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Aug 20, 201510:35 AMLeader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

Make superior customer service your routine

(page 1 of 2)

Last week, after finishing up my shopping, the last point of contact in the store was with the bagger. After she finished up, she sent me on my way with, “Have a nice day.” Unfortunately, she said this with a tone like, “Your dog died.” Not very friendly and certainly not very focused on the customer. I am sure that this place has a manual that tells their baggers to say the phrase. That same manual might even suggest that it be said with a positive attitude. However, what happened is an indicator of how many customer service people go through the paces and really do not have a customer-focused attitude.

On the flip side of this story is another store that actually advertises “A helpful smile in every aisle.” Every time I’m there I’m amazed at the attitude of the employees. Every time I turn a corner, there is another smile and another person asking if I’m finding everything I’m looking for. I walk away from this place with a smile on my own face as a result of the treatment I receive.

Superior customer service does not happen by accident. It is mission critical that people in that role actually like people. If they don’t, all the manuals and training in the world will do little to change. Message: Hire people who like people for customer service roles.

Dale Carnegie said that a smile is something that comes from the inside out. It can be faked, but the fakes are easily spotted. This is true over the phone as well as face-to-face. Message: Smile.

If you hire people who like people, you will find that they’re genuinely interested in helping your customers. They will build better long-term customer relationships because they care. They’re happy when their customers are happy. Before they even think of suggesting a product or service, they get a good sense of what the customer truly wants and/or needs. They do not sell, sell, sell. Message: Build customer relationships. Don’t just sell stuff. And this message holds true even for the food server who is waiting on that one customer or the customer service rep in a call center responding to a customer concern.

(Continued)

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Known for his Dale Carnegie training expertise, Terry Siebert is writing to inspire leaders to reach their greatest potential. Leadership, today more than ever, may mean the difference between closing the doors or opening new markets. Every month, he'll post help with mindset, business tools and more.

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