Where does your role in customer service begin and end? Are you owning your participation in the process or do you tend to look at the changes others could make? For example, the number one reason cited for employees leaving their organization is because of poor management. Employees that make the necessary change take charge of their life. Those who stay and complain are wanting the world to revolve around them.
Also, many managers are faced with employees who are stuck in entitlement and clueless about their role in the very challenges they encounter. Have you addressed unacceptable behavior or have you avoided the issue because of your own discomfort or skill level that needs improving?
We all have our challenges. What if instead of fearing taking charge of ourselves and the responsibilities of our roles, we embraced it? The level of customer service delivered from an empowered person is very different than from one who is disempowered. How are you operating?
I once worked for a business owner who was adamant he wasn’t in the business of modifying behaviors. Granted his specific business was totally unrelated. That said, any manager or business owner who neglects to consciously build and support a culture of high-performance, experiences lower productivity and time wasted (down time) due to distractions which are then seen in the bottom line. The most common distractions include interpersonal issues, procrastination, insufficient coping skills for stress and the inability to correlate how an individual’s performance contributes to the culture as a whole. The longer these issues are ignored and unresolved the more painful and costly they become.
Likewise, employees who expect all development to come from the organization are more likely to function from a place of entitlement and less likely to truly take charge of themselves. This was me, even though I denied it vehemently at the time. How did I breakthrough? No one was living my life to my expectations anyway, so decided I might as well take the reins that belonged to me anyhow.
Talk about taking charge of one’s situation. At the start of the Mercury season I attended a “meet the team” event. After a mini version of practice to see the players in action, they then sat at a long table and fans walked by to say hello and get autographs if desired. Penny Taylor, a fan favorite, has been one of our key players for years. The last two years, however, she was plagued with knee injuries missing all of 2012 and playing limited in 2013.
When I got to Penny; as she sat there with ice bags on both knees; I told her I wanted to ask a question for the benefit of my own mindset. Having the knowledge she would be coming off the bench this year instead of starting, I asked her; as gentle and respectful as possible; how she was dealing with that fact. Her reply was humble and brief. She simply said, “It’s all basketball, right?”
Did she like the capacity of her new role? Of course not! Maybe she was even annoyed at me for asking (remember how I’m Never a Challenge For Others Are You?) though was undetected in her interaction with me. Obviously, a class act all the way!
As an athlete her customer service is to her teammates, coaches and fans. In addition to her stellar customer service to me as a fan – very polite, willingness to respond to my question and vulnerability in her answer – her play on the court and demeanor on the side lines made it apparent she was delivering excellent customer service to her teammates and coaches. What would those you interact with say about your quality of customer service?
As a result of her approach and her dedication, Penny returned to the starting line-up about ten games into the season. Thank you Penny Taylor for your inspiration and commitment to excellence regardless of the circumstances. Are you giving it your all even when things are other than you’d like them to be, or only if you’re getting what you want? Is it all about you or are you focused on the common goal?
Where does your role in customer service begin and end? It’s a continuous circle. It’s a way of being, versus a start and stop. It shows up in everything we do instead of only some things. Penny chose her attitude and her actions. So do you and I every day, every challenge . . . is yours one of ‘poor me’ or one of dedication to high-performance? ‘Poor me’ or high-performance are both states of energy. They project from us before we even speak or act.
What choices are you making when it comes to your customer service?