Courageous Leaders Sometimes Break the Rules When Delivering on Brand Promise
HOW TO CREATE THE WOW NOW!
What company comes to mind when you think of a pleasurable customer experience? Most often it’s not your bank. Twenty-five years ago, I relocated to Minnesota. There was a mix-up with my new employer and my direct deposit was going to be delayed by several weeks. I contacted my personal banker at Norwest to let them know about the debacle. Without filling out a loan application or applying for overdraft protection or credit, my banker extended me credit, and all of my obligations were met on time and with no additional fees. I was treated like a close friend in need. The personal banker was empowered to deliver a customer experience that probably was not in the standard operating procedure of Norwest bank.
I had a WOW experience that I’ve talked about for years as a result of the experience of a caring employee. This courageous leader took ownership of a problem and probably broke a few rules in doing so. I felt like the bank really cared about me and that I was valuable to them.
Courageous leaders empower staff to break the rules in order to show love for their customers. These leaders have clarity of purpose and the energy is felt by stakeholders. Team members respond to situations with an excellence reflex and plant seeds for legendary customer experiences.
HOW TO CREATE THE WOW
Of course, every organization needs to have procedures and protocols in place in order to deliver a consistent experience. Having up-to-date business systems is a result of clarity of purpose and a culture of empowered “doers.” Courageous leaders go one step further and are fluid in creating memorable customer experiences in a crowded marketplace.
Step 1. Be clear about the mission and vision.
There can be confusion about mission and vision. Vision oftentimes remains static. Vision is the organizational purpose in how it makes the world a better place. The Mission, however concentrates on the present; it defines the customer(s), critical processes and desired level of performance. Having clarity of the differences between mission and vision will enable the organization to remain purpose-driven in creating and retaining a tribe of loyal internal and external customers.
Step 2. What opportunity can you exploit that will create a WOW experience?
Trip Advisor has ranked the Magic Castle Hotel in Los Angeles and the Beverly Hills Hotel at 4.5, an excellent rating. If you have seen the pictures of The Magic Castle you will probably agree that they are at best, average in the decoration and amenities. They excel in delivering memorable experiences like the poolside - popsicle hotline. The staff also carries free candy that they hand out to their guests.
How could you express the love for your customer by delivering a memorable experience in a crowded market?
Courageous leadership requires taking risks in driving the mission. When leaders challenge the status quo there will be resistance and pushback. Recognizing the need for change in creating the WOW, doesn’t make the leader. Leadership is about seeing the change and taking -action courageously. Being purpose-driven enables them to act without having all of the answers when they can see an opportunity to serve. Being mindful of why you are doing what you’re doing will give you guidance on how to drive the mission forward.