If you have ever had a chain that broke, you would have noticed that however well you try to fix it, it would always break again at the same point. No matter how strong the rest of the chain holds forth, it will always break at the weak link. Thus, the saying, ‘the chain is as strong as the weakest link.
I sent out a birthday cake the other day. It was a surprise gift. I thought it would be great to have it personalised to make it extra special. I was asked to write my personalised message which included the name of the person celebrating, I did that gladly. I planned for the delivery to arrive before noon and asked to be informed when the delivery was completed. When the cake was delivered, I got a Whatsapp message with a picture of the cake. It had no message or name on it. Just plain happy birthday.
Or have you ever received poor service in a restaurant or shop? Perhaps you even know the owner so you support them. Ever noticed that all it takes is one errant staff having a bad day to deliver poor service?
No matter how great the team is, it only takes one activity to render the whole effort poor. A single point of failure is all that’s required to deliver poor customer service.
The best service that your team can deliver is the worst service provided by anyone in the chain of delivery.
I like to use this analogy in customer service training sessions because nothing in my opinion drives the point better.
That’s why no customer service is as important as the internal service between coworkers in a team. You can’t deliver good external service till you deliver good internal service. Disgruntled, bad attitude or poorly trained staff will always be a point of service failure in a team.
Indeed, the chain is as strong as the weakest link.
If all the links are strong then you have a great team, but if one member is weak, the best your team can deliver is the level of the weakest team member.
‘You are the weakest link, goodbye,’ were the parting words to contestants that made the least contribution to their team by scoring the lowest in any round. If you were ever a fan of the game show, ‘The Weakest Link’ hosted by the delectable Anne Robinson, you would recognise those dreaded last words.
Find your weakest link. The least contributor to your team.
Weak links remain a point of failure for every team till they are fixed. Decide what to do with them fast.
Can you develop them by training and coaching them? Or do you manage their exit? You decide.