I was watching an event at the Olympics – it was the luge. That’s where crazy people called lugers lay on their back on a sled and fly 80 miles per hour on a sheet of ice – did I mention that they’re CRAZY?!
Actually, it looks like fun. I’d love to give it a shot…only if they wrapped me in bubble wrap and promised I wouldn’t go over 30 miles an hour – I’m not THAT crazy…but I digress.
The lugers make four runs down the track, totaling the times from each run to see who wins. It’s not the best 1 of 4; it’s the best set of combined times.
Back to the event – the final luger was the leader after 3 rounds. He had won the Gold Medal in this event at the previous two Olympics. And on the way down the track during his 4th and final run, he maintained his lead…until he went sideways. It wasn’t a full 180 degree pivot, but it was enough to cost him the race – his last run was so bad that he went from 1st to 5th – no medal for him.
The announcers talked about the importance of consistency in the luge. It’s not about one great run – anyone can do that; but to win the Gold, you have to be consistently great.
Now, how do we build consistency in customer service? How do we make sure the three WOWs we provide aren’t overshadowed by the one stinker of an experience that we offer?
Consistency comes from an ongoing attitude of caring for the other. It comes from practice – what to say, how to respond, how to engage, how to resolve. It comes from identifying those situations that do or could challenge you the most (even if they’re only 5% or 10% of what you encounter) and developing approaches to deal with them.
Consistency comes from creating standards, templates, patterns, methods – and utilizing them over and over again. And consistency comes from doing things in a way that’s consistent with your values – who you want to be with and for others. To sum it up, consistency in performance comes from consistency in actions and attitudes.
Put the tools and habits in place to be great at customer service. Find consistency.