Leaders of customer service organizations — have you set the bar as high as your customers expect? Do you lower the bar without realizing it and thus retard customer service excellence?
As I work with leaders of customer service teams and IT technical support teams, I see their inspiration sour without their awareness.
So here is a checklist to help you assess whether you inspire all team members to service excellence every day or inadvertently stop them from delivering the best.
Leaders, Are You Souring Customer Service Excellence?
- Letting your own inspiration sour. Do you stay passionate about customer service excellence every day or is your passion waning? When customers give negative feedback, do you welcome it as a gift or justify it with a list of service obstacles? Action: Listen to your own thoughts for one full day. Replace any justification with an inquiry of how to make things better.
- Skipping daily inspiration of the teams. If you are passionate about service, do you inspire the teams every day or proclaim you aren’t a cheerleader? Developing and leading a culture of service excellence is not about cheerleading.
Action: Take everyone from inspiration to action with vision, strategy, and mentoring.
- Blaming customers instead of improving delivery. As customers’ service expectations rise, do your teams hear you calling customers unreasonable? Or do you engage the teams to innovate for customer service excellence?
Action: Replace blame with curiosity and inventiveness. Blame short circuits success.
- Accepting second class status. Have you accepted upper management’s definition of customer service as an expense not an asset? It happens to many leaders and skews them to focus only on the metrics that prove cost effectiveness. Cost effective is important yet it is not an inspirational mission.
Action: Build strong service bonds with revenue generating functions and through them redefine customer service as an asset.
- Over empathizing with employees’ challenges. Do you lower the bar of excellence to make team members happy? Or do you inspire them to raise the bar and find satisfaction in delivering excellence?
Action: Empathize with the struggle; engage for solutions.
- Spending too much time on operations and not enough time on relations. Customer service excellence is found at the nexus of great relationships and effective operations. An extreme focus on operations buries reps in procedures and makes service feel labored and uncaring to customers.
Action: Start each day with a service mantra and use procedures as guidelines to make excellence come to life.
Much can happen to customer service leaders as they raise the flag of customer service in the daily charge for excellence. Upper management’s demands for value and the customers’ never ending expectations can eventually turn your exhilaration into exasperation unless you re-inspire yourselves and your teams daily.
Find the light of your passion and keep it burning bright. If you don’t, how will your teams continue to shine?
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
Additional posts of interest:
Do You WOW Customers w/Every Exception?
10 Winning Beliefs for Superior Customer Experience
©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.