Amidst the accolades being given to the athletes at the recent Olympics it is fair to say that the volunteer Games Makers deserve just as much recognition. Before the Games started many people did not realise how pivotal these volunteers would be to the overall success of the event. But with their enthusiasm, commitment and outstanding service they not only pulled off what has been considered a major accomplishment for the nation, but gave visitors and competitors alike a world class customer experience.
Lessons can certainly be gained from the success of the Games Makers. Just as the athletes trained to ensure peak performance, the volunteers underwent training and development programmes. These programmes gave them the tools of communication, empathy and problem solving so key to achieving great customer service.
But while the technical abilities of the volunteers to solve customer issues were demonstrably important, the culture of enthusiasm and motivation created by the organisers also played a vital role. This culture was at the heart of everything the volunteers did, and it clearly shone through in their dealings with members of the public.
So what lessons can be learned for businesses?
If the volunteer Games Maker programme has taught us anything it is that making people feel part of something special is crucial in achieving a first class service culture. When staff have a sense of pride and are enthusiastic about their role, it will be evident during their engagements with customer, leading to fantastic service.
It also shows us that putting customers at the heart of everything and radiating a positive attitude around the working environment are both fundamental in motivating employees and injecting enthusiasm into the way they deliver customer services and go that extra mile. Such a customer centric approach transcends industries, sectors, products and services; it is relevant for all businesses.
The Games Makers were aptly named; for many they made the Games. They showed the rest of the world that Great Britain can deliver a first class customer service culture and that we have the people, skills and motivation to do it. The next step is for businesses to take up the torch, set up effective training programmes and create company cultures that put customers at the core of every activity, motivating staff to provide outstanding customer service in every interaction.