Your success in the marketplace will be in direct proportion to your ability to serve well.
In my business I have discovered a simple truth: if I serve my clients well, I get to eat well. If I don't serve them well, they will find someone who will.
There are 3 essential elements to any customer service experience: Personal Warmth, Quality and Responsiveness.
"A person without a smile should not open a shop."
- Chinese Proverb
Every business is a relationship business. We want to work with those we like and trust. My father-in-law is in the market for a high-end truck. He already knows the kind of truck he wants to buy. He is now focusing on buying it from the right kind of person.
How about your Personal Warmth?
Are you friendly, welcoming and easy to work with?
Do you seek to serve with energy and enthusiasm?
Do you show concern for your customer's best interest?
When it comes to your product or service, make sure it is exceptional. Decide to be a craftsman not just a carpenter. Design it well, make sure it has nice finishing touches.
How is the quality of your product or service?
Can it be described as excellent?
Does it significantly improve the life of your customer?
Is it easy to understand and user-friendly?
The third element to service excellence is responsiveness. You develop trust with your customer by responding to their needs and keeping your word.
How are you doing in the area of responsiveness?
Do you consistently follow through on your commitments?
Do you come to meetings and appointments prepared?
Do you respond to phone calls and emails in a timely manner?
These 3 elements apply in almost any occupation.
If you are a patient in a hospital, you want your nurse to be friendly and compassionate (Personal Warmth), competent (Quality) and to answer your call light promptly (Responsiveness).
When dining out, you want your server to be welcoming and enthusiastic, the food to taste good and to arrive within a reasonable time period.
When having your car repaired, you want to be greeted by someone friendly, the mechanic to be knowledgeable and honest, and your car to be ready when they told you could pick it up.
These 3 elements can be applied to how you serve your internal customers (your co-workers) as well.
Think about it, two out of the three won't cut it. Give those you serve the entire experience.