What Great Customer Service Looks Like

The best Superbowl advertisement ever: It was Superbowl Sunday just before kickoff. It was the first appointment the Apple Genius Bar had available, my hard drive had crashed, and I was in a tailspin. The book I had finished that weekend, was stuck in a system that wouldn’t boot, the last third lost with no back-up. Not to mention the trapped keynote presentations and other docs I’d lost.

“Our DNA is as a consumer company – for that individual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply.”
~ Steve Jobs

Apparently, the editing of the video we filmed Saturday was just too much for my little MacBook Air. I waited with fearful expectation for my turn and diagnosis, anticipating the rolled eyes I deserved. After all, what ding bat does a big project without a net? I felt like a rookie.

Tony called my name and I shared my story. I was disturbed by his odds, but strangely comforted by his approach:
Oh, Karin, that’s just terrible, it could be bad. I’m not sure we can recover your files. But, you have my absolute commitment that I’ll do everything in my power to fix this. OUR goal is to have you leave here with your book, the rest of your data, and a fully functional laptop. It’s complicated, and I can’t make promises, but here are the first 3 options we’ll try if those don’t work, I’ll explain our other options and we’ll decide together,

After my 30 minute appointment morphed into full surgery, Tony brought in reinforcements. The prognosis was improving, but it would take a while.

Chatting to keep me off the ledge, Tony shared gently: You know the video work you’re trying to do on this is a lot for this computer. It will work, but it’s not ideal. I know you don’t want to think about that now; just something to consider in the future.

I had time to kill, so I told him I was off to wander around. Tony introduced me to John to answer any questions I had while I browsed. I told John the whole story. His eyes brightened.

“You’re writing a book! Oh way cool, what’s it about?” (HE LISTENED)

He shared, “I write too, mostly fiction, screen plays. Working on a sitcom. (NOW I’M LISTENING)

And I do video, this is what I use. That’s actually my dream, but I love working here because I stay up to date on all the technology. (I’M LISTENING AND LEARNING)

Are you using iMovie? (HE’S LISTENING)

How’s that been for you? (HE’S LISTENING MORE)

“Do you like to travel,” he continued. “I find most artists like to travel, I sure do. (NOW HE CALLED ME AN ARTIST. NICE)

“You know, once you publish your book, you should bring it in so we can all celebrate together about the book we saved. (WE WERE IN THIS TOGETHER)

He continued, it’s so nice seeing someone pursuing their passion. (THE FEELING WAS MUTUAL)

So there we were two “artists” spending Superbowl Sunday chatting about dreams. I left the store with my book, a working laptop, a new desk top computer, and a joyous heart inspired with possibility. I woke up at 3 am the next morning, gave the book a once over on my new machine and hit send, feeling like an “artist.”

 Great Customer Service Feels Like

  • Respect
  • Deep Caring
  • Human connection
  • Commitment to resolution
  • Being “In It” together
  • Leaving the customer feeling like their best possible self

Whether your customers are external or those you are leading, connection matters.

Best Leadership Books for Frontline Leaders

I’m always being asked for recommendations on the best leadership books for frontline leaders. I share my favorites with you throughout my posts, so this time I thought I’d ask the Let’s Grow Leaders Community. I cast the best leadership book net in all my online communities, asking “what one book would you recommend for new leaders.” I also asked my own team for their views on most impactful leadership books in their journey. I am happy to share some of their favorites (all titles include links).

“The first thing would be to give them a library card because, if they stop reading, they will stop leading effectively.”

 Top 10 Leadership Books for Frontline Leaders*

  1. The Leadership Challenge (Kouzes and Pozner)
  2. Leadership and Self-Deception (Arbinger Institute)
  3. Who Moved My Cheese (Spencer Johnson)
  4. The Speed of Trust (and other books by Stephen Covey)
  5. How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)
  6. Bud to Boss (Kevin Eikenberry)
  7. The First 90 Days (Michael Watkins)
  8. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done (Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan)
  9. The 21 Indespensable Qualites of a Leader (and other books by John Maxwell)
  10. Emotional Intelligence (Daniel Goleman)

Bonus: The Holy Bible (God et al)

As nominated by various LinkedIn Groups, Google Plus Groups, Twitter, and Let’s Grow Leaders Facebook Page

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