According to McKinsey and Company; consistency is the secret ingredient to making customers happy. In fact their research identified three keys to consistency;
- Customer – Journey consistency
- Emotional consistency &
- Communication consistency…. yes, I agree McKinsey, however I think there is a fourth consistency needed and that is;
- Frontline Consistency
It’s really tough being a leader who needs to communicate a vision of how consistent service needs to look. Somehow you have to motivate and skill up literally thousands of staff to execute this vision.
Most of my career I’ve mobilised large workforces on a scale that has required much effort and focus on the frontline workforce. The priority has always been how well they execute their service and how consistent they are each and every time.
There was no greater test of my ability to do this than the mobilisation of Wembley National Stadium (the largest stadium in the world at the time, 2007).A handful of us Australians were sent over to a foreign country to open one of the most iconic venues in the world. The challenge before we even got started;
- work with a UK team that at times did not understand what it means to be inclusive of varied backgrounds and still referred to Aussies as ‘convicts’
- open a venue that had been considerably delayed for 2 years and meet an inflated expectation of service standards for a world class venue
- deliver an operational model in catering that had never been done before
- oh and, build a casual workforce (literally thousands of staff) to form a new team, working for a new company, never contracted in the UK before
… so ya think this was tough? Nope – it was exhilarating, BUT I needed a plan, and a bloody good one.Systems and processes were my best friend. Hierarchy was welcomed and everyone had a clear role and responsibility. My team leaders and supervisors were my best friends. I knew I needed them to see things as close to the way I saw them when it came to standards, and I needed them to know how to motivate and engage the butlers, kitchen porters, waiters, runners and bar staff every hour of every shift.
I made the frontline staff the heroes. By investing in the supervisors and team leaders to be brilliant motivators and making them the cornerstone of my mobilisation strategy. It empowered them to be the frontline workforce guardian angels, I had to learn to trust.
Were there mistakes? Sure. They were minimal and they were quickly rectified long before I knew the mistakes had even taken place. We are human after all.
True consistency of service in any business only happens when systems and practices are developed and ingrained in the DNA of the workforce.
To read the McKinsey and Company article click below
“Why serve when you can inspire”