The customer was just leaving the service counter and said to the young man who had helped her, “You are a real professional. Thank you.” The young man blushed. To be called “a real professional” is a very powerful compliment that speaks to customer service leadership. It’s not easy to achieve. Real professionals perform well in five key areas:
1. Knowledge: Real professionals understand what other people want and need, what their own products and services can provide, where and how to get assistance, what’s changing in their own company and in the world of those they serve. This knowledge enables them to provide customer service leadership. How good is your product, process, service and industry knowledge? Want to improve? Read more, listen better, discuss with others, get mentoring, get coaching, get going to demonstrate customer service leadership.
2. Skills: Real professionals are proficient and skillful. They know how to do the right thing at the right time and in the right way to demonstrate customer service leadership. How good are your hard skills (technical competence) and soft skills (getting things done with people)? Need to improve? Study and practice new techniques, watch the masters in action, get more training, get more qualified. Be really good, then get better.
3. Attitude: Real professionals are more than technically bright. Their enthusiasm is motivating and infectious and demonstrates customer service leadership. Customers feel assured by their confidence. Colleagues are touched by their compassion. How powerful is your attitude? Need to improve? Get clear about what turns you on and why you care to serve. Align your values with your company’s goals, your customers’ needs and your colleagues’ shared commitment. And watch your mindset like a hawk. No whining when you should be shining if customer service leadership matters to you.
4. Effort: Real professionals have a strong will and ambition to succeed. They may be humble, but they are not shy about striving for spectacular performance and customer service leadership. These winners go the extra mile and help others along the way. They push themselves and drive their teams to greater achievement. And customers reinforce their effort with well-earned praise. How strong is your effort? Want to increase it? Then set big, bold goals and high, stretching targets. Do something every day to move on, move up, move forward.
5. Relationships: The greatest professionals help other people move into the future. They make suggestions to solve your immediate problem and then give guidance to take you further. They anticipate your questions and prepare answers in advance. They think about your success and give advice that’s packed with value and clearly shows customer service leadership. Want to strengthen your relationships with others? Learn to listen more closely for real concerns. Make offers without being asked. Network with others in your company, your industry, your town. Lend a hand whenever you can and be willing to receive one.
Key Learning Points
Real professionals are well-rounded in their ability, approach and actions. They are always improving, uplifting themselves and motivating those around them by demonstrating customer service leadership.
Study the above five areas closely. Choose one that needs your attention. Now commit to take a strong step forward. What will you do? Who will you call? Where can you get help? Get started. Make it happen. Then give yourself the credit you deserve. You are “a real professional.”