The Telephone Doctor: Five steps to more motivated customer serviceNancy FriedmanCustomer service motivation
Recently, I was asked, "Nancy, How do you motivate employees, or
even yourself, to give better customer service?"
Well, as most of us know, it's difficult to motivate someone
else. We are only in charge of ourselves. However, there's nothing
wrong with giving employees a little nudge in the right direction
and hoping it sticks. These are five of the most motivating tips we
can share with you.
1. Ask for help
It's OK to do that. If you're in customer service (and aren't we
all?), there's an abundance of information available to you. Ask
your management if they can suggest anything you can read, watch or
listen to about your industry. On the small chance they don't know
of any (and I'd be surprised if they didn't), check out the
library, ask a coworker or check the Internet. Take the initiative
yourself. One of the most effective customer service tips is job
knowledge. It's difficult to be motivated if you don't understand
2. Stay positive
OK, that's really easy to tell someone to do, especially after
you've been dumped on by someone or something's gone wrong in your
life. But sometimes the stuff hits the fan and we become all
consumed in the negative. Staying positive is a choice. It's your
attitude—you are in charge of whether you feel positive or
negative. When negative thoughts come into your head, immediately
stop what you're doing and replace them with something positive. It
can be done. A positive mental attitude is one of the keys to
motivating yourself and others. Stay with positive people. I make
it a point to stay away from negative people who say things like,
"It's too hot. It's too cold. I'm too tall. I'm too thin. Yada,
yada, yada." I remove myself from the negative situations. You can,
too. Negativity is contagious, but so is being positive.
3. Say something nice to a stranger
Every day, I try and find at least one person I pass in the store
or see at the gym and say one nice thing to him. It's amazing how
good it makes me feel. Try it! It boosts your self-image and makes
the other person's day, too. Yesterday, a stranger came up to me
and told me how good my outfit looked on me. I felt really good. It
really perked me up. It goes both ways. A few months ago, I passed
a very elderly lady. She had a big hat on, too much makeup and was
dressed to the hilt. She gave a big smile, as she walked down the
street. I stopped her and told her how beautiful she looked. Her
smile got wider and her eyes sparkled with thanks. I felt good and
I know she did, too.
4. A phony smile is better than a real
That's a Telephone Doctor special. There are definitely days when I
feel less than motivated, but when I put on that phony smile,
somehow I always start feeling better.
5. Give thanks
The old saying your mother probably told you, "It could always be
worse," is so true. Also remember that other saying, "I cried
because I had no shoes; then I saw a man who had no feet." It could
always be worse.
Once you take on these tips, my bet is you'll start to feel
motivated to do more and share them with your staff. Good luck.
Nancy Friedman is president of Telephone Doctor Customer
Service Training in St. Louis. For more information, call (314)
291-1012 or visit www.telephonedoctor.com.