Buckminster Fuller, the creator of the Geodesic Dome once said, “Relationships are everything and everything is relationship.” He saw the world as a whole – where everything is connected to everything else and where the relationships between things are as important as the things themselves. His work synthesized intelligence from the fields of architecture, design, engineering, mathematics and more. His imagination showed us a place he called “Spaceship Earth” where he talked about the integral nature of the world’s living system.
Business is a living system too – one based on the relationship of customers to companies and the people in them. One based on the relationship of value to price and one based on the relationships of people to people.
For so many years I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with companies who had a strong desire to take better care of their customers and their employees. After all – why would they seek out a guide on the road to improvement if they didn’t desire to be better? My customers tend to embody one of my favorite slogans, “If you’re not getting better, you cease being good.”
I’m so grateful for my customers. The challenges they face teach me so much.
More than anything I’ve learned that creating an “Exquisite” Customer Experience reliably only works when the conviction and commitment of people across all areas of function are involved.
Customer care is everyone’s business. (Or should be.)
When leaders embody that and support and reinforce the “WHY” of doing it they focus attention, make meaning, motivate and inspire others to create better – more fulfilling and enriching – relationships.
When EQ trumps IQ (Emotional intelligence over technical expertise) positive leaders create a climate more conducive to success. 30% of an organization’s financial results are a result of the climate created by the leaders.
Just like a garden where healthy plants are in right relationships with the soil, water, weather, fertilizer, the proximity of other plants and even the local pests and pets, a fertile, safe environment delivers a better yield – more profit.
Imagine that your business sits on a tripod – and that each leg of the tripod represents a different set of relationships. One represents the external relationships you have at your organization, another, the internal relationships. The third represents the “inner” relationship each individual has with him/her self and their work/company. (I call this the “Working Relationship Tripod”sm)
Everyone knows that in order for something that is balanced on a tripod to be steady all those legs must be pretty close to the same length. Yes?
That means all those relationships need to work well – together. Those outside the company – customers, communities, suppliers, etc. must have good working relationships with those inside the company. And then of course, those inside the company need to have good relationships with themselves and their work.
When all this works right, people are excited about coming to work because they get to use their strengths, they feel part of something important, they have colleagues and leaders who care about them and they are excited about the future and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their customers. Then guess what? The Customer’s Experience gets better and better.
Yep – we’re all connected in the living system of business.
Knowing how to nurture relationships is SO important that every few years I like to do a “mini-series” on the qualities that matter most in relationships. While there are many, I’ve observed that if you improve just five of these qualities you can make great strides towards healthier relationships.
Take it from a Happiness and Positive Leadership Coach increased positive emotion makes us healthier, wealthier, smarter and more socially adept. (And a heck of a lot nicer to be around.)
As luck would have it have, these qualities form an easily remembered acronym: T.R.A.C.K., which stands for Trust, Respect, Appreciation, Communication and Kindness. When all these qualities are practiced consciously and consistently, relationships thrive and prosper. The next 5 of my Customer Care Tips will expand on each of these qualities and help bring them to life and into your positive leadership practice.
Stay tuned and get ready to rock your relationships!
PS Looking for leadership “Mastery” in Customer Care? Check out our Customer Care Coach® Mastery package. If you decide it’s for you and purchase before March 14th, I will throw in a one hour free consultation (a $400 Value) to get you started.