Initial Thoughts on Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Service Orientation
Of all the curated blog posts I have been putting together for professionals to learn the 10 key skills needed to thrive in 2020, this has been the most challenging one. Service orientation is among the skills needed for future jobs. But the problem is, when you research service orientation, your results are filled with articles on service orientation architecture, an IT term – not really what you want.
When I first read the World Economic Forum Article, “10 skills you need to thrive tomorrow – and the universities that will help you get them,” my interpretation of service orientation what that it was the same as customer service skills.
It is, and it isn’t. I can see you rolling your eyes right now. I found one solid article on service orientation, “Service Orientation: How Do You Know When a Job Candidate Has It?”, where the writer, Doug Walner, gives a very good definition that you will find very useful, and instructive.
“Service orientation is a predisposition to being helpful, thoughtful, considerate, and cooperative.”
Think back to a time when a customer service representative delivered impeccable customer service, how many of the four traits did she possess? Probably all four of them, and then some. Therefore, if you want to learn and master service orientation skills, you have to know what it means to be helpful, thoughtful, considerate, and cooperative. You can see why it’s not straightforward to learn service orientation skills.
Another way to get at service orientation, is to look at organizations that use service as a competitive differentiator. Some of these organizations include Four Seasons Hotel, Nordstrom, and British Airways – from three different service oriented industries. They charge their customers a premium to give them an experience – nothing is too big or too small for their customers. Their customers are willing to pay a premium for this impeccable customer service.
What do these service oriented organizations do differently?
- Constantly research their target market so they can respond to ever changing customer desires.
- Offer tremendous perceived value to their customers.
- Serve their customers assiduously.
- Give employees autonomy to uphold their service standard.
For the most part, the curation software was not very helpful in creating this post. I cannot fault it because of the term that I am searching for.
What is Service Orientation?
Service Orientation: How Do You Know When a Job Candidate Has It?: Although the writer, Doug Walner, talks about service oriented employees, this is an excellent article because the reader gets to understand what service orientation is. He also discusses the traits of a service oriented person – they have excellent communication, problem solving, and numeracy skills. Professionals who are service oriented thrive in service industries, such as hospitality.
“Service orientation was first described by researchers Saxe and Weirtz as being related to a concern for others – it became a set of attitudes and behaviors that affects the quality of the interaction” between the organization’s staff and its customers” (Hogan et al., 1984). This definition was later expanded to include “a willingness to treat co-workers and clients with courtesy, consideration, and tact” combined with the ability to perceive a customer’s needs, and communicate effectively (Rosse, Miller, and Barnes, 1991).”
Customer Service Skills | Skills You Need: Skills You Need is another website that has information on many of the key skills needed for future job. This article is basic, yet provides a foundation. The information you will find at the website, is what you would find in most articles on customer service. The information is important, but it’s not enough to give you an edge over your peers.
The 5 Essential Customer Service Skills (Plus, How to Develop Them): I love this article because it gets you close to what service orientation is. Len Markidan lists the five skills and tells you how you can get those skills, which is in line with what this post is trying to accomplish. He mentions A Whole New Mind to help readers develop empathy. Another thing I like about the article, are the links to useful resources.
What is customer service? The 7 Essentials to Excellent Customer Service
Top 10 Soft Skills for Customer Service Jobs: This is a website that I’m growing to love. However for this article, it lists what it considers to be the top 10 customer service soft skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications and interviews. This information will help you to start building a foundation for developing your customer service skills.
All You Need to Know About Top 10 Customer Service Skills #Infographic: This inforgraphic lists 10 customer service skills. The skills are intuitive once you see them. However, I still prefer the traits mentioned earlier for service orientation.
How to Improve Service Orientation?
How Ritz-Carlton And Four Seasons Empower Employees And Uphold Customer Service Standards: In this Forbes article by Micah Solomon, you are taken beyond basic customer service skills. You learn service orientation from two very service oriented firms in the hospitality industry. I like the idea of having a summary statement for service. As an employee, entrepreneur, or small business owner, who wants to learn and master service orientation, answer the following three questions.
- State why the service is of value (why you’re doing this in the first place).
- The emotional response you’re aiming to have the customer feel. The customer could be your boss.
- The expected way to accomplish the service. How do you plan to create and deliver a service that’s perceived as having tremendous value?
Customer Service, the New Mercedes-Benz Way: This is a podcast that Wharton did with Joseph Michelli, the author of Driven to Delight: Delivering World-Class Customer Experience the Mercedes-Benz Way. These days, offering a premium product is simply not enough. You have to offer excellent customer service. You can either listen to the podcast or read the edited transcript.
6 Keys to Improving Your Team’s Customer Service Skills: This article by Survey Monkey is a quick read and offers some great tips to become more service oriented.
Smart companies always ask “What is good customer service?” Good customer service centers around carefully listening and attending to your customers’ needs and desires. If you are not constantly on the lookout for opportunities to improve your customer service, then your relationships will stagnate. Here are six free customer service tips you can start using…
The Four Seasons Philosophy
Four Seasons treat employees the way they want them to treat their guests.
10 Tips for Impeccable Customer Service: I like this article because it goes beyond the basics, and it takes you closer to the what the best service oriented organizations value in their employees.
Four Seasons Customer Service Training
Final Thoughts on Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Service Orientation Skills
This is the least comprehensive curated blog posts on the key skills that I have done so far. I found it difficult to find the kinds of articles that I am looking for. I will continue to add to it as I find better articles. I may have to create a bibliography for you, after I have done a more detailed search using commercial databases.
I hope that with each piece of content and service orientation skills, you will be able to build a foundation on the skill. Please remember to read a book on how to become more service oriented, so that you can round out your knowledge of the skill. Simply reading each piece of content in the curated post is not enough to learn and master service orientation skills. Also apply what you have learned to cement the knowledge.
Additionally, I have created a handy guide to walk you through the process of learning the 10 key employability skills, as well as other skills I think you’ll need to succeed at work in the future. This will give you what you need to thrive in 2020.
Service Orientation Books
The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: A Handbook For Implementing Great Service in Your OrganizationThe Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: The Handbook For Becoming theFour Seasons: The Story of a Business PhilosophyA Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the FutureTo Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving OthersBe Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service (Disney Institute Book, A)Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless, Customer Loyalty Is Priceless