Why? Because just about every other sentence out of my mouth is something about customer service and its role in building…or trashing…a company’s reputation…and its chances of success.
One of the critical pieces in this customer service=reputation=success puzzle is “attitude.” The way you interact with customers is seen by them as the value that your company puts on their contributions to its well-being.
Good attitude… “Thanks SO much for coming in today! How may I help you?” versus bad attitude… “That’s not my responsibility. Go over there and someone else will help you.”
As much as I would like to believe, in the middle of the second decade of the 21st century, that these opposing attitudes no longer exist, they do.
How do I know?
Because I experienced both recently within the span of 30 minutes at competing banks across the street from each other…from employees with similar job titles discussing the same subject.
The first…aka “bad baby”…neither smiled nor gave any sign of appreciating that we had come to her bank to discuss what was, for us, a fairly significant financial transaction.
Nary a smile nor a welcoming greeting. Just down to business…in as short a period of time as possible. Then, when the time came to actually complete the transaction…BLAM…the door shut and her job was through…the next step was someone else’s responsibility.
End result? We left the bank having only partially completed the transaction.
We then walked across the street to the second bank, where we also are customers, to discuss the same transaction…curious as to how we would be received.
The second employee…aka “good baby”…was in the middle of trying to reconcile a pile of stuff that had sprouted on her desk over the Christmas holiday.
As soon as she learned why we had come in, she immediately came out of her office with a smile, stuck her hand out, introduced herself, and invited us to sit down to talk.
Then, when the time came to provide us with information to help us decide on the transaction…SHAZAM!…she bounced out of her chair, bounded into the outer office, made copies of all necessary information…taking time to highlight and write notes alongside key items…and bounced back into the office for further discussion.
End result? In the next couple of days, we are going to take a sizable chunk of money OUT of Bank # 1…home of “bad baby”…and are going to deposit it in Bank # 2…with “good baby.”
Now…to put a little perspective on this…we’ve been with # 1 for more than 20 years…# 2 for about a year, and the irony is that this whole sequence of events was brought about by an employee who “did her job.”
I’m sure some of you are sitting there thinking, “Kirk, you whiny baby…get over it. She ‘did her job.’ What more do you expect?”
Well, that’s my point. It’s not about simply doing your job.
It’s about how others perceive you, as a representative of a company/service that they would like to do business with, doing your job.
Do you appear to care that they want to do business with your company?
And if you don’t appear to care, why should they??
As the saying goes, “Perception is reality.” And attitude is judged almost entirely on perception…what others see. People DO notice, you know?!?