Do you want more engaged employees and customers who return again and again, with friends? Customer Service from the heart is what it’s all about.
A while back, I had just finished a keynote presentation on building a customer service culture. As often happens, people came up to me after the speech to share their stories, ask great questions and generally be friendly and say hello. On this one particular occasion, a gentleman gave me a very kind compliment that has stayed with me. He said, (and I’m paraphrasing) Here’s what I loved about your presentation. While you made a great business case for customer service, you really spoke about the emotional side of service. That’s a fresh perspective that you don’t often hear.
I had never thought about it, but when he brought it to my attention I thought, “Wow, he’s right.” I had never thought about it in that way because, to me and my team, customer service is ALL about emotions. It’s called Customer Service from the Heart for a reason!
Ultimately, whether you’re talking about engaging and inspiring employees (your internal customers) or earning the loyalty and rave reviews of those who purchase your goods and services, you’re talking about the same thing. Human Beings. People who want to feel connected, inspired, cared about, and like they matter.
So, what does Customer Service from the Heart look like?
For your internal customers, it starts with trust. You build trust by creating a safe work environment and doing what you say you’ll do. You support them in every way possible to enable them to deliver on the promises you’re making to your other customers ~ those who purchase and use your goods and services.
You make sure they feel seen and heard. That leadership at all levels sees each person as a human being, with opinions and contributions that matter. You make sure that kindness is a true value and that people leave work each day feeling great about how they were treated!
A culture of accountability is key – but it’s the HOW that accountability message is delivered that will fire them up or bring them down. When your team feels safe, supported, and like they and their work matter, only then will you be able to inspire them to provide a red carpet experience for your other customers.
What about your other customers?
For those who purchase your goods and services (sometimes called external customers) it’s still all about customer service from the heart. The questions of emotional connection are the same.
Do they trust you?
Do they feel safe and supported?
Do they feel seen and heard?
Do they feel known?
Do they feel like they matter – as human beings, not just customers?
When they trust you and they feel safe, and have a voice, and feel like you know them and they matter – and then you personalize their experience and add a few WOW-factors (WOW-factors, incidentally, that touch their heart and move them emotionally) – that’s when you gain their loyalty and their advocacy.
So you see, customer service is more than just a system. It’s more than a training program. It’s more than a set of standards and list of do’s and don’ts.
It’s all about emotion.
It’s about kindness, caring, supporting one another, and creating safe environments. It’s about creating a culture where people and their work matters.
Does it impact the bottom line? You bet! It’s been proven again and again by organizations known for their exceptional service Wegmans, Trader Joes, Nordstrom, Disney….I mean, Disney is ALL about creating that emotional experience for their guests!!
In addition to the financial impact, I can’t think of a more relevant time than right now to tap into Customer Service From the Heart and approach it from the standpoint of human connection and truly inspired customer experiences.
What are your thoughts? Comment below and let us know if you think there is a connection between emotions and customer service.
Donna Cutting, CSP is the Founder & CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc., and leads a team of experts who help organizational leaders build sustainable service cultures, tapping into the emotional side of service in a way that makes sense for business! She’s the author of 2 books on the topic, including the Amazon bestseller 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers (Career Press, 2015). Download our free customer service engagement report here.