If Not, It Should Be
Considering just how stressful the business landscape is, customer services is a top priority to many leaders. If it isn’t’, it should be. With our global communities, people have access to our competitors with much more ease. They are privy to what is available and more than 80% of consumers use social medial to make purchasing decisions.
Among the myriad of factors involved, the nuts and bolts equate to the importance of premium customer service.
Superior customer care is largely impacted by how our customers are treated by our staff and how our policies and procedures impact their decisions. It all points back to us.
Our front line workers – those working directly with our customers have a stressful position. They are dealing with a huge variety of personalities and attitudes. It’s easy when we’ve got a happy customer, but what about the customer than swings by our store after work to pick up a gallon of milk – whose anxious to get home after a terrible day at the office?
Chances are, she’s not going to be in a cheerful mood. How our clerks at the counter treat her are going to make an impact on her opinion of our store. Whether we’d like to admit it or not.
We all know how laughter is contagious. Truth be told – moods and attitudes can be contagious, too. Especially when things roll downhill, if you know what I mean. The opposite applies, too – obnoxious moods and rudeness can be contagious, too. If not contagious, they certainly have an impact.
In a study focused on nurses and the recovery rate of patients in cardiac care units – those units with depressed, rude, or overall negative attitudes reported a death rate of patients four times higher than comparable units (Schneider & Bowen, 1995, as cited by Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002).
On the flip side, we all know that our front line staff is modeling who and what we represent. A happy, upbeat customer service representative is going to likely leave customers feeling like it is a nice place to shop.
We know that our hostesses and wait staff who are most attentive, polite, and friendly earn greater tips.
It all points back to us. Leaders have direct control on how well our customers are being served and how we rank in customer service.
Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2002). Primal leadership: Realizing the power of emotional intelligence. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.