The Journey never ends
Written by Robert D. Sollars
The journey to ensure top-notch customer service should never be complete. And that is one of the hardest things to teach anyone. It’s not something you teach and follow for a few days, weeks, or months. It’s something that, by necessity, has to be followed for the entire life of everyone involved.
The crucial, and arguably the biggest, part of teaching customer service to your employees is this;
Customer service is not a destination but a journey. And the journey is never complete. You are always on that road to improving your customer service skills. And the roadblocks and obstacles to overcome are never-ending, which is what makes the journey so difficult to stay on course and accomplish.
After management has decided to undertake the course to improve their service delivery to customers then it falls upon the employees to buy into the program. And whether they can believe it or not, their duties and responsibilities are an integral part of it.
Most people wouldn’t believe that providing excellent security, along with most other service businesses, and customer service go hand-in-hand. It falls within the purview of providing value-added service. And if you can provide that value-added service on a consistent basis should help your business to thrive no matter the economic climate.
Another point to reiterate is this; You have to do whatever it takes to get the job done…Right.
It doesn’t matter whether you get it right the 2nd time, what’s important, especially in business, is to do it right the first time and ensure it’s done right. However, it has to be done, conventional wisdom out the window if necessary. The second time around may be too late to save someone’s life or the property. And if your ego is large, then yourself from humiliation and embarrassment, unless you’re a narcissist.
Another aspect of customer service that usually gets passed around during the training of security officers, and a few others, is this frequently stated fact, “I’m there to protect the client/company’s assets, not to be liked or treat employees with kid gloves”. My answer is ‘What does it hurt to treat them with exceptional customer service? If you’ve done your job, they won’t try to get anything over on you and they’ll respect you even more even if they didn’t before.
Unfortunately, there will always be those who will give you only a guffaw at that suggestion, no matter what you say or prove with results. I can guarantee you that utilizing exceptional customer service within your duties and responsibilities works in your favor, if not immediately then eventually as long as you stay on target and don’t slide into ‘just this once’.
It earned most of my officers more respect and admiration than any of them ever thought possible. After that, it was a short distance to the client depending on us even more than was normally accepted by a contract company. Which in turn led to a pay raise every year I was there, which was also unusual.
Is this saying that every employee is going to follow through with exceptional customer service? Not at all! There are some officers… I had an officer in Kansas, Nearly 30 years ago, who was gruff, hardnosed, rude, arrogant, and… But did it work for him and his post? Yes, it did. Would it work in our new economy? Maybe, maybe not. This is one of those situations that have to be evaluated for what it is. Taking one case at a time is helpful in providing customers with exceptional service.
Customer service will seem revolutionary for some businesses and employees. It will have the perception that if we do enough, why should we do more? Or possibly, we are perfect and nothing can improve our processes. But as you have read this month in these posts there is always room to improve in the way you conduct business and provide exceptional customer service.
No? If you answer no, then you absolutely know in your own mind that you can always improve your service delivery. And does it really matter what aspect of the delivery it actually is? From value-added service, getting rid of the sacred cows, perceived value, managing the nanoseconds of interaction, or any other aspect of customer service it can always be improved.
Earlier I stated that literally, you are the only one that can provide Customer Oriented Quality Service to customers whoever they may be. Only one person has that responsibility. Only one person can provide Customer Oriented Quality Service. Only one person can do it every nanosecond, every hour, every day, to everyone.
Obviously, that one person is you. Whether you are a front-line employee, or grunt as some call it (we do the ‘dirty work’) or manager it is YOU. It doesn’t matter if your co-workers, company, or managers, or if you are getting confusing signals from managers and even the executive offices. You have to be responsible for your delivery and therefore assist the others in getting it done. Then ensuring that YOU are doing whatever it takes to do it. Then ensuring that YOU get it right the first time.
Just remember what I said above;
Customer service is not a destination but a journey and the journey is never complete. You are always on the path to improving your skills, it’s never perfect. But absolutely nothing says you can’t keep trying to reach that point of perfection.
(This is an excerpt from my book Unconventional Customer Service: How-to Break the Rules to Provide Unparalleled Service, available on Amazon – 2018.
Like these blogs? Then please feel free to pass them along, with proper attribution, to friends, colleagues, or anyone who may benefit, from proper attribution. Have them subscribe at my website: Sollars Violence Prevention Training & Consulting
It happens to Anyone…Any Time…Anywhere… For any Reason
I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear
Copyright 2023 Robert D. Sollars