National Customer Service Week: The HEART Model, Principle #1


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National Customer Service Week - Day OneIn honor of National Cus­tomer Ser­vice Week, we wanted to ded­i­cate each day to writ­ing about the HEART model™, which defines five core prin­ci­ples that we use in all of our cus­tomer ser­vice train­ing pro­grams. Regard­less of your indus­try, you will find that these prin­ci­ples will be use­ful in both your cor­po­rate prac­tices, and in the way your team treats and respects your customers.

Each let­ter in the HEART model™ stands for one of the core prin­ci­ples that Impact works from:

  • Hear and Understand
  • Expect the Best
  • Act with Integrity
  • Respect Diver­sity, and
  • Tran­scend Yourself.

We derived these tenets years ago, after study­ing hun­dreds of mis­sion and core value state­ments from cus­tomers. We have found that many cus­tomers inte­grate these prin­ci­ples into their own mis­sion state­ments, and that they con­tin­u­ously refer back to the HEART model after going through our train­ing course(s).

Since today is Mon­day, we’ll focus on the first HEART prin­ci­ple: Hear and Under­stand.

Hear­ing and Under­stand­ing: It starts from the inside

We have found that in order to apply a prin­ci­ple effec­tively to those out­side of your orga­ni­za­tion – to your cus­tomers – you first must suc­cess­fully adopt the prin­ci­ple inside your com­pany. To bring this exam­ple to life, we took a story pub­lished on, which pro­filed Neil Blu­men­thal, a co-founder of the wildly suc­cess­ful eye­glass online retail site, Warby Parker. Warby Parker is known for their great cus­tomer ser­vice, and one of the keys, accord­ing to Blu­men­thal, is the abil­ity to ask the right ques­tions. How is this accom­plished? Blu­men­thal believes it’s the abil­ity to see things from another person’s per­spec­tive. In other words, the abil­ity to hear and understand.

Do you know what moti­vates people?

In order to lead, you must know what will moti­vate peo­ple to fol­low. Do you know what moti­vates your employ­ees? How well do you know those whom you are entrusted with guid­ing, men­tor­ing, and man­ag­ing? If you are work­ing with an inex­pe­ri­enced team, in par­tic­u­lar, they them­selves may not yet know what moti­vates them. Your job, there­fore, as a man­ager, is to get to know them, as indi­vid­u­als, and from your inter­ac­tions with them, extract what their moti­va­tions are. Once you start to under­stand how they’re moti­vated, you can pro­vide incen­tives and a work struc­ture that suits them.

Blu­men­thal under­stands this prin­ci­ple of moti­va­tion well. So well, in fact, that he him­self co-leads work­shops with his man­agers so that he can help them develop the right lead­er­ship skills, which will be passed down along the chain to the employ­ees that the man­agers are respon­si­ble for. In Blumenthal’s words, he wants his man­agers to “care deeply about the peo­ple who work for them,” and Blu­men­thal under­stands that in order to truly teach that prin­ci­ple, he must be per­son­ally invested in his man­agers and know what ques­tions to ask.

How well do you know your team?

This week, spend some time reflect­ing on how well you know your man­age­ment team and your employ­ees. Do you know what moti­vates them? Do you ask ques­tions and lis­ten to their con­cerns? Are you per­son­ally invested in their devel­op­ment? True lead­er­ship begins at the top, so if you expect oth­ers in your orga­ni­za­tion to lead, take the time to be a great leader your­self by spend­ing some time hear­ing and under­stand­ing what those around you have to say.

Jodi Beuder, Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence Advo­cate at Impact Learn­ing Sys­tems, believes cus­tomer ser­vice exists not just out­side the com­pany, but inside, too.. “Hav­ing excel­lent cus­tomer ser­vice skills and knowl­edge are para­mount to cre­at­ing strong work­ing rela­tion­ships, whether you are in an office or out in the field.” With over 17 years in Mar­ket­ing Exec­u­tive roles, Jodi has ded­i­cated her career to assist­ing com­pa­nies grow their brand pres­ence and sales, and most impor­tantly, their cus­tomer reten­tion and satisfaction.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodi Beuder
We help organizations create a positive connection between customers and brands. We promote synergy through integration as it builds on the decades of collective history of renowned expertise. MHI Global is your comprehensive source for customer-management excellence solutions to compete in today's ever-changing, customer-centric environment.


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