Adrilia blog Amazing Customer Service

Shortly after finishing college,  I got my first job in customer service — one  of the most stressful I’ve ever had. The work itself wasn’t hard. The environment, the way people were being treated … that was tough. Some days I would have to get off the MBTA train at Boston’s Park Street Station to throw up because I was so stressed out! I would run into the bathroom at the station, throw up, buy a coke to settle my stomach and get back on the train to make it to work. Not many people have heard this story, but it’s worth telling. It’s part of the reason why I am so passionate about  helping to build positive environments for people to work in, flourish and develop.

Yes, amazing customer service can set your business apart from the competition, help it be remembered.  But in case you haven’t noticed, it isn’t easy to provide amazing customer service consistently.  It takes heart and skill and guts. However, once you crack this one, the sky is the limit. If you can read the pulse of your customers, listen, empathize and relate authentically and you get good at it … you will succeed … no matter what field you choose to pursue.

Now more than ever, as people deal with unprecedented stress and vulnerability, customer service is an area in which you and your company can truly shine.  

Here are a few questions to help you assess the customer service you provide. Use them as starting points for daring to discuss great customer service with your staff, your managers and leaders.  Believe me, it’s so worth “going there ”  —  for yourself, for your staff, for your company, and for your customers.

  1. Do your employees understand that customers are friends,  supporters, reasons for being? It’s shocking to see how many companies treat customers as the enemy.
  2. Are you able to empathize with someone else even when you are having a really bad day? If you haven’t learned the skills to do so, how can you train and motivate your staff, or expect great customer service from them?
  3. Are your business policies set up as smart guidelines, or are they so set in stone that your staff can’t do the right thing to serve a customer because your policies stand in the way?
  4. Are your employees happy people who derive satisfaction from doing the right thing for your customers?
  5. Do you often side with your employees rather than with your customers? Beware. It gets noticed. It sets the tone.
  6. Are you or your employees feeling fed up, maxed out, overwhelmed? It isn’t difficult to see, feel and sense. When people are not doing the right thing, they know it – and the environment speaks volumes.
  7. Do you realize that each interaction your staff has with others leaves an imprint, a flavor of your values, an image of your company?
  8. Do you hire happy and enthusiastic people only to see them become cynical and want to leave after 6 months?
  9. Is your customer service operation a team learning about leadership and helping customers, or a heavy, stressful place where you wouldn’t even set foot if you had a choice?
  10. Are you truly there for your employees so that they can be there for your customers? Do you care about their well being, their challenges, their aspirations? Do you provide training, inspiration, motivation, rewards?

Begin today.