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Article -> Put Others Ahead of Self for Customer Service

Date Added: August 2015

There is a saying which eloquently summarizes how to provide an amazing customer experience; and how to treat co-workers and others. Yet, the simple concept can be difficult to teach, and more difficult to follow.

The saying goes something like, “Do nothing from selfish ambition, but in humility regard others as better. Do not look to your own self interests, but look to the interests of others.” So simple that if we each followed this; our customers, employees, family, friends and others would continuously communicate their positive experiences with others.

Providing a positive customer experience seems to become more difficult and service continues to decline throughout society. We are too busy. Someone else will do it. We don’t care. And our customers are beginning to settle for less-than-stellar service.

For all of the criticism of Millennials, some of the best service I have received has been from this generation. They smile, are friendly, and generally seem to care instead of going through the motions with scripted customer service statements.

Providing better customer service and communicating more effectively with customers and co-workers are two main organizational issues. To deal with these, organizations are willing to pay for training sessions or hire consultants to work with teams for months – even years – to solve these issues.

Maybe I am simply not good at this topic because when asked for solutions, I rattle them off in less than an hour without taking a full day of training and months of consulting. Serve others. Be humble. Put the interests of others before your own. Display kindness. Practice patience. Exhibit compassion. Have integrity. Possess courage. Do the right thing. Love others.

This is not rocket science; however, it is difficult to teach others these concepts. You either do them or you don’t. While most would wholeheartedly agree with these, they find them difficult to follow. Of which my guidance comes from Nike, “Just do it.”

Understanding we are human beings and imperfect, following these items every moment of every day is not easy because life gets in the way. Your customer makes an unrealistic request. Your leader asks for something at an inopportune time. Your co-worker is crabby. Your spouse or child has a bad day. Your friend receives bad news.

Yet, it is these very instances when something isn’t going well in which we can call upon these simple concepts and follow the saying above to have a positive impact on others. Difficult times are when our customers, leaders, organization, co-workers, family, friends, etc. need us most.

Do we answer the call in these instances or do we look at our self interests? When reflecting on this, maybe teaching others is actually easy – just do it. We know what we are supposed to do, we just don’t always do it. The difficult part is the action.

These introspective times become about ourselves vs. others. We think of what we gain or lose, rather than what we can give. Further difficulty is the sense of judgment. In each instance, who are we to judge what is an unrealistic request, an inopportune time, why someone is crabby or having a bad day, or what truly constitutes bad news?

The very nature of our judgment automatically causes us think of our own self interests and we have already lost. Training and consultants can provide reminders of what you already know; although doing it is up to you.

Perhaps the solution was provided by Pat Kozak, CSJ, who said, “It is coming alive with a fullness and freedom, filled with a sense of possibility and immanence. And in a moment of pure gift, I suddenly see that everything around me is an invitation, an opening, and that giving… makes me feel more alive than holding on to my own small and separate self.”

Think about this closely. Re-read the second paragraph and then re-read the paragraph above. You know what to do. Will you accept the gift and provide a wonderful experience for others?

David Yeghiaian is committed to positively impacting the lives of others through faith, inspiration and leadership. Reach him at david@unique-solutionsinc.com.

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