The Power Of Choice

Hopefully this amazing race photo of me gives me some instant cred as a runner.

I think I’ve mentioned it a few but a friend and I are training for a marathon that is now just six weeks away. Last Saturday, we ran 20 miles in preparation for the big day.  When people hear I’m running for 3 hours on a Saturday they inevitably ask if I get bored out of my mind.  Well, around mile 10 we usually run out of things to say and are left with our thoughts.

Toward the end of today’s run I spent some time thinking through my goals for this race. To name a few, I want to run the entire thing, break 3:50, stay out of the hospital (This is a story for another day) and maybe a few other things. In almost any race there comes a time when it becomes work and NOT fun. In a marathon that typically means miles 18 through 26. It’s during those miles in the race that my brain simply tells my legs to keep moving.  I remind myself to ignore the pain and fatigue, keep my legs going and maintain the form I’ve practiced for the last four months until I reach the ultimate goal!  The final .2 in a race is pure heaven and the satisfaction of finishing a race is fantastic.

There are so many areas of life this applies to whether it’s relationships, our jobs and much more.  Applied to customer service each and every interaction with customers will NOT feel magical. Our job is to amaze customers regardless how we feel. If our goal is to provide amazing service, sometimes we have to just move forward and do what we need to just keep moving and if we persevere the feelings and the rewards WILL follow.

I realize this is easier said than done but here are some things for you to try this week:

  • Review your goals in your life. If you don’t have any read about SMART goals
  • Commit to doing the work to achieve your goals even if it IS WORK.  Sometimes you have to make a DECISION to provide excellent customer service.
  • Find a friend to journey with you and hold you accountable.
  • Begin following the work of experts like Shep Hyken (@Hyken), Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar), Flavio Martins (@FlavMartins), Bill Quiseng (@BillQuiseng), Melissa Kovacevic (@MKCallConsult) and Impact Learning (@ImpactLearning) for some serious customer service insight and inspiration.
  • Don’t just apply this to your work. Apply this to relationships, health and hobbies.

I sincerely hope some of this helps you become the best customer service professional you can be.  I wouldn’t offer any of this advice if it wasn’t already working for me.  As I often say, life is a marathon not a sprint.  Continue to set goals and build good habits to achieve those goals and when you reach the finish line and look back on what you have accomplished, you will not be disappointed.

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Jeremy Watkin is the Head of Quality at FCR, the most respected outsource provider. He has more than 15 years of experience as a customer service professional. He is also the co-founder and regular contributor on the Customer Service Life. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

2 comments

  • You said everything up with this statement:

    “I remind myself to ignore the pain and fatigue, keep my legs going and maintain the form I’ve practiced for the last four months until I reach the ultimate goal! The final .2 in a race is pure heaven and the satisfaction of finishing a race is fantastic.”

    It’s not always going to be easy but you take what you learn and keep moving forward because in the end, it’s SO worth it. And, just as you said, it is true in every aspect of our lives. It’s so easy to push things aside because they are difficult, painful or just plain annoying. But, if you push through it, you’ll see all of your hard work pay off.

    Love this post Jeremy!

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