In the book The Pursuit of WOW! Tom Peters did what he said had previously not been done in publishing history by having the pictures of his service heroes and heroines printed in the book. One of such pictures was that of Virginia Azuela, the housekeeper of the 54th floor of the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. The beef in the story was that Ms. Azuela had authority to spend up to $2,000 ($2,000 in 1994 money) to fix any customer’s problem without further sign off from above. Ms Azuela is indirectly the CEO of the 54th floor of Ritz Carlton. That is the stuff the empowerment to do whatever it takes to satisfy the customer is made of. Any wonder the Ritz Carlton was the first service company to win the coveted Malcolm Baldridge National Award for Quality.
It does not matter whether you work in the private sector or the public sector, you can do wonders for the customer if you are really keen about the customer. If you think working in a government ministry or agency is a catastrophic impediment to delivering excellent service you are making a huge mistake. In his book The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary, Mark Sanborn gives a captivating account of Fred Shea, a staff of U.S. Postal Service, who was responsible for delivering postal mails in the Denver area called Washington Park. ”Let’s face it”, John Maxwell, the author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, wrote in the foreword of The Fred Factor, ”if a guy named Fred, who has a less-than glamorous job working for the U.S. Postal Service, can serve his customers with exceptional service and commitment, what opportunities wait you and me to help others and, in the process, achieve deeper personal satisfaction”. Fred’s story began when Mark Sanborn, a professional speaker relocated to Denver. Mark recounted that Fred came to introduce himself and get acquainted, and welcome him to the area. Having not encountered a postal man that was so proud and passionate about his job, Mark was naturally astounded. On learning that Mark was a professional speaker that travelled quite frequently, Fred quickly suggested