The attitude of customer service

New ImageEvery day we see customer service in action. On most days, we just accept it for what it is worth, but on occasion it’s either exceptionally great or exceptionally poor. Those are the customer experiences we seem to remember the best. Some companies have consistently provided exemplary customer service, and obviously it’s hard to replicate because those experiences and attitudes are what makes these organizations stand out from the crowd.

Using one of my favorite examples of the Ritz Carlton, customer service representatives have similar traits from bellhop to manager; it’s an attitude of individuality, freedom, and excitement about their work. The organization matches their brand image with their employees, and it’s not the uniforms they wear, but more like the badge we don’t see which silently states, “I am here to serve you.”

The customer service representatives I have met in my experiences who have stepped out of the box have a quiet confidence and helpfulness that customers immediately like and trust, and it’s just not at the Ritz Carlton. It’s also not just about the training since this kind of attitude starts with the person; the ultimate attitude of service. Here are the attitudes I have observed. See what you think:

  • I want to serve customers, work with them, and provide them with a great experience. I am friendly, but not overbearing.
  • I respect and believe in the company I work for, and I am here to offer you their products or services. I respect my job and want to show you why I am proud to work here.
  • I am sensitive to the needs of customers and clients. I care and respect people, and they are worth the extra effort because I want them to have a great experience.
  • I am always learning new skills and working to improve my old skills. Each unique situation presents a learning experience of which I can learn and share with others.
  • I listen to customer feedback. If a customer is unhappy with our product or our service, I want to know why so we can improve. I do not take criticism personally because feedback is what makes us better.
  • If a customer is angry, my attitude presents itself as a positive challenge. My customer training and my experience guides me to a comfortable and pleasant resolution enabling the customer to have a positive experience. I turn lemons into lemonade.
  • I learn from my experiences, and I always keep the attitude that I am here to serve.
  • My job is interesting, and I enjoy sharing and talking about it with my peers and other members of my organization.
  • I step out of the box for clients and customers. I am encouraged when clients are pleased.
  • I enjoy working as a team player, and I want to share my experiences with my team and have them share their experiences with me.
  • I am pleased with my success, and I look forward to growing with my organization. I am thankful that I have this opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Excellence in customer service is what separates one company from the seemingly endless competition. Where customers control our destinies, isn’t it best to work on those outstanding attitudes of the most successful people and organizations? I think so!

photo credit: U.S. Embassy, Manila Philippines

3 Responses to “The attitude of customer service”

  1. Aadhar Aggarwal said:

    Nov 05, 10 at 2:08 pm

    I love this blog, mostly because it seems that someone is putting down all the thoughts and beliefs in my own mind. Unfortunately, the business that I am involved in has a lot of uneducated people serving customers. How can I drill down the above mentioned points in them? As you might know most of them are very closed personalities and do not have a learning attitude.

  2. Shep Hyken said:

    Nov 05, 10 at 3:20 pm

    Great article! I like the list of attitudes and how they relate to service. I share the principle, “Treat your employees the way you want your customers treated – maybe even better!” with my clients. The goal is to have employees be invested in the company and care about customers. I too think the Ritz-Carlton Hotel chain is an excellent example of excellent customer service. The Ritz-Carlton makes it absolutely clear that it is ready to treat its employees like ladies and gentlemen who will be serving ladies and gentlemen.

  3. Secrets To Driving Customers Away: Closed For The Season | Lisbeth Calandrino:: said:

    Jan 17, 11 at 12:36 pm

    […] Customer service is an attitude, not a department. It’s something that should happen all the time; why close it for the winter? Customer retention is about keeping in touch with the right customers. How will you know who’s right? Send out your messages and see who replies; those are the ones who want to be “the right” customers. […]