Service Coaching With A Hammer

Carmen and Randy are back this week with a brilliant podcast detailing how to drive service throughout your organization. Listen in to this one, you’re not going to want to miss it!

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Podcast Transcript

  • [music]
  • Carmen:  Welcome to Evolutionaries Podcast. I am Carmen  Voilleque.
  • Randy:  I am Randy Harrington .
  • Carmen:  And today, we are going to do another role play because we’ve been having so much fun.  This one is called “Service Coaching with a Hammer”.
  • Randy:  It is a big deal these days to talk about improving service.  You know, so many businesses are trying to differentiate with a service experience.
  • Carmen:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).
  • Randy:  And the only way to really have that happen, is to have real time coaching …
  • Carmen:  Yeah.
  • Randy:  … that happens on the court.
  • Carmen:  And the goal of this in many organizations is to achieve consistency across the service experience …
  • Randy:  That is right.
  • Carmen:  That’s a big word out there …
  • Randy:  That is right.
  • Carmen:  … in service right now, is consistency. So, in this scenario, we’ve got Joey.  And, ah, Joey is just out there in the front lines.
  • Randy:  He is just trying to do his job.
  • Carmen:  Trying to make it happen.  Trying to, trying to build the dream.  And, uh, I will be playing the role of Joey’s manager.
  • Randy:  Very good.  So, the manager is going to be trying some real time coaching.
  • Carmen:  Oh, yeah.  Here we go.
  • Randy:  On Joey.
  • Randy:  All right.  Here we go.  Hey, thank you very much and, uh, I’ll be, uh, looking forward to seeing you next time you come in.  OK, take care.
  • Carmen:  Hey Joey, how you doing?
  • Randy:  Hey, hey I am OK. How are you?
  • Carmen:  I am doing very good, thank you. You know, I couldn’t help but over hear.
  • Randy:  Mm.
  • Carmen:  Ah, that last service transaction, you had there …
  • Randy:  Yeah.
  • Carmen:  … with Mr. Johnson. Um, I noticed a couple of things that I’d like to share with you, um …
  • Randy:  Sure.
  • Carmen:  The first one is: I noticed that you did not greet him by name.
  • Randy:  Hm.
  • Carmen:  Which is always a miss. I mean, we’re really, really trying to greet everybody by name and there shouldn’t be any reason for you not to do it, you know, ’cause it shows up right there on their file. You know, so.
  • Randy:  Well, I, I, I did use his name, kind of in the middle, uh, after I saw  …
  • Carmen:  Yeah, ah, OK,
  • Randy:  who he was, after I looked at his, his ID, there in the …
  • Carmen:  Yeah, yeah. We just really want that smile and that greeting is so important.  It sets the tone.
  • Randy:  (sigh)
  • Carmen:  So, just, just hold on to that thought for a minute.
  • Randy:  OK, fine, [02:00] yeah, OK.
  • Carmen:  You know, I, I also noticed that you failed to use our closing catch phrase.  Now, remember we had a training on this.  This is the, we serve you with great service.  We serve you with great service.
  • Randy:  Right.
  • Carmen:  So, so, when they’re leaving, you say …
  • Randy:  We serve, we serve you …
  • Carmen:  Say, “Thank you so much for coming in. Remember, we serve you with great service.”
  • Randy:  We serve you with great service.
  • Carmen:  Yeah, yeah, that’s it. It’s not, it’s not hard.
  • Randy:  No, I … no. I have it written down in a …
  • Carmen:  Yeah.
  • Randy:  … sticker from the training.
  • Carmen:  Yeah.
  • Randy:  And it’s right here on my …
  • Carmen:  Yeah, OK, well.
  • Randy:  Yeah.  On the sticker.
  • Carmen:  You know, and then, just this, this, this is one last thing I want you to think about is, I noticed that you didn’t cross sell our promotion of the month.  You know it’s the football season and so we have the football season I am America VISA card.  And, we …
  • Randy:  Yeah.
  • Carmen:  … should be selling that, to every single person that comes in.  So, so, can you tell me, Joey, why didn’t, why didn’t you try that?
  • Randy:  Well, it was, you know, it was kind of an awkward situation.  I mean, he was here to close an account because of a death in the family and I, I really didn’t, you know, it didn’t seem right, to say, Oh, Mr. Johnson, I am sorry about the death, you know.  My condolences, could … would you be interested in our football VISA?
  • Carmen:  Yeah, yeah.
  • Randy:  I just, it just, didn’t seem right for Mr. Johnson at the time, you know.
  • Carmen:  Well …
  • Randy:  I guess I was making a decision about that.
  • Carmen:  Yeah.
  • Randy:  It was, it was uh …
  • Carmen:  But Joey, I, I can …
  • Randy:  It’s like empowerment.
  • Carmen:  I hear you and I, I can see your point and we certainly want to encouragement empowerment.
  • Randy:  Yes, it’s …
  • Carmen:  However, however …
  • Randy:  Uh …
  • Carmen:  … not at the cost of consistency. And you know, we had our service consistency team work for weeks to create these scripts.  And they really thought through a lot of different scenarios.
  • Randy  ;  Scenarios.
  • Carmen:  And one of the big things that, that we know, is we really can’t assume anything.
  • Randy:  Oh.  Right.
  • Carmen:  I mean, we can’t assume …
  • Randy  ;  Well …
  • Carmen:  … that we know that Mr. Johnson, maybe a death in his family, is, is he … maybe that’s a reason why he needs the VISA.  I mean, we, we shouldn’t make … jump [04:00] to these conclusions, that’s what the scripts are for.
  • Randy:  You see, he …
  • Carmen:  The scripts really allow us …
  • Randy:  Yeah.
  • Carmen:  … you know, to follow through and be consistent …
  • Randy:  Uh-huh (affirmative).
  • Carmen:  … really make this a really strong part of our brand.  It has to be what we are known for, you know.  Service, we serve you with great service, that has to be our thing.
  • Randy:  Yes, that’s right.
  • Carmen:  That, that’s our big brand this, this year.  And I need to hear you saying that.
  • Randy:  We’ll, we’ll …
  • Carmen:  I need you to hear you doing, doing the cross sale promotions.
  • Randy:  We serve you with service.
  • Carmen:  Yeah, yeah. Now, I do want you to know. I, I, I understand you were, you were trying to make some decisions you thought were best here. But, um, this is, this is something, it’s hard for me to do, you know, but this is a big thing were pushing this year.  So, I am going to have to write you up because we have to have accountability on this, Joey.
  • Randy  ;  Oh.
  • Carmen:  We have to.  So, I am going to write you up …
  • Randy:  Uh-huh (affirmative).
  • Carmen:  … but let’s move forward for now, OK. ‘Cause, you know, I want you to hop back in there.
  • Randy:  All right.
  • Carmen:  We’ve got more people coming in.
  • Randy:  More …
  • Carmen:  Focus on your script. Don’t forget the promotion.  And here, is your next customer.  So, go get them, Joey.
  • Randy:  OK.  (laughs)  That hurt.
  • Carmen:  (laughs)  Joey seems to have lost some of his pep.
  • Randy:  I really want to just like go drink and lay on the floor after this.  (laughing)  That was painful.  It actually hurt.
  • Carmen:  (laughter)
  • Randy:  To be in that situation and …
  • Carmen:  It hurt me, too.
  • Randy:  And candidly, if I was Joey … I mean all I am thinking about at that time is …
  • Carmen:  When will this conversation be … (laughs)
  • Randy:  I am out of here.  I want to get out of this place.
  • Carmen:  First chance I get.
  • Randy:  I hate this situation. I hated the sappy, pseudo, sweet, kind of, oh, let me pretend to be your friend and then screw with you and, and you know.  I just hated every second of that.  That was just terrible.
  • Carmen:  You know, what I think …
  • Randy:  Did this happen in America?
  • Carmen:  What I … this happens all the time and you know …
  • Randy:  Horrid.
  • Carmen:  You know why it happens.  It, it’s really coming from a good place. This manager, I mean, what hurts me about this is this manager does not intend to be mean or duplicitous [06:00] or you know.  This manager really believes that they are upholding a service promise, that they are trying to get …
  • Randy:  Sure …
  • Carmen:  And it seems …
  • Randy:  … it’s like the cop, who says, “I don’t want to give you the ticket, but I am going to give you the ticket.”
  • Carmen:  It’s being beaten into their brains everyday that they have got to drive consistency and accountability in the service experience.  Are you driving consistency? And they go to meetings and they hear the senior, you know, team members, are saying, “Well, we just don’t have any managers who can be, you know, coaches and really drive consistency.”  I see this and that and so they’re, they’re really feeling like …
  • Randy:  So …
  • Carmen:  … they’re doing the right thing.
  • Randy:  … my, what I wanted you to do, though, in that situation was to ask me some questions.
  • Carmen:  A-ha.
  • Randy:  I didn’t want you to come at me and go, “OK, now I going to critique you.”  What I wanted you to do is say, “Hey, what worked for you in that conversation?  You know, How do you think Mr. Johnson felt when he left?  Is there anything we can do?  How could we have up-leveled the experience for Mr. Johnson?”  You know, we say we are going to serve you with service, which I think is hysterical.
  • Carmen:  (laughter)
  • Randy:  But, uh, what would that actually look like? Instead of this, this sort of preachy, parking ticket approach to coaching.
  • Carmen:  Yeah, and you know what happens is as much as we’ve got the script for Joey, we’ve got the script for the manager. And so, that’s where …
  • Randy:  Ah.
  • Carmen:  … we’re saying, how can we trust our managers out there to just ask questions?  What questions will they ask?
  • Randy:  Right.
  • Carmen:  And what will be the outcomes of that?
  • Randy:  Right.
  • Carmen:  Um, it is a much more sophisticated form of leadership.
  • Randy:  It’s an, it’s an, it’s art.  When it plays out right, it’s a thing of beauty. And we know, from looking at all kinds of performance statistics, that the success of the branch or the success of the particular location is dependent heavily on the personality characteristics of that manager person.  You know, we work because of our working relationships with other employees and a good manager is going to foster, trust and enjoyment and literally fun in those relationships.  And that was not a fun conversation I just had.
  • Carmen:  Not at all, and it wasn’t fun for the manager, either.  I think what happens is, managers [08:00] and supervisors feel that they have two options.  Option one is, be nice, be conciliatory and let it go.
  • Randy:  Yeah.  Yeah.
  • Carmen:  And hope it all works out.
  • Randy:  Yeah, let it slide.
  • Carmen:  Be an example and maybe eventually they’ll get it and they’ll follow.  Or Option B, use a hammer.  It’s straight to, this is this and that is that and these are the rules and they’re non-negotiable and I have to write you up or whatever.
  • Randy:  That’s right.
  • Carmen:  And in some ways, those two options are the two they see because of the two that are safe …
  • Randy:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).
  • Carmen:  … and as the two that are clear.
  • Randy:  Yeah.
  • Carmen:  And, as you said, “Everything in the middle is the gray area, the perilous waters, that, that you have to navigate, as a more sophisticated leader and if you can do it well, it is magic.”
  • Randy:  Yeah.
  • Carmen:  That’s where all the magic is.  All the magic is in the middle.
  • Randy:  So, what we are netting out of this is that the great manager is the one who is going to be able to match up multiple layers of agenda, the strategic agenda of the organization.  She should have known about what Joey was strong at and what Joey is weak at and helping him, you know, optimize his strengths, minimize his weaknesses.
  • Carmen:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm (affirmative).
  • Randy:  I mean, I didn’t get any of that feeling in that conversation. So, ah …
  • Carmen:  And a huge leap of faith in the belief of human potential, that you, that, that if you ask the right questions, Joey will come to the right conclusions on his own.
  • Randy:  That’s right. That’s right. And you know, I think, just because I was Joey and I am sort of defending him …
  • Carmen:  (laughing)
  • Randy:  But he wanted, he was expecting praise.
  • Carmen:  Yeah, I think he felt pretty good til …
  • Randy:  He felt pretty good about being compassionate  …
  • Carmen:  She started talking.  Yeah.
  • Randy:  … with Mr. Johnson …
  • Carmen:  Yeah.
  • Randy:  … and his …
  • Carmen:  Yeah.
  • Randy:  … death in the family …
  • Carmen:  Yep.
  • Randy:  … and then it was like, “Are you kidding me?”
  • Carmen:  Right.
  • Randy:  “You want me to cross sell him a football VISA card?”
  • Carmen:  (laughing)
  • Randy:  Oh my god!
  • Carmen:  Of course you … I love that one, too.
  • Randy:  Yeah, it happens. Yeah, I know, because you’re a football …
  • Carmen:  My football blog.
  • Randy:  You’re a huge football fan.
  • Carmen:  Check it out. Yeah.
  • Randy:  Well, that was fun.
  • Carmen:  All right. So, now we are going to attempt to do that conversation again and have the manager ask more questions.
  • Randy:  And so, you are going to have to bear with us here and [10:00] we, you know, I think this will be interesting.  We’d like to hear your critique …
  • Carmen:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).
  • Randy:  … of this, so you know …
  • Carmen:  Yes, because what we are about to do …
  • Randy:  Carmen is …
  • Carmen:  … will surely be flawed.
  • Randy:  Yeah, (laughing), but Carmen is going to try and go at this coaching thing, uh, from a more balanced perspective. So here we go.
  • Carmen:  Hey, Joey.
  • Randy:  Hey.
  • Carmen:  How are you doing?
  • Randy:  I am doing OK. A little busy here today.
  • Carmen:  Yeah.  It has been busy.  I’ve noticed you’ve been pretty much, you know, one person after another.
  • Randy:  Yeah, yeah.
  • Carmen:  Yeah.  So, how is it going?
  • Randy:  It’s good.  You know, I like it busy. It makes the time go quicker and, you know, we’re, we are getting it done.
  • Carmen:  Well, you know, we are really focused this year on service this year.  That is our big thing.  You’ve had the training …
  • Randy:  We serve with service.  Yeah.  (laughs)
  • Carmen:  We serve with service. That’s right, that’s right. So, uh, if you don’t mind, I’d love to have a quick debrief conversation on what just happened with Mr. Johnson.
  • Randy:  Oh, sure.  Yeah.
  • Carmen:  Yeah, so tell me about it.  What, what do you feel worked in that?
  • Randy:  Wow, you know, it was a tough situation. I mean, the guy, uh, you know, he’s obviously, uh, still, still struggling, in trouble.  He lost a family member and he is here to close accounts. You know, there … you could see he is in that period. Uh, you know, knock wood, I haven’t had to go through this, uh, but, you know, I’ve seen my parents and others when they’ve had to go deal with closing down estates and everything so, uh, you know, uh, it was a tough conversation to be in with him.
  • Carmen:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm (affirmative).  Um, I thought that you handled that part, the, the emotional piece and kind of the sensitivity to his personal situation …
  • Randy:  Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
  • Carmen:  I thought that you handled that really well.
  • Randy:  Well, thank you.  Yeah.
  • Carmen:  Um, I wanted to ask you, what made you decide not to promote the VISA, the football VISA?
  • Randy:  You know …
  • Carmen:  Or did you think about it?
  • Randy:  I didn’t. (laughter)
  • Carmen:  Oh, OK.
  • Randy:  I really didn’t …
  • Carmen:  All right. OK.
  • Randy:  I was kind of in the moment with him …
  • Carmen:  Yeah.
  • Randy:  … and it was like, uh, …
  • Carmen:  It’s new.
  • Randy:  He was, he was so uncomfortable. I could just really feel like he wanted to be anywhere but here and …
  • Carmen:  Yeah.
  • Randy:  … and he just wanted to deal with things and get on with it, and I didn’t want to waste a second of his time.
  • Carmen:  Right.
  • Randy:  And so, I never [12:00] even thought about. I never, you know. I didn’t even look at the script.
  • Carmen:  Well, um, it is gonna be important for us to promote that VISA this month.  It is a big deal.
  • Randy:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).
  • Carmen:  And it’s something regardless of what people are going through. We want, of course, to be able to customize our service experience to people’s personal situations, but we also need to figure out, “Well, how might that product work for them?”
  • Randy:  Hmm.
  • Carmen:  And not make the assumption that just because somebody is going through something tough, that that doesn’t mean that we don’t have something that might help them.
  • Randy:  Hmm, so …
  • Carmen:  And so, do you see any way that, you know, if we could have a do over of that moment, is there a way that that could have been worked in?
  • Randy:  Um, well, he is going to be coming back to get the paperwork that we talked about.  I could have said, you know, “If you come back with a little extra time, we might have some products that could really help you in this transition.”
  • Carmen:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).
  • Randy:  You know, and then maybe I could have brought in Jeff, in, in, uh, account planning, and he could have sat down with him and, and maybe added a whole lot more.  Because you’re right …
  • Carmen:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).
  • Randy:  … maybe he does need some serious work right now.
  • Carmen:  I really like that, um, a lot.  Is there a way you could say that and actually say the product name?
  • Randy:  Umm …
  • Carmen:  Would you feel comfortable leaving that in?
  • Randy:  Sure, I could say, you know, “We’ve got some neat new products. The ‘I am an American’ VISA card is, is really amazing and it might be helpful. I know it is not relevant for you right now, but when you come back and you are trying to get your financial plan in order, you know, you ought to, you ought to take a look at it.”
  • Carmen:  That is awesome, Joey …
  • Randy:  (laughs)  Thanks.
  • Carmen:  Awesome, high-five on that.
  • Randy:  High-five.  Yeah.
  • Carmen:  That’s what I am talking about. So, I’d like you to try thinking about that.  It is not so much that you’ve got to say a script and have a script in front of you, but to remember, “How can I personalize this?”
  • Randy:  Hmm.
  • Carmen:  “How can I add value through the product in, in each situation?”
  • Randy  ;  OK.
  • Carmen:  And I know it’s tough, but I, uh, I can see now from this conversation that you can do it, and, uh, one last quick thing is, [14:00] don’t forget, when they’re coming in to greet them by name.
  • Randy:  Right.  Sorry.
  • Carmen:  All right, ’cause I am going to be watching for that …
  • Randy:  Right.
  • Carmen:  … all this week …
  • Randy:  Fair enough.
  • Carmen:  … and I am going to warn you …
  • Randy:  (laughs)
  • Carmen:  … and I’m warning everybody.
  • Randy:  OK.
  • Carmen:  If I see anybody not doing that, it is going to be a write-up situation.
  • Randy:  OK.
  • Carmen:  Moving forward, OK, but keep on doing what you’re doing and, uh, try, try some of that extra language, OK. I am going to be watching for it.
  • Randy:  All right, thanks.
  • Carmen:  Good job, Joey.
  • Randy:  OK, so, I still feel a little bit like crap, but …
  • Carmen:  Yeah, I know you do.
  • Randy:  But uh, but, that’s the nature of it, isn’t it? I mean there’s …
  • Carmen:  Yeah.
  • Randy:  You don’t want to blow smoke either …
  • Carmen:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).
  • Randy:  … as the manager, but …
  • Carmen:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).
  • Randy:  I just shouldn’t be in this job.  (laughs)
  • Carmen:  Shouldn’t be in this job?  You had great, you had great ideas.
  • Randy:  I would, I would suck in this job.
  • Carmen:  You had great ideas.  No, no you had great ideas.  Well, let me, let me talk about the manager and I am not saying that, that  onversation, of course, we’re doing it off the cuff, that, that’s the absolute perfect way …
  • Randy:  Sure.
  • Carmen:  … to do it.  But, the, the, the thing is, you don’t know what the perfect questions are to ask.
  • Randy:  Right.
  • Carmen:  Or what the perfect thing is to say, ’cause I don’t know what you’re going to say and that is going to lead me, so …
  • Randy:  Right.
  • Carmen:  The biggest thing is, is, are my, are my intentions, are my motives pure in this conversation?  Do I really want you to get better?  How do I want you to feel at the end of it?  And I want you to feel two things. I want you to feel that you are going to be held accountable for this and you kind of screwed up, and I want you to feel that you’re the one who can change that and that I totally believe in your ability to change it and I am still rooting for you and I am still on your side.
  • Randy:  There you go.
  • Carmen:  And if I can leave you feeling those two things, which one is kind of bad and one is kind of good …
  • Randy:  Well, and I think the flip side there too is, you know, if we, if we were going to do yet another role play, the role play would be catch me doing something right.
  • Carmen:  Yeah.
  • Randy:  You know, and, and really calling that out, so that not every coaching “interaction” …
  • Carmen:  Is about where you went wrong.
  • Randy:  I worked at an institution where to be coached was just this awful metaphor.  You know, it was a total euphemism for “you are going to go get your hand slapped …”
  • Carmen Voillque:  Mm-hmm (affirmative)
  • Randy:  … or worse.
  • Carmen Voillque:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).
  • Randy:  You know, going to coaching was like [16:00] the worst possible thing in the universe in this place.
  • Carmen:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm (affirmative).
  • Randy:  And so, that is what we want to avoid. We really want coaching to be that, to be learning …
  • Carmen:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm (affirmative).
  • Randy:  … you know, on the spot. So …
  • Carmen:  Yeah.
  • Randy:  … it’s a, again, one of the things we keep going back to, it’s an art form, it’s not something that’s gonna … there’s not five rules or seven of those, or six of these.  It’s always going to be something that’s very dynamic.
  • Carmen:  Yeah.
  • Randy:  All right.
  • Carmen:  Absolutely.
  • Randy:  Well, we, uh, hoped that helped.
  • Carmen:  And if not, we hope, it was entertaining.  (laughter)
  • Randy:  One of the two.
  • Carmen:  There you go.
  • Randy:  We serve you with service.
  • Carmen:  So we serve you with servicy service.
  • Randy:  Servicy big time.  So, we are going to look for you next time on the Evolutionaries Podcast.  And what’s that web site again?
  • Carmen:  Are you Evolutionary.com.
  • Randy:  Thanks.
  • [music]