OK folks, it’s a clean slate. New Year. New ideas. New opportunities. Or perhaps it’s actually a return to old values, insights and practices that will do the most good. In customer service, bedrock practices based on historical wisdom always seem to work best. So, with the New Year, let’s look at some of those—and see how best they can apply in today’s hyper-tech, warp-speed information world.
I want to bring in 2022 by thanking everyone in my life for their support and caring—friends, family, residential community, team members, clients, partners, and companies that “get it.”
Throughout 2021, you all provided much-needed solace and rays of sunshine. You consistently demonstrated the best qualities of stellar customer service—caring, concern, and consummate communication.
With this as a backdrop, here is my big-picture 2022 customer service wish list:
Continue caring for others, get beyond yourself.
This doesn’t mean abandoning your needs. Just look at what others need and try to best address those needs. This applies both to those providing customer service, and customers offering consideration to customer service reps. By showing each other we’re making an effort to understand and appreciate them—not just ourselves—the best atmosphere of cooperation can be created. This will do more to help customer service than all the technology, AI, and “expert” advice in the world.
Talk it out, whatever “it” is.
Open, complete communication can solve—or at least frame—problems in a way that can lead to meaningful resolution. Even when tempers and anxieties start to take control, use every reasonable effort to move forward positively instead of being negative and closed-minded.
Factor in the overwhelming challenges most are facing as a result of the pandemic, politics, and economic upheaval.
Try to “walk a mile in the other person’s moccasins.” Even when not shared as part of a customer service interaction, it’s a good bet that extraordinary pressures are in play both for the customer service rep and customers. Use this as a starting point for one’s position and cut some slack whenever and wherever possible.
Apply three must-do’s to create the best customer service experiences:
Be trustworthy, be kind, be authentic. These are basics of good customer service going back to the dawn of commerce.
Aim for continuous improvement.
No matter how well you’re doing now, continue striving to get better. As world, community, and health pressures mount, this can help relieve stress for others…and yourself. Personal betterment obviously can help you do a better job of helping others. It also can provide a sense of self-satisfaction and accomplishment.
Happy New Year. May the Customer Service Force be with you!