Whilst my life as a keynote speaker, mixing music with business concepts, is considered to be more exciting than the usual speaker fare by some of my colleagues, I often forget to mention that I spend about 50% of my time doing quite ordinary business consultancy without rock music. Such was the occasion a few weeks ago, when Slough Community Leisure called upon my services to help them rethink their 5-year strategy in the wake of changes in their market, customer and stakeholder base.
If you run a leisure centre, never mind all the HR boll …cks about “People are our greatest asset”. It really IS all about your people – there’s nothing else to separate you from the rest. Customer service separates the sheep from the goats in terms of whether you get customers, keep them, or get them to become fans of your product / service and become active referrers. This requires an emotionally literate workforce. We only have to look at the comic emotional bankruptcy of Alan Partridge to see the polar opposite of the way Slough Community Leisure operates:
So, what do I like about Slough Community Leisure. Well, the clue is in the title of this post, otherwise known as Emotional Intelligence. Thick books have been written about EI by Daniel Goleman and many others, but it comes down to the issue of internal and external mastery, or as Abba put it ‘Knowing me, Knowing you’:
In Slough Community Leisure’s case, they think carefully about the customer experience – this includes offering services specifically targeted to particular groups e.g. late night go karting. It is also modelled down to the last detail in everything they do both face to face and online. It’s the same critical competence that first direct use to rise above other players in the banking industry.
To finish, let’s see another take on Abba’s genius – The Abba section starts at around 5 minutes 37 although the rest of the video is yet another masterclass in emotional (un) intelligence:
Please share your thoughts on innovation customer excellence here. A recent interview on the topic with Tom Peters can be found at Innovation Excellence.