Sunday, June 1, 2014


The great thing about developing your customer service skills is that, unlike in most industries, you experience the other side of the coin on a frequent basis. Everyone experiences some form of customer service (or disservice) everyday. But you, as a customer service professional, get to learn from those experiences. You should really take advantage of this daily opportunity to learn through experience about good and bad and so-so customer service. You should bring pieces of the good stuff back to your job and incorporate it into your own brand of service. You should use it to help you filter out some of the components of your style that may not work so well. Moreover, it should bring you more in tune with learning how to treat others the way that you want to be treated and how to motivate the same for yourself from the customer service professionals that provide service to you.

It's a win/win. Your work becomes more enjoyable and so does your life.

I remember first digging out on the idea that while I was out in the world I was also training myself to do a better job. When I used to wait tables I used to eat out a lot. I often felt like one of those dudes you see in martial arts flicks-the one who goes from school to school, picking up some Praying Mantis here, some Flying Guillotine there and then meeting Ip Man and truly being humbled. Then destroying.......back to my point (I think). Everywhere I went to eat I could see what made the waitperson more efficient, what made me want to tip them more, what did they do that really added to my experience at the spot. Many times I would also meet the sharp end of some of the things that I may have not considered important to the patrons that I waited on. I remember one time, being at this vegetarian joint. It was small, had maybe 10 tables-constantly turned and burned. There were two waiters there-a live waiter and a dumbwaiter (the kind like looks like a baby elevator). Let me tell you-we were promptly greeted seated and served, we ate what we had never eaten before, we were upsold, every course was cleared before the next with warm and wet towels between. Finally, the check was presented on a clean table. Win/win-the waiter had a system, had his assistance, had his volume and made his money. And all at a little whole in the wall.

That reminds me-one time I had dinner at a really cheap diner somewhere in New York State. When I complimented the waitress on serving the salads in cold bowls with chilled forks she sounded surprised. That's the way it's supposed to me done, isn't it? Maybe in little places like this where service is what people come for but not always at the expensive joints. Or the chains.

Customer service is a participation sport. Practice good sportsmanship.

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