I have recently been asked by a client about how to make sustain the service culture we’ve been working on. In short, three things:
1. System/Process – A process is basically a pre-determined set of actions which leads to a desired outcome. Having processes that are deliberated and documented helps promote consistency of outcomes. One of the processes we’re working on is the Voice of Customer. The process requires us to select the right sources of information, consolidate them, followed by analysis and reporting. This is an example of an important process in making sure that the organization gets reliable and accurate information about her customers.
2. Skills/Competence – Having a process or system in place is no guarantee to consistent outcome if the people who are operating the process are unskilled. Developing a process for problem-solving and innovation is insufficient if the leader is not skilled in facilitation or the members unfamiliar with the problem-solving tools.
3. Accountability for Results – Lastly and most importantly is this. I recently attended a 4-day certification workshop where there’s a daily exam at the end of the day. Throughout the day the trainer would stop at some points and emphasize that a “highly examinable moment” is coming. When he said that, we could see everyone pulling out their pen and notepad, sit up and getting ready to take down what’s coming. People in the organization needs to know which are the “highly examinable moments”. And if they know that there will not be any “exams” for them, people just do not pay as much attention or efforts on it. Therefore it is essential to build in mechanisms to measure the results, and to create accountability in operating the processes to achieve the desired outcome.