Today’s average workplace is very different to what it was just a few decades ago. From emerging technologies becoming more sophisticated and accessible, to the popularity of flexible working and beyond, the accepted standards of working environments are evolving. Satisfying the needs and requirements of this new era of flexible business, means service providers must evolve too.
At Servest, we focus on three central themes in the day-to-day running of our business, and in our long-term strategy. Customer-centricity, agility and bravery.
We often hear the phrase the ‘customer is always right’ and this forms the basis of working relationships and approaches to business, especially in the services sector. Yet, I believe it’s not always about the customer being ‘right’ per se, instead it’s about nurturing and supporting the relationship you have and creating a trusting partnership, whereby open discussions can take place and service providers can position themselves effectively to advise on best practice and help the customer get the most out of the relationship.
Customer-centric doesn’t necessarily mean kowtowing to demands, it means doing your job well enough to ensure the customer is getting the best support and service they possibly can. It means being able to support an organisation with the expertise you’ve been hired for. It also means working with the people behind the organisation. It’s great to have impressive names on the books, and to work with leading organisations or indeed up and coming ones, but behind these names and reputations, there’s real people and they’re your contacts – look after them.
This in turn means being agile, as all contracts are different and require different people and approaches. People choose their work the same way that they would choose a brand to shop at, or a restaurant to eat at. It’s not a one size fits all approach, you have to genuinely think about the experience people have and find a place for it in your offering. We have an enormous variety of ages in the workplace for the first time ever. With this comes heaps of experience and a wide breadth of expertise. We have never before had such interesting depths of diversity in workplaces and as such it doesn’t just mean approaching contracts and clients in a flexible way, although you have to be ready to adapt to their requirements, but it also means being agile internally, with your own people. Find the right balance for each colleague, this is the only way you’ll truly get the best out of them, which will in turn will mean your customers get the best service too.
Finally, we do our utmost to be brave. As we keep hearing, the sector is changing, and we need boldness to shine through to make this change effective. We need to be brave enough to have confidence in what we’re doing and our approach to business and the wider industry. On specific contracts this means bravely trusting in your own ability and expertise to recommend ideas and suggest new ways of working. Internally it means being brave enough to think outside the box and lead by example, to create the leaders of tomorrow – even if it does mean challenging the norms.
Whatever your approach, it has to be authentic, and genuine. Don’t say you are something, if all of your actions are showing something else. Try and fine tune your organisation’s key principles – externally and internally. And make sure everything you do aligns to them. After all, you can’t be innovative if you haven’t got the basics right.