A New Tool to Improve Customer Service

A while ago I heard an interview with Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at MIT. During the interview, Dan talked about an experiment which caught my attention:

“…they created tests that made it easy to cheat, then looked at what happened if they reminded people right before the test of a moral rule. (It turned out that being reminded of any moral code — the Ten Commandments, the non-existent “M.I.T. honor system” — caused cheating to plummet.)”

They were able to prevent cheating by reminding people of a specific moral code.

In other words, proximate awareness caused people to behave in a certain way. And their behavior was guided by the standards they are made aware of. Or, put another way, being reminded of a behavioral standard caused people to honor that standard.

This got me thinking about how this might be applied to helping companies improve customer service.

One of the biggest challenges we face in improving customer service is that it’s hard to change habits. For the most part, people know how to deliver good service, at least on a basic level. Because we’re human, we know what it means to treat others right. And, because we’re customers, we know what most people want, as customers.

But, even if we know WHAT to do and HOW to do it, we don’t always do it.

Why don’t we do it?  We’re under stress. We get busy. We have a lot of competing priorities. For many reasons, we fail to put the customer first. We choose to NOT do many of the things we know we should do if we want to give our customer the experience they want.

For decades, management has tried carrot and stick approaches to getting employees to do what they should (in customer service and every other aspect of business). I’ve never been a big fan of either the carrot or the stick. I believe Professor Ariely has found a better way. Having proximate awareness of behavioral standards seems to be effective in encouraging people to meet those standards.

What if we applied this to customer service?

If a person had a regular reminder of good customer service practices or standards, would they be more likely to use those practices or honor those standards?

I believe the answer is yes. I believe if we have a daily reminder of best practices and desirable standards for serving our customers, then we’ll be more likely to remember, use and honor them throughout the work day.

So, I have developed a new tool to do this. It’s called the Daily Dose of Customer Service.

It delivers a short reminder every day of how to provide Amazing Service to your customers. It might be a tip or a quote or a rule. But each day it’s quick, typically less than 30 words.

Once you subscribe, you receive the email reminder every day. So, it’s easy. All you have to do it subscribe and then read your Daily Dose of Amazing Service every day. Then observe your behavior and your level of service. Do you see improvements? Are you using these concepts more? Are you more aware of the importance of providing good customer service?

Like Professor Ariely’s test, this is an experiment. If you choose to subscribe, I’d encourage you to let me know how it works for you. And, tell your customers, co-workers and employees about it. The more people who use it, the better we will be able to determine how effective it is in helping people improve their customer service. I want your feedback.

To learn more about this free service, click here.