Please find below a sample chapter of Terry Power's new 208 page book published by Comet Publishing
Focusing on the Invisible: Creating a Culture of Service Excellence
"An inspiring and important work on that invisible quality that shapes and defines the success or failure of organisations - its Service culture. This should be required reading for anyone interested in taking their business to the next level and doing so with integrity and good will."
Keith Mogford - Regional Manager of The Apprentice and Training Company
"Essential reading for anyone serious about mastering customer service. Terry's use of everyday events and experiences to emphasise the key messages is unique and effective."
Steve Mitchinson - Customer Relationships Manager, B-Digital
"Terry has written a very good book. Read it. He will give you the key to attracting business in a manner far more powerful than any ad could hope for. When people feel important, they love to give you business. Terry will show you how it's done. And what's more, he'll give it to you in simple language."
Glenn Cardwell - Author, Consultant and speaker
"Terry presents highly important and highly relevant ideas in a simple, readable way. I recommend it to anybody interested in gaining an edge for their organisation through excellent customer Service.?
Gihan Perera - Internet consultant, First Step
"Terry Power is a master at relationships. If you need to know how to increase the connection with your customers and your staff, then this book is for you."
Tracey McGrath - Conflict specialist and psychologist
Focusing on the Invisible: Creating a Culture of Service Excellence
I once read a quote that said, "In five years from now you will be the same person you are today, except for the people you meet, the books you read and the information you listen to." It could be true. But I don't think so.
Many of the people that continue to inspire, motivate and give me ideas have been around a lot longer than five years. My wife, Heather, is certainly my greatest inspiration and support. Another person who has influenced my life, probably more than he realises, is my brother, Alan. In some ways, the whole message of this book can be traced back to something he once said to me.
Alan is a psychologist. This means that, ordinarily, I don?t take any notice of his philosophising. Fortunately, this time I did.
One day while I was deep in study he took me aside. "Terry," he said. 'For years you've been studying all this stuff about human learning and interaction.'
"Yeah," I replied
"Well, there is really only one thing you need to know about us human beings, and when you know this one thing, every interaction you ever have will take on a new meaning."
He was starting to get my attention.
"Well, what is it?" I asked nonchalantly, trying to feign disinterest.
"Every person you meet has around their neck an invisible sign."
I felt my attention and interest slip a few notches. I imagined that he was going to wander off into another of his psychobabble talks.
"I'm not kidding," he enthused. "It's true. And once you know what is written on that sign, it will change your life forever."
"Okay, Al. You got me."
"Upon the chest of every person, there is a sign with these words emblazoned: Make me feel important'."
Those four words have changed my life forever.
Since that conversation, I have dedicated my life to focusing on those invisible words and what they can mean in creating cultural change. Remembering them has always served me well. I have had the pleasure of working with people from many walks of life: CEO's, office clerks, construction workers, politicians, directors, criminals, children and customers (and many that fit into more than one category). These people are all clearly different, but in my experience, one thing unites them. They all want to feel important.
A Culture of Service Excellence certainly sounds grandiose, but what exactly does it mean?
Ordinarily I don?t condone violence. But to give this sentence meaning let's begin by tearing it apart. There are three key words in this statement: Culture, Service and Excellence. Each reveals some truths in relation to the context of this book. Let's briefly examine them. Culture is an elusive, albeit an ever-present, creature. It is something we interact with continuously. But when we try to pin it down it slips easily through our intellectual grasp.
Culture...Like air through a moving hand we can't capture it, but we all know it's there. And vital for our survival. Despite its pervasiveness it remains invisible. In its totality it makes up the inherited ideas, beliefs, values and knowledge which constitute the shared vision of any nation, group or, in the context of this book, any organisation. Something so important requires us to investigate its implications within our organisations.
Service, too, has in the past been narrowly defined. Basically, service is helping or assisting others. In reality it cuts much deeper than that. In its most purest form Service touches lives and is integral to what it means to be a human being. My definition of Service is inspired by the work of Robert K Greenleaf. Greenleaf created a form of leadership based on Service - Servant Leadership.
In his words, "Servant Leadership encourages collaboration, trust, foresight, listening, and the ethical use of power and empowerment. The servant-leader is servant first... It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first...The best test, and difficult to administer, is: do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous". I believe that the Service I am advocating meets this test. This is Service with a capital "S".
Which only leaves us with the last key word; Excellence. Excellent Service is more than enriching people's lives. It is about continually, endlessly and passionately seeking ways to do it better.
Things I couldn't see have always fascinated me. I remember sitting outside the girls' changing rooms at school. I'd sit, longingly daydreaming about the terrific advantage I'd have if only I could see what all my mates couldn?t.
Some things, it would seem, never change. Ever since leaving school all I've ever wanted in anything I did was an unfair advantage. It's taken two decades of business, three university degrees and more failures than I care to remember, but I think I've finally got a clue as to where that advantage is hidden. Maybe I just learn slower than others.
And the great revelation?
The key to business success comes in two parts. One, how we Serve our customers. And two, the internal organisational Culture that drives that treatment.
Okay, it's not rocket science. It's not even really a revelation. But it is still critically important. Given that, why does it seem so many organisations stuff it up?
I reckon it's because many of the things needed to build a Culture which satisfies, delights and makes customers feel good are nigh on invisible. So, it's easier to forget them.
Now, I don't mean invisible like mysterious poltergeists, ghosts or things that go bump in the night. Although that can satisfy some customers, depending on what line of work you're in. I mean those things that seem so small as to be almost invisible. The unseen attention to detail, those little common courtesies and the unspoken thoughts, about "how we do business around here". Important? Yes. But easily forgotten. It is in those all-too-rare moments when these intangibles are present that customers feel special and important. My brother was right. People do want you to make them feel important. In my experience, when people feel important, they also feel good - whatever that means to them.
In the final analysis, Service is about making people feel good.
I don't mean roll-over-and-fall-down-drunk good, I mean feeling good about themselves and feeling good about doing business with you. When you boil down all the hype and all the pompous theorising, that's all Service is really. Making people feel good. Good about themselves, good about being a customer, and good about doing business with you. Don?t get me wrong. I understand that there is a lot more to making people feel good than a dopey smile and a warm handshake. But don't discount the power of making your customers feel good. There are lots of things that make people feel good. When they have received excellent value for money. When a competent and caring assistant has served them. When the product has surpassed their wildest expectations (don't laugh, it does happen).
These and a raft of other big and little things make customers feel good. Put these together and you have the foundation for a Culture of Service Excellence.
But wait, there's more
Sure, you want your customer to walk away feeling good. If they do, you know they'll tell others. But there is another pleasantly unsuspected by-product of excellent Service. The customer isn't the only one to benefit, because everyone feels good.
Not like a New-Years-party kind of feel-good. More like an I'm-part-of-something-that-matters-here feeling. Think about it. Last time you were a customer that came away from a Service happy with the outcome, didn't you get a sense that the person who served you also felt good? A sense that the person felt they too were doing something important? Or perhaps you can remember the last time you did something exceptional (some people may have to delve deeper into their past than others).
What about the last time you made a customer laugh? Didn't you enjoy the fun also? Did your work feel more meaningful after assisting a customer through a problem, or teaching them something new or showing them how to get the most from your Service?
In a good Service transaction, everyone feels good, and everyone benefits. Isn't that a worthwhile goal in itself? Every time human beings come in contact with each other there exists an opportunity for both to be richer for the experience. For a little magic to occur.
I?m not trying to be all misty-eyed and mushy here. The hard fact is that people who provide excellent Service pull rabbits out of hats; rabbits that are the right size, just the right colour and bounce at just the right height. And the final result? Everyone feels pretty darn good about it.
Those of us that deal with customers - and we all do in one form or another - have the opportunity to experience these moments of magic every day. For it is during all those fleeting moments, those seemingly insignificant interactions, that a Culture of Service Excellence is created.
I would love to hear from you to discuss "Focusing on The Invisible" in your organisation, or any of the ideas in this book. I can be contacted at:
Tel: 011 61 8 9537 3889 Email: Website: www.execedge.com.au
Terry delivers dynamic keynote presentations, interactive conferences, team events and consultancy to help you Focus on the Invisible and Create a Culture of Service Excellence. He has worked with corporations, educational institutions, community organisations and the public sector. Terry also works to create other aspects of personal and corporate development.
Order form and tax invoice
(ABN: 73 558 088 452)
If you would like to order this book, please fill out the order form below and return it to us by email, post or fax. *************************************************************** Photocopy this form and fax it to 011 61 8 9537 3889, or post to: Terry Power Presentations, 18 Bight Reefs Road, Singleton, Western Australia 6175.
PLEASE NOTE: Substantial discounts are available for multiple orders. Please email for details.
Number of Books Ordered:
Postage and Handling:
International orders - Add Aus$11.00 per book for airmail postage
Australian residents - Add Aus$6.60 per book (GST Inclusive)
Total Amount (in Australian dollars):
I enclose a cheque for
Number of Books Ordered:____ @ Aus$33.00 per book
Postage and Handling: International orders - Add Aus$11.00 per book for airmail postage Australian residents - Add Aus$6.60 per book (GST Inclusive)
Total Amount (in Australian dollars):
I enclose a cheque for________ payable to Terry Power. Cheques must be in Australian dollars drawn on an Australian bank.
The Corporate Peak Performer Newsletter
Our free e-mail newsletter for achievers provides you with ongoing tips and strategies to enable you to be the best.
| Services | Clients
| Corporate Training | Keynotes
| Calendar | Articles