Rx for Cranky Customers

SouthwestJackie Huba, our friend over at Church of the Customer Blog, had a great experience with Southwest Airlines that illustrates how CSRs can use a little creativity and fun as a prescription for turning cranky customers into raving fans. It’s another example of what Southwest is doing right, using quality service experiences to differentiate themselves from the rest of the airline pack (be sure to look at the net promoter chart at the bottom of her post).

Are you encouraging and promoting your CSRs creativity?

  • Awareness. You need to consciously look for those CSRs who have a natural ability to turn on the fun and charm. Catch them doing it right, document their behavior, learn from them, and use them to teach others on the team.
  • Example. Make sure that you are a leading the way in your own management style. Are you willing to get a little fun and crazy with your team when things are stressful and your team is getting a little tired and cranky? Your CSRs will follow your example, not your lectures.
  • Reward. When people are recognized and rewarded for their positive behavior, they are motivated to continue and others are given the incentive to change their own behaviors so as to earn the same recognition and rewards.

Flickr photo courtesy of planephotoman

  3 comments for “Rx for Cranky Customers

  1. October 5, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    I enjoyed peeking in at Jackie’s site and saw this young man’s creative approach with the balloons! Wow. What kind of reward would you give this young man, Tom, if you were in charge?

  2. October 6, 2006 at 12:18 am

    Having fun and being creative at work…hmmm..that’s the way it should be! Of all people, managers should be leading the pack on this one. Too many managers are so serious from all the stress of worrying about “making the sales” and not enough time is spent enjoying the work that they do.

  3. October 6, 2006 at 10:20 am

    What a good question, Robyn. I’d find a fun way to reward the employee – perhaps an award with a traveling trophy that other employees would covet winning.
    Maria, you’re right! It’s time to get the starch out of management’s collective collar and show the front-line associates the way it should be done.

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