A few years ago, I wrote an article titled, the future is retail. The article was a self-fulfilling prophecy for companies that focused on one significant transaction at the expense of multiple streams of benefits from small but consistent patronages. For all service organisations, there is a platform for improving the mental and emotional health of their staff.
The platform is an environment, business process and a culture that enhance the delivery of unthinkable services to the customers. In delivery service, both the service providers and the recipients ultimately benefited from a positive outcome and enduring relationships built in the process.
Today, most of the banks that pride themselves as corporate banks have developed products to attract the retail spectrum of the market. Some banks whose savings account opening balance was spent at N250,000 in 2001 are opening accounts for the ordinary people on the street with zero balance.
The change was forced by the consistent growth and stability of the savings of the ordinary person compared to billions of big corporations that can disappear with just one forex transaction. Focusing on the multitude that provides cumulative latitude is another definition of my infinite stake theory.
In the previous articles, I have identified service as the bastion of the infinite stake theory. I wrote on two things organisations and institutions must focus on to provide excellent service delivery. If you focus on your people and process, you will deliver service beyond your customers’ expectations. Happy people will improve the process and create a superlative brand for your company. Your people (the majority are not in key leadership positions) are like your mass market.
The future of service is the wellbeing of the customer or the service recipient
A tiny drop in their sweat makes the immense ocean of your profit and returns on investment. Without focusing on their wellbeing, at least at the minimum, you will not sustain your performance in the long run. You will always be in the performance rat race if you do not provide the necessary leadership service to the pool of your employees.
In the same vein, focusing on people and process must end in your customer’s fulfilment and emotional wellbeing. It is how the recipient of your company’s services feels that makes the service a good or a bad one. Service is like neutral circumstances but for which our attitude to the circumstances makes them either positive or negative.
However, unlike circumstances, the judge of an effective service is the service recipient, the customer. Therefore, if the service does not touch the fulfilment and emotional centre of the customer, the service rating will be below expectation. Thus, the future of service is the wellbeing of the customer or the service recipient. The wellbeing of the service provider is in the feedback from the service recipients.
Let us break it down. Focusing on your staff must produce emotions that connect them to the objectives and aspirations of the organisation. Without such connection, your team will not be engaged. There will be a divergence of aspiration.
The staff will be willing to move to another organisation; the company will be building a false expectation on a weak aspiration not supported by the tools that are expected to execute. Thus, the bridge between aspiration and manifestation is broken.
It is, therefore, not good enough to pay high rates without creating an environment where staff can see their long-term future. It is a mirage to have strategies built on people who are unwilling to give their best or have no emotional connection with the organisation. In the infinite stake theory, when I wrote on focusing on people, it connotes giving attention to the staff’s emotional wellbeing that sparks the ownership and productive thinking in them.
Imagine a substantial number of your employees are engaged. Imagine having 80 per cent of owner-thinking employees in your team. This group will live and breathe your brand. Their attitude to work and customers will be unbelievable. Process improvement will be a customary norm to satisfy the stakeholders. The movement of engaged employees will create a learning organisation. In such a place, authenticity is a culture and a way of life.
What will happen to customer service in the above scenario?
Service recipients will not be treated as transactors. The engaged staff will treat customers as part of the valued stakeholders and a vital value chain component for the company’s continuity. Fearless organisation will manifest. Authenticity will dominate the atmosphere.
Everyone will be a family member and admitting to wrongdoings and being open to corrections will be easy. What will be the outcome? An organisation with infinite life, with an infinite objective pursued by all to produce the desired outcome for the stakeholders, including the owners
. Liquidity, solvency, and profitability will not be a rat race. Value will be easily created and shared among the stakeholders. No one will be left behind, and the world will be a better place and more reward and fulfilment for the owners of the capital.
Let us flip it to politics. The crave self-determination anywhere globally is because of a lack of fairness, equity, and failed expectations. Without equity and justice, there cannot be peace. Without focusing on the majority through purposeful engagement and policy that give at least an essential service in health, education, quality infrastructure and security, the agitation of self-determination cannot be averted.
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The citizens are not asking for too much from any government. They are not craving for security votes or private jets. All they want is a service that will touch their emotional and mental wellbeing. Without providing the standard basic, judged as reasonable by the recipients of the service, the poor masses, and those in the majority, no government can boost to have fulfilled any promise except benefits that connect with people’s wellbeing.
The core and future of service is the wellbeing of the service recipients, be it in private or public organisations. The value of service is in the emotional and mental satisfaction of the customer.
Therefore, to use service as the basis for competition like the Singapore Airline, Costco, and governments like Rwanda, Singapore, and other third-world countries that have successfully transformed into the developed world, the emphasis must be on the recipients who are the best judge of the service provided.
Your service is not measured by what you have done or gained from providing the service. It is only a good service if the recipient’s wellbeing is imparted and improved, no matter how momentarily the satisfaction is.