In this video, learn the two types of quality standards for individuals, including foundation and finesse. Also, learn when and how to use each, and an appropriate balance for your services.
- Aren't there a million and one nuances you could focus on when establishing quality standards for employees to follow? Yeah, of course. So how do you even get started? Let's make this easy and effective. A proven way to establish quality standards for individuals is to categorize them as either foundation or finesse. Foundation standards measure whether something was done. They're objective and consistent and accomplished the same way by every person. They can be assessed with a simple yes or no. For example, the employee verifies the required information, enters data correctly, codes the interaction correctly. Consistency improves very quickly when you get foundation criteria in place. Think of piloting an aircraft. While flying might seem to be a matter of finesse, it's largely based on foundation criteria. Are you at the right air speed, the right altitude? Going through the checklist to ensure the landing gear is down when landing. I suggest that you build your suite of standards by first identifying those that are foundation. When you identify what has to happen, it can be assessed by a simple yes or no, many will fall into this category. Let's turn now to finesse standards, which measure how something's done. They're more subjective and are typically measured on a three, or four or five-point scale. They allow for style and individuality, and they provide room for interpretation. For example, the employee listens carefully, effectively probes for relevant input, and so forth. Think of high diving or figure skating in the Olympics. Finesse standards should provide clear guidance on what's expected, but performance happens in degrees. Now even though I suggest developing these after foundation standards, they're just as important, particularly in building customer relationships. This is where much of the personality of your brand can shine through. Back them up with descriptions of the service characteristics you're looking for and make sure that everybody understands standards the same way through training and coaching. Now if you're stumped on whether a standard's foundation or finesse, there are some services you could gauge both ways. And it's fine to characterize and measure them both ways. I'll use Southwest, a well-regarded American airline as an example. Their flight attendants cover required information and safety announcements, that's foundation. But they often add a humorous twist. We're about to go over safety features of this airplane, so listen up, there will be a quiz. Now I recommend having a mix of foundation and finesse criteria. I wouldn't worry too much about the ratio of each. It could be 60-40 or 40-60, or half and half. The breakdown will vary and really depends on the experiences you want for your customers. And don't come up with hundreds of standards, just focus on some key areas that will give your service just the right touch. So get your team involved in defining foundation and finesse criteria. I just bet you'll see how exciting and inspiring it could be to envision your customer service through clearer quality standards.
- Defining quality in customer service
- Identifying customer expectations
- Quality standards for individuals
- Measuring and scoring individual performance
- Coaching individuals
- Quality standards for the organization
- Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs)