• Nick Myles

Customer Service When It Matters

Fire fighters, soldiers, police staff, doctors and nurses - often in the spotlight, these people are living examples of the ultimate dedication to the job. Their focus is to get specialist tasks done quickly and effectivly so that whoever is reliying on them at the receiving end of this service receives what they came for, what ever the circumstances. This is an extreme example of task mindset - progressing by ticking tasks off the list.

HOWEVER...

...Great customer service is also about relationship mindset. In times of stress or pressurised situations, it is necessary that customer facing staff complete tasks effectively but also essential that they consider their customer/worker relationship.

Whenever I watch the emergency services do their thing I'm struck with the idea that a team of people are so effective at what they do - they are task orientated to the max! They have to be as often it's people's lives that depend on it

You may have watched the TV documentary 24 hours in A&E. This programme focuses on the emense pressure that hospital staff are under to save people's lives when time, overcrowding and resources all conspire against them. It showcases the teamwork, training and skill of these incredible men and women. However what often stands out for me is the way this programme also moves us beyond the tasks that these service stars undertake and focuses on the relationships staff forge with their patients. It's moments like these that, as humans, were geared to remember in the long term.

Taking the time to think "how do I make this person feel welcome (regardless of time pressure)?" or "how can I make a prompt, positive and meaningful impact on this person's interaction with me (even though we're really busy)?" has a positive effect each way. Staff benefit from the variety that human interaction brings and customers feel appreciated, resulting in a positive memory of the experience and loyalty across the board.

Task mindset is what makes hard workers thrive in pressured situations. It is an essential skill for your workforce to ensure they provide your customers with their product or service in a timely,expert fashion. However, to excel in customer service when it matters, teams need to seamlessly juggle task AND relationship mindsets.

What relationship mindset means is not treating each customer as a task. It means building a relationship based on friendship, proficiency and expertise so that although this customer gets their espresso in only 30 seconds, has their complaint turned around or has their baby retrieved from a burning building -they are treated in a way in which they will tell their friends and return to your service, again and again.

Different Duck is a drama based training company specialising in unique customer interactions and engaging with consumers on a human-to-human level. We implement lasting change and instantly applicable ideas. It is run by drama makers who act, direct, write and produce work professionally –and creativity is the key to everything we do.

Follow us on twitter - @_differentduck

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