What drives you..?

It’s perfectly possible and highly profitable to get customer service right. Apparently over 5% of Kodak film bought in the world is used at a Disney resort and the average family saves for two and a half years to visit a Disney attraction.

How many of your customers are actively saving with their families to experience what you offer?

So how do they get it right and why do so many get it wrong? Part of the answer lies in the company values. Values are what drive us, what is important to us and are the reason that we do what we do the way we do it. If someoneÍs behaviour is different from yours itÍs probably because they value, or are driven by, different things than drive you. Once you know that, it becomes obvious that if you want your colleagues, team or employees to behave the same way you do then you need to pick people who share your values.

Here’s the thing. So many companies announce a set of values (in the form of a mission or vision) and then attempt to impose those values on their people. Not surprisingly, this is doomed to failure and is how you end up with fast food companies who espouse traditional service but actually ignore most of their customers. What companies say they value is not what they actually value and you can see this from their behaviour. I knew one company where wearing a tie was more highly valued than ideas. The result was that if you did not wear a tie, your ideas were ignored or discounted!

If you want the people who work for you to share your values (i.e. behave like you) then you need to be very strict about the following:

  1. Recruit people on the basis of their values; find out what is important to them, what drives them and make sure it is the same as what drives you. Only have people in your team who share your values.
    (tip: itÍs cheaper to find this out before they join you).
  2. Tell people what you value and make sure everyone knows what you value
    (tip: only tell your customers when it shows in your behaviour).
  3. Only reward behaviour that is in line with your values
    (tip: you can reward other things but doing that just confuses the hell out of everyone who works for you).
  4. Part company with those who do not share your values - help them get a job with your competitors.
  5. Remember it is far easier to give technical training to someone with the right attitude than it is to give the right attitude to someone with the technical skills.

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