Letter from the President: Excellent Service

January 2013

Last issue we wrote about Positive People. This issue, let's briefly discuss Excellent Service. In the simplest of terms, FSE is a service provider. Service is what we produce and what we do. A culture of Excellent Service elevates us to a level above the rest of our industry and makes us the contractor of choice for our clients.
FSE's Vision
I can give you many elements of what makes FSE unique and successful, but our mission is to provide Excellent Service. The service we produce is what benefits all of our clients and it is what they contract us to provide for them. Our clients hire us because they are unable or unwilling to produce the services we provide at levels they require or at a price they can afford.

While service cannot be as easily defined as a car, television or a widget, service is tangible and it can be measured. Poor service comes in quantities or quality that is below what our contract requires and what our client expects. Service can be measured as being good when we consistently give our clients what our contract demands and what they expect. Excellent Service contains the wow factor of exceeding our client's expectations and produces trust and loyalty toward FSE. We want to produce Excellent Service.

Excellent Service must have consistently good service as a foundation or it loses much of its power to produce trust and loyalty. We must be dependable and consistent in serving our clients because without consistent performance, remarkable experiences will not endure. Inconsistent performance chokes out excellence in much the same way weeds steal all the nutrients from good plants. Excellent Service is created by applying moments of differentiation on top of consistent performance.

I want to focus on four elements that are keys to FSE producing Excellent Service. There are certainly more than four, but these four elements can keep us focused on achieving Excellent Service.

Work efficiently with skill and expertise. This requires experience, training and planning. We must incorporate planning to become and remain efficient. Having a plan to serve creates space in our schedule to exceed expectations. Planning enables us to be proactive toward our duties rather than reactive in our circumstances. Training keeps our skills and the expertise of our crafts on the cutting edge of technology. Clients realize excellent service when our efficiency joins with our expertise to exceed expectations.

Provide tools and equipment necessary to meet our clients' priorities. The right tools in the hands of experts bring about lasting solutions to complex problems. Surgeons need the latest technologies and specifically designed instruments to correct complex health issues. Craftsmen need the latest technologies and specifically designed tools to correct complex facility issues. A culture of excellence is willing to invest in the right tools and equipment, knowing that the cost is an investment in lasting success.

Understand our clients' expectations and exceed them.
One of the advantages of long-term client relationships is that we become intimately acquainted with the clients' expectations. We understand the priorities of their mission. We become their extended staff. This allows us to thoughtfully anticipate their needs and plan with them to succeed. A corporate culture of excellence makes these long-term relationships possible and creates a working atmosphere of clear communications and teamwork. Our willingness to do the extra things that benefit our clients' priorities will always enhance our chances to create long-term relationships.

Promptly correct our deficiencies. Things will inevitably break. Our industry exists to fix broken things and minimize the impact of broken things. We are not a perfect solution to the problem of broken things and we will make mistakes. While perfection is not a requirement for success – honesty and a commitment to excellence is. A culture of excellence will not excuse or cover up mistakes – it will quickly correct them, whatever the cost. This is a commitment to continuous improvement.

Positive people performing excellent service is a recipe for success when you are a service provider. If we add a third element of exceptional care, we create a three-based foundation for long-term success as a service provider. Next issue, we can discuss the element of exceptional care and how to practice and ultimately own it.

Thanks for being a part of our ongoing success story. Bless you and your families during 2013.

Ken Dickerson