Episode 8: Selling with a Service Mindset: What is Customer Service?

Michelle:

Thank you for joining Episode 8 of our Season 2 of the Reboot Program. Customer Service is a universal concept we all accept to be important but only a few get it right. In this episode, Gabe Baradi talks about Selling with a Service Mindset.

Gabe:

Last episode, we talked about the principles that will help us connect with customers again and we talked about Selling Trust as part of what customers buy along with the product or service you provided. By now, you must be hearing everywhere how all establishments that have opened or are preparing to open are focused on communicating how to keep customers safe. Yes, it is important to communicate what customers can and should expect when they go to your store. The safety measures are now part of your brand promise. Aside from what customers love about your brand, they must first feel safe before they can go back to see you again. While online shopping will definitely increase, there will always be customers who will want the experience of going inside the store, seeing and touching the products themselves before making the purchase. For those customers coming back to see us, how can we best serve them? 

Let’s take a step back and first understand what Customer Service is. In Episode 7, Michelle asked you how would you define Customer Service based on your work. If you answered responding to customer complaints, answering inquiries, or checking if they were satisfied, all your answers are correct but they only make up a portion of what Customer Service really is. 

Let me explain further. In a retail outlet, you have the store with the display of products, you have the actual items sold and then there’s you. In a restaurant, you have the restaurant and the furniture, the food served and then there’s you. If you work in a bank, you have the bank branch with its chairs and counters, the service you provide and then there’s you. We have three basic components in what we call the Customer Experience – the PLACE, the PRODUCT and the FRONTLINER. From the time a customer enters up until he leaves, all those experiences are called Customer Touchpoints and all those touchpoints form one whole Customer Experience Journey. 

Let’s review that again. Every customer will have his or her own Customer Experience Journey, and within this journey are a series of experiences called Touchpoints. If you work at a food kiosk selling products over the counter, you will have less touchpoints compared to a restaurant. The more complex the Customer Experience is, the more touchpoints there are. 

So what is Customer Service then? Customer Service is everything that comes from the FRONTLINER within that journey. Let me share with you a formula, no matter how nice your store is or how good your products are, if the customers feel the SERVICE was lacking, that customer will not come back anymore and definitely that customer will not recommend you. 

If Customer Service is “everything” that comes from you, the frontliner, how can we apply it at work? I mentioned earlier that responding to complaints is only a part of it. Yes, and that is called Customer Recovery which we will talk about in detail in Episode 10. As long as we do not understand what our customers need from us as frontliners, we will always create a gap between us and them and that is not good Customer Service. 

Our company, SatisFIND, has been helping businesses from different industries improve their Customer Service in the past 15 years. Our Founder, Michelle, has found the simplest answer after working with many frontliners like you. Customer Service is SELLING. It’s a simple concept and yet not many get it right. 

 

How many of your colleagues do you know are frontliners but are afraid to “sell” and they will even admit that they do not like to “sell”. This is a fixed mindset that stops people from doing their best in the job they have. If a store or a restaurant hired you as a frontliner, you are there to SELL. You are not there to fix the tables and chairs, you are there to help customers enjoy and order the delicious food you’re selling. In a store, you are not there to fold the clothes, you are there to sell those clothes. All other tasks are secondary to selling to the customer.

When you showed up for the job interview, you were there with the mindset to sell your best qualities why the company should hire you over the other applicants. The problem isn’t the idea of SELLING but our perception towards it. That perception comes from a fixed mindset that reflects fear and self-doubt. If you showed up for that job interview and got the job, your employer saw something in you, they saw you as the best person to represent them and the brand they are selling. 

They saw your best qualities because you allowed them to see it. If we care about our work and would like to help our employer recover the business faster, it’s time we learn to see our best qualities too and let our customers experience the best service we can give. See you in our next episode. 

 

Michelle: 

We would like to end this episode with a few questions to help you practice what Gabe shared with us: 

  1. What do you believe is your job as a frontliner? 
  2. What are your feelings about SELLING? Do you love it, do you dislike it? Do you feel forced to do it? Whatever your answer is, what is more important is to understand why we feel that way. Having the self-awareness will help you break the barriers of your perceptions about selling.
  3. Now that we learned that as a frontliner, you are part of the Customer Experience, what kind of experience would you like your customers to have with you? Answering all these questions are key to unlocking the right attitude for Customer Service, which is really all about effectively selling. 

 

If you have questions about this episode, please visit the Reboot website and send me a message. Thank you for joining.