Monday Motivation: Forget About Nice. Be Awesome!

be-nice-to-someone-you-dont-likeIn the Watkin family, we have a long-standing tradition of not putting bumper stickers on our cars.  This was handed down from my minister father who would never put a Jesus fish on his car for fear that extra judgement would be heaped on him given the way he drives.

I tend to agree with my dad’s philosophy.  I’ll give you another example.  Here in San Diego, it’s a proven fact that people with a license plate that reads “Member KPBS” drive at least five miles per hour below the speed limit.  Needless to say, I often find myself observing bumper stickers and license plate frames to see if I can learn anything about the driver.

On a recent drive, I came across a bumper sticker that really got me thinking.  It said “Be Nice.”  As I sat with that simple phrase, I found myself less than inspired.  When I look at the word nice in the context of customer service, it just doesn’t do a whole lot for me.  One definition for nice is “pleasing, agreeable, delightful.”  Ok, those characteristics aren’t such a bad thing.

While it is important that we are nice in customer service, I believe that if all we are is nice, we will fall short of our real goal, which is to be awesome.  One of my favorite words in my customer service dictionary is the word “Empower.”  By empowering our customers, we are seeking to connect with them, understand their needs, train them, and find the very best option to address their problem.

It is entirely possible to be nice and only answer the questions a customers asks, without properly anticipating and addressing what the customer really needs.  Being awesome on the other hand contains both nice and empower as we aim to deliver consistently above average service to our customers.

In the world of customer service, simply being nice doesn’t cut it.  Choose to be awesome instead.

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Jeremy Watkin is a Product Marketing Manager at 8x8. He has more than 19 years of experience as a customer service professional leading high performing teams in the contact center. Jeremy has been recognized numerous times as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, and more. When not working you can typically find him spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis. Be sure to connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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