto: turn a complaint into congratulations!
When we care, we listen to needs, then we can provide excellent service. – Eve Ash, Psychologist
- People that care about others and want to help are more likely to be happy and satisfied in their jobs
- Giving good service starts with caring for others and showing a ”can do” attitude – but ultimately you have to be efficient and get it right
The GECKO formula:
- Get it right
- Can do
DON’T assume or guess
- No matter how fast-paced your work environment, don’t rely on guesswork or assumptions
- Don’t guess what a client needs, find out exactly
- Don’t assume everyone wants the same things
INSTEAD get it right first time
- Get it right, first time, by asking the relevant questions that will help you provide better service
- Cross-check what you do as you go
- Make sure you always have attention to detail
DON’T waste time
- Companies or individuals who are perceived to be time-wasters don’t get asked to renew their agreements
- Wasting time is synonymous with not valuing the other’s time
INSTEAD be efficient
- Strive for efficiency in your dealings with customers and team members
- Get their requests answered quickly and problems solved
- Multi-task if needed
DON’T be rude or stop caring
- Service should never be “whatever” – this signals rudeness and lack of caring
- Don’t let bad days at work be your excuse for rudeness and sloppiness
- Don’t forget what it is like to be a customer experiencing rudeness
INSTEAD have a can-do attitude
- Always have a “can do” approach to your work and dealings with other people
- Be willing to help
- Be the solutions person
- Be the one to follow up and see how things are going
- Notice possibilities around you
DON’T lose focus on the customer
- You might be having the day from hell but you still need to deal with other people
- Maintain your focus on their needs, see how things can be better managed
- Don’t get lazy about service
INSTEAD find answers and solve problems
- Do your research, always be on the lookout for new ways to provide excellent service
- Find answers so customers are satisfied
- When in doubt, ask those who know
Key Learning Points
- Turn complaints into congratulations
- Believe you’re a champion
- Attitude counts
- Tell yourself you can do it!
- Don’t assume or guess INSTEAD: Get it right first time
- Don’t waste time INSTEAD: Be efficient
- Don’t be rude or stop caring INSTEAD: Have a can-do attitude
- Don’t lose focus on the customer INSTEAD: Find answers and solve problems
- What is the worst service you’ve personally encountered from a business? What exactly happened?
- Contrast this with an example of excellent service you’ve experienced, and why this was the case.
- How well does your organization deliver service? What does it do best? Why?
- What does GECKO stand for? How can it be used to improve service in your team/organization? What else should be added?
- ‘Getting it right first time’… where can you improve?
- Where could your business/team improve its service efficiency?
- What kind of knowledge do you need to have to deliver great service?
- Consider your team members and discuss who demonstrates the best can-do attitude. Consider internal and external customers.
- How do you assess service needs and knowledge about your customers?
- What are your goals for outcomes with customers?
Activity 1: WE CAN IMPROVE!
How can we improve our service delivery? Form four small groups, each taking on a topic/strategy. Then share with the large group.
- Discuss recent instances when clients have expressed dissatisfaction. Workshop the reasons why and what could be done to improve.
- What are some ways to deliver improved outcomes to clients?
- Are there service deliverables that are not realistic? Are existing services to clients promised and delivered, but then problems arise. Discuss examples of these and what needs to change. Explore methods and procedures for solving the problems.
- Decide how your website and communications materials will bear out the company approach to GECKO.
Now as a group, build an ACTION LIST of the top improvement strategies your team/organization needs to implement to improve service.
Activity 2: TURN COMPLAINTS INTO CONGRATULATIONS
The GECKO formula helps enhance service. Steve likes to turn complaints into congratulations.
- Discuss if this is realistic.
- Are there limits to ‘can do’, in terms of clients?
Divide into pairs, one being the company representative and the other being a difficult client with a problem. Practice using the ‘GECKO’ service skills to manage the situation and go from complaint to congratulations. Then regroup and share experiences.