"Awesome Customer Service" Means Remaining Positive in Difficult Times
"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." (Thomas Edison)
Life in the dynamic and unpredictable business world means that sometimes things will not go according to plan – especially in light of the recent resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic, fueled by the rapid spread of the Covid-19 delta variant across the globe.
When a business, country, or world is in crisis, it is easy to become trapped beneath a mountain of problems. To succeed during a crisis and times of stress, individuals and businesses must be motivated and be able to sustain performance.
Many people respond to a crisis by being overwhelmed by stress, which turns to fear. It is easy to be afraid when you have a crisis situation, but if you remain brave, everyone around you will be too, and together you will be able to turn anything around.
Whatever you chose to focus on as your life’s work must be a lifetime commitment. It takes work and a relentless attitude. During a crisis it is essential for everyone to show sincere interest in every single customer as an individual, to thank them for any purchases, and invite them to return. Customer service is treating customers like houseguests or good friends. Make sure things are right and they will remember, tell their friends about your company, and more specifically about you – and for you to realize that profitability is the by-product of a relentless commitment to awesome customer service. So what is a relentless commitment?
1) It’s staying positive. A lot of people believe that the true grit of a person is tested during times of crisis, whether it be a personal crisis or a crisis in the economy. Performance under stress can show how quick-witted or level-headed a person is. Or, on the contrary, it can show where their weaknesses lie. It’s important that you always keep your wits about you and stay cool in difficult situations.
"It is not the critic who counts... The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena." (Theodore Roosevelt)
2) It’s facing difficulties. To reach for success and overcome hardships or failures, we have to strive for the best we can be in every aspect of our lives, including how we feel about ourselves and how we treat others. If we are willing to get back up after falling and take advantage of the opportunities life presents us, those bad moments can be nothing but a footnote in our success story.
3) It’s focusing. Focusing on the lost art of customer service, that is. The truth is we all have a small window to make a great impression. The first impression you give your customers might be your only impression, so make it count! Take those 30-second customer interactions and turn them into something that’s worth your time and theirs. Customers are walking into your business willingly, but it’s your job to make sure they want to come back – even during the tough times.
4) It’s not being consumed by difficult times. You may not be able to quickly rebound from a global crisis, but don’t let it consume you. From rejection to workplace screw-ups, everyone has experienced that all-too-familiar gut-wrenching numbness. The great paradox is that the people who enjoy the most successes often endure the greatest hardships.
5) It’s not stopping. Don’t let anything stop you. There is always something you can do. When William Wrigley Jr. was a soap and baking powder salesman in the 1890s, he always offered free gum to all his clients. With his career as a salesman taking a turn for the worse, he noticed one thing that forever changed his life: people loved the gum he gave away more than the products he was selling. It was that one creative insight that got him through that difficult time and made him a monumental success. It takes hard work. Sitting still is easy. Make sure you look at all aspects of your life and be willing to make some changes.
When you can improve your ability to navigate the difficult times, you not only live a happier life, but you also grow as a person. And always keep in mind that the name of the game during both good times and bad times is always... Awesome Customer Service.
John Tschohl is a professional speaker, trainer, and consultant. He is president and founder of Service Quality Institute, with operations in more than 40 countries. He is considered one of the foremost authorities on service strategy, success, empowerment, and customer service. His monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge. He can also be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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