I just returned a call to a vendor and got the following voicemail message, “I’m sorry, I’m either on a call or am away from my desk at the moment. Please leave a message and I’ll return your call at my earliest convenience.” Really? At your earliest convenience? Does this message make anyone else crazy? Maybe it’s just me, but this message doesn’t communicate the best customer service. It doesn’t give me confidence that my call will be returned as soon as possible. Instead it will be returned when it is convenient.
Word choice in a voicemail message may seem like a small thing. At the same time, I think great customer service is built on many small things in how we listen to our customers and how we respond to their needs.
This month we’re focusing on the leadership competency of building a customer service orientation. Here is our definition of key behaviors that are critical to having great customer service in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities:
- Demonstrates a positive attitude
- Listens attentively and respectfully
- Responds effectively to internal and external customer needs, requests, and concerns
- Exercises creative problem solving
As leaders we have a great responsibility to model these behaviors and create a culture that not only values great customer service, but demonstrates it every day with our students, our colleagues, and our community.
One of the innovators and leaders in great customer service in the last few years is Tony Hseih, CEO of Zappos. I encourage you to listen to what he’s done to make his organization customer focused in this short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63WFjoFiXns
It is an inspiration!