SERVICE LEADERS & CHARACTERISTICS
The service leaders or firms who excelled in service quality had the following characteristics.
1. Service Vision
Service leaders believe that service quality is crucial for gaining a competitive advantage and for corporate growth. These leaders see service as a never â€“ending journey which has to be kept always by everyone in the organization.
2. High Standards
Service leaders set high, at times legendary, standards for service. They believe that good service alone may not be enough to differentiate them from competitors. They are interested even in the smallest and most trivial of issues like cleanliness at the place of delivery of the service. They are zealous about doing the service right the first time. They value the goal of zero defects and strive to continuously improve the reliability of their service.
3.In the field Leadership Style.
It has been found that service leaders do not lead their teams from their glass chambers. They go out where the action is, are visible to their people and coach, appreciate showing the correct way of doing things, and also observe, probe and listen. They believe in the two-way communication process. They are team builders and challenge everyone in the organization to excel.
These men and women are examples of high personal integrity. The best service leaders value, doing the right thing even when it is inconvenient or costly. They believe in being fair, honest, sincere, consistent and truthful. For these are the tenets of building trustworthy relationships. And trust is the only basis of the Supplier-Customer relationship
In the above research of Indian firms which are the market leaders show following additional characteristics:
(a) Concern of Customers
These organizations placed customers over and above everything else in the organization. They believe that by encouraging customers to give a feedback and then by listening to it, they will be able to learn and understand customer expectations and problems. This can help them to be more competitive and better satisfy customer needs. They have performance benchmarks culled from the best service firms in the world market. They penalize themselves if they are not able to meet these benchmarks.
(b) Use Technology to Promptly Serve Customer
Research such as in case of HDFC bank, where they reduce the cost of operation but to serve the customer promptly. HDFC also provides online service to customers who want housing loans or deposit money in fixed deposit. But the other firms like Indian Airlines, Indian railways etc where computers help employees to perform their jobs more efficiently and also help to prevent malpractices in reservations.
(c) Involve Customers in Organization Growth:
The service leaders actively solicit feedback from their customers and use it to smoothen out the rough corners in the organization that cause irritation to their customers. They donâ€™t seek feedback mechanically but put their heart in it and let customer know they genuinely believe in it.
(d) Flat Organizations
These are relatively flatter in structure and are able to respond faster to customer needs. They are decentralized and encourage individual employees to take risks. They value the individual employeeâ€™s autonomy and encourage interdependence rather than dependence on the top management for problem solving. These characteristics in service leader firms helped them empower their employees and create a highly motivated team of people who shared the organizations goal of customer happiness.
(e) Training of Employees
Service leaders have used training strategies to create a shared value of 100% customer satisfaction. They train the employees to use the technology and management system to create a satisfied customer. The training is given to the individual to improve its inter-personal skills.
Thus, winners in customer service are those who have made this an integral part of their corporate strategy. They reach out to achieve 100% customer satisfaction. They create an organizational climate which fosters excellence in customer service.