Many years back, I remember the first time I took my now 6 year old daughter to the dentist (I was grateful that my wife handled these appointments before this time, so this was my first experience with her). For a 4 year old, the dentist typically isn’t the most exciting appointment. It can be frightening that a person with a mask is sticking something in your mouth with a bright light shining in your eyes. God forbid you get a cavity at a young age as this only compounds the fear of going to see the dentist as a result of that drill sound inside your mouth.
During our car ride over, I thought my role was going to be “coach”. I assumed that Maggie (my 4 year old at the time) would need her big (I stand 5’10” tall…I’m big to her), brave Daddy to talk her through the dreaded visit. Boy was I mistaken.
It started off as a quiet ride until I hesitantly asked her the question, “Maggie are you ready to visit with the Dentist today?” Her response lasted the rest of the car ride to the Dentist with increasing pace in terms of her excitement. She told me how wonderful it was to say hello to the nice receptionist who looks like her Nana. She talked about the fun rainbow colored room where she could read books and play with fun toys. She talked about how cool she felt to wear sunglasses while they cleaned her teeth. She talked about being able to sit in the Dentist’s chair, as her Dentist always allowed her to, to pretend she was the dentist to her doll she always brought with her. She talked about how nice it was to be able to pick out a toy at the end of the visit and how the Dentist always allowed her to get an additional toy for her sister (her brother wasn't born yet). And lastly, she talked about how happy it made her to give the Dentist a high five when she left the office for doing a good job getting the sugar bugs off her teeth and not getting any cavities.
I asked her Dentist as we were leaving, what makes him care so much? His response: “I have a deep PASSION for making the world a better place”. His answer shocked me. It wasn’t the standard dentist answer: “…a deep passion for clean and healthy teeth”. He wanted to make the world a better place. And by making the Dentist office experience from start to finish (both the journey to the office, the visit and leaving the office) an enjoyable one, he felt he was accomplishing his goal.
While many of The Service Council™ community represents companies who manufacture and service a certain product (65%) which serves a certain purpose, whether it be medical equipment, industrial machinery, HVAC and building automation, etc., it is encouraging that we continue to welcome more non-asset centric and hospitality driven industries. I ask those who are manufacturers: does your organization strive to make the world a better place? Or does it strive only to have the product you manufacture serve its functional purpose?
At our annual Smarter Services™ Symposium last March in San Diego, I was grateful to have my wife join me and to have her pen a statement which we included in our program guides to communicate our passion for Service. I didn’t change or edit a single letter of what she wrote (below) as it so accurately and eloquently hit the nail on the head:
The Service Council™ delivers numerical guidance and hosts an enthusiastic community. In hopes of an easier life, an easier pace, while dealing with the daily struggles the “outside of work” world presents. The broader mission of the Service Council™ is to make things “Better for Everyone”. More precisely, The Service Council™ hosts a community and strategies to make companies flow. To make the outreach more personable, not only the customer, but for you! The kind of interaction which leaves you saying, “Wow, I just did a great job!” The "I want to do that again", mentality. The analytic data we provide come from a person who is knee deep in his line of work. Sumair Dutta exposes the secrets, which when applied, make businesses tremendously successful. It wasn’t necessarily “what these companies were doing”, but instead, "what kind of people were working for them”. Hard workers. People who find value in making life “easier for everyone”. These companies “listened” to the customers, but first listened to themselves. This derives from making our work environment more conducive to what we need to be successful. Walk toward your customers. We sometimes walk away because we have another deadline, we are dealing with a staffing issue, we have a pressing client who just won’t quit. We walk away because we are tired, we are overworked dealing with the side of the business, which isn’t fulfilling. Every job has a “sweet spot". This is the time of the day where we really thrive and LOVE our work. It’s what keeps us coming to work every day. The part of the job we LOVE. Imagine if "sweet spot" time, could be most of the time? The data The Service Council™ provides is geared to do just that: put YOU and YOUR LIFE in the “sweet spot” of your career. That’s why we are here: YOU. The constant in this group: We all strive to be better, do better and recognize opportunity for improvement. It doesn’t start with data. It starts with us. Motivators: Money, a Coffee, a Picture on your desk you daughter/son drew, a comfortable desk chair, a new suit, the vacation you are taking next week with your family. Take your personal motivators and make someone’s day. Hearing, “You just made my day” is the best feeling. “You just made my day”. Because we all have real lives, we know how much that means. Making someone’s day is: Better than the new chair, the money, the coffee. Those are all short term satisfiers. Feeling great about giving another person a “great day” lasts, sometimes, forever. People, at the end of their career, reminisce about stories where they made things wonderful for someone, and it’s never themselves or their family. It’s often a nameless, sometimes faceless customer of whom they did something great for. This event is your chance to shake a hand, to put down our task list, close our laptops, look people in the eye and ask questions. This time can be used to share your experiences to the enhancement of the greater community. Without all of these components, and your active contribution, we’re just another event. And, that’s not us.
In Q3, The Service Council™ will conduct a research effort on the topic "Improving Customer Satisfaction & Success" which will explore how organizations have improved customer-oriented metrics and whether or not customer success is an area of investment. I believe Customer Success starts with a passion. Are you giving your Customers the gift of passion as the Dentist did for my daughter? It will be a good thing for humanity.
I welcome you to share your stories where in your everyday life you witnessed this type of passion. If you would like to participate in our upcoming "Improving Customer Satisfaction & Customer Success" research initiative, please feel free to contact me directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at 617-717-8300.