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When Does Great Service Happen?

When Does Great Service Happen?

Management covers a lot of ground. Managing with Aloha covers nineteen universal business values, and thus that number, nineteen, is just the beginning when it comes to the different topics people will ask me to speak on. Still, preferences fall along certain lines at any given time, and there are runaway winners when it comes to the hot topics of the day. It’s fascinating to me how these preferences emerge, from market influences to unemployment rates, from ‘trendy’ learning initiatives to stubborn resistance to change.

Chronic frustration is a frequent driver: A few months ago the topic requested most was The Reinvention of Human Resources. Nowadays, it seems nearly everyone is asking me to speak about The Art of Ho‘okipa (hospitality) in Service.

Mediocrity is running rampant in customer service, and people are sick of it. In fact, the alarming trend is that mediocrity is starting to look okay next to the flagrantly bad service examples we keep running into.

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WE WANT GREAT SERVICE! We want it for ourselves as consumers, and we want to be the ones providing it in our businesses, sealing the deal on our competitive advantage in the process. We want better service, we are extremely tired of not getting it, and we are looking for answers as to how we can get it to happen — guaranteed.

So I give the motivational speeches, and I enjoy giving them, optimistically hoping that something will resonate and sink in, for I want great customer service to happen more often too. I want it to happen all the time. Today and for you, without the full-blown 45-minute keynote that normally accompanies it, I can cut to the chase and give you my take on what the answer is, that is, when great service will happen consistently in your company. I think there are only two parts to it, but you need both, not one or the other.

When does great service happen?

1. When you have hired the right people in the first place, and
2. When you take care of them really really well, providing them with a workplace that is as exceptional as the service you expect them to give others.

You can only get great service from people who sincerely and genuinely love giving it, and who love where they work. Read that again; the word is LOVE, not like. We want GREAT service, not just passably good service. Great service only comes from people who are passionate about it.

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Great customer service providers are born and not made. I believe that you can’t train the service gene into someone. You have to find the people who have it, hire them instantly, and then take care of them as the precious gold they are. The people who give us the best service do so because they live to give it. They feel that their own lives are better because they have the opportunity to be of service to their fellow human beings. In Hawaii, we even have a name for these gems of the human race; we call them Mea Ho‘okipa. In old Hawaii, to be called Mea Ho‘okipa was the highest compliment you could receive; serving others was considered noble.

Nobility in Customer Service. What a concept! We need it back. Put the wrong people in the wrong job, and it just isn’t going to happen. The good news is that Mea Ho‘okipa are not that rare. However cease to take EXCEPTIONAL care of those who are in the right job and they have no wellspring to draw from in their own giving. They need to fuel their fire for service giving, and that’s where great managers come in, creating caring workplaces for those who care for the customer.

That’s it. Not a difficult answer. The difficulty is in the execution though, isn’t it.

The other good news? I have faith in you; we can do this.

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Thank you for reading, I’ll be back next Thursday. On every other day, you can visit me on Talking Story, or on www.ManagingWithAloha.com. Aloha!

Rosa Say
Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business

Previous Thursday Column: What’s the difference between Mission and Vision?

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Rosa Say

Rosa is an author and blogger who dedicates to helping people thrive in the work and live with purpose.

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps

How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps

Where do you want to be 5 years from now, 10 years from now, or even this time next year? These places are your goal destinations and although you might know that you don’t want to be standing still in the same place as you are now, it’s not always easy to identify what your real goals are.

Many people think that setting a goal destination is having a dream that is there in the far distant future but will never be attained. This proves to be a self-fulfilling prophesy because of two things:

Firstly, that the goal isn’t specifically defined enough in the first place; and secondly, it remains a remote dream waiting for action which is never taken.

Defining your goal destination is something that you need to take some time to think carefully about. The following steps on how to plan your life goals should get you started on a journey to your destination:

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1. Make a list of your goal destinations

Goal destinations are the things that are important to you. Another word for them would be ambitions, but ambitions sound like something which outside of your grasp, whereas goal destinations are certainly achievable if you are willing to put in the effort working towards them.

So what do you really want to do with your life? What are the main things that you would like to accomplish with your life? What is it that you would really regret not doing if you suddenly found you had a limited amount of time left on the earth?

Each of these things is a goal. Define each goal destination in one sentence.

If any of these goals is a stepping stone to another one of the goals, take it off this list as it isn’t a goal destination.

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2. Think about the time frame to have the goal accomplished

This is where the 5 year, 10 year, next year plan comes into it.

Some goals will have a “shelf life” because of age, health, finance, etc, whereas others will be up to you as to when you would like to achieve them by.

3. Write down your goals clearly

Write each goal destination at the top of a new piece of paper.

For each goal, write down what is it that you need and don’t have now that will allow you achieve that goal. This could be some kind of education, career change, finance, a new skill, etc. Any “stepping stone” goals you removed will fit into this exercise. If any of these smaller “goals” have sub-goals, go through the same process with these so that you have precise action points to work with.

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4. Write down what you need to do for each goal

Under each item listed, write down the things that you will need to do in order to complete each of the steps required to complete the goal. 

These items will become a check-list. They are a tangible way of checking how you are progressing towards reaching your goal destinations. A record of your success!

5. Write down your timeframe with specific and realistic dates

Using the time frames you created, on each goal destination sheet write down the year in which you will complete the goal by.

For any goal which has no fixed completion date, think about when you would like to have accomplished it by and use that as your destination date.

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Work within the time frames for each goal destination, make a note of realistic dates by which you will complete each of the small steps.

6. Schedule your to-dos

Now take an overview of all your goal destinations and make a schedule of what you need to do this week, this month, this year – in order to progress along the road towards your goal destinations.

Write these action points on a schedule so that you have definite dates on which to do things.

7. Review your progress

At the end of the year, review what you have done this year, mark things off the check-lists for each goal destination and write up the schedule with the action points you need for the next year.

Although it may take you several years to, for example, get the promotion you desire because you first need to get the MBA which means getting a job with more money to allow you to finance a part-time degree course, you will ultimately be successful in achieving your goal destination because you have planned out not only what you want, but how to get it, and have been pro-active towards achieving it.

Featured photo credit: Debby Hudson via unsplash.com

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