My neighbor’s little boy has a hilarious habit of doing silly things on video or in photos and then proclaiming, “I did it for the lolz!” I’ve thought of him many times over the past week when I’ve been on Twitter and read tweets that say things like:
Give good customer service so that you’ll get good online reviews.
I find this worrying as I don’t think reviews should be the reason one gives excellent customer service. Intent matters, and it will become obvious to your customers if you’re only giving good customer service for personal gain.
Let’s consider intention in exercise (oh boy!)
Sally’s intention: I am going to exercise more because everybody tells me it’s good for me. I’ll get a gym membership even though gyms intimidate me and I’ll force myself to go. It’s what I should do.
Aisha’s intention: I am going to exercise more because I’ve been feeling lethargic. I’ll exercise outside because I spend enough time inside in an office. It will be nice to get moving outside. It’s what I want to do.
If we checked in with Sally and Aisha at the end of a year, which one do you think will still be exercising? I’d be willing to bet Aisha would still be moving, and Sally will be wasting money on a gym membership. Both have the goal of getting more exercise into their lives, but Aisha is setting herself up to win from the beginning, while Sally is sure to fail. Why? Intent.
Sally’s goals are all about what she thinks she should do, while Aisha’s goals are personal and formed to complement what she knows about herself: i.e. she’s less tired when she exercises, and she would like to be outside more.
Providing sincere customer service with the pure intent to help and better serve your customers is the only way to run your business.
- If you don’t really want to provide outstanding customer service, you will slip up, mess up, and eventually give up.
- Your customers will know you’re not being sincere. True service comes with a wonderful positive feeling – and just about everyone can tell a genuine smile from a fake one
- If you serve your customers from a place of true willingness to help, your reviews will be positive!
If your reviews are lackluster, and you don’t feel you are connecting with your customers, take a moment or two to consider your strengths, and the strengths of your team, as Aisha did.
- What is your team naturally good at?
- How can you do more of what your team already excels at?
Have your team play to their strengths for a few months. Encourage them and praise them for their good work with customers when you see it. They will learn that it feels good to treat people like stars. The shift away from ‘we’re providing good customer service for reviews’ and toward ‘we’re providing great customer service because we want to’ will begin. Once you are on a roll and feeling good about how you and your team have grown, then it may be time to ask:
- What does your team need help with?
- How can you give them the tools and training they need to get to the next level of service?
Whether you’re doing it ‘for the lolz’, because you think you should, or because you want to, intention matters.
Remember, the most sustainable and effective customer service is enjoyable to both the customer and your team.
Brandi Hand, Queen of Visibility, Red-Carpet Learning Systems
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