When conducting a training session about customer
service, I always spend a fair amount of time talking
about attitudes. After all, to be of service, you must develop
an attitude of service.
It has recently come to mind that the attitude of service is not
something you put on and take off when at work. It is
something you carry with you throughout each day.
Someone who truly has the attitude of service will always
serve other people, no matter what the circumstances.
Let's take a look at a few of the more obvious ways of
observing an attitude of service.
Have you ever had the occasion to approach a door at the
same time another person is advancing toward it? I am
frequently amazed that when the other person gets there,
they barge through without any thought to me. I don't expect
someone to wait five minutes for me to get there, but
certainly, if we are reaching the door within seconds of one
another, holding the door open would be a courteous
The reaction I get when I'm the first one to the door and I
wait and hold the door open for the other person, is one of
surprise. It is so rarely done, that they are more than
delighted to have this consideration extended to them. I love
the reaction I get. I notice it puts the other person in a better
mood and they almost always smile at the gesture. Many
times, if it is a double door, they will return the favor by
holding the door open for me.
Other opportunities to practice an attitude of service is when
driving on the road and someone is trying to pull out of a
driveway. Stopping the car so the driver can safely navigate
onto the road is almost always responded to with a honk
and a wave. They always accompany it with a big smile.
Little things like always saying please and thank you show
your respect for the other person. If you aren't saying this in
everyday interactions, how will you remember to always do
so with the customer?
When someone asks you a question, do you give them your
When you see someone struggling with their purchases, do
you offer to help?
I was taking care of my two grandchildren earlier this year.
One of them was 3 months old, the other was 17 months
old. When I had to go shopping for necessities, it became a
juggling act to get two babies into the store, into one
carriage, and also place items in and around them.
The generosity of one woman while I was in line waiting to
be checked out, was incredible. She offered to place my
items on the conveyor belt for me. Then she spent a good
deal of time distracting the older of the babies so I could pay
for my purchase. Her kindness and thoughtfulness was so
appreciated by me. I couldn't believe that someone who had
nothing to gain was being so kind to a stranger.
It made me wonder what would happen if, those people
whose job it is to do thoughtful things for customers did the
same thing. Imagine how much more business would be
attracted to that store.
Are you practicing your customer service skills, even when
you aren't waiting on a customer? If not, you might want to
begin. It will make it easier when you are face to face with
Margo Chevers, author of the book STOP the BS (bad
service), has been providing sales and customer service
seminars to a diverse cross-section of industries for the
past 19 years. To receive her free 10 top tips for exceptional
customer service, call (800) 858-0797 or email