Let’s say you run a company with a call center.
And one day, at the end of a long shift, one of your reps gets a call from a confused customer. This customer is asking questions that even the most technically challenged person would laugh at. And your rep rolls his eyes.
What would you do?
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The customer never saw the eye roll. Only you.
The rep answered all of the questions according to the book and the eye roll was understandable considering the ridiculous questions he was being asked. Plus, it had been a long day.
If you want to influence people, you have to understand them first.
If you want more sales, more followers, or more raving fans, you have to walk a mile (or ten) in their shoes.
Last year, I ran my first half marathon.
The first two people to take off from the starting line were two soldiers, dressed in full gear. I’m talking camouflage pants and coats, boots, and a nearly 100-pound backpack. For 13.1 miles!
As I passed them near the one-mile marker and then watched them cross the finish line long after me (I’m bragging that I beat two guys carrying the equivalent of my wife on their backs!), I realized something:
The book LaserMonks says it best:
Going overboard with customer service only results in an excellent experience for the customer. There is never a downside.
Over time, there is no downside. And yet too many leaders and customer service managers get caught up in the minutiae. They quickly forget about all the great customer service experiences customers have and report to their friends, but they easily remember the one time that one weird guy took advantage of their generosity.
So they create more “rules” and “processes” for their team. In doing so, they stifle their creative and generous spirit. In the long run, they pay for it. They kill the spirit of their customer service reps who end up being nothing more than order takers.
Have you ever seen that happen?
I have seen that happen. In fact, I’ve done it to my team. I’ve buried them under a heap of rules, processes, and bureaucratic hoops to jump through. This was long before I learned that customer service rules were meant to be broken, as I shared recently.
“You can’t just give away a course away! That cost us $99.”
Those were the words that a customer service rep yelled at me one afternoon. It was soon followed up with a lengthy email on which he copied the CEO of the company (don’t ever do that, by the way – See Rule #5 on How Not to Suck at Email).
What exactly had caused that outburst and childish email?
Ultimately it came down to his answer to the question in the title of this post, can you go too far in customer service?
I believe the answer is generally “no.” Most of us in business are not wired to just give away the farm. In fact, we’re generally stingy. So for most of us, the answer is an emphatic “no.” This customer service rep felt otherwise.
There is no denying that Sam Walton was one heck of a businessman.
And his rules for building a business clearly worked. But where is Wal-Mart today? And what would Sam think?
His Ten Rules for Building a Business are found in his book, Sam Walton: Made In America. Yesterday, we covered rules 1-5 and where Wal-Mart stands today. Today, we’ll take a look at the last five.
Here are the remaining rules for building a business and what I think Sam would think today.
I’m about to share two incredible techniques that will:
Increase employee engagement
Get your kids more involved at home
Have customers coming back for more
Allow you to be an influencer-extraordinaire
One book that I have read and re-read is Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Robert Cialdini, Noah Goldstein, and Steve Martin (not that Steve Martin. As far as I know this one is not particularly funny).
By now, there is more highlighted than there is not highlighted and each time a few chapters speak to me in a way they did not the first or eleventh times.
Success in any endeavor is rooted in the fundamentals.
Steve Wynn, the hotel and casino magnate, realized as they were about to break ground on the first hotel bearing his name that there wasn’t much “newness” that he could bring to the hotel business. So, he went back to the basics. He focused on the fundamentals of a great hotel.
Everything about the project from that point forward was, in Wynn’s words, about “doing the basics, better.”
The best quality sheets. Each room close to the elevators. Cleanliness. Good food readily available. Great service.
Those are the basics in the industry. And he set out to do them better than anyone else.
I was a customer service punk for most of my life. I expected great service but I sucked at giving it. I was even fired for poor customer service when I was 24…by my dad…the day after my birthday. Yeah, I was that guy. I walked into work on July 1, 2003, ready for another […]
Here are my seven favorite articles and posts from across the web in September 2012. They are in no particular order. Customer Service: But Wouldn’t FedEx Have Been Easier? by Bret Wortman. Single best customer service story. Ever. A Question That Changes Everything by Michael Hyatt. This post was so awesome to me, that I […]