Customer Service


A recent Gallup survey of over a million employees offers awesome insights into why most service we receive is mediocre and disengaged. Many of the solutions offered correspond to the way our own Madiba dealt with people and an authentic local service style could just evolve from this unique combination.

Remember that customer experiences are the new emerging dominant business driver. Authentic and engaged customer service is a building block of a great overall customer experience, so open your mind to how you can innovate this area.

Looking at Madiba’s success habits with people is one of the most exciting chapters my The Tourism Coach book. It’s worth the purchase price on its own. The latest service theory points to the fact that giving revolutionary customer service is a voluntary decision by our employees and that we often miss a vital component in unlocking this level of service. This is the aspect that unlocks their motivation and it links to Madiba’s philosophy of Every Person Counts.

Most of us focus on job function, being what and how our staff should do their jobs. We have loads of job descriptions and guidelines to describe these. These are the things they are supposed to do, and in most cases, that’s what they end up doing in giving routine and transactional service. After all, that is what they are supposed to do.

Steve Curtin, in his book Delight Your Customers, suggests that most employees would respond positively to the missing element. This missing element is job essence, being why they do their job. This aspect should be their highest priority and, if it is properly communicated, will unlock their passion and flair.  The why links to the reason your business exists and their important role in achieving that. You want them to feel motivated to turn every client into a promoter of the business and express their personality in achieving that.

Your employees don’t have to deliver revolutionary customer service, give them their why so that they choose to. Model the behaviour to them, then reinforce and reward their great moments. Remember energy and effort flows where you focus your attention.

Madiba motivated us to become promoters of his dream by making us feel that we had a role to play in realising it and that each of us had something to bring to the table. Contemplate what he did to involve you and try that with your staff.

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