Applying leadership skills to create a culture of excellent customer service

By Generation Next Governor at Large Brandon Crockett
Parts Manager,
Messer Truck Equipment

Published in the June 2015 issue of Generation Next Edition.

Customer service excellence is not found in policy manuals - it’s in an exceptional experience. To ingrain customer service into your own behavior, take the customers’ problems and make them yours. When employees focus on excellence, the results are magical. Customers are happy, employees are happy, management is happy. Customer service needs to become a part of you and your organization. Encourage employees to internalize the principles of structural integrity embodied by companies that are
intensely loyal to their customers.

Creating wow moments: everything speaks

Small gestures can create customer wows: remembering a customer's name, sending goody baskets, letting them know there may be a better product on the market for them than what you offer. The most powerful way to create wows is to share the best principles with fellow employees. During meetings, share moments of wow stories and talk about what can be done to continually improve the customer experience. How many times have you seen an employee walk past trash on the floor or ignore a display that has been bumped out of place? The idea is to create a culture around excellent customer service – an environment where “everything speaks.” Examples of this culture include employees realigning a misplaced item or placing litter in the trash.

Imagine visiting a fine restaurant for a special occasion. You made the reservations, you have heard great reviews, and you've finally arrived and been seated. Then, picture seeing old lipstick on your glass, or dried food stuck to your silverware. What would you think about the cleanliness and quality of the food? Would you return again? Everything speaks.

Imagine a customer enters your parking lot and sees trash, delivery boxes stacked on the receptionist’s desk, or employees standing around having personal conversations. These all affect the perspective of the business either consciously or subconsciously. These will raise the suspicion of your customer and subsequently subtract from your company’s good nature.

Be a great leader in the art of customer excellence. Lead by example and create other leaders. Do not look for followers; look to foster other great leaders – and do this by setting the standard yourself. Your actions will be seen – make sure they count. Remember, when you're in a leadership role, you're always "on stage".   Every word, action, body language or behavior speaks and is left open to perceptive interpretation.

If there is a common denominator shared by all organizations – public or private, big or small, manufacturing, service or government – it is the need for exceptional customer service.

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