Have You Got Broken ‘Customer Service’ Bones?


Have You Got Broken ‘Customer Service’ Bones?

Recently I had a call from a small business owner desperately seeking a training session on customer service for her team. When I asked what the problem was, the frustrated and very passionate business owner told me that one of her staff, although great at the tasks of her role, is often rude to customers and some of the other employees don’t seem to have the common sense required to provide great customer service.

The owner went on to say that she is sick of having to remind her staff to smile and be polite and wonders if she has just hired the wrong people. The poor woman was exhausted and she needed a good lie down, on a couch, with a therapist.

In all honesty, this is a very common scenario. A customer complaint or an unfocused team prompts a business to call me and their hope is that my business has the solution….and they hope the solution won’t take too long or cost too much.

In the world of workplace training, that’s called putting a Band-Aid on it. Band-Aids by their very nature are a quick, cheap and easy to use solution. But they won’t fix a broken bone. As a Service Excellence Coach, I do not use or recommend Band-Aids for broken bones and behavioural issues in the workplace are broken bones.

Service excellence is not common sense.

Employees who are required to interact with customers need soft skill training and to keep those skills sharp, they need regular feedback and refresher sessions.

How do you know if your business has broken customer service bones?

Here are the top 10 things to look for:

  1. Staff are not getting along. Grumbling about each other and not working well together.
  2. Staff complain about customer behaviours. Staff expect every customer to be polite and friendly.
  3. Your staff and your customers seem “lifeless”. No smiles, no eye contact, no warmth.
  4. You don’t have repeat customers. They never come back.
  5. Your customer areas look drab. Out of date magazines, shabby furniture, stained carpets, crumbled brochures, marked walls.
  6. Customers don’t compliment your staff on their service. Regularly.
  7. Customers don’t refer new business to you. You spend all your time wondering how to get more customers.
  8. Staff don’t come to you with ideas of how to delight your customers. They serve but they don’t observe.
  9. You spend time wondering how to get staff to provide consistently excellent service. You think it’s up to you to educate and motivate them.
  10. Staff don’t proactively seek ways to improve their service skills. They think it’s up to you to educate and motivate them.

If you want a business that staff love working in and your customers love to tell everyone about, then you need to put service at the top of your list of things to do.

Why? Because nothing sells like excellent customer service.

Want some help educating and motivating your team? Check out our website ( for lots of free stuff to help you develop a culture of service excellence in your business.

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