Ginaherald's Blog

August 6, 2010

The simple truth about customer service

Filed under: Uncategorized — ginaherald @ 12:57 am

I know I’m a little crazy when it comes to this subject. I just continue to be amazed at the number of stories I hear on a daily basis about customer service when I engage people in conversations about the topic.  The good news is that I’ll probably never run out of things to chat about in this little blog post.  I hope along the way we’ll shift some paradigms and solve some problems while we’re chatting. 

 I hear a lot of recurring themes as I “span the globe” (and my little world here in Charlotte) chatting about my favorite subject.  Several things that most distressing customer service situations seem to have in common are:  A general expression of apathy on the part of the employee, no sense of urgency to correct a problem/deal with a situation, lack of knowledge and lack of empowerment. 

All of these things can be overcome pretty simply.  One of my favorite speakers/authors is Larry Winget, because I love people who tell the truth.  Larry says that “customer service doesn’t get better until people get better”.  He is correct on that statement of fact.  The great thing about that is that most people have the potential to get better.  (Those that don’t need to be gone from your organization, if I may be so bold as to tell the truth). 

The implication for leaders is your people don’t get better until you get better.  Until you set and manage clear service expectations.  Until you totally equip them with all the knowledge and tools they need to do the job you expect them to do.  Until you empower them to solve problems and then trust them to do just that and finally, until you live by example, what you expect. 

It’s a full circle of “E’s”.  The one “e” that’s missing is probably “easy”, because while it is indeed simple, it is by no means easy.  Don’t confuse the two.  You’re dealing with people and when we deal with people there are frequent possibilities for misunderstanding, miscommunication and mischief. 

 They way I see it though; it’s worth it to work with your team to overcome the customer service challenges you are facing.  It’s one sure way to increase customer loyalty, satisfaction, referrals and sales.  All those add up to increased profits for your company. 

 What new customer service tool have you implemented recently and what was the outcome?  I’d love to hear what’s happening out there.

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