I touched a silver medal today. Even better than that, I met Jared Funk, a member of the 12-man wheelchair rugby team. Jared has represented Canada three times in the Paralympic Games and twice in World Championships, bringing a medal home each time.
I am making it my mission to find out more about Jared. With any luck, I won’t have to resort to stalking him! Even though we did not have a lot of time to talk today, there are a couple of things that I think can be safely assumed. Jared worked really hard to reap his reward. There were probably days he didn’t feel like training, but he did it anyway. He worked as part of a team; not just with the other 12 men on the team, but also dietitians, coaches, medical professionals and sports psychologists. Plans, schedules and routines were created, implemented, evaluated and perhaps revised, all with one goal in mind … become the best. Lost games provided opportunities for learning, adapting and becoming stronger. When a game was won, it was celebrated and then the hard work continued to prepare for the next one.
Like elite athletes, companies that deliver great customer service on a consistent basis, understand it takes work, effort and long-term commitment. They understand that their service promise needs to be backed up by a plan of action. These companies surround themselves with people who also want, and believe, they can be the best. They don’t hang their hat on one win, on one occasional flash of customer service brilliance, but instead look for and work towards improvement each and every day. They learn from their mistakes by assessing current practices and adapting or creating new processes as necessary. These companies know that to maintain elite status, they need to work at it every single day.
What are you doing to be one of the elite? Does your business have a customer service plan, with clearly outlined goals and objectives, for the entire team to work towards? Are the different experts on your team meeting regularly to ensure department goals and plans are not working at cross-purposes? When there is service failure, are you taking the time to learn and adjust for better performance next time? Are you taking time to celebrate the wins?