We have come a long way from where we started with customer service. We have now come to the generic term of ‘service’ around which I intend building my proposal of a different way to look at customer service as well as look at service itself as a customer service.
“Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and personal happiness…” – Leo Tolstoy
This quote sums up what I have found to be an effective way to be joyful as well live in a world where one can extend service as a way of life without being artificial about it. What most training programs miss out is the soft aspect of Customer Service, which is to get all employees or members of a team to address their task in a spirit of service and in a holistic way.
I had talked about individuals and departments treating each other as customers to improve service levels and how to implement this. I have carried this exercise to its logical conclusion by taking service to individual levels by treating whoever I come across as a customer deserving my undivided attention and service. It need not be for monetary consideration at all. All that this shift in attitude towards others achieves is improved relationships. Many people are quite surprised when they meet me for the first time and think that I am putting them on! When they find that I am quite serious after a few interactions, the relationship changes from one of suspicion and perhaps even derision to one of mutual benefit.
Having seen how effective this has been in my personal life, I have made it my life’s mission to carry this message to whomever I come in contact with. I do not have to make it in an overt aggressive manner and just my behavior is sufficient to generate curiosity, which enables me to explain my philosophy. Over the last few years, in my retirement, this has resulted in me converting quite a few people to my way of thinking with some very pleasing outcomes. Improved service levels in shops, government departments, auto rickshaws, banks etc are all perceived by just treating the other person as a customer and approaching him as though you are prepared to extend a service to him rather than the other way around. When one is sincere about this attitude, the transaction inevitably proceeds to a satisfactory conclusion.
I hope that this series of posts on Customer Service has been of interest and that something of benefit to the reader has been presented. Do you think that what I have written about is practical? Are you prepared to try it out? If you already have tried it out, what are your comments? I will be very interested in knowing answers to these questions.