Customer Service Follow Through and Bowling

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follow through

Customer Service Follow Through and Bowling

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It may seem that we are a society of quick hits and then run. Nearly anything in business, in marketing, or running your errands is about speed. A quick hit, then you’re gone. Is customer service follow through still important?

Impressed with Service

In many of my seminars related directly to customer service I will ask participants to think about a time when they were impressed with the service they received. Not when things went wrong, not the time they were so angry that they vowed to never return, but the opposite.

Perhaps surprisingly it is often hard for some people to remember the “wow” moments as compared with the bad moments. Eventually though, people can often come up with something. The best customer service is often a surprise. It jumps out at people and creates a lasting unforgotten impression.

Trends for Speed

Nearly everyday someone tells me about the importance of customer service. Certainly, that is most likely because of the work that I do, but it is also an indication that something is missing. People are feeling forgotten, hung out to dry, or worse, that they do not matter.

Perhaps businesses feel it is about the speed. Once the task is completed, it is on to the next. Time is money and our value comes from speed.

Bowling Party

I remember when I went bowling as a kid. One of my friends Dad’s was teaching me how to bowl. He said, “You have to shake hands with pins as you let go of the ball.” At first, it seemed silly, but it became a metaphorical example that I would continue to think about forty years later.

In bowling, we have to continue through with our throw. We don’t just stop our swing when we let it go. When we are first learning it seems appropriate to just chuck it, and hope to avoid the gutter, after all anything after the let go seems like a waste. It is the quick hit and we’re done.

Follow Through

Following through is important though. Certainly, we won’t guide or steer the ball once we have let go, but it is the motion of our throw that guides the path after the let go. If we plan to stop the swing of our arm at the moment we let go we’ll have a much less effective throw.

The same is true for every sales transaction, every customer interaction or touch point. If you let go at the moment the job appears to be done, if there isn’t any follow through, if you are focused solely on the task and then stop, it is not as effective.

When you let go, make sure you continue with the follow through. It will improve your score.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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