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    Lisa Ford, an expert in customer service, speaks on how if leadership does not set a firm example, having exceptional customer service in your organization is almost impossible. Good customer service starts at the top.

    Duration: 5:57

    Focus on your customers

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    Focus on your customers and strive for service excellence.

    Constantly push the bar to get even better at what you do. Service excellence cannot be achieved in the short-term, nor can you ever truly say that you have ‘achieved’ excellence because it’s a journey not a destination; the quest for excellence will mean that you are constantly pushing the bar to get even better at what you do.

    This journey clearly requires a great deal of commitment on your behalf, but also from those who work with and for you. That is probably the real challenge in seeking to strive for service excellence: how can you get all your employees to really care, to really want to go that extra mile, to really believe in what you are trying to achieve? A framework to help to simplify the route to service excellence in your business requires you to focus upon three interlinked processes.

    Striving for customer excellence graphic

    Of course, if you are truly serious about service excellence, then everything you do must be centered upon your customers. Addressing this part of the model requires you to define and communicate your commitment to achieving service excellence so that your customers and employees know what it is you are trying to achieve. Then you need to translate that commitment into action through a range of activities such as designing your products and services around their needs and expectations.

    You cannot deliver for your external customers without the support and commitment of your internal customers, i.e. your employees. Focusing on the internal customer requires you to, among other things, get all employees actively involved in the service excellence effort, including the active solicitation of ideas and suggestions. Achieving consistency of service is perhaps the Holy Grail for any tourism business and that goal can only be achieved if you have effective, relevant and monitored standards in place.

    There is no pretence that striving for service excellence is easy, but it is possible to excel as many small and large enterprises have shown to be the case. However, it is a longer term journey, one fuelled by passion and commitment, a structured approach, engaged employees and total customer focus. The principles described in the introductory customer service excellence model guide and the how to provide customer service excellence guide are readily applicable in any business and will help you to revise and enhance your existing approach.