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Exceptional performance doesn’t happen by accident – it takes clear thinking, careful planning, and exacting execution. For me, there are four key areas to focus on:
1. Orientate towards strategic business outcomes
2. Engage hearts and minds
3. Create the right behaviours
4. Provide great leadership
Let’s examine each point in more detail.
Many organisations bombard their service operation with a wide range of measures that often have no real relation to the strategic goals they are trying to achieve. Planning for exceptional performance in customer management needs to start with a clear vision of how the operation contributes to the delivery of strategic business outcomes from the customer viewpoint. This can then be developed into a suite of relevant service metrics.
To ensure goals are aligned throughout the service operation they need to be cascaded down to team and individual performance level. This will require careful consideration of how business information is shared.
At Webhelp UK we strongly believe that great performance is closely linked to great people engagement.
Engaging people is complex. Our experience tells us that people only become fully engaged when they understand why their contribution is important. This can then encourage them to perform at consistently high levels.
So it is essential to engage the ‘hearts and minds’ of your organisation with the success defined in key service metrics.
In practice this means thinking through how best to communicate the strategic business outcomes in a way that is relevant to every individual and the creation of a joined-up employee journey – starting with pre-recruitment and continuing through initial training, academies and delivering the service – that consistently supports people alignment and commitment to core service goals.
Exceptional performance cannot be simply mandated or instructed if it is to be sustainable. Instead, service personnel need to actively ‘self-manage’ their delivery of great customer outcomes at each and every interaction.
…there should be a continual focus on creating, promoting and reinforcing the right behaviours..
On an organisational level there should be a continual focus on creating, promoting and reinforcing the right behaviours that deliver key success factors.
This requires consideration of the types of behaviour that will direct the operation towards the desired outcomes. For example, if customer resolution is key, it will be important to encourage the behaviours of taking responsibility and ownership.
The right behaviours needs to be reinforced and encouraged throughout training and ongoing coaching, and supported by consistent reward and recognition structures.
Exceptional performance needs to be driven behaviour and that means having exceptional leadership in place. High performance can be achieved by investing very heavily in supporting your front-line management.
While ‘managing by metrics’ is important at the organisational level, at the front-line level it is vital for management time and energy to be concentrated on coaching the right behaviours and skills that will deliver the required results.
Exceptional service performance is vital to business success
It is no coincidence that we have placed the development of effective performance coaching skills at the centre of our Management University programme.
Exceptional service performance is vital to business success, especially in the current challenging economic climate. By focusing on business outcomes, engaging hearts and minds, encouraging the right behaviour and providing great leadership businesses can set their operations on the right path to improved performance.