Thought Catalysts: Ron Kaufman on Building a Service Culture

August 3, 2016 Ron Kaufman, Speakers' Spotlight

There are leaders and then there are followers. Generally the idea is to be the former. 

But perhaps it's worth a shot to look at this phrase the other way around. Maybe to be a leader, it's worth being a follower. 

The people who lead the way with awesome ideas and unique talents did so by acquiring knowledge and applying it in new and interesting ways. We all need to learn stuff to lead stuff. And those who do it best inspire others to act. 

They are Thought Catalysts. Here they are as told by the movers and shakers from Speakers' Spotlight


The problem with Customer Service Training

Many organizations spend heavily on service training and wonder months later why no substantial improvement has been achieved.

Training teaches someone how to “do” something in a specific situation. Training, by its nature, is tactical, prescriptive and differs between functions and departments.

This can result in a fragmented understanding of service inside an organization. It can also leave employees unsure what to do when they encounter a situation they have not been trained to handle. This leads to frequent escalations that take time and resources to resolve ­ with no guarantee of a desirable outcome for the customer.

Build a Superior Service Culture

Organizations that build a Superior Service Culture create an environment with a shared understanding of fundamental service principles and common language to speak about and deliver superior service.

In a Superior Service Culture, everyone is educated, motivated, recognized and rewarded for creating increasing value for customers and colleagues.

A Superior Service Culture must be intentionally designed, developed and sustained over time. A proven architecture of service education, leadership, momentum and support can be applied to successfully engineer a Superior Service Culture throughout your organization.

Why bother?

Organizations that provide superior service – and constantly step up to new levels – create value for customers beyond the usual comparisons of price, features and specifications.

This deepens your relationship with customers, earning higher volumes, margins and profits. This differentiates you from the competition and leads to a sustainable competitive advantage.

What’s next?

At a macroeconomic level, service industries are replacing manufacturing, agriculture and resource exploitation as a cornerstone of economic growth in developed and developing countries.

In developed countries, the impact of globalization, commoditization and ease of switching suppliers means customers have more choice. Organizations must work smarter to create profitable relationships and sustain customer loyalty.

Service excellence is no longer the exclusive domain of hospitality, retail and food and beverage sectors. Internet technology, trade liberalization and maturing markets have increased competitive intensity across many industries including medical, financial and professional services, technology, telecommunications, manufacturing and even government sectors.

As customers become increasingly sophisticated and expectations rise, what delights customers today is merely normal tomorrow. Superior service is now a moving target.
Customer service training alone cannot keep pace.

To win in today’s world, you must build a Superior Service Culture.


Ron Kaufman is an expert in building service culture, who helps businesses create strong customer experiences. To read more of his posts, visit his page on Speakers' Spotlight. To have Ron speak at your next function, email Speakers' Spotlight at 

Previous Article
Little Caesars Crushes Fine Print
Little Caesars Crushes Fine Print

Little Caesars demonstrates how brands can avoid misleading advertising by creating clear messaging (and ha...

Next Article
Nestle Made a Sweet Deal with Salesforce on a New Lab
Nestle Made a Sweet Deal with Salesforce on a New Lab

AdvertisingAge covers Nestle's new deal with Salesforce to create a lab solely focused on creating customiz...