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Attitude of Service

When conducting a training session about customer service, I always spend a fair amount of time talking about attitudes. After all, to be of service, you must develop an attitude of service.

It has recently come to mind that the attitude of service is not something you put on and take off when at work. It is something you carry with you throughout each day. Someone who truly has the attitude of service will always serve other people, no matter what the circumstances.

Let's take a look at a few of the more obvious ways of observing an attitude of service.

Have you ever had the occasion to approach a door at the same time another person is advancing toward it? I am frequently amazed that when the other person gets there, they barge through without any thought to me. I don't expect someone to wait five minutes for me to get there, but certainly, if we are reaching the door within seconds of one another, holding the door open would be a courteous gesture.

The reaction I get when I'm the first one to the door and I wait and hold the door open for the other person, is one of surprise. It is so rarely done, that they are more than delighted to have this consideration extended to them. I love the reaction I get. I notice it puts the other person in a better mood and they almost always smile at the gesture. Many times, if it is a double door, they will return the favor by holding the door open for me.

Other opportunities to practice an attitude of service is when driving on the road and someone is trying to pull out of a driveway. Stopping the car so the driver can safely navigate onto the road is almost always responded to with a honk and a wave. They always accompany it with a big smile.

Little things like always saying please and thank you show your respect for the other person. If you aren't saying this in everyday interactions, how will you remember to always do so with the customer?

When someone asks you a question, do you give them your full attention.

When you see someone struggling with their purchases, do you offer to help?

I was taking care of my two grandchildren earlier this year. One of them was 3 months old, the other was 17 months old. When I had to go shopping for necessities, it became a juggling act to get two babies into the store, into one carriage, and also place items in and around them.

The generosity of one woman while I was in line waiting to be checked out, was incredible. She offered to place my items on the conveyor belt for me. Then she spent a good deal of time distracting the older of the babies so I could pay for my purchase. Her kindness and thoughtfulness was so appreciated by me. I couldn't believe that someone who had nothing to gain was being so kind to a stranger.

It made me wonder what would happen if, those people whose job it is to do thoughtful things for customers did the same thing. Imagine how much more business would be attracted to that store.

Are you practicing your customer service skills, even when you aren't waiting on a customer? If not, you might want to begin. It will make it easier when you are face to face with the customer.

Margo Chevers, author of the book STOP the BS (bad service), has been providing sales and customer service seminars to a diverse cross-section of industries for the past 19 years. To receive her free 10 top tips for exceptional customer service, call (800) 858-0797 or email Margo@MargoChevers.com.

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