There is an ongoing poll on The New Times website titled “What do you think is the solution to Rwanda’s poor Customer Service?” As I went through the results this morning, 30 percent of voters said the solution is training while 62 percent of readers advocated for an attitude and mindset change.
I agree with both groups of voters as customer care is all about attitudes and skills. Training and attitude change go hand in hand for service improvement.
In today’s global economy, managers and employees need to develop both their skills and behaviors to become more effective in serving their customers.
An attitude of serving people is very often the heart of good customer service whereas training emphasizes on the development of the skills to do so.
The issue about mindset and attitude is a frequent one that is often raised by many readers. We all recognize that it is the source of the problems affecting our businesses today and certainly also our bottom line.
It is high time we all look for ways of adopting positive mindset as we are collectively responsible for the improvement of customer service in Rwanda.
The last time I entered a post office in town; the lady was filling her nails and was in a hurry to finish with me so that she could continue polishing her nails.
Another time I went to this filling station, I had such a good service that for the past two months, I will always drive there to have my petrol though I have a nearby filling station next to my house.
The difference between good customer service and bad customer service is often just a simple single word: Attitude! As Winston Churchill says, “attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Positive attitude can be described as an open and helpful state of mind or feeling towards a customer.
It is how we perceive and receive the customer. A good mindset in most cases helps the service providers to create a bond with customers.
Some of the causes of negative attitudes can be traced in areas of general low motivation of service providers. Many staffs still don’t make a link between the customer and their salary.
The fact is that they never think like an owner or a manager. Most of them are just there waiting for their salary without figuring out how the money comes in at the end of the month.
The attitude change will come if service providers understand the benefits of good service to themselves. Customer care has lots of advantages for the service people as well. The attitude change begins in our minds.
If we continue to allow negative thoughts about the customer, the boss, the colleague, the salary or even the weather to dictate to us, we will stay imprisoned to poor mindset and attitude.
A service provider with a positive attitude will always attempt to help, even if sometimes he doesn’t have all the answers.
If he can’t help, he will find someone else to intervene. On the other hand, a staff with a negative attitude will see a request for help as a bother or something that interrupts his/her work.
The good thing about mindset is that we are not born with it. We often chose it. Attitude is always under our control. It affects every encounter we have with people.
It is what makes customers wanting to shop with us or not. Our Attitudes can either be our greatest or worst asset. If we decide today to improve on it, we can see the change in our relationships with our customers and in our income.
“Attitudes are nothing more than habits of thoughts, and habits can be acquired. An action repeated becomes an attitude.” Paul Myer quotes.
Let’s all commit ourselves today to adopt positive attitudes for the benefit of our businesses and of our nation.
The author is an expert on Customer Service, currently working in Rwanda.