The environment that we are currently doing business in is unprecedented: we deal with customers far beyond our communities, our branding and relationships often take place online, our first direct interaction with a customer might very well come when that customer has a problem, and the standards to which we are being held are constantly moving targets. These facts all create unique challenges for those of us in customer service as we strive to foster strong, positive relationships and provide top notch service.
For our management teams, it’s imperative that we keep our standards up to date with our customers’ expectations. How quickly do our customers expect responses from us? How quickly do they expect their issues to be completely resolved? How much information do our customers want about our processes of moving from problem to solution? In order to properly and skillfully guide our teams, we need to have our fingers on the pulse of current customer expectations. What previously measured up or exceeded customer expectations may now be considered woefully inadequate and we need to know that in order to react to it.
Within our teams, we need to battle against complacency. Once we are fully trained and become accustomed to performing our jobs, it’s not uncommon to gently slide into a comfort zone that gradually lowers its standards over time. We, as individuals, need to ask ourselves some frank questions about our work. Are we striving as hard for excellence today as we were on our first day? Are we as efficient as we ought to be? Are we truly engaged with our customers or are we just going through the motions? Staying fresh is partly accomplished via the motivation handed down by our managers, but it is moreso an internally generated drive to be our very best selves day in, day out. We need to assess our status quo and decide if we’re proud of the work we’re doing right now.
In every case, every interaction, we have the opportunity to prove our worth to our customers. Our attentiveness, dedication, and delivery of efficiency does not cost any one of us any more to deliver than being disengaged, out of date, careless, or slow. It does, however, matter to our customers and dramatically impact the popularity and success of our companies and our own enjoyment of our jobs. When we recommit ourselves to bringing our A Games to work, we feel better about ourselves and our customers feel better about us. Don’t let another day pass without taking an assessment of the here and now and deciding if it’s all that it ought to be.