Corny Customer Service Lessons From The Holiday

theholidayWe were recently discussing our favorite holiday movies and one movie is quickly becoming a classic.  It has a long way to go before it rivals the likes of A Christmas Story or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  Still, The Holiday features terrific performances from a star studded cast and just happens to be loaded with great customer service quotes.

Here are a handful of quotes in our special holiday customer service movie review.

Graham: Well you probably won’t be hearing from me, because even if you wanted to and you clearly don’t, I have the classic male problem of no follow through.  Absolutely never remember to call after a date.  But since this wasn’t a date, I guess I’m off the hook.

JEREMY: No follow through!  This sure can be tricky in a call center environment where you are taking call after call.  It’s so important to make time for the follow through and management needs to support this and staff accordingly.  I am reminded of  the importance of leading by example.  If you need some motivation, subscribe to our friend Doug Sandler’s Nice Guy program and you will have no choice but to improve your follow through.

JENNY: At least he’s being honest about not following through. Imagine how much easier it would be if, the companies you contact and don’t respond, just flat out had a disclaimer on their website that said, “You can contact us but we won’t get back to you.”

Arthur Abbott: This was some meet cute.  It’s how two characters meet in a movie.  Say a man and a woman both need something to sleep in and both go to the same men’s pajama department. The man says to the salesman, “I just need bottoms,” and the woman says, “I just need a top.” They look at each other and that’s the ‘meet cute.’

JEREMY: Arthur Abbott is so great.  The meet cute is so old fashioned but what if every encounter with a new customer was a meet cute?  “Hi Customer! You need phone service? I have exactly what you need at!”  That is some meet cute indeed.

JENNY: The “meet cute” is a sweet way to balance out the needs of the customer. Listen to what the customer needs–whether it be just PJ pants or phone service and give them just that! Besides, a “meet cute” is always something memorable, which is what you want for your customers.

Graham: I’m a full-time dad. I’m a working parent. I’m a mother and a father. I’m a guy who reads parenting books and cookbooks before I go to sleep. I spend my weekends buying tutus. I’m learning to sew. I’m Mr. Napkin Head!

JEREMY: Wow! This one applies to my life on so many levels.  Raise your hand if you are spread thin?  Yes that was my hand that went up.  Life isn’t getting any easier but I’m focused on not letting that be an excuse.  Somehow, I’m going to be an awesome dad, husband and customer service leader.

JENNY: Being fully aware of all the various roles you play in life is pretty important. It may not be easy to play those roles but taking ownership of the responsibilities you do have can sure help you focus your priorities.

Graham: Long distance relationships can work, you know.

Amanda: Really? I can’t make one work when I live in the same house with someone.

JEREMY: I have been loving video chatting with my colleagues who work remotely.  It’s so much better than phone, email and IM.  Try it and let me know what you think!

JENNY: It’s all about communication and connection–how can we always do this better? Sometimes I find that I have more miscommunication with someone two office doors away than I do with someone in the office 3,000 miles away.

Ethan: Look at me. I’m down here sweating like a pig. And look at you. You’re the only woman on the face of the earth that breaks up with her boyfriend and doesn’t even shed a tear. I mean, that’s gotta mean something, right?

Amanda: Why does it bug you so much that I can’t cry?

JEREMY: Is it easy for you to say goodbye to customers?  Are they constantly wrong and you’re constantly right?  It’s ok to think that but sooner or later you will not have customers.  In customer service we walk this tight rope where we want to uphold policies but we desperately need customers to do business with.  Losing customers should ALWAYS sting.  When in a battle between customer and policy, choose the customer!

JENNY: We should be sad when customers leave–but we need to understand why they left, just like Amanda needs to understand why she can’t shed a tear. If we can understand why they left, we can use that to improve the service for the future and lose less customers down the road for the same reason.

Iris: [to Jasper] I don’t know, but I think what I’ve got is something slightly resembling… GUMPTION!

JEREMY: I like this word.  I often think that customer service is synonymous with “nice.”  I may have a project I need completed but I might defer to someone else in the organization that speaks up louder.  I’m reminded of the importance of having gumption to fight for what we need in the customer service department–especially if it’s affecting a group of our customers!

JENNY: If you have gumption, you have guts. It takes guts to give some challenging customer issues the attention they need. In some cases, it requires more time and investigation to really get to the root cause, doing your absolute best for the situation is all that matters.

Iris: I like corny. I’m looking for corny in my life.

JEREMY: Jenny, I think you and Iris would get along really, really well.  In all seriousness, I think most customers appreciate a little corny as long as it is tasteful.  There’s definitely room to loosen up a bit!

JENNY: I am very big on the corny. I must have corny in my life, I can tell you that much. A casual conversation with a customer is often welcomed by those who are so used to hearing super techy business jargon. I made a comment to a customer today about being a “magician” for fixing a document that she was trying to send to us. She replied with, “All those years in sorcerer school must have paid off!”



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