I’ve recently read a new book by Chip R Bell (one of Americas best and most respected customer service specialists) called Kaleidoscope.
It’s a great little book which highlights the importance of emotions and feelings when building customer loyalty and it’s one which will now always appear on my ‘Recommended Reading List’.
The subject of one chapter is the word Passion and Chip gives it an interesting perspective. That is to break it into its component parts, ‘Pass – I – On’., which he suggests means passing you (the very best of you) on to others. I’ve never heard or read anyone explain it like that before, and it really got me thinking.
When I think of the best service providers I’ve been lucky to meet or work with during my career, what they all excelled at was passing the best of themselves on to others. They didn’t focus on simply doing what was expected or following instructions or procedures, they applied themselves at their very best to doing what they thought was right to deliver an exceptional service experience to both colleagues and customers.
This got me thinking about what it is that makes people behave like this. I quickly decided that it was not something they were formally trained to do; no amount of training, no matter how good it may be, will turn someone that doesn’t care and/or has no empathy for others into someone that does.
I am convinced it results from the informal learning they had experienced during their upbringing. This means that if it exists, good training and the right work environment can bring it out; but if it’s not there it can’t. Psychologists suggest that by the time a person is of employable age, their personality or character is set. So whatever ‘Pass – I – On’ attitudes they do or don’t have is already there when you hire them.
My conclusion from this is that building a team of great ‘Pass – I – On’ people is more about recruitment than training. Which leads to the question of whether your organisation has a recruitment system that is designed to attract and select people with the right character and attitude for delivering exceptional service? And if you haven’t, how will you get one?
Chris Daffy is one of the UK’s best-known customer service fanatics. He is a Companion of the Institute of Customer Service and founder of The Academy of Service Excellence. His experience and expertise has taken him all over the world as a consultant and conference speaker and enabled him to work with organisations as varied as Airbus, Air...