Everyone’s in Customer Service

by Edward Henkler on June 18, 2013

How might your interactions change, if you viewed every interaction as though you were in Customer Service and the other person was your customer?  An earlier post built on the Dave Palmer philosophy that everyone is in Sales & Marketing.  Todd Cohen’s Book, “Everyone’s in Sales” is another reminder of this critical philosophy.

My reference this week is a book by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.  I’m late to the table but just read Trust Agents.

Approach interactions as though you were in Customer Service

Approach interactions as though you were in Customer Service

They suggest adding an element of Customer Service to your interactions, by focusing on the 3 A’s (Acknowledge, Apologize, Act).  The Win-Win phrase represents a marvelous concept but how often do we actually consider the other person’s outcome when we’re negotiating?  Thinking like a representative in Customer Service shifts you to the “customer is always right” perspective and may help you view the interaction more bilaterally.  Winning is fun and may yield a tactical advantage but a strategic partnership is only possible when both parties feel valued and see shared goals.

Chris and Julien also touch on a topic which drives very distinct strategies – small vs. large networks.  Many people I know won’t accept a LinkedIn connection unless they’ve had a cup of coffee or a meaningful conversation with the requestor.  In my mind, that needlessly limits your network.  While I believe that it’s critical to have a strong inner circle of trusted colleagues, I also see limitless possibilities with an extensive, global network.  It would be impossible to have the same level of trust but you can still treat that extended network with respect.  In this case, I believe respect translates to making introductions when possible, answering questions and offering assistance.  You may not respond quite as quickly and clearly should not endorse as heartily but you can still respect the connection and treat them as though they were your customer, i.e. as you would like to be treated.

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