Creating a culture of service, performance, and operational excellence does not happen by chance. It takes a sound, systematic process, implemented throughout the organization, to create sustainable change.
During my 17 year career with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, I had the opportunity to see firsthand how creating a clear and simple service culture and holding everyone accountable for embracing it could create global, long-term recognition and success. After I left The Ritz-Carlton, I made it my mission to study other world-class organizations in hospitality, retail, manufacturing, and healthcare. In doing so, I found that there were many other organizations that also enjoyed sustainable success and recognition for driving excellence through employee engagement, customer loyalty, and ultimately profit dominance. During six months of in-depth benchmarking and research, I found six common principles that all of these organizations shared which attributed to their long-term success.
Thus, I created the customer service business model popularly known as The Six Principles of Service Excellence.
* Principle 1 – Vision & Mission – World-class organizations that are able to create and sustain a culture of service excellence have a sound vision and mission that is known, owned, and energized by every employee. In such cases, their vision statements clarify what they aspire to be in the future; while their mission statements articulate their purpose, what they stand for.
* Principle 2 – Business Objectives – World-class organizations that are able to create and sustain a culture of service excellence have clear, simple, quantifiable organizational goals and objectives that every employee is aware of. They don’t confuse employees with a multitude of objectives, but select 3-4 that employees not only know, but also understand how the work they do contributes to the successful achievement of them. Along with objectives that focus on growth and profitability, world-class organizations also have service-oriented objectives that focus on customer loyalty, employee engagement, and some form of quality improvement.
* Principle 3 – Service Standards – The purpose of service standards are to clarify for employees exactly what actions and behaviors are expected of them in driving excellence everyday, and creating customer loyalty. World-class organizations that are able to create and sustain a culture of service excellence create and regularly communicate the standards of excellence (key touch points) that are necessary in bringing their vision, mission, and business objectives to life. They do not leave this to chance.
* Principle 4 – Intervention & Learning Strategy – Just as they have a sound strategy in place to ensure financial success, world-class organizations have systems and processes in place to ensure their service philosophy (vision, mission, business objectives, and service standards) is interwoven into every aspect of the organizational culture. When it comes to employee recruitment and selection, new employee orientation, training and development, performance management, reward and recognition, incentive programs, and so on – the service philosophy is integrated each step of the way.
* Principle 5 – Organizational Alignment – World-class organizations that are able to create and sustain a …