What differentiates you from your competitors? How can you stand out from the crowd? Look hard into what your organization provides: your products and services, your delivery systems, your employee’s attitudes and the way you build relationships with customers. But what truly differentiates your organization from the rest? Customers today are not just buying

  Clients want to know, “How quickly can we see results after our employees have completed a workshop?” Leaders want to know when improvements will show up on the job. Everyone is anxious to see positive changes in behavior towards customers and colleagues. And finance always wants to know “How long before we can see

“Once we set our service standards we’ll start growing.” I overheard this comment between two business people on an airplane recently. And I wondered, is this really the best strategy for growth? Organizations often work to establish standards for common service transactions. While specific standards for service performance can be useful they can also be

Many people think of improving service and improving productivity as diametrically opposing objectives. Increasing productivity means doing more with less, which means reducing service levels. Meanwhile, upgrading service means doing more than before, which causes productivity declines.

These views may be common sense, but they are also incorrect. Improving service and productivity go hand in hand and are easy to accomplish when you have the right understanding of what service really means.

Here are 9 quick questions to ask to improve the internal service you provide. These questions are so effective you can use them today and see valuable results tomorrow. In a world filled with online surveys and lengthy questionnaires, this simple questioning process can produce both great ideas and motivate employees in less than 30 minutes.

UP! Your Service Course Leaders from MSD (Merck) in Singapore have created a colourful and uplifting way to record and recognize positive service improvement actions taken by participants in the UP! Your Service Course 100: Achieving Superior Service.

It’s true: no one ever hung a suggestion box hoping it would be ignored. But rarely will a mere suggestion box attract a healthy flow of good ideas.

Now imagine a staff suggestion program that captures attention with a different service challenge and a different form of recognition every month:

January: Submit your best ideas for welcoming our new customers. Winners celebrate with dinner for two at a fancy restaurant.

The focus on process improvement has been one of the key strategies for business success over the past 40 years. Whether simple checklists or complex process maps, what started on the manufacturing floors is now seen in every industry. Quality, speed to market, cost savings, safety, and innovation are just a few outcomes that can be realized.

So where does service fit here? Looking at when and how we interact with internal colleagues or external customers is clearly a part of many business processes. But are we improving the customer’s experience with our processes (the Perception Points), or are we focused only on improving the process itself (the Process Points)?

In many organizations where service is identified as an area for improvement, the problem is not poor service from every department or person, it is inconsistent service in pockets of the organization. Poor service in one area brings down the perception of service levels in all areas.

A classic example of poor service in the US has long been the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Each time you explore, agree, deliver and assure, the possibility for trust grows between you and the other party. In fact, this may be the only way human beings can build trust with one another.

1. EXPLORE: Find out what is important to the other person.
2. AGREE: Make a promise to do something on their behalf.
3. DELIVER: Do what you promised.
4. ASSURE: Check and make sure they are satisfied.

Are you building powerful partnerships where you work?