What Happens Backstage Will Not Remain Backstage in Customer Service

Can I get an aaaaaayeeee–men? Van FRANCE knew what he was talking about.

In any field of customer service, or in any job, what happens “backstage” at work matters. “Backstage” refers to anything that happens behind the scenes from the customers. This can be something that influences the culture in the smallest of ways, such as:

  • The coffee that your office provides upon walking into work every morning.
  • The environment in which you sit at your computer to answer your calls.
  • How your work encourages comfort and happiness.
  • The ability to give and receive feedback to your team.
  • The team that you actually sort of enjoy working with.
  • And, so, so much more…

Doug Lipp,¬†Former Disney Head of Training and author of Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal and Customer-Centric Employees¬†shared a quote (pictured above) by Van France, founder of Disney University, during his Keynote Speech at the ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference in Orlando, Florida this past May. Admiring in awe from the audience, this slide hit home to me.

I want to take this a bit deeper. What France is saying in this quote isn’t about being treated well by your employer – it’s not just about a cushy workplace where you can sleep in nap pods or you’re given the fanciest ergonomic chair – while those things are definitely perks, the simple act of “smiling and saying ‘good morning'” to one another – being genuinely friendly – makes a big impact. You can have all of the perks in the world, but if people that you spend 8+ hours with are not friendly to one another, you’re probably not going to have the best experience. And, if you don’t have the best experience, what happens to your customer?

I’ll let you think about the disgruntled customer service agent, who hates where they work, there is no actual “teamwork” and everyone is out to save themselves, no one cares about one another and quite possibly, your office has the lingering scent of poo in the air…now imagine the kind of customer support they will provide.

Jenny Dempsey is currently the the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. She has worked at tech startups since 2005. She's the co-founder and regular contributor over at CustomerServiceLife.com. She's a certified health coach, but not the kind that forces you to only eat cardboard and deprive yourself of ice cream. JennyDempseyWellness.com, the company she started, was designed to bring a new type of wellness into the workplace, one that gives you permission to look deeper into yourself, rather than just on the healthy snacks in the break room. She is the mother to a toothless rescue cat named Chompers. Avocados and veggie tacos are the way to her heart. She's also a Hanson fan for life.

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