I just completed some customer service training and asked the question: what famous deceased person would you like to talk to? The answers were very telling.
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with customer service training? This is about communication and customer service has everything to do with communication.
Communication is dependent on many things; mostly, how we see ourselves in the world. If you were to ask me, my values and what’s important, it may take me a long time to answer. If I think you might disapprove, I’ll alter my answers to give you what I think you want.
Ask me which tool I think I’m like and why and I’ll probably just think you’re crazy for asking. My suggestion is you stand back and try not to look too shocked.
One of the participants said she would like to talk to Marilyn Monroe about fashion and living in the 1950s. I was amazed. The woman looked like Marilyn and had the same fun-loving attitude. It was as if she was trying to find out somethings about herself as well as Marilyn. It was so interesting.
Ask people which animal, they like the best and why and you’ll find out even more about them. You’ve probably heard that people look like their pets. Not only do they look like their pets, but they also act like them. Cat lovers are certainly different than dog lovers. And then there are snake lovers. I don’t understand them at all.
I just took one of those tests and found out I’m a fun loving chimpanzee. Gee whiz.
My experience: fun people look for other fun people and serious people—well you know the answer.
Do you know who you are? The more you know about yourself the more you can depend on yourself. I remember my mother being hysterical when the little boy next door sliced open his foot. My dad yelled for me to get my mother out of the way while he scooped up the little boy. I realized at that point that my adult behavior was being formed. I immediately grabbed my mom, moved her from the scene and jumped into the truck with my dad. No squirming for me even if I wanted to!
You probably know people who are very inconsistent. They say they believe one thing, but their behavior says the opposite. I remember doing a team-building exercise when a woman yelled; I’m not doing this anymore. Her idea had been rejected, and she was really annoyed. Later when the team reminded her of her outburst, she adamantly denied saying it! The whole experience was a little scary.
I believe training people to deliver good customer service is an art as well as science. Many people know that their attitude is not the best and try to hide it. Unfortunately it rarely works. When things get hot, so do they. The best way to get them out of hiding is to engage them.
Companies need calm and understanding customer service people. These people need to be able to think on their feet and ‘go with the flow’ as they say.
One of the other keys to good customer service is to hire people who know their values and can be counted on to be consistent. Of course this isn’t always easy but it’s one of the requirements of the job.
We want to be able to depend on them when things are tough and possibly confrontational.
You know the old saying, ‘when the going gets tough the tough get going’. By the way: it’s a saying of Joseph P. Kennedy (1888-1969), US politician, businessman, and father of President John F. Kennedy.
Lisbeth helps companies build loyal relationships with their customers through communication and customer service training. To have her speak to your group, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.