Management Coaching Blog

Manager Tip of the Week: Service is King

June 21, 2016

Service is king. I don’t know about you, but when I get great customer service from a company, I am much more apt to forgive if something should go wrong. On the other hand, when I am treated rudely or as a bother, I (when possible) will never do business with that company again. I don’t care if I’m missing out on something great; I refuse.  Others have told me they regard service the same way.

Unfortunately, I don’t have to reach too far back in my mind to come up with examples of bad service. It seems to be everywhere and can simply be in the voice tone used by a customer service representative. Just the other day, I decided to try a different restaurant for lunch. When I questioned the price of the order before paying, an annoyed employee replied with an indignant “Yes, it is the right price! Do you want me to go and get my GM?” This was my first impression of the establishment. I will not go back. I have many other restaurants to which I can give my business.

Obviously, quality customer service is good for business. Now, how can you ensure your team is providing it? Happy employees are more apt to give much better customer service to your clients. If they are proud of the company, excited about what they do and feel their job matters, employees will provide much better customer service than the disgruntled ones who resent their managers and just try to get through each day of work.

These three things will help any manager begin to foster an environment where great customer service can bloom.

  1. Lead by example. Effective leaders always go first and demonstrate behaviors they expect in others. Let’s say you want your team to focus 100% on your clients or customers while providing service. Make it a team rule that cell phones are not to be looked at when providing customer service. Now, put down your phone and give 100% of your attention to your employees when you’re dealing with them. Show them what great customer service is!
  1. Set clear expectations upfront. Don’t assume your employees know what you expect them to do and by when. I recently coached a manager that was perplexed as to why a specific employee would never come to him with suggested solutions when presenting departmental problems. I simply asked him, “Have you told this employee that is what you expect?” I got a blank stare. Most employees begin with a genuine interest in pleasing their manager, so make it easy for them and yourself.  Be specific and encouraging with expected behaviors.
  1. Allow your team to be involved. Most people have an innate desire to feel we are contributing to a bigger picture – that our work has purpose and meaning.  Businesses can leverage this desire by showing employees how the work they do fits into the company’s bigger picture. Take it a step further and give them the authority to determine the best way to accomplish their own goals. In other words, focus more on the ‘what’ and less on the ‘how’.

When your employees are invested and interested in the goals of the company, treated fairly and feel they are contributing to the bigger picture, they will display more of an interest in satisfying your customers. For more information on how your management team can improve customer service for your business, contact Leadership Coach Tom Figiel for a free consultation at or 312-914-1341.

> > Article originally appeared on the Tandem HR website < <

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