..is as important as how you do your job. When you enjoy coming to work, feel proud of what you do, want to make a difference in the lives of others work takes on a different meaning.
This week, in honor of the upcoming Customer Service Week (or Customer Happiness Week, if you will) Oct 1 – 5, 2012. I’m re-publishing the “7 Things Every Customer Facing Needs to Know” in celebration of you, your team and everyone in your company that faces a customer – internal or external.
Pass this along to everyone that has a hand in the Customer’s Experience.
1. You chose this job, or it chose you. Either way, it’s in your best interest and the best interest of the customer for you to show up and be fully present to the job. Set an intention every day to be the best you can be at your craft. (“Today I intend to be kind, today I intend to be upbeat, today I intend to be thorough, today I intend to be uplifting”) Make it a point to do a little learning about how to get better at it every day. You get better the more you practice. Find joy in doing your job well. Recognize and acknowledge yourself for all the “wins” during your day.
2. Be proud of what you do. You play an important role in the company’s success. I’m here to remind you that the experiences you provide for the customer could make or break their relationship with the company. Even if parts of the process are broken, even if the wait times are long, even if the customer is upset about some aspect of the company, a great experience with a customer facing person can make up for a whole lot. You have the opportunity to make deposits in the customer’s emotional bank account and keep those customers happy, coming back, and referring friends.
3. You have emotional genius. Being good at customer service requires a great deal of emotional intelligence. In fact, in your job, EQ is as important – and sometimes even more important – than IQ. Yes, even in a technical support position, how the customer feels matters. Here’s the neat thing – being in a people oriented position gives you the opportunity to practice and even perfect those EQ skills. That’s going to help you in every relationship you have in your life. As you get better at your job, you get better at your life. That’s a bonus
4. The customer is not always right. I know you might have a little card that came from the corporate office that tells you they are, but I’m telling you what you already know to be true. They are not always right. Sometimes they are wrong, sometimes they are mean, sometimes they lie, sometimes they drive you crazy. But being right or wrong is not the point. Your job is to be so skillful that even if they are wrong, angry, nasty or just having a bad day, you have the ability to turn a bad situation into a better one. A highly skilled customer facing person is a magician, able to transform and diffuse difficult situations into good ones.
5. You work in the performing arts. Service is not like a manufactured good. It can’t be made ahead of time and put on the shelf. It happens in the moment, as needed, and it’s all about performance. That makes you the performer. Just like an actor (or a public speaker or trainer for that matter) there will be days when you just don’t feel up to it and you will have to act “as if” you were. Here’s where your good training comes in. Rehearsal and visualization work to help you prepare for a great performance every time. Think of yourself as an improv artist.
6. You have a stressful job, but the amount of stress you take home every day is up to you. How you view your job is just as important as how you do your job. If you allow yourself to over dramatize, ‘catastrophize’, get defensive, and take everything personally, you’re in for a tough time. Your body reacts to the perception of danger with primal instincts to fight or flee – both involving a cascade of stress chemicals that can damage your body. You have the power to change how you view any situation – including your job. Find a “frame” that makes it less stressful and more enjoyable.
7. You have the opportunity to make the world a better place every day. Whether you deal with 10 customers or 200 customers a day, you have the power to create positive experiences for almost all of them. When you make your best effort to add sincere care and appreciation to every interaction, you are infusing it with positive energy and vibration. When the customer leaves the interaction with you feeling good they are likely to spread that positive emotion. Emotions are contagious – positive ones as well as negative ones. You have the power to spread positivity and make the world a better place.
We all know how important that contribution is these days. Take it seriously and you can make a serious difference in the lives of your customers and every one they touch. Allow yourself to see the ripples of good will and well being you are sending out into the world. Spread happiness and appreciation and you will feel energized, build your own good health and your company’s good reputation. Optimists live nine years longer than pessimists.
This year, I have a family event during Customer Service Week and for the first time in many years will not be sending daily emails. I invite you to enjoy the advice I shared last year at this time in the form of videos. I have looked at every one of them and I assure you that the timeless wisdom shared here is even more relevant this year than it was last year. You can access those here: