Several weeks ago we began a discussion of ten ways to build a company-wide customer obsession in 2019. By way of review, Customer Obsession is a top-down, company-wide spirit, focus, and priority of delighting customers. It starts with leadership , vision , listening , spirit and this week the Basics.
The Basics are basic. Vince Lombardi is a legend in football coaching. When he arrived for his first season with the Green Bay Packers, he set the tone for his leadership by holding up a football so that everyone in the room could see it and said,
"Gentlemen, this is a football."

Lombardi, to the surprise of the players, started with the basics. Beginning with what a football looks like, he followed with more detailed instructions about the fundamentals of the game. He emphasized how essential it is for a team to play as a team.  He took everyone outside and talked about the field, explaining where the out-of-bounds lines and the end zones were followed by more basics of the game, explaining the rules and organization of players. At one point, one of the players quipped, "slow down're going a little too fast!" Lombardi smiled but persisted in reminding the players of the importance of not only executing the fundamentals but understanding them.
Companies with a customer obsession teach the basics. Someone might say, "we don't need to review the fundamentals...we hire good people." But isn't that a little like a great coach saying, "we recruit great players...we don't need the basics"?
What are the basics of customer service excellence?
(Here's a list of 10 essentials we cover in our"Passion for Service" workshop)
  • How to make a great first impression with customers (In person or on the phone)
  • The importance of your smile (One of the most powerful ways to connect with a customer)
  • Being enthusiastic (A contagious attitude with customers and essential for leaders)
  • Taking charge of your attitude (Even when you're having a bad day)
  • Giving the gift of honor (Respect is the golden word with customers)
  • Showing kindness (The "miracle grow" of customer loyalty)
  • Remembering and using customer names
  • Being knowledgeable of your products, services, building layout, personnel and community
  • Learning your phone system (The average employee knows how to use 2-3 features of their phone)
  • Letting your personality shine (Sense of humor is the #1 thing customers love)
In years past, Disney would hire a short-term, college student, for the summer at one of their theme parks. How much training in the basics do you think they received before they were placed in a job to work with guests? Most companies might offer a several hour orientation and welcome to the company training. Disney provided a full three-day customer service training program... for a three-month employee.  Now that's customer obsession!