Walking out to the supermarket with a bag in each hand, I felt “pain” as I took a step. It was like a snap in my foot and PAIN, like a pinch – ouch! I got to the car and drove home. My foot was swollen and it hurt–especially if I put any weight on it. As soon as I put the groceries away, I called and got an appointment with the Physician’s Assistant at my doctor’s office.
(A little bit about my doctor – looking at the photo collages on her office walls, you could have cut her face out and put mine in. We had lived such similar lives – I could have matched her photo for photo. We were close in age, both first born, and I felt very connected with her. She was a good listener – I thought…)
Back to the pain in my foot…
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As Bob Farrell, founder of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant, said in his well-known and excellent Customer Service video “Give ‘Em The Pickle”: “How you think about the customer is how you will treat them.” With this in mind, “3 Ways to Create a Service Mindset in Your Organization—and how one person can make a difference!” by Kathy Cuff is an important article because mindset (and heart-set, for that matter) matters! Mindset is a key differentiator and one of the primary reasons that one team member goes above and beyond, expresses empathy and compassion, finds joy and meaning in what they do for your organization, etc. and why the team member standing right next to them may not.
Customer Service—it is found in every industry, every company, every person’s job, at every moment. If you don’t deal directly with the external customer, you interact with and serve your internal customers throughout the day. What I love the most is when people get it—when they take pride and ownership in what they do, and they do it with a smile. Let me share my latest experience with you.
I recently moved—only a few streets away, but a move nonetheless with all the hassle, packing, and work that goes with it. Well, being the “just in time” gal that I am, I didn’t turn in our change of address form to the U.S. Postal Service until the day after we moved, so our mail was delayed getting to us.
About a week or so after our move, I realized we had not received a very important piece of mail—my husband’s…
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Ann Phillips, in her blog “Do you have a customer service mindset? 3 ways to find out,” offers a very engaging and simple approach to service and the importance of relating to our customers out of our own expectations, hopes, values, preferences and the like but rather through theirs. For example, using the Golden Rule that is held up as an universal standard for how to treat others provides a basic framework for empathy and compassion — shifting the locus focus from self to others — and yet falls short because our expectations, hopes, interests, values, etc. are still the guiding light. Phillips invites her readers to consider another, more customer-centric, framework and offers very practical examples that convincingly make her point. To read her article, click here.
- “Do unto others as you would have _____ ___ _____ ____.” (Yes, the Golden Rule)
- “Beauty is in the eyes of ____ _________.”
- “If it were me, this is what __ ______ ___.”
I trust you were able to complete these very common sayings. While well meaning and mostly true, these are not just sayings, they are mindsets. They are beliefs that determine behavior and how we act toward other people. This is all fine except when it comes to service.
Find your focus
In my last blog, I said that service was all about you: your willingness to serve, your decision to serve, your instinct to serve. But what you do—your actual behavior and how you approach a situation—has to be about the customer, if you are genuinely interested in wanting your customer to feel…
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The small/little things do really make a difference! In this blog, Kathy Cuff is one of the principal authors – together with Vicki Halsey – of The Ken Blanchard Companies Legendary Service training program share three simple (small/little) ways to make someone’s holiday a little brighter. In the end, and as I recently wrote in a blog published by Hospital Impact, the decision to SERVE others begins with the desire to see/look, hear, feel, etc. through the eyes, ears, heart, mind, etc. of others, the empathy that connects us to what we see, hear, and feel, and the choice to put the heart’s empathy into action. As I recently tweeted, “Compassion is our heart’s empathy in action” and is a core competency necessary for optimizing healing healthcare.
As we enter into the holiday season, I always remind myself to try and be on my best behavior and keep my patience while out doing my holiday shopping. So when I read the story about the New York City police officer who used his own money to buy a homeless man a pair of shoes and socks, it reminded me that in the busiest of times, we ALL need to take a moment and look around us and see where WE can provide a random act of kindness.
Customer service is just that—SERVING others to make their day a little brighter, a little better. Create a memory, a story, a moment that someone might tell someone else about.
Now, I am not suggesting that we all go out and try to do something for someone else just to get on YouTube—that certainly was never the intent of that…
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In the blog “Ashley Furness: The Secret to Ritz-Carlton’s Customer Service Mojo,” Furness outlines a few core elements to Ritz-Carlton’s success revealed by Diana Oreck, VP of the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Training Center, in an interview.
In a future blog of mine, I will highlight the core elements outlined by Oreck when it comes to optimizing healing healthcare and the patient experience.
A special thanks to Bill Quiseng for bringing this blog to my attention!
Prior to my present position as resort manager for Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club, I served as the charter general manager for The Henry – Autograph Collection (Autograph Collection is Marriott International’s exclusive portfolio of independent hotels) when it was reflagged after 21 years as the Ritz-Carlton Dearborn, MI (Ritz-Carlton is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International). Almost all the associates were former Ritz-Carlton “Ladies and Gentlemen”. Last year The Henry was recognized as one of Marriott International’s Hotels of the Year. I am convinced that while they are now The Henry associates they still would bleed Ritz-Carlton blue. And if you’ve every stayed in a Ritz-Carlton hotel you know there is something extraordinary about the refined delivery of customer service by its associates. So when fellow customer service blogger Ashley Furness offered to share an interview she conducted with Diana Oreck, vice president of the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Training…
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Just this afternoon, my mom and I were at a hospital for an appointment. She needed to stop and catch her breath for a moment, holding on to a railing while she did so. A maintenance man coming towards us immediately asked, “Would you like a wheelchair?”
Like this blog, customer service can’t be about THEM until it’s about YOU. In other words, this maintenance man made a decision and choice that “he is the patient experience” as much as anyone — a nurse, physician, pharmacist, social worker, etc. His attentiveness, awareness, compassion, and proactive anticipation of my mom’s potential needs were very impressive! He was certainly not confined to his “job description” box but was living and working as a “healer” — responding to body, mind, spirit and emotions! He left us feeling cared for and about — that anyone in the hospital will care for us in our time of need! That is very reassuring and is a hallmark of an optimal healing environment for sure!
There’s a common misconception that customer service is all about the customer. Surprise—it’s not necessarily so. Service is definitely for the customer—internal or external—but it’s about you, the service provider.
“What?” you may be asking. “No, it’s about my client.” True … kinda. But it can’t be about them until it’s about you.
The service experience begins and ends with you. That experience is primarily within your control. You get to decide the kind of experience you want it to be. It’s your vision, values, and behavior that drive the service experience.
A case in point
Many years ago, on February 14, I was flying from Chicago back home to San Francisco. I remember the day not only because it was Valentine’s Day, but because I had a reason to be excited that it was Valentine’s Day. (HA!—a rare occasion at that time in my life.)
I arrived at…
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