What is Relentless?
By John Tschohl
• An obsession with providing exceptional service to your customers. You must value—believe in “Relentless,” keeping it central to the Vision that you are building. You must commit to a lifelong, steady drumbeat, energetically reminding anyone who will listen that being “Relentless”—believing in and acting to serve the needs of your customer—is the single biggest predictor of the success of your enterprise.
Learn how you can deliver value, differentiation, and improvement. “I’m an ideas guy. I love big ideas. I get a vision for something and I’m obsessed with making it a reality,”. I’ve been obsessed with Relentless Customer Service for the past 40+ years. Its what good business practices is all about.
• A propulsive, self-directed, passion to continue to learn, improve and exceed expectations in everything you do. Set high expectations, then help people feel good for achieving and exceeding them. Encourage empowerment. Reward employees for going the extra mile. Celebrate the good stuff. Even in boring old policies, genuinely believe in and genuinely live out customer service. Magic happens on empowered front lines and that kind of customer service takes focused investment. You have to nurture it. You have to teach and reassure and support people for acting empowered.
• Much like breathing, it’s essential to your being, and it never stops. I have been preaching Customer service my entire adult working life and am still going strong. Whatever you chose to focus on as your life’s work has to be a lifetime commitment. This takes work and a relentless attitude.
• A race without a finish line A reflection of the core principles, beliefs and attitudes of people within healthy and hugely successful businesses. According to Marc Cuban, “It’s not about money or connections. It’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone.”
Hard work is the great equalizer. Making a meaningful difference in other people’ lives requires significant effort. Hard work can always be your difference. Because how hard you work is the one thing you can always control.
• A reflection of the core principles, beliefs and attitudes of people within healthy and hugely successful businesses. Culture isn’t something carved into stone tablets. It evolves and grows over time, reflecting the underlying values of the people who share them. So, the values of an organization reflect the values of its leaders.
Great leaders know that being relentless and offering great service is what your customer says it is. Here are five questions that each employee and management should ask themselves every day.
1.What business are we in? Usually you conclude that you are in the business of providing customers with a variety of “services”. Many firms still do not realize that they are in the service business
2. Do we have customer needs and wants at heart? Identify all market segments all customer groups. It is important to determine needs and wants of all customers.
3. Are we listening? Set up the systems for listening to customers. The way to find out what they want is to make it easy for them to communicate with you.
4. Do we communicate? Be proactive and try to eliminate problems before they happen. Having a strategy based on delight or ‘wow’ is not likely to pay as well as a strategy that eliminates disappointment first.
5. Are we using Speed? Are you eliminating friction, so it is easy for customer to do business with you and want to come back?
“Relentless” doesn’t replace the drive to provide shareholder value or the concerns about reducing costs and increasing profits. Organizations will still have to juggle technology concerns, succession plans, and countless other worries. Being “Relentless” about customer service is the central strategy that gives ALL those other concerns the proper and profitable context.
Most firms do not understand the financial impact of being a service leader. For many firms it is just too much work. Actually, it does not take a lot of money but, it does take a fierce, unwavering, and “Relentless” focus by the CEO and everyone in management.
I truly believe that providing “Relentless” customer service WILL drive your organization to success. . - John Tschohl