Customer Service: Be a Buoy

What does every customer want?  Most customer service professionals reply “help”.   I say customers want a buoy!  In fact, customers want us to be their buoy.

Customers are trying to survive and thrive. They reach out to us especially when they are in trouble. They don’t want help. They want to float to greatness. Will you be their buoy?

Image by: Mike Baird via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Customer Service: Be the Customer's Buoy Image is a buoy.

Customer Service: Be the Customer’s Buoy Image by: MikeBaird

Customer Service: Be the Customer’s Buoy!

What does a buoy do?

  • Keeps others floating high!
  • Confidently stays afloat even in the toughest seas.
  • Willingly takes the waves and rocks back up.
  • Beams guidance in tight spots.
  • Is always there and ready.


How can you be the customer’s buoy every day?

  • Begin each day with an inventory of your talents and attributes.  To be a constant customer service buoy, you must believe in yourself.  Confidence, not arrogance, sustains others.  Make a list of every great customer service attribute you have. Read it at the beginning of your shift, on your breaks, and at the end of your shift. This reminds us just how important our behavior is to customers.
  • Start work over with each interaction. Life is full of stress that can rock you off your inspiration.  To counter this, take a very slight pause before you start giving customer service. It puts outside stress – outside — where it belongs.  You can’t be the customer’s buoy if you are thinking of your own problems.  Surprising benefit: Buoying others buoys your spirits too!
  • Adapt to each personality. Whether the customer is a driver, an analytic, an expressive, or an amiable type, adapting to their style keeps you all afloat.  This flexibility allows you to rock with the waves instead toppling over.  Make life easy for the customer by touching the heart of who they are. They will have no need to pull you under. You are their customer service buoy! Their satisfaction and loyalty soars. You strengthen your ability to adapt and thrive.
  • Connect, connect, connect. To be a buoy you must be connected to others. Without connection, you aren’t a buoy.  Connect to them by listening from their perspective.  Connect into their true need instead of focusing mostly on the procedure. Buoy them with your knowledge and care.  You won’t have the answer to everything. You can show them you care enough to find the answers. This makes you an incredible customer buoy!
  • Give your ego a relaxing vacation. Do you think this contradicts the first suggestion about confidence?  It doesn’t.  Confidence comes from constant learning not from the egotistical desire to be right.  Be confident in your knowledge and humble in giving it.  Be humble enough to learn what the customer teaches you about their world and confident to use it for them. Your confident humility buoys customers. When your ego takes a relaxing vacation, your heart can beat more effectively for the customer.
  • Celebrate your buoyancy. Do a virtual happy dance at the end of each interaction.  We learn and repeat what we celebrate. Celebrate individually and as a team. Instead of griping about tough situations with customers, heave a big smile of pride for being a customer buoy in rough seas. Your buoyancy will sustain yourselves and the customers.

Leaders, What Must You Do?

Simply put, give daily doses of customer service inspiration.   Customer service leaders who spend more time inspiring realize far greater success than those who focus mostly on the details.  Leaders, here are special be a buoy leadership tips for you.

If you have questions about these tips, I am your customer service leadership buoy! See you on the high seas to share the big waves, keep you floating high, and celebrate your buoyancy and success.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Related Post:
15 Essential Customer Service Beliefs for Super Customer Experience
People Skills Create Profitable Customer Service Connections

©2013 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 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.

5 Responses to “Customer Service: Be a Buoy”

  1. Melissa Kovacevic says:

    What a great analogy! I think my favorite line is “Buoying others buoys your spirits too!” That is true not only in Customer Service, but in life.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thanks Melissa! It’s a new way of extending some good ‘ol folk wisdom: “When you’re hurting, get busy for others!” I appreciate your contribution here and encourage all to read your call center customer service wisdom in your blog posts.

      Warmest wishes,

  2. Kate, I love this analogy. Such a well-thought-out, fresh perspective. I’m not sure which of the six tips is my favorite, but they all make sense to me!

    Annette 🙂

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Truly elated Annette by your feedback on this analogy. I have used it with teams for quite awhile and am now putting it into video DVD to extend this thinking beyond the customer service world.

      I value your words “well-though-out and fresh perspective”.

      Thank you!

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