What the Late Stephen Hawking can Teach Us about Service…

While recently watching a tribute to the late Stephen Hawking on the news, a quote of his that I had not heard before really caught my attention. It was:

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

That got me thinking, doesn’t that quote sum up what typically happens to the service most organizations provide? Many organizations out there don’t want to provide bad service. To the contrary, the problem most organizations have is that they think they are already providing great service.

Illusion of KnowledgeCompanies make assumptions – such as thinking that all employees want to provide the level of service they’d like them to provide. Or, that all employees know how to provide that service. Or speaking directly to Stephen Hawking’s quote, that employees know how and that they are providing that level of service – hence, the illusion that it is happening. This is where most companies drop the ball – the pivotal intersection of thinking and executing.

What can you do?

The road to better service is not as difficult as you may think. Start by following the steps below:

1. Create it

First, you need to create non-negotiable standards that your organization executes every time you have a specific interaction with a customer. A great way to do this is to conduct a Customer Experience Cycle Workshop with your team. Getting your entire team involved does a few things:

1. First, it helps to ensure that you are taking a 360 degree view of your department – not just management’s view, but a complete view including input from your customer facing team members.

2. Second, having everyone be a part of the process helps with buy-in when it comes to execution. The standards are more believable and achievable than if management simply dictated the change.

3. Lastly, it is a great team building activity. Nothing helps build a better service mentality within a team than creating customer standards and solutions.

*Become the brand Customers cannot live without


2. Roll it out

A team of people excited about implementation stages

The next step in the process is to get the standards and expectations out, and build some excitement. Remember, change takes time. Make sure you are not rolling out all of the changes at one time and expecting people to do them all. Instead, break things down into small, achievable stages that your team can learn, implement and master. If not, they will become overwhelmed with the change, and will not master the concepts.


3. Measure it

“What gets managed gets measured.” I am sure you have heard that one before. But not following this advice is the reason that so many new initiatives fail. If your managers are not trained to look for, coach, and recognize the behaviors you are rolling out to make standards, they will not stick – it is that simple. Start with your leaders. Make sure they understand their role in the process and the importance of the initiative to the enterprise. Also, make sure they have a “WIFM”, or “what’s in it for me?” so they also have a personal goal to work towards. This could be as simple as having to handle X amount of fewer escalated complaints within three months.

Following the outline above can help make sure you do not fall into the trap that Stephen Hawking so eloquently described above. The illusion that you are delivering something that you actually are not.


Attention Pays

I am so excited to announce that Neen James, emcee of this year’s Customer Service Revolution, has a brand new book that just launched this week:

Attention Pays, book by Neen JamesAttention Pays: How to Drive Profitability, Productivity, and Accountability

“The difference between success and failure is often the same as the difference between happiness and frustration: deciding to use intention. Neen makes it clear that our attention is too important to be frittered away merely because someone (or something) decided to grab it” – Seth Godin

Certified Customer eXperience Executive
The $3,500 Investment that can raise your level of Customer Service!

Register today for this comprehensive online course guaranteed to raise the level of Customer Service your company delivers. The Customer eXperience Executive Online Academy (CXEO) follows the trademarked X Commandment methodology used by The DiJulius Group with some of the top companies in the world. The Customer eXperience Executive Online Academy coursework is designed to prepare leaders like you, looking to move into a whole new level of leadership in your career, to the benefit of both yourself and your company. Students will require 10-15 hours a month to learn the importance of every aspect of this methodology, and how to implement and execute on each one.

Watch this 1 minute video on what Secret Service is and how it can help you deliver exceptional Customer service!

It is truly revolutionary. The course navigation is very user-friendly. I can go back to completed courses to refresh some ideas and concepts.

We are in the process of creating our Service Vision and Pillars with the team and are looking forward to the “A Day In The Life” exercise.

P. Pelayo
AGP Corporation

Questions? Ready to register? Contact Claudia at: Claudia@thedijuliusgroup.com

About The Author

Dave Murray

Dave is the Senior Customer Experience Consultant for The DiJulius Group and has helped dozens of companies create incredible systems that allow them to consistently deliver superior customer service. Dave’s experience has varied from leading call centers and front-line team members, to working closely with key partners and stakeholders.