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Service Savvy: Tried and True Lifestyle Realities

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Lone Rock in Lake Powell, UT, is a gorgeous place to camp. Two years ago, I camped at Lake Powell and paddled a kayak around Lone Rock in the crystal clear water. The great outdoors delivers wonderful experiences, and along with those experiences comes risk for which tried and true applications are needed.   

The risk involves a moderate descent on soft sand to the lake. Driving downhill on soft sand is easy, but heading back up to the top is a whole different matter. Specialized gear – namely a locking rear axle to maximize traction on soft sand is mandatory. Rigs without a locking rear axle will get stuck driving uphill in sand.   

Every industry has tried and true applications that defy time and circumstance. One of the customer service industry’s tried and true factors involves customer behavior after receiving unsatisfactory service. What is the behavior? Keep reading. 

Customers who receive mediocre or shoddy service may not complain to you, but they will tell their friends, neighbors, and family about their bad experience. This behavior has been around for decades and the best remedy is not to get there in the first place. 

During my seminars, I define the word proactive as leveraging self-control to cause something to happen rather than react if something happens. Today’s HVAC companies must reinforce the self-control concept during weekly meetings with installers, technicians, and office personnel. An organization of proactive-minded employees benefits from the reality that everyone is leading by example. The cumulative impact of this reality results in more positive experiences that are memorable. 

Memorable experiences are varied. A technician can create a memorable experience during a home comfort-system maintenance service call for an elderly customer. After completing the system maintenance, the technician notices a couple of burned-out light bulbs and asks the customer where the spare light bulbs are kept. Replacing the broken light bulbs only takes a minute or two, but the positive customer experience remains for years. 

Managers should inspire employees to go beyond the ordinary and differentiate their service with a noticeable difference. Successful service companies dominate their marketplace by NOT blending in. During weekly meetings, managers should invite ideas from employees for how to create more positive experiences. Employees on the front line, in terms of serving customers, are also the ones who drive positive change. As the proactive thinking flourishes, the company’s culture will benefit from the cumulative effect of greater self-control.   

Shifting from a reactive to a proactive service model requires a company culture where everyone works together as a team. The best teams are also recognized for their humility, where employees are less concerned about who gets the credit for an idea and more concerned about how ideas benefit the team. 

One thing is certain: If you do nothing, then nothing will happen. However, if you think creatively, get organized, and maximize your company’s potential, the positive impact will be noticeable. The tried-and-true circumstances relate to just about everything in life – from outdoor camping to delivering world-class service.

Steve Coscia, CSP

Posted In: ACCA Now, Customer Service, Management, Print Edition

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