Not long ago I was talking with a client about one of his employees.  The day before I had presented the Moments of Magic™ customer service program and mentioned that I thought this gentleman in the audience was a skeptic.  The client said he wasn’t skeptical, but felt he knew everything I was talking about.

 

I responded, “Everyone already knows what I’m talking about.”  He agreed and I asked him, “So does this guy deliver great service?”

 

He said, “That’s the problem.  He knows, but he doesn’t deliver.”

 

Most would agree that most people know what good customer service is.  People know when they get it.  They even know how to give it.  Then why is it so hard to get people to do it.  There are technical aspects to service, and sometimes there is training for a specific job on how to handle complaints, resolve problems, refer to the right people, etc.  All of these are skills that are taught.  But, from the beginning, good customer service has nothing to do with skill.  It is all about common sense and, most important, attitude.

 

A seventeen year old kid was recently fired from a job at an ice cream parlor.  I asked him why.  His response was, “I didn’t say thank you.”

 

I asked if he didn’t say thank you once, or did he not thank his customers all of the time.  He said, “Pretty much all of the time.”  He said his boss wanted him to thank the customers when he handed them their ice cream.  He said he didn’t have time.  What!  He didn’t have time to say, “Thank you!”  

 

He went on to tell me, “After thinking about it, the manger was right.  I should say thanks to the customer.  It is the nice thing to do.”  There it is.  Common sense!  You see, he knew.  Everybody knows!

 

So, why doesn’t everybody do it?  The answer is simple.  They just don’t have the right attitude, and that’s okay.  Not everyone is cut out for a job in front of the public.  The old adage of “hire the attitude and train the skill” couldn’t be truer in this situation. 

 

When it comes to customer service you can teach and preach, but it all comes down to the attitude of the employee.  So, hire right.  Put the right person in the right job.  If he or she has direct contact with the customer, realize that at any given time that person will be representing your company, your brand – your entire business!

 

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations.  As a professional speaker and author, Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.  For more information on Shep’s speaking programs and books, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email: shep@hyken.com  Web: www.hyken.com. For information on customer service training, go to www.TheCustomerFocus.com.

 

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