Why change so slowly?
Why wait so long?
Why lose so many Guests because your Customer service is lackluster?
The quick answer is that you don’t have to! You can deliver great Customer service if you take the time to combine energy, speed, and planning.
Whenever I embark on a mission to improve Customer Service, I take a moment to plot a path to success. There is so substitute for having a plan.
So many well meaning change-efforts implode because leadership fails to plan and then wastes too much time getting to work.
Many times businesses take a slow, methodic pace, which has merit when it comes to limiting the exposure and the impact of potential failure. The unfortunate part is that it can also prevent you from changing quickly enough show your Customers your passion for their delight.
Customer service requires agility and speed, and one of the best ways to set yourself apart is to run toward your Customers and embrace their needs.
Better yet, start with an amazing hit list of items to knock down as quickly as possible.
Start with Safety. Most studies show that safety is a major indicator of employee engagement. Associates and Guests alike know if your location is safe and they will automatically gravitate toward places which make this a part of their culture. This requires leadership to be engaged daily and to be walking the business looking for safety challenges. If you walk by the extension cord that is a trip hazard or the icy parking lot that is tempting a fall, you will never win with your Guests. Keeping folks safe has to be the very first thing on your list every day. If it isn’t, don’t bother with the rest, as it really won’t matter. This video from my archives will help you bring the point home with your teams.
Inspire Your Team to Jump Out of Their Shoes. Too often our Customer service is terrible because of a lack of enthusiasm. When Guests enter our businesses they want to feel that they are welcomed and that they are not an inconvenience to our work. Have you ever visited a business and felt like a burden rather than the reason for that business to exist? The point here is that we can all do better than that. We can train and inspire our teams to smile, lock eyes with their Guests, and welcome them with enthusiasm. We should be coming out of our shoes with delight that someone chose our business and then treat them like royalty. Don’t relegate this to pie-in-the-sky thinking, but rather bring an infectious sense of enthusiasm for your Guests to work every single day. That will definitely show your teams you are serious about revering your Guests.
Focus on Being Nice. We have all seen that bumper sticker “Mean People Suck.” Well that is true in business, too. We have to start at a very base level by being nice to those we serve. And more to the point, we can’t lose sight oF those who serve our Guests. It is so easy to fall down the rabbit hole of being mean. You might be stressed at home or maybe work has your anxiety level amped up to 11, but you can’t let it own you. I have been there – just recently I was involved in a change effort and the very worst of me started to peak out. I was lucky to have a team of professionals who were honest with me and that brought me back from the dark side of the moon. We are the keepers of our own behavior and we have to make great choices each day. The key move is to focus on the idea of hospitality and kindness. You can rarely go wrong if you just focus on being nice to people. If you treat your teams well, they will pass that along to the Guests they serve – and that is a formula for excellence.
There is much more to it than this, but sometimes you just have to focus on several critical moves to get the rock rolling down the mountain.
If you try to focus on everything at once, you’ll end up focusing on nothing. Best to concentrate on the key moves a few at a time and move on once you’ve really got them dialed in.
There are many talented leaders out there who fail to manage their Customer service mission. It all boils down to force of will. The tenants of great Customer Service are fairly clear, but there are many roads on the way to excellence in delivering them. It takes intense focus and a love for your Guests to drive home consistent service on a daily basis. I encourage you to pick out your three top Customer service shortfalls and focus on them weekly. Don’t move on until you are absolutely sure you have them running flawlessly. Then remember, you can’t just flip the switch to autopilot and move on blindly to something new. You have to begin coaching the new principles, but continue to reinforce and validate the ones you have previously addressed.
The second you ignore them is the moment they begin to backslide.
If you need more help improving your service mission, please download my FREE BOOK: WHERE TO START: When you need to improve your Customer service5 Proven Tactics to Kick Start Excellence in Customer Service
Until next time, focus on your core mission and treat every Guest like a cherished friend.
Tony Johnson Customer Service Expert | Author | Trainer | Speaker Check out my FREE Resources and Training Tools: Web: http://thetonyjohnson.com/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/RecipeforserviceNet Twitter: https://twitter.com/ServiceRecipe
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