Leaders Customer Service: Primarily Change or Status Quo?

Leaders customer service is change. Every aspect, every moment, is change in action.

When customers call, it is to change the current situation to a more satisfying one. When they make a purchase, they use it to change something in their work or life.

Does your organization think customer service is primarily change?

Image: S Shape Signifies Change

Leaders Customer Service is Primarily Change. Image by: ClaraDon

Featured Image by: ClaraDon

Leaders Customer Service Is Change!

Do your customer service teams see themselves as change agents?

Do they know how to create change on every customer interaction?

Do they engage in cross teamwork to effect each change?

Do you lead and engage them to create change with each customer?

………………… OR …………………..

Have you given them the impression that the goal is status quo?

  • Follow the rules
  • Read the script
  • Make sure the customer follows the procedures
  • Handle each call as prescribed
  • Escalate any exceptions (changes) to management
  • Image: Chaos Drawing.

    Leaders Customer Service is Change Not Chaos Image by: CM*

    How and why does this misstep start?

    Seeing change as chaos triggers an exaggerated need to stabilize.

    Desire to stabilize creates rigid standards of control instead of valuable guidelines.

    Standards then become something to maintain.

    The primary focus is then, mistakenly, on maintaining the status quo.

    Harmful Impact

    It undermines employees’ sense of urgency to the customer — critical to service excellence and customer loyalty.

    It dampens employee initiative, learning, and motivation to serve.

    It leads an organization to narcissism. Employees focus of company preservation instead of customer satisfaction as the path to company success.

    When the company vision is self-preservation customers leave.

    Leaders Think Balance Not Stability!

    Seek balance in change not stability in maintaining the status quo.

    Build balance by adapting to great inputs from the customer.

    Apply balance during change to prevent fatal chaos.

    Achieve balance around a central truth – customer service is all about change.

    Leaders customer service is forward not back. It’s momentum and change and customers must feel it from your agents. Customers don’t come to maintain the status quo; they leave when you do.

    Inspire employees to care. Train them to unearth and fulfill customers’ wishes. Lead and empower them to be the customers’ change agents not just customer service agents. The safety of status quo is an illusion.

    Inspired empowered agents with a sense of urgency to effect change create powerful bonds of customer loyalty — and your company success.

    Discussion: What else feeds this desire for control & status quo? I welcome your thoughts in the comments section below.

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

    Related Posts:
    Leaders, Win Customer Loyalty on the Move!
    Capture Impact Behind Customers Feelings – Coming and Going!

    ©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 info@katenasser.com. 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. M.A. Organizational Psychology. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

    10 Responses to “Leaders Customer Service: Primarily Change or Status Quo?”

    1. Shep Hyken says:

      Good insights. Some customer service departments create strict rules and scripts to follow. As a result, they miss opportunities to really impress a customer with great service. The best rules and scripts can be called guidelines. Hire the right people, with the right customer-focused personalities, and the guidelines become the starting point to a successful customer interaction.

      • Kate Nasser says:

        Hi Shep,
        I second your vote for “guidelines” and the incredible power they have to create excellence in customer service.

        So pleased to have you comment now and always.

        Regards and thanks,

    2. Khalid says:

      Ah! I LOVED the way you delivered the message Kate.

      I got the sense of urgency under the lines. It’s a real issue with most of customer service providers! I relate this to one of our telecom agents, they follow a very funny script upon calling and they’ve been using the same script for the life time of the company (only to spell the name of the company within the greetings). It’s an annonying start of CHANGE!

      Thank you Kate for your creative posts


      • Kate Nasser says:

        I smiled when I read your comment Khalid about the “funny” scripts the telecom agents use. YOU are SO right. I often have trouble not laughing as they read through it.

        Many thanks .. your comments always add to the discussion!

    3. Kate,

      Thanks for writing this. You are spot on, and you deliver the message well. We definitely need to move beyond the status quo and allow the frontline to deliver a great experience without the restriction of the rules, policies, and scripts that frustrate so many customers.

      Annette 🙂

      • Kate Nasser says:

        Hi Annette,
        I am grateful for your echo of the importance of this topic. We have voices to help change both the tenor and the quality of customer service. Yours is clearly speaking for change here on this post and on your CXJourney blog.

        Bravo and thanks.

    4. Kim Proctor says:

      Kate you are right on. We shouldn’t tie the hands of the front line. I agree you want to empower this staff to make things right. Offer customers peace of mind! Too often the rules and approaches used in customer service today turn off customers…from the phone tree (IVR) to the agents who have to live by rigid guidelines. Thanks for inspiring people to think about a paradigm that fuels business growth.

      • Kate Nasser says:

        Thank you Kim for expanding the discussion to include “offer customers peace of mind!” You said it baby 🙂 Want customer loyalty? Give customers peace.

        Many thanks!

    5. Kate,
      You are so right. My favorite line: Inspired Empowered Agents…Which comes first, the empowered employee experience or Customer Loyalty and great Customer Experience? You must have both to move forward.


    6. Kate,
      Empowerment is so tricky because it requires so much forethought. Too many leaders think their job is to create a culture of “good soldiers” who follow the rules and don’t think for themselves. Hiring the RIGHT people is the first step to empowerment. Empowered people know they will make mistakes and still be supported, as long as their intentions were true and, as you and Shep say, guidelines are there to help them. It’s a critical piece of delivering a superior experience. Thanks for the discussion!

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