Blame it on the youth – Due to the fact that technology has dramatically reduced face-to-face interaction, the younger generation has fewer inherent people skills than previous generations, which ultimately means lower Service Aptitude. As a result, managers and companies complain about how difficult it is to employ this new workforce, a workforce often blamed for why their companies deliver such poor Customer service. My experience has been the opposite, and it really goes against all conventional logic. First, I have found that, in my own two companies The DiJulius Group and John Robert’s Spa (150 team members), and in numerous world-class Customer service companies, a large percentage of frontline employees fall into the eighteen to twenty-five age range. Yet this same group of employees, employed at these excellent companies, deliver outstanding Customer service consistently! In many cases, the younger generation is better at delivering genuine hospitality than the previous generations, who grew up with less technology and therefore had more face-to-face human interaction.
The purpose motive – If the younger generation grows up with less face-to-face interaction and as a result has weaker people skills entering the workforce in their early twenties, then how is it possible that certain some become world-class in Customer service? A Customer service vision statement provides purpose to your frontline employees, which is critical for having high morale in the workplace. Daniel Pink, best-selling author and the leading expert on what motivates people, shares what he calls the ‘purpose motive’, “The companies that are flourishing . . . are animated by this purpose motive. The kind of thing that might get you up in the morning and racing to go to work. So I think that we are purpose maximizers, not only profit maximizers . . . We can actually build organizations and work lives that make us better off . . . [and] that make our world a little better.”
Do not underestimate the power of a purpose – Why do some companies have a large percent of their workforce unmotivated and apathetic, while other excellent companies have the majority of their workforce willing to make ridiculous sacrifices in a cult-like culture of Customer satisfaction? Yes, one answer is that they select better candidates; however, I truly believe there are only a small fraction of people born with the “service DNA”. The rest are grown by great companies and their strong, uncompromising cultures. Think about the most selfless, most sacrificing people you have ever come across. I have found it to be anyone who has anything to do with the following: volunteers, charities, political campaigns, and student athletes. What do these groups and the people who make them up all have in common? They make little or no money, and in a lot of cases it is highly unlikely they can ever make a living in any of these fields. However, they are part of a cause, part of something bigger. They are focused on their direct impact, and they have an abundance of pride and loyalty to their team. They are part of a special fraternity that they are willing to fight for. Now, think of the great service businesses that have revolutionized stale industries with a completely new model, energized by a workforce on a mission with a promise to provide a truly unique experience.
The Currency for Millennials is Purpose – Think of companies like Zappos, Chick-fil-A, John Robert’s Spa, Nordstrom, The Ritz-Carlton, and Disney, who make their frontline employees part of a bigger purpose in which they play a major role. This is why each of those companies has young, fully engaged team members.
Mike Rayburn is our Keynote Artist at the 2015 Secret Service Summit – The “What If…?” Experience is Mike’s transformational, hilarious keynote presentation. In it Mike uses his amazing guitar work and hilarious comedy as a metaphor, to illustrate three tools designed to turn your team into an army of innovators with the peak performance skills to transcend the status quo to stop managing change, and lead by creating change. Oh… and they’ll laugh so hard it hurts! Always on the cutting edge, international keynote speaker Mike Rayburn is a Hall of Fame speaker, two-time TEDx presenter, has performed more than 4,000 presentations and his comedy remains in heavy rotation on Sirius/XM radio. Mike has been featured in USA Today, Newsweek, Billboard, American Entertainment, Gig, and Successful Meetings magazines.