Leaders: Match Your Words and Actions

One of best ways to teach customer service (or any behavior) is with role modeling. When you, as a leader, show the values and behaviors that lead to good service, your employees will see it. And they’ll follow your lead.

And the opposite is true.This funny example of a customer and her son tells the story well.

Customer’s son: “I want a sandwich!”

Customer: “When we want something, we ask politely, remember?”

Customer’s son: “But I want chips!”

Customer: “No, dear, you ask, ‘May I please have some chips?’”

Me: “What will you be ordering today, ma’am?”

Customer: “I want a kid’s meal!”

(Thanks to NotAlwaysRight.com for this.)

I’ve seen business owners do this. They’ll claim they make service a priority. They say they treat everyone well. They expect their employees to treat everyone with courtesy, respect and warmth. But when you watch them they contradict all those lofty claims.

A store owner in town was a prime example of this. He was nice to you if he thought you were going to buy something. But if you came in for a refund or a question or if were (gasp) a vendor, then you got to see his Jekyll and Hyde routine. Mr. Smiling Nice Guy turns into his evil twin.

How will this affect his employee’s behavior?

My guess is they’ll act just like the boss does. Because he signs their checks so his values are the vales that count. Do what I say not what I do is not an effective way to teach good customer service.

Next week, pay attention to the values to speak and the values you act. Do they match? If not, make changes until they do.

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz