One answer to that question is: they make emotional connections with the people they serve. As I have conducted surveys with leaders this year, I have noticed the great leaders are the ones who go beyond transactions; they don’t merely sell a product or a service. They are into transformations—and the do this through making emotional connections.
Chick-fil-A restaurants are a good example. When a customer walks in, all team members are trained to make emotional connections. They may open the door for you, they may bring your food out to your table, and they likely will refresh your drink when it’s empty. In fact, they try to practice three elements with all customers:
1. Excellent food.
2. Second-mile service.
3. Emotional connections.
So—how do leaders and team members accomplish these emotional connections? Let me offer a simple list below…but please, add to it:
* Go deeper in conversation. (Get past the surface)
* Show personal interest. (Remembering names and details)
* Express yourself authentically. (Be real and talk about heartfelt issues)
* Serve them extravagantly. (Give more than they expected; they feel special)
* Bond over a shared experience. (Create a memory over the phone)
* Surprise them with unexpected added value. (Show up in unusual spots)
* Provide an excellent product or service. (Provide an encore in the shipment)
Our team, at Growing Leaders, practices these so well. They build friendships with the administrators, the faculty, the youth workers, the coaches and the parents who call us. I love hearing them on the phone or with people who walk into our office. It’s not rocket science. It’s just about going beyond the bare minimum and caring.
So tell me. What would you add to the list above?