When we become the boss we automatically think we’re a leader. Then we do “leadership-type” things.
With leadership, comes a certain removal from the day-to-day machinations of the business. That’s ok because we couldn’t wait to become “the leader” so we can earn a bigger paycheck or have more power and prestige within the organization. It’s fun to brag about it too.
But those leadership-type things make you spend much time focusing on budgets, payroll, contracts and market share when the focus must continually be on the customer.
Don’t you think leaders are still responsible for the quality of service your company provides your customers? Or, is it now relegated to the minions below you to do that?
Accomplished leaders have the long-range vision of where their business is headed but never lose short term sight of the individual customer that supports, and finances, that vision.
Accomplished leaders read everything they can get their hands on for ideas to improve service and the overall customer experience. They put down the cell phone and turn off the TV. The printed word draws their attention. They attend industry events, join industry associations, participate in webinars, seminars, and host think-tank-like meetings with one goal in mind – to learn how to improve.
An accomplished leader is really a never-ending student of service. Are you one too?
If not, why not?
When your car is acting up and needs to be fixed, wouldn’t you look for a mechanic that’s a never-ending student of auto repair? I thought so.
When you’re in the doctor’s office having that rash looked at, don’t you expect the doctor to be a never-ending student of medicine and diagnosis? Heck yes!
If you’re hiring an architect to design an addition to your house, wouldn’t you need someone that’s a never-ending student of structural design? Ok, you get my point.
Since you’re in the business of providing service to customers, don’t you owe the same effort and expertise to them that you expect for yourself?
Here are 9 easy ways to get back to school.
1) Setup a Google Alert for the term “customer service”. Once completed you’ll receive emails with the latest online mentions of “customer service” from various sources. Then, visit these sites, read their tips and best practices and try to incorporate them into your business.
2) Subscribe to blogs written by industry leaders. Some of the best are from my friends Shep Hyken, Jeff Toiser, and Ron Kaufman, just to name a few. Turn your inbox into a daily learning experience chock-full of tips.
3) YouTube. It’s not just for watching videos of cute cats or puppies. Some of the best our industry has to offer, share their knowledge there for free. It’s a no-brainer.
4) LinkedIn. Connect with customer service experts and join the many customer service-focused groups.
5) Quora. Ask service-related questions of the community members. You’d be surprised at the level of experience and knowledge of the other members and their willingness to assist you in your learning.
6) Twitter. This is the easiest way to connect directly with customer service experts and authors.
7) Alignable. A free network where small business owners build trusted relationships and generate referrals. Members use this site to get the industry answers they need, connect within their local business community, and increase word-of-mouth for their business.
8) Webinars. Treat these like a private 30-60-minute lesson from an expert and do so in the comfort of your own home or office.
9) White papers. You can save and file these scholarly articles to build your own personal service library.
Ok, I gave you a few resources to start with. Now go out and become the expert your customers deserve and be a never-ending student of service. Good luck!
> So, what do you do to continue to learn and improve? Let me know in the comments below.