Most organizations have to serve a diverse set of needs if they want to succeed – and everyone is different.
As a result, serving everyone the same is destined to fail because people are not the same. This is true whether we are hoping to reach external or internal customers, but the goal is the same: to create engagement, retention and loyalty. To do this effectively we have to learn how to adapt our approach for differences and go beyond inclusion initiatives to inclusive service.
1) CREATING A CULTURE OF INCLUSIVE SERVICE
The first order of business is making sure everyone understands it is everyone’s job to serve inclusively.
From the top of the organization to the newest person hired (in every job function on any given day) each one must be committed and play their part. This requires a focus on working to include, giving more than getting – and on serving more than being served.
2) MAKING SURE EVERYONE IS SERVED
Inclusive service constantly seeks to expand the serving opportunities (instead of limiting the perspective on who gets served).
This means leaders serve their teams as well as being served by them, departments serve other departments, co-workers serve each other, as well as the public at large. It also means we learn to serve people of different races, ages, personalities, genders, sexual orientations, socio-economic levels, religions, etc. This is where participants learn how cultural tendencies and individual preferences vary from person to person.
3) CUSTOMIZING THE SERVICE WE GIVE
Current research suggests that expectations have changed and there is a growing demand for customization.
Treating everyone the same is not effective because everyone is not the same. In order to be inclusive, we have to understand that since our needs are different, we have to tailor our service to meet those needs. Discussions about adapting our service help attendees strategize ways of being more inclusive.
4) GOING BEYOND SATISFACTION AS A GOAL
It is critical to understand that nobody wants mediocre service and average is not good enough.
The aim is to go “above and beyond” in our efforts to serve everyone because it creates loyalty (whether the people we serve are internal or external customers). Loyal customers don’t want to go anywhere else, they are easier to work with, they talk us up and they help us succeed. When we become more inclusive and exceed everyone’s expectations – we expand our opportunities.
By means of interactive discussion, case studies and video clips – participants learn how to be more inclusive in the way they serve and how to go “above and beyond” for everyone. Ultimately all participants are encouraged to take ownership of their behavior and create action items to improve their efforts to serve inclusively.