The Essential Ingredient for Generating a Culture of Service
Mariana Pizzo - 27 de febrero, 2017
I have noticed that many programs to create service culture are concerned with developing the strategy and transmitting it to all employees, usually in an event that is given great relevance (due importance).
While this is the first step - because not having a strategy is like walking aimlessly - it is NOT enough. It is not really enough. It can even be counterproductive if the following steps are not taken.
-Do you remember that workshop? It was good, wasn't it?
- Yes, what happened to the service culture?
This may be the feeling of those who received the right message, but were not accompanied by other actions. The impression that everything was left in the past, postponed or abandoned.
In the meantime, the management expects its collaborators to start putting into practice what they have been preached. But everything remains the same. At most, there are some immediate initiatives or signs, but little by little they fade away.
The ingredient that manages to penetrate the service culture.
If the strategy has been successfully communicated, we should not wait to activate one more ingredient. It is that accompaniment I mentioned earlier. But what is it in concrete terms?
They are systematic actions, which occupy a time, a space and have a frequency of repetition.
It is necessary to take the time to generate this service culture. Dedicating your people's time implies a cost for the organization. And so the message is clear: we dedicate our valuable time to what is worthwhile.
If we really want to generate this culture, we must dedicate time to it. How much? As much as each organization can afford. There are no defined standards, and we can adapt the pace and intensity to the possibilities of each moment. But the premise is that the following element cannot be missing: frequency.
I could not convey to you in words how important frequency is... I would say that what has frequency penetrates, becomes reality, exists. That which has no frequency dies.
A downpour wreaks havoc in a few minutes, eroding the earth; on the other hand, a fine drizzle of many hours penetrates without damage.
Frequency emphasizes the maturation process of the change we seek to achieve, rather than its intensity. Those who bet on frequency always succeed in the end.
Therefore, it is preferable to start with what we know we can sustain over time and persevere, than to try to cover too much and give up.
To produce these cultural changes it is also necessary to break with routine and, at least for a few moments, to withdraw. To withdraw in order to meet, to expose ideas, to exchange, to propose.
This is what I mean by space. Having a place, planned, specially prepared, to dedicate this time frequently makes the "magic" of the cultural change process possible.
In your program to generate a culture of service, is the fundamental ingredient of accompaniment present? How could you incorporate it?
A very wise possibility is to form work teams to discuss service problems and propose solutions and improvements. Teams meet frequently and use a methodology that helps them to deploy all their creativity.
It is a wheel that turns over and over again, always moving forward and generating along the way, not only concrete results as the fruit of their work, but also self-confidence, learning, customer orientation and internal collaboration.
I encourage you to get started! With the time, frequency and space you have available. The challenge is to overcome the inertia that immobilizes, and generate a movement that does not stop.
By Mariana Pizzo
A professional who is passionate about service quality, and helping those who have this challenge within organizations to increase customer satisfaction. Industrial Engineer graduated from the Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires.
Por Mariana Pizzo