How Do Your Leadership Policies Define Customer Service?

How Do Your Leadership Policies Define Customer Service?

On two occassions leadership policy defined customer service for the business and caused me to become dissatisfied.

First, the United Airlines customer service rep encouraged me to use the kiosk to obtain my boarding pass for my flight home. When I asked to wait and talk to a person he reiterated United Airlines policy encourages you to use the kiosk. I tried to explain my situation and was interrupted. At this point, I blurted out…so customers are highly encouraged to use the kiosk! He said, “Yes.” So, I went to the kiosk and guess who meets me there? That’s right, the customer service rep. He started telling me how to use the kiosk. I took a deep breath, looked him in the eye and said, “I understand how to obtain a boarding pass using the kiosk.” “I just wanted to know if an upgrade to first class was possible?”  The customer service rep stopped and said, “Oh.” For the first time during this interaction he was listening to me vs. being just tasked focused and aiming himself at me. His focus on company policy turned me into a thing and determined my level of satisfaction.

Second, I was sitting at the counter eating breakfast at Waffle House. I went to hand my ticket and money to the waitress and she said, “You will need to go to the register to pay.” Her statement struck me funny so I said, “Amazing how today’s businesses define customer service?” Of course she started explaining why I had to pay at the register. Each time she provided an answer as to why, I said, “The business defines customer service.” Finally, she looked at me and said, “You look like I can trust you.” She then took my money for the food. Again, is company policy defining customer service?

WOW!!!, while writing this post I received a phone call from the Buca di Beppo restaurant in Franklin TN. They wanted to make sure we enjoyed our visit yesterday. In fact, the food was great, our server Noel was exceptional and she even put our extra food in containers for us to take home.

Customer service may be defined by business leaders but the customer always determines satisfaction!

How are leadership policies preventing your employees from providing exceptional customer service…the kind of service that creates referrals and customer loyalty?

Remember, what you sell can be duplicated but a strong customer service culture can’t be copied.

1 reply
  1. Warren Smedley
    Warren Smedley says:

    Wow! You really hit this nail squarely on the head! We are “guilty as charged”… hemmed in by our business policies, but desperate to create a favorable experience. Thanks, John!


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