The things we teach and train regarding Customer Service and Customer Experience are missing the point.
Customer Service/Customer Experience are not just:
- Taking your money
- Giving you a product or service
- A transaction
Customer Experience is much more noble then that. It’s much more serious and impactful. We’ve GOT to understand this, especially now.
- Customer Experience is about caring for an individual.
- It’s about seeing the person in front of you, really noticing them! Look at them. Take a moment.
- It’s selfless.
- It’s about making connections.
- It is, if even for a moment, making that person feel noticed and, yes, on some level, loved. Doesn’t matter if this sounds “woo-woo’y” – it’s a fact, Jack.
People are lonely, disconnected, angry, they feel invisible. There are no age, income, or race barriers. A 45-year-old wealthy, healthy, intelligent man can have the same isolated feelings/mask as a young burgeoning “starving” indie artist.
One of you regulars, Joe, comes in and is agitated. He woke with a headache and their new puppy peed on his running shoes. You avoid too much interaction and eye contact, wanting instead to focus on the next customer that doesn’t seem grouchy. Joe leaves feeling irritated and cuts off a dad (Ryan) taking his kid to Middle School giving him the finger though it clearly is Joe’s fault. Austin (son) realizes he left his homework on the kitchen counter. Ryan yells at his son for forgetting his homework at home, again. They begin a yelling match in the car. Austin, a teenager, already feels insecure (puberty!!) and now feels even more worthless while heading into school. Perfect setup to be bullied or to be a bully.
Fix the Narrative:
One of you regulars, Joe, comes in and is agitated. Your smile and say, “good morning Joe. Would you like the regular?” It helps to diffuse Joe’s bad mood a bit. You put an extra smile face on the bag with the scone and say, “hope your day brightens up”. Joe softens a bit, and, still distracted while driving, cuts off a dad taking his kid to Middle School. He waves and apologizes, mouthing ‘thank you’ to the other driver, Ryan for paying attention and helping them to avoid an accident. Ryan’s son Austin says he left his homework on the kitchen counter. Ryan flashes anger but then sighs heavily and says he’ll go home to get it for his son. Austin apologizes and they then have a conversation about how not to forget homework and come up with a new system to try. . .
What better way to create a lasting legacy, meaning, and purpose for your business than to positively impact those whom you serve. The kindness you show to one today has an impact, whether you see it or not.
Business leaders must understand this. We must communicate this to our team. It’s obvious with the increasing violence happening around us that we’ve got to act. We have tremendous power and resources at our fingertips (through our businesses and our employees) to change the narrative and climate that we currently find ourselves in.
The obvious byproduct of this type of service is growth for your business (covered in other blog posts).
Service is the perfect place to change the atmosphere in your community.
It’s past time for us to connect with one another and create positive ripple effects.
“. . . people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
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Grow your business through creating excellent Customer Experiences.