This week we attended the Service Excellence Conference in London, hosted by OEE and the Lean Service Forum, which was headlined ‘Think Like A Customer’. OEE is a consulting firm that focuses on operational excellence, and guest speakers included P&O, Virgin Media, Lloyds Banking Group, and Compass Group.

The day was focused on the goal of delivering what customers want, how they want it, as efficiently as possible. A common theme throughout the morning sessions was that having fully engaged employees leads to long term improved sustainable profitability, and also drives improvements in customer experience.

A session that really caught our imagination was delivered by Adrian Moorhouse, MD of management consulting firm Lane4 and former Olympic swimming gold medalist, who talked about what leaders can do to boost customer experience by creating a high-performing environment.

Adrian Moorhouse

Here are some snippets of insight we took from Adrian Moorhouse’s talk:

There are four things that successful leaders focus on, which can be split by current and future considerations. In terms of the current day, they focus on achievement and internal processes. When looking to the future, they think about innovation/marketing, and about internal well-being.

Contrary to the popular saying, you are not only as good as the next thing you do – you are as good as the things you’ve done. It’s important to remember the good things you have done and reflect on your successes.

Someone can only ever improve by doing something different, and often this will have a detrimental effect before a positive one. Taking this approach in his own career Adrian improved his personal best by over one second over the six years he was world number one. He also received from being publicly labelled a ‘failure’ when finishing 4th in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics to go on to claim gold in Seoul four years later.

There is a goal tree that exists in all aspects of life, with three layers:

  • Outcome
  • Performance
  • Process

People tend to get stuck at performance and process level, but it’s important to remember the desired outcome. Long term motivation is impossible without people being inspired by the desired outcome.

Adrian Moorhouse’s 7 tips for leaders who want their people to succeed:

  1. Believe in their potential
  2. Work with their self belief
  3. Help them set goals
  4. Encourage and support them
  5. Review their performance
  6. Create an environment in which they can succeed
  7. Help them take responsibility

There was also a warning not to do people’s job for them, because that doesn’t help them succeed. Providing them with a safety net is much more valuable, and doing that creates an environment when innovation occurs and can prosper.

Give your people the platform they need to succeed, and they will thrive. You’ll then reap the benefits in the form of high levels of employee engagement and motivation, which delivers a truly great customer experience.

It reminded us of a quote from a strategy summit we attended earlier this year:

“People and culture are more important than ever. The best companies to work for will become the best companies.”

The more we think about it, the more we agree with that statement.