Innovative Service and the Rules of Combat

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Next week we celebrate Memorial Day. We deeply thank all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country! We also thank those who served for their service. We both had the distinct honor and privilege to serve our country. Chip is a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran.
Several years ago Logan Graves posted the “Rules of Combat” out on his website. We filed the clever set of rules away but have recently dusted them off for a fresh look at innovative service. Here are a few of his rules.

The easy way is always mined. There is an adage that goes “only dead fish swim with the current.”  Innovative service seeks the road less traveled in the pursuit of ingenious and novel.  Today’s wired and dangerous customers are bored with pretty good service.
No combat-ready unit ever passed inspection; no inspection-ready unit ever passed combat.  Innovative service is scrappy and provocative.  It focuses on what works, not on what’s […] Continue…

How Are You Learning About Your Customers’ Expectations?

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There is no one on the planet smarter than an eager beaver just back from a best practices conference.  In the sixties when my dad encountered such a person he would tell my mother, “If I ever get that smart I want you to slap me silly!”  He was not one to suffer fools in the face of ill-founded arrogance.
The best practices upstart often prefaces their plea for a pet “oughta” or “shoulda” with the words, “Standing in the customer’s shoes.”  It sounds like, “At Smith Company they put a Filtabrator 22 in their IVR circuitry yielding a 22.4% decrease in FCR that created a 31% increase in customer sat.  Standing in the customer’s shoes, this will put us on the bleeding edge and enhance our core competency.” The “customer’s shoes” is a smug decoy for claiming, “We know what’s best for our customers.”  It was likely the line of logic that said, “We just know our customers will love New Coke, iPhones without[…] Continue…

How Leaders Impact Service Quality

woman ordering at restaurant
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The new billboard proclaimed the El Casa de Adjetivo on 2nd Street as having the best Mexican food in town.  We had driven by the restaurant many times but never given it a try.  We are major fans of great Mexican food—not the fast food type, but the kind that tastes imported directly from Monterey.  So, into the restaurant we went.  The ambiance was nice; real Mexican music was playing in the background.  Our waitress greeted us with menus and a warm welcome.
However, the great experience ended almost as soon as it began.  My wife ordered a glass of Chablis.  When the waitress brought Chardonnay and my wife complained, the friendly retort was, “Sorry, I picked up the wrong bottle.”  We both ordered extra beans but no rice.  And, we both got rice.  My wife had to ask twice for a glass of ice.  I ordered a side of fresh cut, raw, super-hot jalapenos, and not pickled ones.  You can guess at this point what I was served.
When we paid our […] Continue…

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