Rule #1 – “The customer is always right”.

Rule # 2: “If the customer is wrong see rule #1”.

This is the ethos of customer service drilled into all of us who have served, waited, answered, assisted or in any way interacted with a customer. And for good reason – looking after a customer is the first rule of business.

Let’s jump to another rule of business. “Our people are our most valuable asset”.

Ipso facto, we have an interest in protecting and developing that asset. Just from a simple business construct we have in this a potential dichotomy. How do we give outstanding customer service if our customer service asset is compromised?

We all know that people have a bad day and at times this is taken out on customer service and front line professionals. There is really no escaping this as YOU, the representative of the company are, at that point in time – THE COMPANY, expected to roll with the punches of the dissatisfied customer.

Our trainers have worked with a range of companies and we have seen over those years a very real “culture of apathy and disconnection” amongst front line staff. A typical response to negative comments or attacks is often to withdraw – or at worse to develop defensiveness, where every customer is a potential enemy of the state! Negativity breeds negativity – and defensiveness creates conflict.

In our experience there is a training approach that serves these two distinct, but potentially conflicting interests. The raw material of customer service is the professional responsible for that service. Assuming that we address our product and service range, methods, logistics and our business infrastructure, then what is left is the person behind the counter.

Confidence in self provides a base of resilience. A shock absorber to the road bumps of dealing with the public. This confidence is not an intellectual idea, but instead an embodied skill - a process of claiming self and authenticity, and the ability to find ones footing even in difficult interactions.

Two rules of business of which in their approach need not be mutually exclusive.

Darlo Drama has run their signature Beginners Acting Course in Sydney since 1992. Our trainers have developed training programs for businesses and organisations in the public and private sectors.

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