|Sandra (in center photo)|
for presentation of Customer Service Excellence Award
from Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams
There have been media reports about the decline in customer service. Perhaps in some geographic regions that is not the case. I wrote this article because the issue needs more attention for the reasons stated below. Please weigh in with your viewpoints on the customer service issue. Thank you for your consideration.
HERE IS THE ARTICLE:
Customer service is an art. It is not an art field that can thrive in the abstract. The customer service arena is an area that needs the talents of impressionists and expressionists to apply artful mastery to canvases. It needs adept marketers who keenly feel the heart beat of what is necessary to execute service on excellent levels. Administrators need to employ managers who are engineered to manage. There is an array of managers who possess labels but lack leadership competency. When managers fail to manage, frequently, employees flounder as customer service representatives.
I can expertly expound on what constitutes quality customer service. In excess of five years, I was a Customer Service Specialist in the Washington, D.C. government. While there, Mayor Anthony Williams presented me with a “Customer Service Excellence Award” for my skills, and strong work ethic. In addition, in my possession are numerous copies of written commendations that I received from management throughout the course of my work history in government and in the private sector.
Media resources have shared reports of the steady decline of quality customer service. Nationwide, complaints have soared due to lack of acceptable service. Dissatisfied consumers are not a rarity. Poor service has become commonplace so much so that when impressive service surfaces, it is a rare treat. In some instances, the managers display conduct that is worse than that of employees. Then there are the cases where employees perform poorly, and when reported to management, managers defend the unsatisfactory behavior of their subordinates. It is obvious from observances that some managers are intimidated by their employees.
I am in the age bracket where I can hearken back to the days when quality service was the norm. It was routine to observe managers who expertly managed, and employees who regularly provided satisfactory service. Yes, even then we had occasions of poor performance. Such occasions, though, were far less than what is currently on display.
Then we were more likely to hear pleasantries and courteous communication. Body language was respectful with accommodating attitudes. Now, so often, we get the whole series of disrespect – body language, tone, language, posture and movements.
What goes on habitually now in the customer service field is a certain shame to the profession.
Largely, the current condition of the service industry is inexcusable and unacceptable. Consumers need to do more to hold representatives accountable for the abysmal state of service performance. The industry is in dire need of an overhaul. Could it be that it is in such a state because not enough consumers reasonably complain?
Training that penetrates is sorely needed and long overdue. Suitable people need to be in customer service. The art manifests as a natural for some people in the business. It can be taught, as well. Those who are not receptive to penetrative training, where they capture the art, need to be moved on and replaced by those whose hearts are inclined to master the techniques and nuances.
To be continued
Written April 16, 2010
© Copyright 2010