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Getting the Balance Right Between Process and Passion

Over the past few years I've had the opportunity to work with a number of organisations in the Manufacturing sector; from Aircraft to Building Materials, Military Equipment to Industrial Seals, Cars to Satellites and more. I also have experience of working with a lot of organisations in the Financial sector; e.g. Banking, Insurance, Pensions, and Credit Cards. Although these are very different sectors there are a few things they have in common. One is their intense focus on processes and the technology that supports them. That's obviously inevitable and understandable. These are organisations that cannot successfully deliver what they are in business to deliver, without great processes to support them.

But there's another common thing that often makes it difficult for them to make a worthwhile difference when they turn their attention to customer service. That is that they use their experience in process to design to drive their approach to customer service. And in doing so they often miss a vital element. The often missed vital element is passion. Computers, processes, systems, etc., are necessary of course, but they don't build relationships and trust. For that to result you need the human touch. Processes don't have passion; people do.

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Dr Stephen Covey, the author of the book, 'The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People' taught that for trust to grow, you must demonstrate both competence and character. Great processes can deliver competence through accuracy, speed, consistency, etc. But they cannot deliver character. For that you need people, with passion, who can exhibit the kind of character that builds everlasting loyalty.

Professor John Kotter of Harvard Business School is one of the World's top academics on the subject of Organisational Change. His first book on the subject was called Leading Change. That was then followed by one called The Heart of Change. He realised this second book was necessary to explain that if Organisational Change is to succeed, it cannot be seen as an academic process. For success, business leaders must put their heart and soul into it and show a personal passion for making the change. Without that passion, any change programme is not likely to succeed.

The Year Of Emotion

The Temkin Group are one of the World’s best research organisations into the subject of Customer Experience and its impact on business results. They have declared 2016 as 'The Year of Emotion' - They believe there is a need in 2016 for organisations to inject some genuine emotion (passion) into their approach to service delivery. There is a detailed explanation and a great short video about this on the link below.

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And finally, my own experiences, over the almost 20 years I've been working in this area, lead to the same conclusion. When I think back about the varying success organisations I've worked with have had, trying to make service make a worthwhile difference, one thing jumps out. That is that where emotion, heart, care and empathy, in other words passion, was considered to an essential element of the programme, then outstanding success followed.

However, I should explain that I'm not suggesting you should replace process with passion. Far from it. Both are essential for success. That's why I entitled this 'Getting the Balance Right'. I think the right balance is around 50/50. Both are important, they have equal impact, and therefore should be given equal prominence and focus.


Academy Of Service Excellence present the Everlasting Customer Loyalty Programme,

Find out more here.