The mark of a hero

18 Sep

080617_b_heroAn eight-hour seminar on customer experience management may sound like a gruelling proposition, but not so when it’s given by Strativity Group. Our client Island Savings Credit Union hosted them in an all-managers meeting earlier this week and some Copelanders were lucky enough to attend.

Some many great insights it’s difficult to share just a few. One thing that struck me was the dangers of the “hero”. Every business has them – those shining stars that customers can’t stop raving about, the ones that go the extra mile every time – meeting customer needs or posting blog entries on the company website (ahem).

When a customer has an interaction with the hero, her expectations for future experiences have just been raised to that level. Imagine the disappointment next time she comes in when she gets stuck with Mr. Mediocre or the lazy oaf. That’s why companies need to set the service standards to a level that minimizes service variation. Consistent service experiences (and a few unexpected delights) are vital to customer loyalty.

Heroes can have internal repercussions as well. Managers give more work to the hero because she does a better job – so her desk gets piled high while less-devoted colleagues are given fewer tasks. That leads to the hero feeling over-worked and under-appreciated, exactly what you don’t want your stars to feel like. Best solution – tell the slouchers that it’s shape up or ship out; their lackadaisical attitude is a virus in the company that will only make the hard workers feel like their passion and talents would be better recognized across the street at the competition. Treat your stars like stars and other staff will get the message pretty quickly.

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