We are proud to share the next in our series of TRE’s cultural “roots”, guideposts that have been identified by TRE as critical to our work. Read more about this organizational effort at www.tre.org/blog-tre-roots/.
ROOT #5: DELIVER LEGENDARY CUSTOMER SERVICE
Do the little things, as well as the big things, that blow people away! Create extraordinary experiences by doing the unexpected. Let them hear you smile. Ensure others feel heard, respected, empowered, and appreciated when leaving the interaction.
Customer service is the actions we take that demonstrate our commitment to our mission, vision, and core values. It translates those words into the experiences we have with others. It is walking the walk, not just talking the talk. I have been greatly influenced in my views about customer service by a book, Firms of Endearment by Raj Sisodia, David Wolfe, and Jag Sheth. This book reframed for me the multitude of stakeholders with whom TRE interacts as also customers. Certainly, the people we serve and their families/caregivers are our primary customers, but provider organizations, community partners, state agencies, etc. are also customers. My success, and TRE’s success are dependent on the effectiveness of my customer service with each of these groups.
Legendary customer service is grounded in passion and purpose. It’s when the purpose we feel in our work is demonstrated in our actions with people and the passion for supporting them comes through. It is often the small things you do for people that truly demonstrate your passion and the importance you see in your individual purpose to help those people. Often it is the small things, like our previous Root – Create a Tone of Friendliness & Warmth, that make someone feel like their satisfaction as a customer is a priority for us.
Empathy has been the strongest support of my ability to provide legendary customer service. Empathy for a person’s situation helps me to listen with sincerity, hear their frustrations or celebrations, and acknowledge what they are going through. I may or may not agree with their perspective on the situation, but empathy allows me to see how the situation is affecting them and then determine how I can support them.
I recognize that we often find ourselves with a lot of work to do and limited time to do it all. We strive to deliver legendary customer service, but also feel depleted of our energy. Balancing work commitments with desires to provide legendary customer service and support others to do the same is important. It may sometimes require that I set boundaries and take care of myself in order to keep my energy and my passion strong. We cannot say “yes” to every request of us. Sometimes, saying “no” is the right response, but what leads to legendary customer service is determining who else might be able to help, or when at a future time you might be able to help and communicating that information.
As you go about your work, consider the following:
- Take time out to reflect on the ways you and your team demonstrate legendary customer service. Acknowledge those efforts with one another.
- Think about the companies and/or people with whom you interact. Who stands out for you as delivering legendary customer service? How do they do it?
- Talk within your team or with your peers about self-care strategies that help you rejuvenate your energy or help you to restore your passion.