There’s a big difference between simply ‘solving problems’ and ‘striving for service excellence’. And one of the biggest differences is that ‘solving problems’ can easily become internally focused, while ‘striving for service excellence’ is focused externally on our customers, even if we’re working on improving internal processes. How can you help the people you are coaching focus on service excellence, by using your problem-solving process? An easy way is to teach people to frame their questions and outcomes in terms of the customer and what they need; for example, instead of asking “How soon do you think you can reach the target”, teach them to ask, “How soon do our customers need us to reach the target?” That way, we’re always focused on solving the problems that will help us strive towards our vision of service excellence. And that’s exactly what our customers need us to do!