Customer Service never seems to be met to the fullest extent, which is amazing to me because it really isn’t that difficult. In fact, performing exceptional customer service is quite simple. Ted Coine, a customer service friend I met on Twitter, recently sent out an update that got me thinking and inspired this post. Ted tweeted, “Customer Service is just manners. Practice all day, in and out of work. Make your grandma proud.”
Ted is right on, and the beauty of this statement is its simplicity. Customer Service is not rocket science; common decency is all it truly is. So maybe that’s the problem. I am generalizing of course, but I question if common decency and manners are instilled into folks any longer. Are kids being raised these days to know what common decency really is? I’m not sure if the values of our grandparents are present in the current generation of employees.
I once heard that the true definition of a Gentleman is someone who makes others always feel comfortable. I just looked it up in the dictionary and it doesn’t quite say it that way. But think about it, isn’t that what Customer service truly is; making your customers feel comfortable when dealing with you and your company? The dictionary app on Patricia’s iPhone, WordWeb, defines a Gentleman as a man of refinement. If customer service representatives acted in a refined manner, the likelihood is that we would have better customer service all around.
If folks are not being raised properly and taught manners, can we possibly achieve the ultimate in customer service on a consistent basis? How do we convert folks who were not raised with the refinement and manners with which our grandparents were accustomed? Maybe we have to alter their thoughts, because manners are viewed so differently today. Maybe we should liken it to being a gracious host or hostess when throwing a party at your home. Everyone loves to show off when they throw parties and say, “look at me.” So perhaps, if we look at it in these terms, our generation and the ones to follow will get it. No one wants to be a bad host – do they? Hosts typically want to make everyone feel comfortable. Hosts invite guests to their events and, if they are doing their job correctly, are responsible for their guests’ happiness.
Customer service representatives need to adopt the approach that the customers are their responsibility and that making them always feel comfortable is part of the job description. So, even if people don’t know what manners truly are, hopefully they will understand what it takes to be a gracious host. Ted, maybe that approach will help folks make their grandmothers proud.
Be a gracious host, whether you have guests in your house or customers in your store.