Sunday, July 17, 2016

Shoot the one who manages the messenger

Most customer service, isn’t. 

It’s just a convincing facade of tenderness and compassion. A plausible facsimile of care. An insincere illusion of warmth expressed through repetitive, predictable and joyless pre approved scripts, performed over and over again. 

And it breaks my heart, but at the same time, can you blame them? Can you honestly fault the employees for having an apathetic attitude towards their company, their products and their customers? 

Of course not. They’re treated like crap. It’s the corporate version of bullying. The kids who beat up other kids are victims first. They’re passing on the pain inflicted upon them from their chaotic home life. It’s organizational transference at its cruelest. 

Proving, that customer service, like most things, starts at home. 

Years ago, I wrote a case study about a famous electronics company. After fifty profitable years in business, their brand finally began to experience significant market decline. Partly because of inventory issues, partly because of cultural shifts, but primarily because management didn’t treat their employees well. Team members were just cogs in the machine, pardon the pun.

No wonder annual workplace studies consistently reported them as the second worst company to work for in the country. 

That’s what we, as consumers, must recognize. Any time we have a horrific customer service experience, before shooting the messenger, we ought to have some compassion for the frontline and shoot the one who manages the messenger. 

Because that’s where the problem begins. 

Zappos famously created a workplace worth coming to, where employees were allowed to do what they love in an environment that wanted them to do it. They crafted a culture where people were cherished for what they contributed to the world. And as a result, that experience was transferred to their customers. Whose loyalty to the brand is beyond fanatical. 

Same process, different result. 

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What attitude are your employees passing on to your customers?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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