April 19th, 2007 13:04 EST
Brilliance - Is it a believable commodity?
Let’s put the truth on the table: Everybody is a commodity these days – most organizations offer a quality service or product. So how can you be heard above all the noise in a crowded marketplace in a Nano-speed, technology-driven world?
Quite simply, by consistently delivering a truly exceptional service experience.
What elevates certain organizations above the fray is their Brilliant Service, service that moves both the intellect and the emotions of their customers. These organizations understand what I believe and teach: Brilliant Service is the bottom line.
Brilliant Service is about making magical moments for customers. It’s about creating a genuinely memorable, one-of-a-kind, almost transformational, experience.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary lists two definitions for bottom line:
1. the line at the bottom of a financial report that shows the net profit or loss;
2. the essential or salient point; the primary or most important consideration.
Which do I refer to when I say Brilliant Service is the bottom line? Both!
The level of service your organization gives its customers and clients has a proven, direct, proportional impact on your financial results. Southwest Airlines, the largest U.S. domestic carrier based on scheduled departures, has posted 33 consecutive years (that’s years) of profitability – even when other airlines were struggling through the aftermath of 9/11 and outrageous fuel prices. You don’t achieve those kinds of bottom-line results simply by operating efficiently and hedging fuel prices. You do it by giving customers a positively unforgettable experience.
Furthermore, in a commodity marketplace, Brilliant Service is your primary point of differentiation. Actually, in most cases, it’s your only point of differentiation. It’s the essential factor in creating customer loyalty. Brilliant Service creates a cult-like following in which customers buy from you because they want to, not because they have to. Service Brilliance is all around us. Just look at Nordstrom, The Container Store, Starbucks, Ritz Carlton and Disney.
Brilliant Service starts with belief. Belief is the foundation of action. You see, nothing happens until you believe. If you believe at your core that what you do has an impact on others, you become personally accountable to ensure customers receive an exceptional experience. When you believe, you begin to think. And as you begin to think about why and how you service customers, you begin to Retrain the Brain.™
For too many years, service experts have trained people to do, do, do instead of think, think, think. Employees who follow service standards by rote rarely create memorable moments for customers. On the other hand, people who passionately believe in their product or service and who are encouraged to think about the service experience can be creative, innovative and proactive. Brilliant Service comes from the heart and the head.
When you consistently provide Brilliant Service, you automatically differentiate yourself – as an individual within your organization and as a business within the marketplace. Most people and organizations talk a good game when it comes to service, but they can’t hide the truth. The type of service experience you create for customers is either painfully clear or beautifully unmistakable.
I love serving people. I hope you do too. The longer I live, the more convinced I become that we are all here on Earth to serve somebody or something. The degree to which we serve and the way in which we serve determine the satisfaction and fulfillment we experience in life. When you serve your organization, vendors, and internal and external customers, you add value and make a difference with your servant attitude.
Every one of us has the ability to make others’ lives just a little bit easier or better by addressing their “opportunities” which are disguised as problems, issues or challenges. You may never know how much you’ve impacted the life of a person whom you may never see again.
Simon Believes…When you change your beliefs about service, you will change your bottom line.