Miles of Wisdom: The First Thing to Know About Inspiring Great Customer Service

(Note: Engaged employees are literally a wealth of knowledge. Whether they are high-performing individual contributors who love their jobs or managers who score high on the engagement surveys — if they love their work, they’ve got something to teach us all.  They’re better than a textbook. They’re better than a motivational seminar. They’re the real deal. And they’ve got great stories!

Because I interview engaged employees as part of my consulting practice, I’m collecting miles of wisdom in the form of great video footage. With the permission of my clients and interviewees, I’ll periodically post highlights from powerful conversations. Like this one.)

Meet Kristy Silveria, director of employee relations for the Fremont-Rideout Health Group (Yuba City, CA). In this moment in our interview she tells the story of her most powerful a-ha moment as a very young warehouse manager for Sears — when she discovered the power of doing the right thing for her people. Not for any fancy managerial theory reason. It was just because it was the right thing to do.

Why is this a customer loyalty story? Your people learn about your expectations for customer service by the way your managers treat them.  Encourage your managers to build relationships with their people beyond the transactional level of the job description. Demonstrate caring, noticing, anticipating your employees’ needs (especially the unspoken ones), and they will care, notice and anticipate your customers’ needs.

When you go beyond what your people expect, they will be inspired to do the same for your (no, their) customers. Watch this inspiring video and see how Kristy’s lesson from few years ago still inspires her today.  And imagine how her current coworkers in health care benefit from her time at the Sears warehouse.

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One Response to Miles of Wisdom: The First Thing to Know About Inspiring Great Customer Service

  1. Yes, yes, yes!

    Look, the bottom line is effective leadership takes into account our common humanity! When those who lead others fall back on basic values grounded in decency, kindness, and a little golden rule tossed into the mix for good measure, remarkable things happen in teams.

    We are human beings first, a fact that seems sadly forgotten as many focus on deliverables, deadlines and revenue. When I conduct training/coaching sessions I often remind supervisors that they have significant impact on people’s livelihood, earnings, career progression, their very peace of mind. That’s not to be taken lightly and acts of kindness are rewarded by the type of loyalty Kristy earned from the employee in question, and the rest of her team.

    My leadership philosophy is undergirded by a desire to serve and to model excellent conduct and choices and this is intrinsic to the being I am. Kristy’s tale is a reminder that leadership behavior is indisputably a values barometer – and hers are in admirable shape. Bravissimo!

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