customer service

May 19, 2016

5 Management Practices Needed for Flawless Service Delivery

The time has come for these ideas to be embraced and instituted across every business that wants to compete on service.

In the past, I’ve written other articles on the subject of strategy and competition. To summarize the messages from earlier articles, it is my belief that every business competes across only three main dimensions–product, price and service. Certainly, strategies to cover all three elements are essential for the ongoing growth and success of a business. That said, this piece focuses on service delivery.

Here are 5 management practices that are essential for competing on service:

1. Adopt an “Outside-In” Perspective: If you want to be exceptional at servicing clients, you need to walk in their shoes. By adopting an outside-in perspective on all of your customer dealings, you’ll begin to see your business (and how you’re treating them) through their eyes. By encouraging your team to practice the same, they will help you re-imagine the customer experience and redefine your service delivery approaches and policies.

2. Encourage an “In It Together” Attitude: Speaking of your service delivery team, you want to do all that you can to inspire teamwork and trust among those front-line personnel. After all they define the customer experience. Be sure to encourage a cooperative approach among them in servicing the customer. It will not only make their jobs easier to do when they know that they have a team behind them, but, they’ll begin to keep one another honest in living up to the shared values of delivering impeccable service.

3. Hire and Train for Empathy: It’s important to look for and develop empathy among your front-line staff. The better your team can understand where your customers are coming from and what they need, the more likely your team will be able to deliver the “right” service in the “right” way to impress your customers.

4. Empower the Front-Line: Once your team is properly staffed and trained, it’s wise to get out of their way and let them deliver on your promises. An empowered front-line (that are properly prepared to do their jobs) will make the most appropriate service delivery decisions without having to seek permission or approval. In turn, empowered teams will streamline your whole service process without any negative impact on your business.

5. Measure for Customer Satisfaction: One of the areas that may of my clients trip-up on is employee measurement. Many fail to identify and institute the most appropriate measures to encourage desired staff behaviors. So, be sure to measure them on customer happiness and not attempt to limit their ability to deliver great service by measuring them on the wrong things.

To close, please remember that your customer always have other choices. So, instituting a service delivery model that serves and delights your most discerning customers will keep them coming back for more. I hope that you use these 5 management practices to form the foundation for your service delivery approach. As I begin to drive a new consulting practice within N2Growth, I intend to use them for sure!

Please note that this article originally appeared at on April 25, 2016.  If you like this column, subscribe to email alerts and you’ll never miss an article.

Jan 15, 2015


This is my latest on Inc. online:gum


The Three Words That Will Devastate Your Business — But, let’s discuss by it the link along to all of your friends and colleagues!

Oct 17, 2014

Partner In Success Radio Interview

Listen to my Partner In Success Radio Interview – With host Denise Griffitts.

We talk about the book, cover some of the interesting case studies in it and describe some of the challenges that lie ahead for businesses today.

Check it out here

And, as always, pass it around.  Thanks!

Aug 18, 2014

The Breakthrough Radio Interview (Part 1)

The Breakthrough Radio Interview  (Part 1) – Host Michele Price drives this hour long interview.  We present it here in two parts.  Here is Part 1:

Part 1

Check it out and be sure to pass it on…Please RT, Like and Follow.


Jul 17, 2014

Tips from the Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf

Tips from the Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf:

The Executive Checklist is featured in the list.

If you have a chance, be sure to check it out!

Jul 9, 2014

GM: Culture Starts at the Top

It’s more than just dodgy ignition switches, GM’s leadership has produced a real lemon. When we start to examine the culture that has led the firm to here, we find some deep rooted issues that must be addressed.   Read on:


GM: Culture Starts at the Top


Let’s discuss it and share it widely so that this type of thing never happens again.


May 30, 2014

Hot Off The Presses at Chief Executive Magazine

This one is hot off the presses at Chief Executive Magazine:

Google Logo

Collaboration: An Essential Element of a Winning Formula

Learn how firms like Google and Zappos leverage their collaboration-

centered work settings for competitive gain.


May 12, 2014

Interview with SmallBiz America

Interview with SmallBiz America. SmallBiz

Host David Wolf discusses the latest in leadership thinking with me in this interview.

We discuss some of the more interesting things firms including H&M and Vail Resorts are doing to better compete and capture market share.

Please be sure to give it a listen!

May 2, 2014

BusinessWeek Article – Tips for the New Leader

Companies often test young managers by giving them a big project to oversee. Here are some tips for acing your first assignment:

BusinessWeek Article

Always remember: There are no magic formulas or cookbooks to follow when developing your leadership “chops.”

Apr 30, 2014

SeattlePI Covers The Executive Checklist

The SeattlePI Covers The Executive Checklist.  Workforce Wrangler’s Mark Craemer quotes the book’s  emphasis on placing employees ahead of customers.

He writes: “In my experience, the best companies put their employees ahead of their customers. This may seem counter to what most companies want to convey to the marketplace, but the ultimate value of products and services shine through if the people designing, producing and delivering them are served well.”

He points to Zappos, Costco and Google as fine examples from the book.

Check it out here!

Please read and pass it on…

Copyright 2019 James M. Kerr       info@executive‑       860‑301‑2085