What Can You Do?

Many of you have team meetings at the beginning of each week. At next Monday's meeting, post this question on a flipchart page:

"What is one improvement I can make in serving my customers (clients, patients, fellow employees, etc.), that if I do it consistently and I do it very well, will have a positive impact on their experience?"

Give everyone a few moments to write down their answers, letting them know that you're not going to ask them to share their answers with anyone. (They might not want to share something they know they should be doing but are not - or at least not doing consistently). Encourage them to make an honest appraisal of their usual performance, and choose something to improve. The statement should start off with, "This week I will focus on..."

  • "Sitting down with patients as I talk with them."
  • "Making eye contact with every customer as they approach the checkout register."
  • "Putting a smile in my voice as I answer the phone."
  • "LIstening intently and actively as clients explain their situation."
  • "Making sure my desk presents a professional image."
  • "Focusing on the question-behind-the-question so I can assist with the real problem."

The area of improvement can be anything just as long as it has a positive impact on the customer experience (internal or external customer) and is something the team member knows is an area of opportunity for him/her.

At subsequent meetings, just remind everyone to continue to focus on that behavior for another week. After a month has gone by, do the exercise again, having everyone focus on another behavior. Imagine the impact if every member of the team makes twelve improvements each year in the way they interact with customers.

Now, I'm not naive, I'm fully aware that many employees will roll their eyes at this exercise, write something down just to get it over with, and never do anything differently. But what if just a quarter of the team actually puts forth the effort, or even just one person. I believe it's worth it. Give it a try!