Customer service can be a challenge for everyone. There are times when a leader is needed to step up and provide direction for teams providing service to Customers. Here are some of the ways the movie Braveheart taught us how to do just that…
Malcolm Wallace: Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it.
Empower your employees
Aside from hiring the right employees, empowering them is vital to their success. This means more than just giving them access to systems, but also trusting them to make the right decisions for your Customers and your business. Give them the ability to have the courage to follow their instincts and training to do great things. Your business will flourish when you clear the path of broken procedures or black and white policies that aren’t always one-size-fits all.
Argyle Wallace: Did the priest give a poetic benediction? “The Lord bless thee and keep thee…?
Young William: It was in Latin.
Argyle Wallace: You don’t speak Latin? Well that’s something we shall have to remedy, isn’t it?
Be able to communicate clearly and easily
Newspeak. Geekspeak. Acrospeak. Your Customer may not speak any of those languages, even if you do with colleagues. Take the time to remind yourself and your team that using internal corporate lingo is not always the best way to communicate with your Customer. Sure, it helps reduce talk time when Customers use the same references we do internally, but they aren’t paid to do that. We are paid to help them understand how to use our products in ways they can understand.
Longshanks: The trouble with Scotland is that it’s full of Scots.
The problem with Customer service is the customer…
If only the Customer would take the time to read the manual that came with the product, we wouldn’t have to answer their calls or try to help them with an issue. Oh. Wait. That’s why we’re here. It’s not the Customer’s fault your product failed them. It’s yours, and it’s your job to fix it.
Argyle Wallace: First, learn to use
[taps William’s forehead]
Argyle Wallace: this. Then I’ll teach you to use
[lifts the sword]
Argyle Wallace: this.
Learn to think on your feet, I’ll teach you how to use the systems.
Encourage curiosity. Challenge the status quo. A good leader wants their team to think about new ways to do business. As a leader, your job is to provide the training and systems for the team to use. It is also your job to encourage thought. The more you can lead your team to think about what they do, the better they will be when using what you have given them.
Robert the Bruce: I respect what you said, but remember that these men have lands and castles. It’s much to risk.
William Wallace: And the common man, who bleeds on the battlefield, does he risk less?
Leaders shouldn’t be above doing what they ask the front line to do.
Too many leaders have forgotten what it was like when they first started. Some never learned. The good ones are not afraid to remind themselves what it is like on the front lines, with the people in your company that work the closest with Customers. Customer service is not always easy. It takes a special person to do it every day. If you’re a manager, take the time to do what you ask your team to do. It will build on the respect they have for you, and remind you about how hard it is.