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The Six Canons of Great Service

No philosophy of customer service would be complete without discussing the basics of what makes up great service. It is up to us as Leaders to be sure that our teams understand this at its most basic level, how to deliver on these principles, and have a grasp of why they are so important.

In this seven part series on the Canons of Great Service, I will be expanding on the tenants of great service outlined below, what they look like in practice, and how to inspire your teams to deliver.

The best way to be sure that your teams provide great service is to be crystal clear about your expectations.

If you don’t take the time to communicate clearly, you are leaving the overall experience to chance, and that never ends well for anyone – particularly your Customers.

But this is all by way of saying that providing great Customer service is absolutely your responsibility. Too often Leaders lament at the service their folks give as though they have no power to control it. That is absolutely not “Capital L Leadership.” That’s minor league thinking that has no place in our recipe for service. To set yourself apart you have to step up and own the Customer experience.

Here are the six pieces that you have to cover with your teams if you want to drive that amazing Customer experience:

Smile and Welcome Your Customer Warmly You can’t not smile back at folks who smile at you, right? Warm smiles make for a fantastic welcome and let’s face it, if you start off an interaction with everyone smiling you well on your way to excellence. Couple this with a politely phrased greeting and your Customers will feel incredibly welcome.

Practice Fantastic Body Language No one likes to see Captain Slouchy when they stop by your business. There is serious psychology behind body language, but for most daily interactions the 25 cent version is more than enough to set you apart. Stand up straight, make great eye contact, don’t lean, keep your arms uncrossed, and tilt your head ever so slightly.

Treat Your Customer as a Cherished Friend This can’t just be a slogan – it has to be baked into your DNA. If you can’t put the customer at the center of your everyday life, then you’re sunk. You have to inspire your team to embrace this concept and pay it more than lip service. The proof will come when you set a fantastic example and model these behaviors yourselves. If you, as a Leader, can’t be bothered to treat your Customers with amazing care, then why should those working beside you?

Stay Positive and Friendly Your Customers couldn’t possibly care less about what bums you or your team out – so don’t bother them with it. Keep an upbeat attitude and motivate your team to do the same. Remember, if you stay positive and friendly with your team then they will pay that forward.

Make it Easy It seems that some places are more interested in telling folks why something can’t be done rather than how it can be made possible. Hassles and inconveniences are huge turn offs to your Customers and in a world which is becoming increasingly complex, you can stand apart if you just keep it simple for folks who do business with you.

Thank Your Customer Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? How often have you left a business without a Thank you? Too often, I’m sure. This can be a huge differentiator – and let’s face it, someone plunking down hard earned money to frequent your establishment deserves nothing less. Don’t get this one wrong.

Next time I’ll be diving deeper into “Smile and Welcome Your Customer Warmly.”  I look forward to our next six adventures together.

Take care,

Tony Johnson -Customer Service Leader-


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