This weekend, all eyes will be on La La Land (literally and figuratively) for Hollywood’s biggest night. Although “it is an honor just to be nominated”, the sweet taste of victory is always better. If A-Listers don’t want to admit it, we certainly will. Winning is the best, losing is the worst. If you’re not first, you’re last. It's that simple. So this weekend, we hope that the award goes to you… and your kick-ass customer service. You probably won’t get a cool gold statue to break in half and share with Beyonce, but you will have loyal customers and the undeniable satisfaction of winning.
Creating memorable customer experiences, much like an Oscar-worthy performance, takes a team of engaged people. But more importantly a winner; a leader. Your team knows what they need to do to help your customers, but do they know how to win? Are they ready to win over every customer? If not, don’t worry, we have some advice to help you focus on alignment, creating internal competition, and of course, winning.
Keep Your Why On The Prize
As we get used to winning, we sometimes assume that our teams completely understand the end goal, but often, as we add new teammates, shuffle priorities or troubleshoot, we lose sight of why we are doing this in the first place. Your team needs to be reminded of the “Why” every day. Take it back to the basics, get everyone on the same level. Marty Scorsese doesn’t let his cast start each scene on different pages of the script, so your team shouldn’t be on different pages either. The Why needs to be simple, not open to too much interpretation, but enough to inspire. For example, your Why might be to make sure every customer continues to subscribe to our service because it’s awesome, or that every customer feels safe and welcome during their vacation.
You can’t just stand in the middle of the office and yell this at the team everyday (actually you could, but everyone would hate it), you have to get creative and you have to have metrics. Otherwise, how do you gauge how you’re doing? How do we make sure our service is awesome? Finding ways to keep the Why consistent with positive momentum is tough, but as a winner, it's your job to inspire the team to execute on it everyday. For example, sharing stories amongst the team when the Why was hit or missed each day will help them build their own best practices or learn from each others mistakes. Encourage others to share stories, too. Collaboration on ideas or shared experiences is the Meryl Streep of getting buy-in from your team members. It almost always wins.
A Little Competition Never Hurt Nobody
We’re all for teamwork, sharing, spreading the love, etc., but competitive spirit is inherent in winners. You aren’t going to get a participation ribbon for mediocre customer care, so why not reach for the stars? The best part is that your stars are easy to measure: they are your KPIs (remember the How?). By keeping your entire team laser focused on their KPIs, you can create friendly competition amongst teams or individuals. * Warning - this isn’t The Wolf of Wall Street, take it easy on the threatening speeches and fugazis: stay genuine. Displaying performance metrics may seem a little old school, but if it helps to create competition and awareness, it might be a fit for your team. The How, combined with consistent Why is a winning duo.
Drink Champagne and Dance on the Table
(Okay, that might be a stretch, but it just sounded better than “Celebrate”)
One of the best parts of winning is celebrating. Leo didn’t go home and get into bed after he finally won his Oscar, he went to the after-party and let everyone take pictures with him and his golden guy! Celebrating wins encourages more wins. It gives us that taste of victory that we want everyday. Incentives, perks, and rewards are great and should not be overlooked. However, verbal recognition is the easiest and most important feedback to give. According to socialcast, 67% of employees say they would work harder if they felt recognized. For example, if a team member comes up with a new way to make that customer feel safe and welcome on their vacation while maintaining their Average Handle Time target, that deserves a shout-out, high-five, coffee, or maybe even a promotion (depending on your company). Not only are you building employee engagement, the positive reinforcement will lead to more efficient processes, increased employee retention and happier customers.
As Ben Affleck said while accepting his Oscar for Good Will Hunting, "'losing would suck and winning would be really scary.' And it's really, really scary." Being #1 means staying ahead because #2 is always right behind you. The Why and How play a huge role in winning and it is your job as a leader to reinforce those values.
Now, please pass the popcorn.