“If it weren’t for these customers, I could get my job done!” Believe it or not, I have heard that exact phrase on more than one occasion. Some people view the customer as an interruption of their work. In their minds, customers complicate things, cause stress, and get in the way of an, otherwise, enjoyable job. The point that is sorely missing is…THERE IS NO JOB without customers. It may sound ridiculously obvious, but many people completely miss that point. Customers are not an interruption of your work, they are the purpose of it.
In my mind, serving, giving, sharing, helping and teaching are all pointing to the exact same thing. Regardless of the industry, everyone’s job exists to do something for someone else. Period. You are either serving the customer, or you are serving someone who is.
Being exceptional is a deeply personal decision. No one can MAKE you work like you own it. Whenever people do things they don’t like to do, it shows. However, if there is honor for what you do, then you will consistently strive to present your work in the best possible light.
Does this sound familiar? “If the lines weren’t so long…if I didn’t have so many emails…if I didn’t have so many requests, then I could get my job done.” Never complain when you are busy. Rather, be happy and grateful when you are busy. Be appreciative that anyone wants your product or service in the first place. That is what gives your role its significance; it’s reason to exist.
The Last Person
The last person you serve at the end of your shift, should not feel like they are the last person being served at the end of your shift.
If I was coming to your house for Thanksgiving dinner, and arrived late, I’m sure that you would still be hospitable (offer to fix me a plate, etc). Similarly, if I come to your breakfast buffet five minutes before closing, I should not see you hurrying…rushing to break down the buffet. That would make me feel unwelcomed. In fact, the message is, “We’ve got things to do, and you (the customer) are getting in the way”.
Since I know that the customer is not an interruption of my job, but rather the purpose of it, how shall I behave?
I will begin each day with immense gratitude that I have, yet, another opportunity to earn a living.
I will abandon any sense of job entitlement, and always strive to re-earn the right to have this job, everyday.
I will do my job in such a way that guarantees my customers will return whenever the opportunity arises.
I will honor the fact that I am not only an ambassador of my company, but also of my team, and even my specific role.
I will say “thank you” often. Not just at the end of the transaction, but also at the beginning.
I will genuinely ask “Is there anything more I can do for you?” before I conclude a transaction.
I will continuously look for opportunities to learn and improve my craft.
I will work every day to transcend what my job and customers expect of me.
My job is nothing without you.