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Do personal issues hurt your customer service?

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

When any company representative transfers his or her personal issues onto a customer, it creates dissatisfaction and doubt in the heart and mind of this customer. For any business owner who desires to be successful, this is the exact opposite customer service experience you want your clientele to have while engaging your business.

Have you ever had the unsavory experience of being treated poorly during the course of a business transaction through no fault of your own? Did you receive the value you were looking for? Did the experience interrupt the pleasant flow of your day? How did it make you feel? Were you inclined to never do business with that person or company again and tell others about your negative experience?

There’s a tremendous amount of crossover between the personal and professional lives of people. Frequently, a great deal of time and energy is spent on the job rehashing, both mentally and verbally, the unresolved and troubling personal challenges team members face. More often than you might realize, this situation leads to a negative business environment, reduced productivity, unfavorable interactions with customers and lost revenue. What business can afford to lose customers and revenue to behaviors that have no place at a topnotch company?

Awareness of this issue is vitally important. Whether it’s the owner, manager or any other team member, people have a tendency to become wrapped up in their personal issues — issues that have nothing to do with fellow team members and customers. When this happens, they become self-consumed and blind to the reality of doing business, which has everything to do with taking care of others. Whenever personal baggage is brought into the business environment and acted upon, customer interactions are never good. No one wins.

The secret in creating a win-win situation here is the ability to shift gears. The issues people carry with them are the result of things that happened in the past, while each new customer service experience is a present moment reality. It’s imperative that ALL team members be coached on developing skills that allow them to shift out of “what was then” to effectively deal with “what is now.” That way, customers receive quality service without the negativity associated with previous and unrelated events that have nothing to do with them

Rather than spend your day consumed by what happened outside of work, choose to use your time at your place of business as a much-needed break from what’s bothering you. Given the limitations to effectively address your situation while on the clock, choose to bring your best to work and deal with personal matters during lunch or at the end of the day.

Being self-aware and able to consciously direct one’s self in the most constructive manner possible during each individual customer interaction is a learned skill. When team members are taught to be present, not take things personally, remain composed, care deeply and treat others as they would want to be treated, their ability to provide exceptional customer service increases exponentially. This enhanced business model sets the stage for the growth and prosperity you want as a business owner.

Investing in high-quality, ongoing customer service training will position your entire team to be its best in meeting, and even exceeding, the wants and needs of your very important customers. Just as there’s a great deal of coaching and training that goes into becoming a topnotch athlete, the same is true for becoming a topnotch team and company. 

When team members become aware of their mindset, behaviors and the outcomes they create and understand how to do things differently to produce better results, customer service rapidly improves. As the service your customers receive rises to new levels in quality, greater customer satisfaction, increased referrals, improved business results and higher revenues follow. 

Just one negative customer interaction at the hands of a team member bringing his or her personal issues to bear has a ripple effect that likely could cost you more than you’re willing to lose. Choosing to invest in your team’s development — in their ability to provide an exceptional customer service experience on a consistent basis —produces a win-win situation for everyone involved in the success of the business.

Marcus Straub owns Life is Great! Inc. in Grand Junction. His personalized coaching and consulting services help individuals, business owners, executives and companies build teams, organizations and lives that are filled with happiness and success. He is the winner of the 2011 International Coach of the Year Award, and is also the author of “Is It Fun Being You?.” He is available for free consultations regarding coaching, speaking and trainings. Reach Straub by phone at 208-3150, by e-mail at marcus@lifeisgreatcoaching.com or on the website at www.lifeisgreatcoaching.com.
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