Avoiding The Copycat Customer Service Trap

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copycat customer service

Avoiding The Copycat Customer Service Trap

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When you want to become better, you often look for a role model. Someone may call it training, another person learning, and someone else may refer to it as coaching. Training, learning and coaching are a good idea, but make sure you aren’t falling into the copycat customer service trap.

Consciously or subconsciously sometimes we mimic what we believe is working. When we believe what we are already doing isn’t working, we often seek answers from what we believe someone else is doing to make it work.

Copycat Customer Service

When you aren’t sure which button to push on the new soda machine at the popular fast food restaurant you watch what someone else does. When you encounter a detour in an unfamiliar area while driving your car, you may decide to follow the direction everyone else appears to be going.

Some of these behaviors may lead us to get what we want, but in other cases, it may be the wrong path. Perhaps the person you chose to role model has it all wrong.

When we learn by watching, by reading, or by doing, it doesn’t guarantee that it is the right thing. In customer service, someone may be doing just enough to get buy. Is that the height of the bar you wish to achieve?

What is the height of your bar? Are you following the crowd? Do you do what others who have come before you have done?

Differentiate and Dominate

Winning the race by a tenth of a second is enough, but is that really much different from second place?

When you follow the leader the best you can hope for is second place.

The bar shouldn’t be yours to raise one notch higher than the competition. It should be yours to raise as high as possible.

You probably wouldn’t challenge an Olympic sprinter to a foot race, the bar is too high. However, you may challenge someone who with a good effort you believe you can beat.

Have you considered that being just a little better than the competition leaves a lot of open ground and invites others to join in?

When you want your brand to be known as the best make sure you avoid the copycat customer service trap. You may be able to jump higher than you think; which is completely different from jumping high enough to win.


Originally posted on October 30, 2017, last updated on December 2, 2019.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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