Every year since 1928 at exactly 15:00 GMT on the 24th December the most amazing thing happens.
The voice of a solo choirboy singing the opening lines of the Christmas carol “Once in Royal David’s City” is broadcast around the world.
It’s estimated that millions of listeners tune in to hear the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge. (450 radio stations in the US alone carry the broadcast).
For many of those listening, this moment marks the beginning of Christmas. Amidst the chaos of preparation (potato peeling, and present wrapping included) there is a moment of peace; a connection between generations past and to come.
The power of the human voice to inspire and move; it really is extraordinary. If the voice of a young child can move the hearts of millions, what can your own voice achieve?
One of the hardest challenges for those running operations is to be able to effectively tell the story of their teams. We spend so such time dealing with the few things that go wrong that we take for granted all that the team does to make nearly everything go right.
This was made shockingly clear to me when a member of my team told me that we were just “back office donkeys”.
How can we use our voices to better tell the real story of service operations?
Building purpose and self-belief
In service operations we don’t process widgets or push the keys of a computer, we make things happen for clients that help their lives individually and society as a whole. Processing a payment is helping a supermarket stock the shelves, someone move into their dream home etc.. Handling an insurance claim in a professional, empathetic and timely manner is standing with an individual at a difficult moment in life.
But do our teams really understand the connection between what the do and the value it brings?
Everyday members of your team will be going out of their way to provide exceptional service to clients. Companies such as Southwest Airlines and Zappos have created legends for themselves by taking these stories and putting them in the hearts and minds of their people. It’s not always who they are, but it is always who they want to be. Achieving this requires a systematic approach and determined effort.