Guest post by Cathenry.
The ninth and final lesson in the Forbes article Nine Impactful Customer Service Lessons That Can Change Your Business Approach is “Customer Service is Actually about You.”
I often see myself as the director of first impressions for my business. I try to avoid coming across with a fake personality or succumbing to the pressure to please a customer.
My mantra is: My smile is my logo; my personality is my business card; and the way I make others feel is my trademark.
Full transparency, I am not a bubbly person. I am more of an outgoing introvert. When I deal with people I attempt to stay in the moment and focus on them. Having to be multifunctional robs me of this effort at times, so prior prep work before a customer interaction is essential to be able to stay in the moment.
Let’s keep it real. Not everyone is cut out for customer service. It may be part of their job description but that doesn’t mean they are doing it well.
My mother was a talented artist in her field of craft. She would create unique, extraordinary works of art, package them, participate in national trade shows, set up her own display and then be the salesperson. Her personality was not suited for every role. She was not the friendliest person; her resting face was often a frown. Fortunately, the quality of her product overshadowed any deficiencies she had in the various roles she executed.
Ask yourself this: Who is the best at first impressions for my business?
Usually, an application process for para churches includes the request for a faith statement. I shared this once with a couple who were friends of a friend. They found this requirement to be an invasion of my rights. In my mind, the ideal situation is to work for a company whose mission statement or vision you can ascribe to. After all, when you work for someone, by way of association, you are advocating their service or product.
In creating, developing, and maintaining customer service the buck stops at the desk of the highest echelon of the business.
They need to understand that it begins with having a clear mission and core values communicated to the team. Developing good habits in the staff members who will be providing the first line of customer service includes encouraging pride and ownership of the business brand. Satisfied employees are more motivated to take initiative, with good customer service being a natural outflow of their work. As the adage goes: “Happy employees equal happy customers!”
This is the ninth in a series of nine posts. Read all posts here.
Cathenry has operated a boutique bed and breakfast enterprise in her home since 2014. Her business goal is to give guests a positive and memorable customer service-driven bed and breakfast experience. She always has gravitated to businesses demonstrating sound professional ethics, clear communication, and successful customer service. Having known customer service advocate Mark Lusky for more than 11 years, collaborating as a guest blogger is a natural outgrowth of their association.
Drawing on her extensive hospitality, hosting, event planning and customer outreach experience, Cat brings to the table unique perspectives and insights that expand the gravitas of this customer service-driven blog. She also brings to bear intense curiosity stemming from serving as a former reporter, teacher, and organizational coach with certified training.
As research and curating of information have long been Cat passions, she also will offer the perspectives and insights of third-party subject matter experts in the field of customer service as part of her guest blogger contributions.