By: Jan Ballman, FAPR, RPR, CMRS
Has this ever happened to you: Just about the time you start thinking you’re pretty good at something, you get schooled!
Paradigm has spent years, quite literally, training and trying to become Best in Class in customer service in the court reporting and captioning industry. We even underwent classes by The Ritz Carlton in how to provide legendary customer service. And as can happen when one focuses one’s efforts in such an intense and intentional way, oftentimes improvement is actually realized. And then sometimes accolades and compliments follow, which can serve to further the notion that “You know, we really have gotten pretty darn good at client service!” But on a recent trip to Los Cabos, I was reminded that “pretty good” is a relative term, and we can ALWAYS get better.
Case in point: The One & Only Resort – Pamilla. With a name like that, you’d better be better than pretty good. In fact, when you declare to the world that “we stand alone in the resort destination category,” you’d better bring your best game every day, all day, in order to deliver the experience advertised.
I was so impressed when they did exactly that.
From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, every need was not only cheerfully accommodated but strategically anticipated and delivered with pride, if not joy. The rooms and restaurants were impeccable, the grounds were immaculate, the food was incredible, the value-adds were bountiful, and the service was, quite literally, off the charts!
But what struck me most powerfully was the way every member of the resort team, which apparently numbers near 1,000 employees, held the brand. Trust me, this is not easy to pull off! For example, each and every time a guest walked by, no matter the team member’s role—gardener, sidewalk scrubber, pool host, bellman, laundry, maintenance, food service, management—they all did exactly the same thing: They stopped, they smiled, and they placed their right hand over their heart; symbolic for: “From my heart, it is a privilege to serve you! We are here to help create for you everlasting memories!” This was usually followed by an enthusiastic “BUENOS DIAS!” “Have a great day!” “Thank you for being our guest!” “I hope you are enjoying yourself!” Their hand on their heart just made the words seem all the more genuine.
It wasn’t long before we started mirroring that gesture as our way of saying, “From MY heart, I really appreciate YOUR efforts to make our vacation so fabulous!” This clearly delighted them, and I swear it just fueled their desire to work even harder at their respective roles. Thus began a variation on the old Mutual Admiration Society: The more appreciation we demonstrated for their efforts, the more pride they took in exceeding our expectations.
I was traveling with the CEO of Planet Depos, Lisa DiMonte, and we dubbed this experience “Overdelivering On High Expectations.” We both immediately started pondering how we could bottle this culture and bring it back with us.
Let’s face it, when clients hire court reporters and captioners, they have certain expectations, and they are formidable. They expect our staff to get every detail right, from front door to back, the first time. They expect our court reporters and captioners to, not just do a good job, but do a great job. They expect pleasant professionalism. They expect people and their deliverables to be on time, if not early. So in the court reporting and captioning industry, how does one overdeliver on these already high expectations?
As the “Coach” of Team Paradigm, that question has made me think long and hard as to how we can take a page from The One & Only’s playbook on Overdelivering on High Expectations. Certainly there’s not just one and only way to do it, but I think it starts with every member of our team adopting the mantra: “From the heart, it is truly my privilege to serve your reporting & captioning needs.”
So with that page in hand, it’s back to the chalk board I go!