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Thursday, March 20, 2008

First Serve and Honor your internal customers –your employees ; business and customers will come naturally.

You are in the service industry, your team drives hard to meet timelines to deliver the proposal. Long hours put in, week ends sacrificed, numerous statistics collated, hard-hitting brain storming sessions pursued, and the graphics department meticulously and tediously worked though the presentation slides. At last it’s done; we now await the final outcome. The anxiousness can be seen on all their faces. Then the news arrive, ‘Ms MD , we are pleased to inform you that our board has approved your proposal’. Those were the much awaited words that the team has been waiting for. Everyone celebrated with joy…

Is this a culture in your organization? Does the team spirit exist? Do they sacrifice their leisure, weekends and after working hours for the company? In this company, the excitements happen all over again in the next proposal submission.

How do you make the team tick?

First do you know the make of Service teams? What drives them to serve your company with such dedication? These are issues which must be first considered even before, working on a reward policy.

The Color Brain Communication Inventory (CBCI), and the Human Drivers Assessement researched and developed by the founder of Directive Communications Mr Arthur F Camazzi, helps organization to ‘assess’ the make of teams and /or other available resources to identify their suitability . The methods when followed through will save organizations much tangible and intangible cost.

· First, Review the make of the existing service team.

Do you have the right mix of members in the service teams? Are there leaders who are ‘green’ brain individuals who will lead the team to deliver the goods on time, are there members who are into details that will provide the quality control? Are there ‘red brain’ individuals with the right focus, purpose and attention and necessary to get the team back on track with all the distractions while on project mode? Do you have people who are versatile especially in hearing others out and are able to play the different roles?

· Then, Show Respect and Empower them.

Companies that deliver exceptional service, employs exceptional employees.

However do you know your employees well? Are they willing to take on the responsibility that has been entrusted to them? How would you know? The key is in knowing what ‘drives’ them. If your front line service employees are driven by excellence, you are on the right track. Employees driven by excellence will do what is necessary to deliver- they are ever ready to be empowered. However, employees driven by security and compliance may ‘freak-out’ if entrusted with empowerment.

· Lastly, Reward them graciously.

No body works for free. Establish a progressive reward system. Just as we mentioned individuals are driven differently, so are their needs for rewards. Ask your employees what returns drive them, not all are excited over monetary gain immediately. Those with children would rather nest their trust funds; the younger generations would need the extra cash to lavish on luxury items while the veterans would like a trip for their pilgrimage, etc. How you treat, honor and value your internal customers-will reflect on how you serve your external customers. They are watching!

Passion Written by Aziah A Bakar, The Service Banker, Putting the ^ of Service in Financial Services, The writer can be reached at aziah@theservicebankerl.com. Dated …