17Mar, 2014

Universal Principles of Service Companies in the World

serviceBy Muhammad Syarifullah

A president, a CEO, and even a mother of an eight-year-old child have the role of leadership. The roles share some certain common principles, the most important of which is the fact that a good leadership comes from a good service. All large service companies in the world also have one thing in common; they encourage all their members to be leaders. The relationship between good leadership and good service is undeniable.

However, it seems that good service is having a miserable decline. Many people have been ignoring the simple truth either in terms of economic, at a higher or personal level. 

According to a study conducted by The Forum Corporation, 70% of customers who moved to another company did that because of the poor service provided by the previous company. The more disturbing fact is that 96% of those who moved out did so without saying a word to the company they left behind.

The result shows an immense loss of potential business that is not supposed to happen. If a company has adequate or even remarkable services, their clients will not go anywhere to look for a better service.

One principle says that maintaining a client is much cheaper than spending cost on marketing to get new clients.

Some principles of large service companies that can be applied are as follows:

1.  Lateral service

Lateral service is often known as the “esprit de corps” or team work. Lateral service includes helping a co-worker who is overwhelmed in handling the job or even doing the work of a colleague just to ensure that the work is completed properly. According to Dick Holtzman Sr., former president of RockResorts, lateral service is the art of making other people’s mistakes look good. So, there is no employee who says “Sorry, that’s not my job.”

2. Empowerment

Some companies realize that the most important people in the company are the ones who deal with the clients most of the time. So, it is highly important to keep training these employees to have the ability, the strength, and the power to make decisions that benefit the company through excellent services. It should be noted that most clients prefer to interact with companies whose employees are leaders and decision makers, no matter what their positions are. Jan Carlton, Chief of Scandinavian Airlines Sytems (SAS), can even be a part of the bottom structure of a committee established for a client’s event.

3. Visible Leader 

“In the best companies, the employees see their leaders every day.” – Dick Holtz. Bob Waterman wrote in his book about the MBWA philosophy – Management by Wandering. If the leaders are difficult to find by their employees, do they even have concern for their clients?

4. Statement of Commitment to Clients

“We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” – Ritz Carlton. Oftentimes, what is embedded in the mind of a marketer or a company is that they feel fortunate to work for a big company. But the greater feeling that should be embedded inside is that “You and your company are fortunate to have us as your service providers.”

5. Hire for attitude, then Train It 

“You are as good as the people you hire.” How many companies provide the same service as your company provides? The difference is the people you hire for your company.”

6. Encourage participation or Sense of Kinship

Bruce McDonald, Communications Executive of General Motors said, “Individual involvement as part of a team is a definitive step that must be taken by the company in the future. New organization will win if everyone works as a team, including the managers. If that happens, it will be awesome.”

7. Sense of Urgency

“You can not build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Henry Ford. One simple imaginable example is how grateful you or your clients are or how big someone will owe you for the favor of making someone’s life easier or saving them from destruction.

8. True Concern for the Clients

“There is only one boss, i.e. the customers. They can fire anyone by spending their money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton. The cooperation with clients should begin with a question about what concerns them the most so we can provide it in the best way possible.

9. High Appreciation to the Employees 

“If you do not appreciate their efforts, you will only get poor performance.” Ken Blanchard describes in his book “The One Minute Manager” to convey the concept of “Catching people doing something right”. If you do this, will the employees tend to do something wrong? This kind of mentality should be fostered by a leader. In contrast, the tendency to have the mentality of “catching people doing something wrong ” only produces two major possibilities, fear and dread. How often do you reward your employees? 

10. High Flexibility

“Everything in service industry is about improvisation.” Guidelines should have room for change based on the clients’ needs because the top guideline to comply with is the customers’ satisfaction and the company’s progress.

11. Communication at All Levels

The best companies prioritize effective communications at all levels, with employees, clients, and superiors. Are you one of those who let a problem to get bigger? Communicate promptly all complaints and provide the best solution.

12. Become Prosperous by Implementing Evaluation 

“The problem with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” – Norman Vincent Peale. Evaluation from the employees, clients, or superiors must be obtained before the service ends, so we have plenty of time to fix it before it all ends with dissatisfaction. Do you agree?

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