Here’s What 500 People Told Me about Customer Service

Customer Service Support Assistance Service Help Guide ConceptOver the last eight weeks I have done Legendary Service customer service training with more than 500 people who all want to improve both internal and external customer service in their organizations. Because I’m a big believer in the concept that no one of us is as smart as all of us, I ask participants in each class to share their ideas and strategies.

Here is the synthesis of the brilliance from amazing leaders just like you.

To rally your people to unleash the dream of Legendary Service and fuel repeat business, drive customer loyalty, and increase employee devotion, you must:

  • Listen to people’s ideas for improvement. Really listen. Spotlight situations where you have acted on their ideas. Listen with curiosity, not necessarily to find solutions.
  • Empower your team. Set clear agreements about their decision making authority. Ask them to describe circumstances where they would like the power to solve a customer’s issue without manager approval. Continually build their authority by increasing their scope of influence.
  • Generate Meaning for the work they do. Let them see the impact of their efforts on the greater purpose of the organization and the world. People thrive when they know their work is meaningful.
  • Energize others. To keep people energized, hold standing or walking meetings—20 percent more energy goes to the brain when you are standing! Get them to set a goal for taking better care of themselves. Help them remember to take regular breaks during the workday. You can also energize emotionally by asking them to share with you what they are proud of or how they achieved one of their great successes.
  • Notice Your People. Look at them when you walk by. Ask them about the project they are working on. Pay attention to what they say and ask questions to engage. Start sending out birthday notes. In addition, help them to notice each other. People often tell me after the training experience how much they loved being with and learning about their peers. They say it enabled them to better serve their external customers—and they felt more inclined to find opportunities to serve at the highest level.
  • Develop Their Capacity. Send people videos, white papers, books, links to TED talks, and articles you think will up their game. Educate them through the power of learning and have them teach each other what they put into action from that learning.
  • Attend to their needs to either be taught or teach others. When they come to you with something to discuss, ask my favorite question: “Would you like me to share my ideas for how to do this, or would you like to share your ideas for how to do this?” If they want your ideas, they are asking for help. If they want to share their ideas, they are ready to unleash their talents.
  • Recognize their efforts. Celebrate small and large successes. Start meetings with status reports where people share what they are proud of or how they made a difference due to their ingenuity. And give them opportunities to praise each other at meetings.

There is one last, vital element:

  • You! You are the person everyone is watching at work and discussing at the dinner table. How are you taking care of you? Are you leaving your people with the same legacy of service that you want them to leave with external customers?

Use these nine ideas and strategies to create L-E-G-E-N-D-A-R-Y (can you see the acronym?) internal and external service in your organization!

About the author:

Vicki Halsey

Dr.Vicki Halsey is VP of Applied Learning at The Ken Blanchard Companies and coauthor of Legendary Service: The Key Is to Care

4 thoughts on “Here’s What 500 People Told Me about Customer Service

  1. People do business with people they like. To be Legendary, you must focus on the people you do business with. All of this rings true, but I especially like ‘Attend to their needs’ – sometimes people need help and sometimes they just need your ear! Be there for the moment and you will gain their trust. Great job, Vicki!

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