Roy's Blog

March 10, 2012

This is how to use storytelling to execute your service strategy

How do you make you strategy for serving customers come alive?

Many companies use storytelling to “breathe life” into their vision of service and are effective in getting the message across.

Ask an employee to tell a story about how a customer was dazzled when they were served by someone in your organization.

If they can’t (and for most it is a challenging question) then you either haven’t defined your service strategy in enough detail to clearly understand what is to be expected by employees in delivering it, or there is not enough action around your strategy to be able to observe it and tell a story about it.

Remove the barriers to storytelling and treat telling stories as a fundamental responsibility of your leadership team.

If your leaders can’t describe in vivid terms what is expected of people in serving customers employee won’t get it. Or they will each have their own definition of what the strategy is and will deliver it accordingly with the resulting mosaic of service experiences being delivered to customers with little consistency with respect to the intended strategy.

image

Get storytelling on the performance plan of your managers and hold them accountable for doing it.

Develop and implement a storytelling development program to first, remind people what your service strategy is; second, what it looks like when it is being pristinely executed (i.e. what behaviors do you expect to see from your employees who are in customer serving roles?) and third, what storytelling objectives each manager is expected to achieve in their annual performance plan.

Remind your management team that compensation will have a storytelling component and make it matter!

Finally, provide the opportunity for managers to practice storytelling. This is about effective communication around a critical part of your overall business strategy so it’s important. It’s about painting a picture for people to see what is expected of them and what the desired outcome is. It’s about providing a way for your leaders to be able to fulfill their fundamental leadership role.

Who are the storytelling champions in your organization?

Who do it well? Find them and ask them to help put together and run your storytelling development program. Use them to show others how it is done. Recognize them for the type of behavior expected. Reward them as an example to others.

Once you have storytelling established as a strategic tool to reinforce your service strategy you can use stories as an integral part of how you communicate your value proposition to the market.

Cheers,

Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 3.10.12 at 11:31 am by Roy Osing
  • Permalink

Feedback

To share your thoughts, please contact Roy.