7 Customer Service Lessons from a Jedi Master


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Sometimes good advice comes from unexpected sources. When Luke Skywalker goes to Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back, he’s looking for someone who matches the description of a mighty warrior trained in the ways of the Force.

Though small in stature, the Jedi Master Yoda reveals powerful sage advice, which rather unexpectedly, conveys to the customer service world – for exceptional service and support can be a transformative force when knowledge, training and conviction are applied:

“Do or do not, there is no try….”

Entrepreneur magazine recently highlighted some of the phrases customers are most happy to hear and none of them include the word “try.” Instead, customers want to hear I can solve that problem; I will find out; I will take responsibility; I will keep you updated and I will deliver on time. Do or do not, there is no try.

“Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force.”

No matter how large or small, organizations that put customer service at the heart of their culture, with committed support from the top down, will have a greater force bringing them together and propelling their success. Smaller companies actually have an advantage over larger competitors as they can react and adapt more quickly to changes and trends, and more easily achieve frequent, personalized customer touchpoints. Those organizations that master the customer experience may eventually achieve legendary status, even though their service and support team may be one of the smallest departments within the organization.

“Help you I can, yes.”

The 2012 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer notes three of the top four customer service complaints are passing the buck, having to wait too long for an issue to be resolved, and being shuffled from channel to channel or service representative to service representative.

Never send the customer somewhere else or tell them to call back at another time. Thank the customer for giving you the opportunity to address the matter, and to the best of your ability, address it then and there for much-appreciated first contact resolution. “Help you I can, yes.”

“Anger, Fear, Aggression. The Dark Side of the Force are they. Easily they flow. Quick to join you in a fight…. A Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

Some of the most important training a customer service representative can receive is how to effectively handle an upset customer’s call, email, chat, post or tweet. When service and support reps have the knowledge and skill to offer a calm, proactive response to an upset customer rather than an instinctively reactive one, they can potentially turn even the most volatile individual into a satisfied, lifelong brand advocate. Control of emotions is a powerful force in customer service.

“Difficult to see, always in motion is the future….”

In customer service, we are always adjusting to and looking ahead to new channels and trends. Organizations must now develop their support processes and choose solutions that are fluid and flexible enough to adjust to rapid changes rather than ones that occur every five to 10 years. Think of how quickly social and mobile customer service are evolving, and know that the future of customer service will continue to be in even faster motion.

“You must unlearn what you have learned.”

From word choices to best practices that may no longer be the best, sometimes managers and agents must unlearn processes and habits from other companies or roles to improve or evolve customer service satisfaction and the customer experience. No matter how much experience we have accumulated, there are always new or different things we can learn from experts, peers, mentors and our customers to enhance, adjust and revolutionize the customer experience. Keep an open mind and be open to continued change and learning.

Luke: “I don’t believe it.” Yoda: “That is why you fail.”

When Yoda salvages Luke’s sunken x-wing fighter from a murky bog using the power of the Force, the untrained Skywalker is disbelieving in the ability and power of something so small. Believing that customer service and the customer experience can be a key differentiator, and then bringing together people who share a true passion for service and support, is a key to success. Many a company can say or write that customer service is important to them, but if there is no real belief behind customer service’s power to change an organization for the better, the proverbial ship will never rise out of the stagnant complacency and disaffection holding it down.

Create a customer service culture, you must, filled with true believers. May the force be with you.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.


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