Creating a Vibrant Service Culture; Why The Best Ones are FISHy

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“Aren’t all Serviced Offices the same?”

Now that might strike you as an odd question for us to pose (and even weirder to mention fish – we’ll come to that), but truth be told, we hear that question said quite a bit. And to a certain extent, it’s true. All providers of serviced offices have doors, windows, desks, coffee, internet and staff. Some are prettier versions than others and some have more bells and whistles and some less.

So that makes them all largely the same, doesn’t it?

No. It doesn’t.

You’re thinking, ‘Hang on, wait, but you just said…’. Confused? Let me clarify.

The ‘product part’ of what serviced offices provide is, by and large, fairly similar. The service clients and visitors receive, on the other hand, varies wildly. And it’s the service delivery part of the equation that determines three things.
1. What a space feels like when you’re in it
2. How long business owners (clients) remain part of the space
3. How well their businesses grow whilst they’re there. Yes, you read that correctly. Last blog we wrote how your workspace determines productivity, revenue growth amongst other things.

And as any business owner with a service business will tell you, variance in the service provided can make or break a business. Almost every business owner starts out with a great desire to create something amazing, but then when things get busy, people get a bit rushed or tired, or things get a little hard, those service standards begin to drop. Maybe just a little at first, but over time it can become the organisation’s culture – the way ‘things are done’.

Creating a Vibrant Service Culture, Better Yet a FISHy One.

So how, as a business owner, do you keep your service business vibrant, full of energy and make it a place people love visiting, being in, working from or being part of? That’s where the FISH come in.
Clients, business owners like you, often tell us we’re a little bit different. We;
• actually, talk to, and get to know, our clients and their businesses (surprising, I know)
• care about making sure there’s a feeling of positive energy on our office floors
• are staffed by people that clients say feel like they’re a part of their business

Now it’s not just the occasional person that says this. Most of our clients have said something like this whilst they’re here – for nearly 20 years.

Why? Well for starters, we love what we do. We love helping clients grow their businesses. That’s what makes me get out of bed in the mornings – always has. BUT, more recently we’ve introduced the FISH philosophy into our business. And that’s made an even bigger difference.

What’s The FISH Philosophy?

A Seattle filmmaker was out shopping when he heard a crowd cheering. He followed the sound and found the crowd in a small fish market. As it turned out it was the rather World Famous Pike Place Fish, to be exact.
Fishmongers threw slippery salmon to each other who caught them one handed to much applause. Customers were also invited to join in the fun and catch fish.
The fishmongers (not known for their warm and boisterous spirits) greeted everyone like they were an old friend and when they served you it was as if you were the only person that mattered.

Not only was everyone having fun, they were also buying lots of fish. The filmmaker wondered how they did it. After all, it was a cold, smelly, exhausting job.

What he discovered were four practices these fishmongers brought to their work.
1. Really being there – being emotionally present with each and every customer
2. Playing – they’d found ways to have fun in everything they did
3. Making their customers’ day – each of them had found a way to introduce delight and service into a customer’s day
4. Choosing their attitude – they didn’t get to choose what life threw at them (fish or otherwise), but each of them got to choose how he/she responded to it. So they chose to make their response as great as they could.

How does creating a vibrant service culture affect SOI’s clients?
It means that as a client, you’re at the very centre of everything we do. We’re here to make your day – yes, literally. And the days of everyone that visits you, works for you, even the people who call on the phone.

Running a business can be hard yakka, and you’ve got nothing if you don’t have your health. So we run complimentary Pilates and boot camps to keep your body and mind as sharp as they can be. We love looking after you.

Let’s face it, selling space and admin can seem a little like fishmongering from the outside. Dull, dry, repetitive. But for us, it’s just not. We get to play every day with some of the most amazing people on the planet, that run some awesome businesses and we watch those businesses grow and prosper over time and we LOVE all of that.

We start our week with a ‘Fish Fingers’ meeting – where the first item of the day is sharing good news about clients – as a team, we celebrate their wins like our own, because, in a tiny way, we contribute to their success. Then we move on to how we’ll create quirky fun for everyone like an in-office treasure hunt – just because and why not. We’ve even been known to hold international food festivals. Again, just because.

Now I say just because (well, really what other ‘reason’ can you give for an office treasure hunt), but really, it’s about good business. Living and breathing a FISHy culture makes all everyone’s lives that bit better. And isn’t that what we should all be aiming for?

If you feel that your business could benefit from being part of our SOI fishtank, or you’re interested in where we got our FISH training from, we’d be delighted to talk to you. You can call us on 1300 318 680 or drop us a note.

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Article by Michelle

October 25, 2016