Life has a funny way of providing you with the answers to your questions. For me, the answers came from my after-work life. For example, when my wife and I would go out to dinner, I began noticing superior service when the wait staff put my desires first.
Here are some observations and lessons learned from these experiences.
Observation One – Speaking of dinner, don’t you love going to a restaurant where the service is so on point that the meal tastes better. They do simple things like making sure no glass is ever empty on the table. They pay attention to every request, like having a sauce on the side or extra napkins on the table.
That experience demonstrates how to take care of people. You might even think they could have charged twice as much, and it would have been worth it.
I find that this level of service is a dying art. So I made it my business to practice Servant Leadership at my company. I had the opportunity to serve a co-worker in such a way that enhanced his life. After a rough time in his life, this co-worker came to me, confessed the past, and asked if I could help him start over.
We served him by providing training opportunities, showed him areas where he could improve, helped him get his family health insurance, taught him how to serve our customers, showed him that serving customers is a privilege.
Over time he found that serving others was fulfilling and that he could also help those he worked with learn how to serve along with him. I would argue today that he is an artist. His art is to exceed customers’ expectations. He inspires me with this
Observation 2 – A servant never has a bad day. Someone who loves to serve never runs out of work. That Servant looks around at the daily chaos and sees opportunities. The act of serving is motivation. Even when that chaos directly impedes the Servant, they calmly move forward to serve despite their circumstances. They make the needs of those served more important. People know they are dependable, aren’t out for glory, but get to do what they love.
The Impact of Serving
At our company, we had techs that I didn’t wonder where they were between calls or worry about if they were taking the best care of my customers. These technicians enjoyed finding ways to solve customers’ issues. Because they enjoyed the work, they were anxious to get to the customer’s home and solve problems.
When we were busy, and the phones were ringing off the hook, these techs focused on the work and didn’t ask the office how many more calls they had or if they could leave work at 5:00 pm. They wanted to serve others.
Observation 3 – Many servants are serving, and as a result, those served have the time and the opportunity to succeed. At Ball Heating and Air, my experience with the success of others is a direct reflection of how well the servant leader is serving.
My technicians’ performance directly reflects how well I serve them. When I serve my techs better, the quality of our service to customers improves.
Key Performance Indicators
In one example, we put up scoreboards for everyone to see. One KPI (Key Performance Indicator) we track is the technician’s percentage of callbacks.
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