In just the past few days, how many times have you been disappointed in the quality of service, responsiveness, and basic courtesy you’ve experienced? If you’re like me, it’s happening more and more often, and it’s so prevalent, that it’s becoming the norm. The level of service or performance we’re experiencing more often than not, is so low, our expectations of ‘good’ service have also been lowered.
The level of service or performance we’re experiencing more often than not, is so low, our expectations of ‘good’ service have also been lowered.
Because our expectations are so low now, when we anticipate ‘basic or decent’ customer service, we hope for something slightly above ‘not rude or incompetent.’ Our expectations are so low, that now, when we receive ‘good’ customer service, we’re surprised and ecstatic. Let me be clear, by ‘good’ customer service, I mean that we have a courteous interaction in which the other person provides the service, information, or a result that meets our desired outcome in a prompt timeframe. That’s it. It’s that basic.
The same basic definition for performance applies to our team members, colleagues, vendors, and others. In those interactions, again, I’m looking for courteous interactions with other people to collaborate and communicate with me to enable us to provide the desired services, information, or results to meet their needs or a client’s needs within a prompt or stated timeframe. Again, that’s it. It’s that basic. However, it’s happening less and less often.
For many organizations, what constitutes ‘good’ customer service or a ‘good’ level of team member performance is not stated in the company values; it’s not demonstrated by the leadership; it’s not reinforced through the culture, coaching conversations, and training; and it’s not properly valued for its impact on the team’s self-perception, morale, personal and professional growth and outlook benefits, customer perceptions, and your organization’s brand and viability. Managers still aren’t consistently training, coaching, supporting, and holding team members accountable to convey services in a way and at a level that positively represents their organization and their brand. When we’re still caught off-guard when someone is pleasant and ‘fun’ during a phone call, email or text conversations, our performance expectation bar is pretty low. When we’re giddy when someone responds to an email within a few hours (and they provide the information requested), our performance expectation bar is pretty low. When a customer service representative doesn’t pass us off to someone else, but instead says, “Let me fix this right now and make this right for you…” and then they give you more than you’d ask for, well that scenario soon becomes a tale to be retold for days, weeks, and months to come.
So where is your organization’s performance bar for customer service, inter or intra-team communications, responsiveness to vendors, etc? If you believe it’s fairly high, what would your customers, vendors, and team members say? Is your company clearing the customer service and performance bar like a pole vaulter, or are you doing the limbo further diminishing the already low expectations of so many. How often has your team had interactions this week that made others ecstatic, giddy, or even surprised? If they haven’t, your organization is not clearing the performance bar, and it’s impacting your business more than you know.
Copyright MMXX - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about Liz on LinkedIn!