Anybody with a decent level of empathy and a sprinkle of care in their heart will be great at customer service.
Anthony Gucciarda, a natural health and human empowerment writer, speaker, and entrepreneur says, "Empathy is the highest form of intelligence." In an age when Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is becoming more relevant than ever (a trend), it is a gift that needs to be promoted and elevated by leadership as a requirement.
Ask your, “I couldn't care less,” employees to try and imagine what it would be like in the customer's shoes or simply the shoes of anybody else. Ask your employees if they like to feel important, appreciated and valued. The answer will be yes. if the answer is no and you have heavily invested in them with no success, it means they might be an assclown or a heartless sociopath. Send them on their merry, "don't give a crap!" way. Not everybody can be turned around. Know when to let go.
2. KINDNESS & FRIENDLINESS:
Even people that don't care, know how to be kind, polite and friendly. These are traits of people who do care. They are behaviors that can be taught or “faked”. Remind your non-caring employees regularly to be kind, polite and friendly. Teach them caring vocabulary; "hello, I can help you, you're welcome, sorry (when needed), thank you, goodbye, visit again..."
Invest time in your people consistently through coaching and training. The new behaviors will eventually become a habit or a new lifestyle.
A smile is so easy to share... even if you don't care. It’s a powerful tool. A smile is the most recognized non-verbal expression of goodness. A smile says that you are inviting a connection. It suggests you will be helpful and caring. I've seen the most indifferent people smile and look like they actually care. Danish musician, conductor and comedian, Victor Borge said, "A smile is the shortest distance between two people." Smiles are contagious if not infectious. Share many, often.
As leaders make sure that you embody the behaviors you desire from your team. Authenticity and integrity go a long way initiating cultural shifts. Non-verbal communcation (facial expressions and tone of voice) make for 38% of communication according to Albert Merhabian. 55% is through body language, with the remaining 7% the words we use.
Invite your employees to be curious about your customers (internal and external). Train and coach your employees to create strong human connections. Have them ask clients meaningful questions to get to know them. These questions should be somewhat personal but not invasive... don't be creepy!
Questions are the base of your needs analysis process, however, meaningful questions reveal more about your customer on a personal level (personalization and customization opportunity). Meaningful questions give the appearance that you care. Meaningful questions also provide up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. Win win.
Questions should be open-ended ones that initiate a dialogue with a focus on the subject at hand… not the self. Be curious as to:
Who they are...
What they might enjoy...
What are their interests/hobbies.
Curiosity will make them feel like you care.
Your organization needs leaders who inspire the desire to care… leaders who are passionate about the vision and mission of your brand and who will inspire team members to embody the values that define your organization.
“If your actions inspire others to learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” - John Quincy Adams.
If your lesser employees don't care about the company culture and their customers, there are ways to motivate them to act accordingly. Perhaps those lesser employees care about their personal performance. We all have a motivational trigger. Find what motivates people in your team and leverage those personal triggers. Speak their individual language. Fuel their ego to obtain the needed results.
Ultimately you can't force change, you can only inspire it! The best form of leadership is by example… It starts with you and the cultural values. Lean on your all stars. Solicit their support to inspire the desired transformation. It won’t happen overnight. You’ll need a well designed action plan that is consistently and systematically implemented and re-inforced.
Vital Germaine, President ENGAGE.
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Vital is Las Vegas' most dynamic keynotes speaker and corporate trainer. Contact him today to learn more about his team development and leadership experiences. They are designed to inspire extraordinary performance.