Inspiring Client Service

>> Thursday, August 6, 2009

With our new Director of Client Services, Ned Russell, in place now, I'm feeling inspired. Inspired to take our client service to a new level.

As I sat in my office pondering how to create a new "service program", I happened to notice a small little book sitting on my shelf.

The Simple Truths of Service. Inspired by Johnny the Bagger.

My sister had given this to me when she was in sales and I had never opened it. It took about 10 minutes to read -- it's written by Ken Blanchard ala One Minute Manager fame.

In this book is the story of Johnny the Bagger. Johnny bags groceries at the local grocery story. He has been inspired by his store manager to figure out how he can contribute to good customer service.

He comes up with this idea to put a "thought of the day" into each of his customers' bags. He goes home every night and makes tons and tons of these little clippings -- the front is a typed "thought of the day" and the back has his hand-written signature.

Short story even shorter, Johnny the Bagger becomes the "face of the store" as his lines become the longest. Customers start coming to the store more often just to see Johnny the Bagger and get his "thought of the day" each day. You get the picture -- good customer service leads to increased sales.

The sidebar is that Johnny the Bagger has Down Syndrome which makes the story even more remarkable.

The story reminded me that good client service doesn't just come from the client service staff. Sure, they may be the official "face of the agency", but every single person contributes to good client service. Whether they ever see the client or not.

Each person represents the agency, and absolutely influences perceptions of the agency. Good or bad. When the experiences are good, the agency is in good standing. The more consistent, the better.

So my inspiration for client service is that all of us are in client service, whether our official title says it or not. We all need to do our part. We should each be thinking about how we can contribute to good customer service, just like Johnny the Bagger.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


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