Sometimes I think we’ve got it ass-backwards. Customer service jobs are viewed as entry-level and a mere stepping stone to a more important job. And yet, if it wasn’t for the front-line, customer service professional there would be no next level to get to.
All new hires at Zappos go through four weeks of initial training. All new hires; not just the people hired to work the phones. Zappos believes everyone needs to experience talking with their customer, even if talking to their customer on a daily basis isn’t in their job description. Contact centre employees then get another three weeks of training before they are given full go-ahead on the phones.
Seven weeks of training for an “entry-level” job. Zappos gets it. That entry level customer service job is the foundation for their success. If the contact centre team doesn’t excel at what they do, they won’t need supervisors, managers, marketing directors, vice presidents, presidents, etc.
Of course, not everyone can be contact centre employees. People are needed to make sure the website is up and running, orders are filled and shipped, employees are paid, holidays are scheduled, schedules filled, etc. etc., etc.
Ambition,drive and hard work to get to the next level are all good things. But as Bob Farrell, from “Give ‘em the Pickle” fame said, “If you’re not serving the customer, you’re serving someone who is.”
It doesn’t matter if your job title is:
- Customer service representative
- Front desk agent
- Retail sales clerk
- Food & beverage server
- Medical transcriptionist
- Line cook
- Human resources
- Executive Director
- Financial advisor
- Sales manager
- Grand Poobah
… you are a customer service representative. Everything you do, regardless of your role or the title you hold, ultimately ends up on front of the customer.
Who do you serve? What can you do to help make their day just a little brighter? What can you do to help make them more successful?
When you figure that out, your external customer will also reap the benefits.
To speak to Laurie about creating a customer service strategy for your business, call her at 204-995-5836 or click here for a free consult. If you’re in Winnipeg or the surrounding area, a two day workshop, as part of the ‘New Era of Influence’ is being offered. Click here for more information.