In Chapter 7 of Be Your Customer’s Hero, I wrote the following:
“Great customer experiences begin with a great attitude, but so does satisfaction and happiness at work. Attitude certainly isn’t everything; skills and competence do matter. However, without a great attitude, these attributes are almost meaningless. Your attitude will determine your ability to serve customers, your ability to inspire others, and your ability to work your way up in your organization.”
In a book dedicated to customer service training for frontline reps, I felt compelled to spend a chapter on the effects of attitude, because so many frontline reps do not understand that a caring, happy, and positive attitude is part of their job in interacting with customers.
One can learn all of the customer service skills there are to learn, but without a great attitude, you can never deliver Hero-Class® Customer Service.
We are used to amazing acts of customer service going viral but how about an ordinary act of service?
I was fascinated by a story that made the rounds on the Internet last week.
A customer’s Facebook post about her experience with Little Caesar’s employee Conquista Benning in Grovetown, Georgia went viral and was picked up by the media.
What did Conquista do that was so special?
He smiled and had a great attitude! No, really, that is all.
He didn’t balance six pizzas on his head while holding an umbrella and walking a mother and child to their car in a rain storm; he line busted a large queue of customers, and he did it with a great attitude and a smile.
And a customer noticed.
But Conquista’s story leads us to another question: What is behind the reaction? Are we so desperate for great service that a frontline employee with a smile and a positive attitude can capture the imagination of thousands?
It seems so.
One study from the W.P. Carey School of business found that customer satisfaction hasn’t improved since the seventies. When you take into account industry consolidation and its effect on customer service in banking and cable, it’s no wonder that we live in an age when just a good attitude from a frontline service rep is worthy of such incredulity that it goes viral.
We often speak about how simply providing good, pleasant service consistently is a path to excellent, amazing, Hero-Class® (pick your superlative) customer service. I think Conquista’s story might have just given a little anecdotal support to the theory.
Check out the news story and make sure to share this story with your frontline teams. It has a powerful message: The little things do make a difference.
By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.