Ginaherald's Blog

October 29, 2010

Can great customer service providers be made or are they born?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ginaherald @ 2:02 am

I’m thinking that this discussion is as old as the “are leaders born or made” question.  I’m curious as to how you answer the question.  Myself I tend to think, as with leadership, that some people just have certain characteristics and strengths that make them more prone to certain behaviors.  And my feeling is, that a company which has a culture of service that is lived and breathed from the top leadership down, has a better chance of not only attracting these types of people but “making” the rest of the team embrace the culture or philosophy in order to succeed. They model the service behavior they expect and it catches on down the line. 

To be sure, as with anything, some people will “get it” and others won’t and those who do have a great chance to be given more opportunity for leadership and success.  Those who don’t will weed themselves out.  So I think for me, I feel that service can be “caught”,”taught”, however you want to say it. 

Setting clear expectations is the first step to allowing others to learn what the culture is.  From there if they are properly equipped to solve problems and make decisions they move further toward serving the customer.  Empowerment is the best way to see how someone is going to lead on an opportunity and if they are properly equipped, empowerment is the next step (albeit the hardest).  And of course the example of those in leadership is what will ultimately be followed so if we’re not getting what we expect we may need to check ourselves as leaders.

So what do you say?  Great service providers, born?  Or made?

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October 1, 2010

Has technology improved customer service?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ginaherald @ 2:17 am

I’ve been pondering this question for a while and I wonder what you think?  This morning (during our morning walk) I had a conversation with my friend who is also my neighbor and workout partner.  She’s in sales and was lamenting that she’s having some problems with her Blackberry and it’s prohibiting her ability to get work done and serve her clients. 

It got me thinking about this subject of technology again, and the impact it has on customer service.  In some cases it’s a great thing as far as I’m concerned; such as when I want to check my flight status and all I have to do is log in to the airline website and plug in the flight number to get an update.  Simple enough and I quickly get the info I need.  However, when I have some questions about travel planning and I can’t reach a customer service agent after I press 1 for English, enter my frequent flyer number for faster service and hold for 10 minutes, technology is not serving me.

I guess it’s a classic case of the pros and cons of most any kind of product or service.  There are “bugs”.    We love it and we hate it depending on the current situation as defined by our own needs. 

 I’m curious about your thoughts and experiences on the subject of technology as it relates to service.

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