Customer Service Authority, Do You Have It?

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customer service authority

Customer Service Authority, Do You Have It?

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Nearly every business will tell you that they are in business because of the customer. Whether business-to-business or business-to-consumer, people often believe it is true. However, customer service authority may be missing. Have you found this to be true?

Most organizations are built on the premise of growth. They seek the wealth and riches of a thriving customer base and strong reputation. They are building their brand.

Many mission statements include a mention of the customer. The question is, “What happens when the relationship is tested?”

Service Focus

I’ve heard so many stories of customer service strategy. Including stories of a hands-off strategy that insists the more attention you pay to a customer in crisis, the more they’ll ask for, so don’t pay so much attention. Indeed, that is seeing things through a different lens.

What really happens when your brand is tested? Do your CSR’s (customer service representatives) have the authority to manage the crisis?

Customer service is often referred to, or culturally thought of as a department or work group within the organization. In a literal sense, it may be truth, in a cultural sense, it shouldn’t be true.

Things are often great if the system is never tested. People can rave about the quality, craftsmanship, or attention to detail. They can insist that the service is, the best!

What happens when it is tested?

Customer Service Authority

Everything may be fine until tested. Everyone may agree that the organization cares, has their back, and stands behind their product or service. Until they don’t.

The service your organization provides is about cultural attributes, not a department. Your CSR’s represent all that the organization is, and does. Pretending doesn’t work, talk is cheap, and promises are sometimes broken.

The organization that grants high authority to the people who directly serve the customer, especially the customer in crisis, will have better service. If they don’t have the authority, perhaps the culture is missing its mark.


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 or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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