Are You Ready to Commit to Improving Customer Service Results?
Have you ever wondered exactly what an intellectually honest person sounds like? Let me share a brief passage from one of Dr. Albert Ellis'' books, HOW TO REFUSE TO MAKE YOURSELF MISERABLE ABOUT ANYTHING. Speaking of his early career he recalls "For several years I was a highly successful psychoanalyst and thought that I was greatly helping my clients by exploring the gory details of their early life and showing them how these experiences made them disturbed?and how they could understand and remove these early influences. "How wrong I was!" Ellis goes on to disclose that his "cures" were actually making some people worse by tethering their focus to the past, and subsequently, he went on to pioneer an improved, vastly shorter, and more effective form of assistance he called Rational-Emotive Therapy or R.E.T. Likewise, typical Customer Service "therapy," or as it is more commonly called, Customer Service Training and Development, fails to produce concrete results, until it is re-focused, says top consultant, and best selling author of 12 books, including MONITORING, MEASURING & MANAGING CUSTOMER SERVICE.Have you ever wondered exactly what an intellectually honest person sounds like? Let me share a brief passage from one of Dr. Albert Ellis? books, HOW TO REFUSE TO MAKE YOURSELF MISERABLE ABOUT ANYTHING. Speaking of his early career he recalls: ?For several years I was a highly successful psychoanalyst and thought that I was greatly helping my clients by exploring the gory details of their early life and showing them how these experiences made them disturbed?and how they could understand and remove these early influences.
?How wrong I was!?
Ellis goes on to disclose that his ?cures? were actually making some people worse by tethering their focus to the past, and subsequently, he went on to pioneer an improved, vastly shorter, and more effective form of assistance he called Rational-Emotive Therapy or R.E.T.
I bring this up because I want to make a similar point about my early career as a consultant and about typical Customer Service ?therapy,? or as it is more commonly called, customer service training and development.
Like Ellis, for years I believed I was helping people and their companies to perform better by using seminars and speeches as my main deliverables, as well as books and articles.
Receiving top evaluations everywhere, what would ever lead me to disbelieve my own effectiveness?
I decided to do some depth interviews with past program attendees to determine what, exactly they were USING from the buffet of tips I had proffered during classes.
Strikingly little, I concluded.
This wasn?t a slam against my training, they loved it and said so and were more than willing to recommend it to others, but they weren?t substantially translating what I taught into action.
I found this deeply disappointing, and I suppose this is where the businessman and the professional in me, parted company.
From a business viewpoint, I had developed winning seminars that could be taught by clones around the world, resulting in ongoing streams of income. But the professional, the former college professor and researcher and corporate manager who really wanted to improve results on the job, was vexed.
So, I changed my approach, still offering seminars but adding one-on-one coaching at the workplace, management training, and one-on-one coaching for supervisors and managers, as well.
Meaningful performance measures were put into place, rivaling those used in selling, for concreteness and specificity.
In a word, ACCOUNTABILITY entered the equation. (You don?t see this word very much in training circles.)
My promise to clients became: ?If you do these specific things I guarantee you?ll improve in these measurable areas of customer satisfaction and your overall costs will be reduced by this percentage, enabling the program to fully pay for itself by this date.?
The client?s promise: ?We?ll enact your recommendations and procedures. We?ll monitor and measure and manage the results, and of course, we?ll compensate you for your contributions.?
Ellis? R.E.T. has achieved many notable successes, and so have I, using my evolved protocol of training. But our methods are highly CONFRONTATIONAL, inasmuch as we are creating a ?communication contract? with clients, that says: ?To really improve, you need to stop doing X and start doing Y, if you want the new result, Z.?
We?re not going to waste our time by merely talking the problem to death in seminars (or, in Ellis? case, in therapy sessions that last years and years). We?re going to take action. And our results will be conspicuous to all.
I studied with Ellis at the University of California, and of course, I devoured his books over the course of many years. Clearly, he had an impact on my thinking and methods.
Be intellectually honest with yourself, especially if you are actively involved in any aspect of Customer Service.
Are you teaching the right things, the right way, and are you insisting on new and better results? Are you monitoring, measuring & managing what really matters in producing both higher customer satisfaction and lower costs, in profits?
Or, are you wedded to the past?
Are you merely attending and giving seminars and training modules that casually talk about the perennial themes of ?conflict management? and ?active listening? and the importance of saying please and thank-you?
Perhaps it?s time for you too to cross that intellectual bridge by recognizing, ?You know, these old fashioned bromides and clich?s aren?t really WORKING!?
?I''m ready to commit to really improving customer service RESULTS!?
Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 1,000 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered "The Gold Standard" in negotiation, sales development, customer service, and telephone effectiveness. Top-rated as a speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the globe and the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at: email@example.com.