I really like the metaphorical use of the word anchor. Actually, if you consult a dictionary my use may not be metaphorical. We often anchor mentally, emotionally, to data or other types of input. Our thoughts directly connect to our decisions, which connect to our actions. Do you use customer service anchors?
Have you thought about things that you anchor to personally or professionally? What anchors does your department, your team, or the organization use?
Anchors and Decisions
Anchors have a lot to do with our decisions. We may consider what we have to gain or what we risk losing. Often these decisions are connected to time or money.
When we speed on the freeway, we’re taking a risk. The risk often isn’t measured by considering safety it is measured by the consequences of time and money. We may speed because we believe we can arrive sooner, and we make the choice about the risk of receiving a ticket. The citation costs us money.
The customer service that organizations deliver is rooted deep within the internal operation. It may exist in engineering, research and development, or in the manufacturing process. In service only organizations, it exists in the timeliness, attention to detail, follow through, and client outcomes.
Organizations are often not doing well with walking the talk. They may actually believe that they have a culture of customer service, until their continued struggle for growth, or even to sustain, makes it obvious. The customer experience is never what you say it is, or even what you design it to be. Ultimately, the customer decides.
Customer Service Anchors
When you have processes and procedures that are driven by people who will make decisions and choices based on their thoughts and assessment of risk, you have to consider their anchors. What customer service anchors are affecting your operation?
Here are few possibilities to consider:
- Mistakes. A mistake is made. Is it a big mistake or a little mistake? Does it, or will it affect the customer? Will the customer notice?
- Quality. The produced product is close; redoing it will cost time and money. It’s not perfect, will we ship it anyway?
- Questions. A customer may ask if it will solve their problem. The true answer is unknown. The sale is important. What will you tell the customer?
While some of these are rooted in ethics and integrity, they are all likely a product of the organizational culture. Employees often learn to anchor to the data they encounter from the environment in which they work. This is rooted inside the organization and is reflected in the reputation of the brand.
What customer service anchors are happening in your organization?
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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.