Sometimes, when someone says ‘have a nice day’ it genuinely means something. A stranger wishing that your day is nice can actually make your day nicer as a result – a self-fulfilling prophecy. Of course we have all heard the line ‘have a nice day’ muttered to us in a bored monotone by someone who is clearly having a very bad one.
The droning automaton is clearly following his or her company’s customer service process. This presents a problem. Given that, I’ve written about the importance of establishing a process in order to ensure consistency of service, especially when your business is growing and you require new staff to operate to your standards.
Though reciting ‘have a nice day’ probably isn’t a specific aspect of your process, you don’t want to create the situation where your process is something to be trudged through and resented by your staff. Especially if that resentment becomes obvious to clients.
This can be partly avoided by ensuring that your process provides your staff with enough flexibility and freedom. I’ve written previously about how a process can be a series of checks which you use to asses, then respond to the situation accordingly.
If the imaginary individual mentioned earlier was following a process which involved engaging the customer socially, but was given the freedom to write their own script, then perhaps they would sound more convincing.
The real key though is complementing a solid, consistent and successful process with a sense of enthusiasm and urgency. The real grating point of the ‘have a nice day’ scenario is the lack of sincerity. Try replacing that negative image with memories of times you have encountered people who take genuine pleasure in their work.
To create enthusiasm about the process you need your staff to follow, give them a stake in that process. Ensure goals and responsibilities are not merely allocated, but discussed, shared and understood. Sharing information creates a sense of unity and urgency within an organisation.
Ensure you compare results with these goals. You don’t want to get mired in analysis paralysis, but sharing and discussing outcomes as a team and handing out rewards where they are due builds on these foundations.
To keep this enthusiasm within a framework, you can remind your staff of the concrete aspects of your company’s process by emphasising the adaptability of the areas which are not fixed. Setting new, frequent and varied mini-objectives and encouraging experimentation with new techniques in areas that you are want people to leave their own stamp on caters for creativity and innovation and above all, make sure you keep on top of the process and not too deep in it. Retain and overview of how your staff are performing – these regular goal setting and sharing meetings should help. Be aware of individuals departing too far from the plan and those following it in a soulless, uninspiring manner. If you discover any rogues and robots, then act on it and you can continue to deliver with quality and consistency.