Customer service and satisfaction consultants often advise clients to share and celebrate our successes. It’s wonderful when someone on our team has done something far above and beyond their responsibilities to deliver excellent service for a customer. I advise clients to do this on a regular basis during every staff meeting.
By sharing successes, it opens up the creativity of the other team members as to how to surprise and delight their customers. Many of us stumble in our efforts to come up with a new idea, so I highly recommend repeating what someone else has done successfully. Call it copying, but if it works in the best interest of the customer, everyone wins.
The challenge comes when we have a few team members who are not used to recognizing their strengths or something that they’ve done well. While a herculean effort always makes for a good story, it is usually the smallest efforts and gestures made under the radar or behind the scenes that are most appreciated by the customer. So when we have those instances when no one can think of something that went well, I like to inject a little bit of fun.
“The Gummy Worm Award”
When someone can’t think of something that they did well for a customer, give them an award of a bag of sour gummy worms. No one will want to have that bag of gummy worms for long, so the next meeting, they will most likely have more than one example of something they did well for a customer.
This is all in good fun, but reinforces the fact that we all need to recognize that simply by doing our jobs well, we make a difference in the minds of our customers. It doesn’t even need to be something directly job related. It could be that you made a phone call to your customer’s next appointment and informed them that the customer is on their way. It could be that you made an unscheduled proactive phone call to a customer about an issue they’ve been dealing with. Maybe you sent your customer an article that caught your attention because it relates to their industry.
I hope you get the point here. The above examples are small acts that make a big difference to a customer. None of them may seem monumental, but any one of them could be the difference that makes the difference to the customer and gets them to return to your business or renew their account with you. We need to reinforce to our teams that the small things count and will keep the focus on the positives, not the negatives that arise from time to time.
By having your teams share what has worked for them, it gets them to recognize what they do well, gives examples to others to follow, and keeps the focus on the positive aspects of customer service and the difference it makes to our current customers. When they try some of the strategies that have worked for their peers, their level of customer service improves, as does their feeling of empowerment and ownership in the company overall.
I’d love to hear your comments and strategies you’ve found useful in getting your teams to recognize their efforts.