Do you have a clear idea about your serviceDNA and your service gene? Are you communicating in the right way, and are you using collaboration and high social capital to improve your company's service? The term service is used in many ways, but what is good service, really? And is there a special Nordic kind of service? These are just some of the topics this book addresses.
A Nordic service concept is written for those of you who work with service, whether you are a student, teacher, employee, manager or business owner. The purpose of the book is to bring the dialogue about good service back to its roots - where we can benefit from our basic Nordic values such as equality, openness, flexibility and, not least, trust. The focal point of the book is, therefore, relationships between people: the relationship with the guest, the relationship with colleagues and the relationship with management and business partners.
A Nordic service concept can be read as a whole, but the individual chapters also make sense as separate texts and can be used independently. Each chapter contains the following:
- An accessible, practice-based description with analyses and tools that are built on research-based theories.
- References to the primary sources are listed at the end of each chapter.
- Inspiration for your daily work in the form of a series of assignments and cases regarding strategic, tactical and operational levels in companies.
A Nordic service concept covers the curriculum's learning objectives in the academic subjects "management that builds social capital" and "service” and can also be used in the Service Economics curriculum. The book covers topics such as communication, body language and empathy, and, as something new, we have added topics such as the culture behind Nordic service, service delivery and moodboards. In addition, the book contains a number of cases and analytical assignments related to specific service situations.
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Preface to the 2nd edition
A competent book about service
Service is part of every company's strategy
1. Service creates value
Service is a tool
A Nordic service concept
Guest-focused culture: The "outside-in perspective"
The feeling of service
Personal service can develop relationships
Trust is a necessary prerequisite for a relationship
The guest's expectation
Service builds loyalty
Loyalty is revenue
Bad profits are experienced as poor service
Management of loyalty goals maintains the focus on the guests
2. Service Design
Customer Experience Management
The point of contact
The guest journey
The senses are part of the guest journey
The experience space
From waiting time to anticipation time
What should happen at the point of contact?
Include a surprise at the point of contact
Target the service to reach the archetypes
Description of archetypes
Innovation in your service
Prototyping the service meeting in practice
When did you last invite your guests inside – really?
3. Match your guest
Is there a service gene?
We should fit with each other
Deep understanding of the guest requires something more
Empathy can be nurtured
Good service requires training
Open to learning
Training, training, training
4. Adjust your communication to the service meeting
Communication on many platforms
Do you know the type?
Characteristic behavioural traits
Meet the guest at eye level
5. Take responsibility for your communication
The sender has the responsibility
A good start is good as gold
The importance of eye contact
Words create feelings
The written word
Listen to what the guest is saying
Good questions create a good conversation
Open- and closed-ended questions
The intention of the question
6. The nice “No”
Rejecting a request
When things go wrong
When a guest conflict escalates
7. Good teamwork creates good energy
The employees should thrive
Growth through service
A high level of social capital smoothens the collaborative interfaces
8. Employees' internal communications
An appreciative approach supports social capital
Investigating the dream behind the frustration
Feedback culture builds motivation
Feedback on effort encourages replication
The sandwich method is dead
Questions instead of answers
A constructive conflict culture builds social capital
Create good energy by empowerment
Six pearls of wisdom about what a good job is
Motivation for empowerment
Preface to the 2nd edition
All additions and corrections in A NORDIC SERVICE CONCEPT are based on the feedback we have received from readers who have used the first edition of the book and who either work with or study service.
As far as the content goes, we have added a section on how cultural diversity in the world influences the perception of service and the collaboration involved in the delivery of service. Each chapter has been thoroughly reviewed to optimise the reading experience and the reader’s yield from reading it. In some places, the theory has been elaborated and in other places shortened to clarify the message. We have added several exercises for consideration, and cases in each chapter, which can be worked on independently or in groups.
The change in graphics and layout is the most striking difference. We have allowed the book to fill more pages so that it appears more simple and clear, and space for the reader's notes has also been included in the margin. The book has received an index that many readers have asked for, and the literature references have been listed after each chapter.
A NORDIC SERVICE CONCEPT, for us, is about being in the here and now in the relationship, about authenticity and good energy, about interacting with other people as the unique individuals they are – and that we also are. We hope that the book will help the reader – whether a student or an employee of a company – to build a synergy between the service delivery and the guest experience.
We wish you a very enjoyable experience with this 2nd edition of
A NORDIC SERVICE CONCEPT
A competent book about service
This book is an intelligent collection of well-founded, useful and proven models from different research areas of relevance for all service-based companies. These are companies where people work together to receive guests/customers and to contribute to or deliver different kinds of services andproducts to them. There are many such companies. Some of them provide good – yes, sublime service; in others, there is room for substantial improvement.
With this book, we are standing at a crossroads between the down-to-earth, daily, operational level of a company and its management level. It is at this intersection that all the experiences in the company are created and are played out among the people who participate as managers, employees or guests – or customers. We could also say that we are at the intersection of the friendly voice and the voice of
The old concept of service has been worn out by years of abuse; this has happened, among other things, because of words and concepts such as "service management" and "quality management", which have transformed our understanding of service to a concept that is bizarre and devoid of content.
Therefore, this book talks about a different view of service, which the authors call the "Nordic Service Concept". We see it the same way. Just as in the book, we see a need to get back to a place where service is about trust, equal status, decency and mutual respect, and it is precisely these phenomena that we see as the foundation of good service. Some of this is already present in many companies, but, on the other hand, many companies can learn from this book's concrete tools, instructions and models.
We see a new Nordic service concept more as a perspective on service than as a narrowly defined concept. It is not just a concept, but a view and practice of service that grows locally out of the people and values present in the specific business. Service is an approach, an attitude, a human view – not a manual.
In every business, there are people; they work together, and they interact with guests, customers, clients – the words are many, and this book has chosen the word "guest"; it speaks of "guests" and "hosts." We agree that it is interesting, also, to be challenged through new words and angles of perspective. And maybe more and more companies need to think differently about the slightly worn concept of "customer" and move toward the concept of "guest".
To be able to work together, to be creative and constructively contribute to colleagues, managers, guests and others, you need to have good energy; a surplus of mental energy. I cannot be contributing and creative if, for example, I am afraid, feel mistrusted, feel pressured to deliver more and more, or if I feel that I am being watched and monitored in a negative way. People with good energy are an important phenomenon in the contexts we are talking about here. It is difficult to precisely define what this good energy is, but we all know what it is about. It's about feeling seen, heard, appreciated and acknowledged – feeling that one is contributing to something meaningful. It is about collaboration, leadership, service, hosting, etc., about relationships between people and about social capital, empathy and social intelligence.
We recommend this book both for study use, in connection with courses, training etc., and also as a book of personal inspiration for employees and managers in many types of companies. It is an interesting and very competent book on service, and it offers a serious idea about what companies engaged in service need to learn to create the service business of the future.
Martin Hildebrandt, Director, Sokkelund Café & Brasserie
Steen Hildebrandt, Professor, PhD.
Frederiksberg, June 2016
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