Reflections From the Road: How Shepard Associates Around the Country Are Embracing Blue Diamond Customer Service
By: Steve Margos, Chief Operating Officer, Shepard
Over the past couple of months, Shepard CEO Kevin Bird and I have had the privilege of traveling to our branches across the country to conduct in-person training on our Blue Diamond Customer Service standard.
To put it simply, Blue Diamond Customer Service is our company-wide commitment to providing the best and most comprehensive service in the industry and goes beyond what you think of when you think “customer service.” It’s the way associates engage with one another, how internal departments synergize, how we foster productive relationships with our industry partners, and more.
In each of the branches I went to – from Houston to Las Vegas to California to Indy – I was impressed by the genuine enthusiasm I saw from our associates and their willingness to not only be present for the trainings, but to share their ideas and unique perspectives on how we embody Blue Diamond Customer Service. Overall, the energy and passion I observed during the trainings blew me away.
Here are six things that were reaffirmed for me about Shepard’s Blue Diamond standard throughout the process:
1. Company culture is crucial.
The overarching message that stood out during these training sessions across our branches? Culture is key. Our people are the reason we are successful. We’re proud to be the type of company that attracts high-level talent, and then gives them the support they need to grow and thrive.
2. Never settle for the status quo.
Our competitive advantage is that Shepard associates don’t settle for the standard customer service methods or stick with something because it’s always been done a certain way. Based on the talent of our passionate team, we know we can do more and exceed every customer’s expectations. Our associates are skilled enough—and motivated enough—to question the status quo if it helps deliver an exceptional experience for our customers.
3. Focus on how you make people feel.
Like Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” So much of our Blue Diamond Customer Service training centered around how we want to make our customers feel at the end of the day. Have we made them feel important, and have we been caring and helpful? At Shepard, our customer service focuses not just on the work we do to produce a show, but on how we can offer a compassionate, people-centric experience to our customers year-round.
4. Every employee can offer a unique perspective.
It was wonderful to work with the Shepard-formed Blue Diamond Task Force, whose members really drove the process of getting this training started. Similarly, it was great to engage with our associates and hear all the creative ideas and feedback they had to share. I learned so much by simply listening to our associates’ perspectives on Blue Diamond culture and our Shepard values, and the different and unique perspectives were invaluable.
5. Teammates want to share in each other’s successes.
Fostering a people-centric work environment leads to associates who are eager to be open and work hard. The Blue Diamond trainings weren’t about egos: Time and time again, we saw folks speaking up and calling each other out for their good deeds or sharing stories of positive Blue Diamond examples they’ve observed in their colleagues. It was all about giving each other applause and kudos, and led to such a lively, motivational environment.
6. Keep trying to be better.
A common theme in the training was that nobody is perfect—but everybody can strive to uphold Blue Diamond Customer Service. Mistakes happen, but the key is a constant commitment to improving on the signature Shepard values and standout customer service that sets us apart. What more could I ask for from our outstanding team?