HAPPY CUSTOMER SERVICE WEEK…..
This week’s theme is "A Call To Excellence."
You may or may not be aware that this week is National Customer Service Week (October 5-9, 2009) This week is a national event devoted to recognizing the importance of customer service and recognizing the people in the industry. In 1988, the International Customer Service Association began honoring Customer Service Week during the first week of October. In 1992, the U.S. Congress proclaimed Customer Service Week a nationally recognized event.
During the week thousands of customer service reps in call centers and help desks across the country will celebrate Customer Service Week. Here at my company we get to do things like dress down for the week.. Every day is casual day. Our manager provides breakfast a couple of days, snacks and drinks, daily drawings for free stuff and a luncheon to celebrate what we do on a daily basis.
So what do we do and why would this become a topic for me to ponder on besides the fact that I am a member of the community of Customer Service individuals?
As I see it we help resolve unexpected “situations” and make people feel important. How do we do this? We “listen” to what our customers are telling us and then we ask “probing questions” to help clarify and identify what their exact need is. We then use the resources and tools available to us to implement a solution that will satisfy them and they will be “delighted” with our company and the service they have received from us.
Recently our Bible Fellowship teacher has been challenging the leaders of our small group to be “servant leaders” and it dawned on me that because of my profession; I already have the skills necessary to assist me in this endeavor. The words I have put into quotation marks in the proceeding paragraph are considered buzz words within my department and are very applicable to the concept of servant leadership and are a good jumping off point to explore one approach to being a servant leader.
One way to begin exhibiting servant leadership as a lifestyle is to listen to what people are saying when you talk to them. I mean really listen. People spill their guts without even meaning too, especially to someone who is really listening. Don’t ask the question “How are you doing today?” unless you are willing to take the time to hear their answer. The majority of the time the response will simply be “I’m fine, and you?” A nice and polite exchange of pleasantries. But more often than you realize you will run into people who have real needs and intense situations happening in their life that they will allude to when they answer that simple question. If you are listening and asking caring and careful probing questions you will find that they open up and confide in you.
So what to do after you know what the need is? Use the tools you have available to you to determine what can be done. The first tool and the most important on is prayer. Pray before anything. Ask God himself to lead you in the direction you should go. Don’t pass up the opportunity to personally serve this person. If you can’t help, do you know someone else who can? Why not introduce these two people to each other. The need is not necessarily a physical one. Do they need a friend? Be a friend and introduce them to others. Do they need a mentor. Is that mentor you or do you know the perfect person to step into that role? I am not talking about enabling bad behavior I am talking about helping someone with perhaps an emergency physical need and as well as spiritual ones. More importantly I am talking about being intimately involved in the lives of other people. Not as a busy body but as a friend. It seems to me that if everyone would pay attention to each other in this way we would have bunches of “delighted” people in our lives. I truly believe that God our Father has put out the “Call to Excellence”.
Remember the words of Paul…
9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:9-11) - Italics mine