or “How to be a better you and make the world a better place in the process”
As a Support Manager at Fpweb.net and someone who’s spent most of their career being “front of house” with customers, I know that, no matter the industry, one constant will always remain – customers wanting good service.
But this won’t be a blog that lists the different ways that you can provide better service for your customers – at least not exactly. Solving problems and answering the phone on the first ring is one thing, but one overarching variable can make or break the entire thing: your attitude. This blog will examine where your attitude originates from.
Yes, I submit that your attitude is contagious and your good vibes can affect the world around you, long after you’ve completed them. And I believe it’s already deeply rooted into your persona. If you think about it, there are two main reasons you are who you are today.
What helps shape who we become:
- How you react to others
- How they react to you
So, simply put: We are because of each other.
It’s an odd statement for sure, but you know what? If you think about it, it actually makes sense. Who I am and how I deal with the world is because of the set of prior experiences I am drawing off of to determine my path moving forward.
More times than not, we forget that this is manageable and we can change our course (albeit for better or worse… a la Walter White) whenever we want. How does this tie in to anything, especially Customer Service? Well, here goes:
We are a culmination of our experiences
If we are a culmination of all our reactions thus far, then let’s take inventory of these reactions and start to change our perspective moving forward.
In Customer Service, your way of handling things may be reflective of the way you were trained or perhaps from a similar experience where you may have been on the other end of the conversation. Maybe certain subject matters (refunds, complaints, etc.) send your mood into defense mode and your attitude adjusts accordingly. You could be standoffish as a reflex without even knowing it.
You may find that this attitude is uncalled for and only exists as a result of past altercations. When you step back, it’s clear to see that your current customer doesn’t deserve this.
And, it starts in your everyday life.
Here’s an example: If you have always gotten mad when the vehicle in front of you slows at a yellow light and you like to speed up and beat the light, then ask yourself why is that?
In my case, it’s because the person that taught me to drive liked running lights apparently. So, I adopted this ‘anger’ just as they had for the ‘slow down guy’ in front of me. But what if I stopped and thought, “Hey, I was trained to think like someone else and I have no real basis for my thought”, then let’s change it. We could even come to the understanding of a myriad of things:
- What if the person in front of me used to do what I do and had a horrible auto crash as a result?
- What if me running lights enrages them just the same as they do me?
- And really, honestly, where am I headed that a two minute maximum delay is going to ruin my life… and for that matter, if it truly is a big deal then this is on me for not leaving sooner.
So in essence, I should start thinking about how I react to folks and help them react better to me.
Another example: What if every time I come to work, a coworker says “Good Morning!” and I grunt at them because it annoys me?
Why does it annoy me? More than likely because I had a bad day once when someone else didn’t, or even worse, I was taught through others that chipper people in the morning are just annoying… I never actually thought they were annoying, but I assumed that was what my reaction was supposed to be. And furthermore, what if this person just stops saying hi to me now? What if this person now has a perception of me as unapproachable? This could be a huge barrier for us down the road. But, what if I took this attitude and reaction back? And I started saying “Good Morning” to them first? Then I could own my reaction to this person and make it a positive one!
Create a positive environment and then live in it.
Once we realize this concept, we can start helping create a wonderful environment of positivity no matter where we are – home, school, work, etc. because we’re helping better the experiences of those we encounter and ultimately the world around us by being the best that we can be.