Customer service: who gives a monkeys?

Categories: Winnthinks

Last year, as often happens, I designed a course about delivering outstanding customer service. Not just good customer service. Not even great customer service – but how do you make an utterly, fantastically OUTSTANDING experience for every customer, every time?

Well, I’ve got lots of ideas about that, but it felt like the goalposts had moved, somehow. You see, this was for a public sector client, so I was painfully aware how those hardworking people are really feeling the pinch right now. Cutbacks, redundancies and change fatigue…believe me, the last thing they were going to appreciate was some perky, know-it-all training consultant swooping in and ‘telling them how to do their job properly’.

Quite right too.

A lot of organisations are in tough times right now, not just the public sector. But that means it’s more important than ever that it’s your organisation doing it better than everyone else. Why? Well, because if your customer service is truly outstanding, a sort of virtuous circle begins to start slowly turning…

Your people give a better customer experience, and lo and behold, their customers start behaving better for them (it’s true, you make a lot of your own luck with customers). So all of a sudden, the jobs your people do become pleasanter and more enjoyable. So they do them even better… get the idea?

And of course, you’ll find that your customers are moaning about you less, recommending you more and giving you more of what you need to be successful – be that money, great social returns – however your organisation measures success. Everyone feels better, does their job better – you all reap the rewards.

Back in the Real World, of course, your people are unlikely to rethink their customer service just because you want them to. They are quite busy enough already. So how can we help them give a monkeys about this stuff?

Back to my client last year… most of those good people were already powerfully motivated to think about how to do a great job even better because they really believe in the importance of their work. The public sector is full of people like that, and they are brilliant and humbling.

And for the others with a slightly different set of motivations? The realisation that providing Outstanding Customer Service makes your job easier was quite an eye opener.