We Fake it, till We Make It

 

The surprised look on Martha Stewart’s face told the whole story. A contestant told her, in the famous board room, that in her current position (local news caster) most of the time, they, "fake it till we make it." After the shock, Martha quietly told the woman that this was not how someone at Martha Stewart Living worked. "We’re focused on quality and we fake nothing" Martha told her just seconds before she let her go from her version of The Apprentice reality show.

What struck me was how many companies out there DO "fake it until they make it." In other words, how many companies give lip service to great customer service or better than average employee relations when in reality it’s all a fake until something happens and they need to "make it". How many companies don’t really have a solid strategy for employee development or getting to know the customer’s needs until it’s too late? They fake it, then they make it.

This is exactly why companies need to proactively develop a vision and a culture that is customer-centric. And, because they go hand-in-hand, they need to develop a vision and culture that develops and builds upon employee’s strengths. If they do this, when something happens (and inevitably it will) they already have the foundation in place to make great decisions, and create raving customer and employee fans.

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One Response to “We Fake it, till We Make It”

  1. Rodney Hatfield says:

    Wayne,
    I couldn’t agree more. You’ve heard the stories about Southwest airlines and how they go out of their way to creat customer evangelists. Well, on my recent trip to CA I had a switched airlines in Los Angeles to take another airline to my final destination. During the process I completely forgot my checked bag on Southwest and while I was in route to my final destination, my bag was somewhere in the baggage claims of LAX waiting for it’s owner to come retreive but was long forgotten. When arriving to my final destination and realizing that my bags didn’t transfer (my error not the airlines), I quickly called Southwest. The gentlemen on the other end was very nice and said that they don’t have an open policy with the other carriers to transfer my bag. I was facing a $200 deliver fee and a night without the essentials. Before I could start into my pleas for grace, the SW agent said “let me see if I can fix this for you”. Surprised and elated, the SouthWest rep cross airline lines and helped get me my bag the same day at no cost. NOW THAT IS CUSTOMER SERVICE. He didn’t have to go the extra mile but he did. Companies need to foster a work force that is committed to taking this level of service to all contacts with the customer. It made a difference in my business trip and to those who would have had to see me in the same clothes for multiple days.

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