I often talk about the impact of variation on the customer. My last blog looked at Specsavers a company that I experience as having very good systems and training and one that has low variation.
Coles supermarket is a great example. They provide lots of ways you can finalise your purchase with them, you can serve yourself or you can get served, if you have small amount you can go to less than 12 items or wait to be served at checkout. I like the fact that in new Coles stores they are opening up more of their checkouts for self- service instead of having very few to choose from, as most sit there unused as there are no staff on the check out. This gives you more choice, but a lot of this depends on the staff available to help guide you in self-service or serve you.
I still like to be served but that’s where I see the most variation.
You can be served by a person who clearly enjoys their job and enjoys serving people compared to one who just transacts you and there is a little to no engagement. Huge variation.
At my local supermarket I always thank the person who serves me with a smile and enthusiasm, one thing I ask them is what feedback do they get from their management. Answer is very consistent. None. I’m prepared to bet that the person who just transacts you with no smile or enthusiasm also gets no feedback. No wonder there is no change.
If you look below to our six-step system to offer great customer service with minimum variation. No. 3 is implementing a coaching system. No point putting in service standards or training staff with no follow up coaching to the job.
Just like sport, the need for ongoing on job coaching is critical. I have been doing this type of work for 30+ years and when I ask the thousands of leaders I’ve trained or presented to. “How many have been taught to coach their staff on the job” the answer is less than 5%.
Coaching Should Be Part Of Your System.
I was trained by, an amazing man, called Marshall Thurber. Marshall was a student of Deming and Buckminster Fuller, one of the many things he introduced me to was the impact of variation as taught by Deming.
Some of Demings famous sayings are below:
Deming suggested efforts to identify (and remove) causes of variation and sought to manage common cause variation (to achieve the “right uniformity”) that caused processes to be unreliable and that harmed customers.
10/10 Quality = MAX: Customer Appreciation and MIN: Variation
The above poster demonstrates the idea of minimising variation and building appreciation is the secret to getting 10/10.
In the work we do at the ‘The Loyalty Zone’ with our six-step to success which is all about minimising variation and growing appreciation:
Focus On Six Key Areas To Drive Revenue Improvement
1. Customer and staff research
The first critical step is to understand what your customers are saying about your business. We research your customers using NPS™, measure your business against industry best practice and recommend actions to improve your scores. We then present this in a workshop to engage all your teams.
2. Moments of truth service standards
We then help you identify all of your customer journey Touch-Points and create Service Standards for each one to ensure a 10/10 experience is delivered in your business for every customer, every time.
3. Leaders as coaches
Through our award-winning two-day ‘Leaders as Coaches‘ program, your leaders will to learn the techniques, behaviours and skills required to help their teams succeed in delivering the Service Standards, ensuring your customers return and spend more.
4. Training frontline teams
Your teams attend a half-day training course that will improve their communication and conversion rates, while they practice delivering the key Service Standards to deliver a 10/10 customer experience every time. We can also train key people within your business to deliver this training.
5. Test and measure
To accurately measure the transformation of your teams, we work with you to build and implement test & measurement systems to ensure we are measuring the things that will make the difference.
6. Continuous improvement
The key to any development program is what happens after the training. It’s what you do with what you know that makes the difference! Frequency of interaction drives improvement, so in some cases, on-going monthly coaching is required. Plus, every subsequent round of research includes a full-day session with your business.
What are you doing to idenitify where your variation exists and then act to minimize it and build on your appreciation in your business?
If you would like to have a chat with me about the ‘Six Key Areas To Drive Revenue Improvement’ contact me I look forward to hearing from you.