We’re only a couple days past Independence Day here in the United States. So it may be a good time for us in the customer service world to think about our freedoms, to think about what we have the liberties to do, to reinforce how this all plays out with our work lives and our interactions with co-workers and customers.
Freedom does not necessarily mean we can do anything we want irrespective of the consequences, but freedom does convey that we have options. We have choices. And in those customer service Moments of Truth, these choices can often impact us as much as they impact those that we’re serving.
- When somebody comes at us negatively, we can’t always control our initial emotional reaction, but we can control how we respond in the situation.
- When we don’t know the answer, we have the choice to dump the responsibility for finding the answer back on the customer, simply sharing that we don’t know, or sharing that we don’t know but taking the initiative to find out.
- When we are made aware of a process or communication or service issue, we can address the issue for that one customer and just leave it there. Alternatively, we can at least determine whether this was a 1-time occurrence or whether this could happen 100 times in 100 days to 100 different customers.
- We have the choice to come into work and complain all day long to co-workers, or we can come into work to encourage each other and try to look for the good in the day.
- We have the choice to feel like the entire decision and responsibility has to be only on our own shoulders, or we can seek the opinions and guidance of others.
- We have the choice to ignore e-mails and voice mails until the person follows up 2 or 3 times, or we can choose to respond on a timely basis.
We are often put in bad situations in customer service. Many of these rough situations are not of our doing; they are not our fault. But that doesn’t mean we are left without choices. That doesn’t mean we are left without freedoms. If anything, in these situations there is so much more to consider and potentially do in order to manage our own emotions, build others up, or do what’s within our authority and our capabilities to make a difference.
Use your freedoms in such a way that the company, the customers, and you, yourself, have better days.