Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to read my earlier Blogpost #9 SalesKerplunkaFunnel (click here to get to it quickly, this Blogpost and the following 8 will probably make more sense if you do)
Often Directors, Managers and Line Managers think they are the ones with all the big ideas – things such as ‘Ways of Delivering Excellent Service’ come down from on high, I hate to say it guys … that tends not to be the case
In some organisations, frontline staff aren’t involved in discussions on how to improve service so;
- Either they don’t buy-in to new techniques or principles, or
- Mistakes are made because of senior people don’t fully understand what customers need or,
- Flaws aren’t identified in the logistics of delivering this great service idea
What are you doing about this?
Just think what you can do to engage with your team and encourage and convince them to come up with new ideas and the different things about providing further service to your customers. Take their suggestions seriously & don’t just pay lip service. If you do you run the risk of them clamming up the next time you ask for their suggestions.
I often facilitate sessions for organisations to brainstorm ideas from the frontline staff on what the organisation can do to come up with ways to provide fantastic customer service. Whenever possible I set it up in advance that someone from the senior management team come in to set up the session, that way a trust is immediately built between me and the team. We set the scene, set out ground rules (there aren’t any) and kick the session off.
The senior manager just happens to realise that they have an urgent call to make and need to leave the room for 10 minutes – you’ll be amazed at how quickly those left behind start coming up with great ideas without being in the glare of ‘the boss’ – when the boss is there, they often clam up and only agree to what the boss is saying because quite frankly, the boss tends to take over and drive the session
We use a number of techniques to generate new ideas
- We set up a fun environment
- During the creative part of the session we suspend judgement, no idea is a bad idea (and people are not allowed to criticise or challenge ideas
- We capture everyone’s ideas – we write them down, we record them and play them back – if lots of ideas are coming out on the table we may miss something
- We avoid stuffy board rooms or training rooms – we go grab a coffee or find a stimulating environment outside of the office
- Ideas don’t need to be brilliant
- We keep the ideas short and brief – not getting bogged down in to detail
- We consider how other people or organisations what “they would do” – how would Apple deal with your service? what would X do? (whoever is topical or controversial at the time)
- We think “what could we do if we had all the budget we needed?”
- We think “what could we do if we had no money?”
- We play the random story game – we start at one end of the room and everyone has to continue a story following on from the person ahead of them
- We work at pace – give me 50 ideas in 5 minutes – stops challenges or critique-ing (some of the later ideas are totally off the wall but give us something to work with)
Once we have loads of ideas, only then is the boss allowed back in the room – but everyone there assesses what could or could not work
Click on the link to check out a video of me delivering my