Taking customer service personally–yes, and no.

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One of the keys to giving great customer service–profitable service that builds your company–is to let customers know you take it personally.

– Let customers know that their phone calls, their visits, their sales transactions matter to you, make a difference for you.

– Make it clear that you’re looking forward to repeat visits in the future–that customers will be missed during their absence.

– And, when things go wrong, apologize as if you mean it (and you should, actually, mean it).

Paradoxically, though, one of the key traits for customer-facing employees is optimism–which, in the context of customer service work, often means not taking it personally.

Service and sales can be draining. Setbacks are common, reversals of fortune occur—and if you’re inclined to a pessimistic view of things, you won’t be able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

In high burnout jobs, as psychologist Martin E. P. Seligman famously has demonstrated, the single most important difference between success and failure isn’t intelligence, luck, or experience. It’s whether employees have an ‘‘optimistic explanatory style’’ or a pessimistic one.

That’s because a pessimistic attitude (‘‘That customer doesn’t really want to hear from me’’) tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy (‘‘I can’t call on that customer out of the blue now—we haven’t spoken in months, and she’s probably taken her business to another company.’’)

This means, in an absolutely critical way, that you can’t take things personally.  Or you’ll end up hiding under the counter in the fetal position.

From Micah Solomon author, keynote speaker, consultant on customer service excellence, sales, branding, and transforming company cultures in our socially connected world.
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Micah Solomon, customer service strategist and keynote speaker

See Micah in action — including video and free resources — at https://micahsolomon.com. Or, click here for your own free chapter  of Micah Solomon’s customer service bestseller,” Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization.”


1 thought on “Taking customer service personally–yes, and no.”

  1. Hi Micah,

    I totally agree on the part where you say that people are afraid to contact their old customers out of the blue. I remember that I was like that before, but then the customers that I thought didn’t want to hear from me contact me (instead of me contacting them). And then I started sending emails to my old customers, what’s interesting is that many of my customers don’t reply back immediately, but almost of them reply eventually…

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