When we hear the words, Customer Service – it can either put a smile or scowl on most people’s faces when recalling their latest experience. We expect the saying, “The Customer is always right” to be fulfilled and when things go wrong, we seem to look for someone to blame and usually unload a multiplicity of emotions on the first person we talk to. Books are written each day with ways to encourage and provide a “fix-all” when it comes to Customer Service issues. The current trend may say that all it takes is a nice sounding voice on the other end. Sometimes, it takes just a little bit more…

Ideas to improove customer service, how to make customers happy, provide service with a smilesyndrome made it his own personal mission to fulfill that goal. Each night he would find a thought of the day, make copies and sign his name on the back of the card. The following day, he would put his “thought of the day” into each bag of groceries and thanked the customer for shopping. A month later the Grocery Store Manager found Johnny’s line was three times longer than everyone else’s. It was not that the store was lacking in people to bag groceries; everyone just wanted to be a part of Johnny’s line. Many customers disclosed they were coming into the store multiple times a week, for miscellaneous items, just to get Johnny’s thought of the day.

The end result was amazing and the effect was contagious as departments in the store found their own personal way of providing Customer Service. Each way as unique as the individual and all were contributing to the bottom line. By treating the customer like a guest, how they wanted to be treated, extraordinary Customer Service was exhibited.

Consider the following tips I took away as I read the story of Johnny and the change he made in the lives of others through his personal customer service:

  • The most important component for providing outstanding customer service is the attitude of the customer service provider. Unfortunately, you cannot teach a person how to be nice, but you can have competencies that you would like your employees to possess. Hire the right people for the job. Treat employees appropriately, lead by example and the goal of customer service will be realized by the entire team.
  • Align your employees with your organizational goals. A colleague of mine often says that every organization is perfectly aligned for the results it gets. Empower your employees to think outside the box to create calculated decisions and then as management support those decisions.
  • Embrace and follow a new adage, “Do as I say AND as I do”.

As you implement this criterion for better Customer Service, you will be able to solve problems without an escalation. Your team will contribute to the bottom line in a big way. Sometimes we need to take a minute and remember the “Johnnys” of the world, be a bit more teachable and remember we can all make a difference.

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About the Author
Charity Martushev

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