The Quest for “kina’ole” (flawless service delivery)
Many of you have heard that the mission of the algorithm at the core of ClickSchedule is to “calculate the best technician with the right skills and the right tools, to get to the customer at the right time.” In the past we have referred to our algorithm as W6. It might be time to re-consider the name.
In her recent post to her blog about service, Georgia Patrick characterizes the idea of service flawlessness, which in the native Hawaiian language is called kina’ole. More specifically this means: “Doing the right thing in the right way, at the right time, in the right place, to the right person, for the right reason, with the right feeling, the first time.”
Furthermore, “in ancient Hawaii, if you were skilled, trained or a professional in any line of work or service, the specific tasks or activities that you engaged in were expected to be performed without defect or flaw”. This appeals to me as an easily stated yet challenging paradigm for today’s real-time service chain. But service organizations should axiomatically strive for this goal.
But the hard reality of service experiences is that delivering flawless service is not always possible. Some service requests verge on the unreasonable. Yet how do we maintain a positive customer experience? Dennis Snow has some thoughts on this which he relates in his forthcoming book, Lessons from the Mouse. Every Disney cast member can tell you about funny questions Disney guests ask. How about “What time is the three o’clock parade?” or “Can we see where Walt Disney is frozen in the castle?” or “When will you be turning off the rain?” In the face of such seemingly silly questions, the inviolable Disney rule is never to make a guest feel stupid. Guests are out of their comfort zones, the place can be overwhelming, and it’s the cast member’s job to understand and address the question behind the question. For example, when a guest asks, “What time is the three o’clock parade?” cast members know the guest really wants to know, “What time does the three o’clock parade get here?” And those circumstances when a guest is completely in the wrong, the Disney philosophy is; “The guest may not always be right, but they will always be our guest.” Stated another way, “The guest may not always be right, but let’s allow them to be wrong with dignity.”
So summing up today’s post:
- Strive for kina’ole – flawless service delivery
- If that striving falls short, treat the customer with respect and dignity even in the face of unreasonableness.
Related link: Dennis Snow’s Speaking of Service Excellence Blog