National Customer Service Week: The HEART Model, Principle #2


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It’s Tues­day of National Cus­tomer Ser­vice Week, and to cel­e­brate, we’ll be ded­i­cat­ing this post to the sec­ond prin­ci­ple in Impact’s HEART model. The HEART model lays out five core prin­ci­ples that we use in all of our cus­tomer ser­vice train­ing pro­grams. Each let­ter in the HEART model stands for one of the core tenets that Impact works from:

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

Yes­ter­day we focused on Hear and Under­stand. Today we’ll be talk­ing about the sec­ond prin­ci­ple, Expect the Best.

Expect the best: What does that mean in the cus­tomer ser­vice world?

Do you know what makes peo­ple notice great cus­tomer ser­vice? Authen­tic cus­tomer ser­vice. Authen­tic cus­tomer ser­vice arises from employ­ees who truly enjoy their jobs – they are enthu­si­as­tic about mak­ing sure cus­tomers are happy because they them­selves are happy with their jobs. They’re treated well, given recog­ni­tion, and they work in an envi­ron­ment where they want to grow their career. Great employ­ees expect the best by tak­ing an opti­mistic approach and expect­ing that each encounter will be pleas­ant and fruit­ful. Even when faced with a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion, they expect that their best efforts will lead to an agree­able solution.

If you expect the best in cus­tomer ser­vice from your team, you need to start by expect­ing the best for your employ­ees. Below are three key prac­tices that you can apply to ensure that your happy employ­ees will make for some very sat­is­fied customers.

Treat­ing your team well goes beyond pay

Cus­tomer ser­vice can be a demand­ing job, espe­cially in call cen­ters and sales. One way to reward your employ­ees is through pay, of course, but an equally impor­tant way to com­pen­sate employ­ees is through recognition.

If your orga­ni­za­tion is bro­ken into teams, offer incen­tives for teams who meet their met­rics. Throw them a party. Give them a gift. Do some­thing that makes them proud and allows them to show off their hard work to oth­ers in the company.

Another way to reward your staff is by empow­er­ing employ­ees through deci­sion mak­ing. Giv­ing employ­ees a sense of own­er­ship and auton­omy is reward­ing. In fact, stud­ies back up this point – researchers have found that employ­ees who have more auton­omy at their jobs report higher lev­els of pro­duc­tiv­ity and job satisfaction.

Great cus­tomer ser­vice is in the details

If you expect the best from your employ­ees, and if you expect to offer the best cus­tomer ser­vice to your cus­tomers, make sure you mind the details. Stel­lar cus­tomer ser­vice is often a mat­ter of pay­ing atten­tion to the small things. When is your customer’s birth­day? Send a card. Can you go the extra mile to help? Do it, and encour­age your employ­ees to do it. The abil­ity to help oth­ers helps peo­ple feel bet­ter about them­selves, so if you encour­age your employ­ees to be detail-oriented when help­ing cus­tomers, the dif­fer­ence your cus­tomers feel will trans­late to your staff.

Seek out­side recognition

It’s one thing to throw a party for your inter­nal teams who exceed their met­ric goals in a month, and it’s another to give your whole orga­ni­za­tion an award for their cus­tomer ser­vice. Chances are, your indus­try has its own cat­e­gory of awards and pub­li­ca­tions where you can nom­i­nate your com­pany for a job well-done. Putting the effort into mak­ing sure your team gets out­side recog­ni­tion is not only a boost for morale, but it will also attract top tal­ent to your company.

Expect the best: It’s a fan­tas­tic mantra to lead by

Dur­ing Cus­tomer Ser­vice Week, it’s a great time to take stock of how we can improve, both inter­nally and exter­nally. We encour­age you to expect the best from your employ­ees and to map out a plan that ensures your cus­tomers can expect the best from your com­pany. In fact, make it one of your mantras – we’ve made it a key prin­ci­ple in our HEART model.

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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