Bringing Customer Service Back

Posted on August 20, 2012.

I just came back from a trip to Barcelona.  What an amazingly beautiful city.  But what struck me the most was that everyone in Barcelona takes customer service seriously.  They have a passion for it and it seems effortless.  Maybe it’s just a way of life there, but seriously, why can’t everyone be like that?

No matter what industry you’re in or what you’re job is, you have customers.  And unless I’m mistaken, that’s how you get paid. So why is customer service rarely part of anyone’s goals? Why is customer service rarely part of a company’s culture or mission statement?  Unfortunately, I think most of us have become so use to such bad service that when we go to a place like Barcelona, we’re blown away.

I know what you’re thinking. Spain has some serious economic problems, maybe their high unemployment forces people to be nice for fear of losing their jobs. But get real, they just don’t seem to know any other way to be.  I think we can start creating that same culture, one employee and one team at a time.

We need to start by making customer service part of our culture.  There was a time when it was. That means treating everyone you work with and your customers the way you want to be treated. That means meeting deadlines, following up in a timely manner, responding to emails and voicemails, solving problems and not passing them off to someone else.

If as a manager and leader, you do any of the above, then everyone around you assumes it’s okay.  It’s never okay to ignore a problem, fail to meet a deadline, fail to respond to an email/voicemail or fail to solve problems to the best of your ability.

I’d love to go to a place like Barcelona and think that everyone is just as nice and helpful as they are at home.  Maybe one day.