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how to describe your companyI’m very excited to share this concept with you, especially as we approach National Customer Service Week. If you’ve been following me for longer than a year, then you know that Customer Service Week is the first full week of October, and this year it’s October 3-7. So, as we approach this year’s customer-focused holiday, I want you to consider working through an exercise that will help you create a better customer service experience. By the way, in addition to this, I’ll have five short videos that are released on my YouTube channel on each of the five days. The easiest way to get to it is at Just scroll down to the heading that reads Customer Service Week. Now, back to the exercise. I want you to pull out a piece of paper and write down three words you would want your customers to say about you after they have done business with you. Let me share some examples to start your creative process. You might want people to think of you as easy, friendly and knowledgeable. Easy in that you are easy to do business with, with no friction or hassle. Friendly in that your people are genuinely friendly and care about their customers. Knowledgeable in that your people are smart and knowledgeable, and have an expertise that creates confidence for your customers. Other words to describe your company might be quick, as in quick to respond, empathetic, caring, fun, edgy, high-end, conservative – You get the idea. The list can go on and on. There are many, many words you can use to describe a business or someone in a business. You might ask some of your happier customers to come up with three words. See if they match yours. Or, if you’re really good, they may come up with even better words than the ones you thought of. Once you have your words, the question becomes simple. After interacting with a customer, and that also includes your internal customer, also known as someone you work with, would they agree that these three words describe you? If so, you’ve delivered. If not, you now have an opportunity to improve. Sounds like a simple exercise, and for some, it will be. Yet, for others, it will prove difficult. Coming up with the three adjectives is the easiest part. Your customers agreeing with you is the big challenge. If you ask them what three words they would use to describe you, they may not come up with the same three you did – although in a perfect world, they would. As an alternative, you may want to ask if they agree with your three words. Then, and this is important, ask why. Don’t let the simplicity of this exercise fool you into thinking it is trivial or anything less than powerful. If the three words are truly representative of the experience you create for your customers, you must relentlessly promote these three words internally. This is part of your definition of great service. You must train people to deliver on these three words. It must be sewn into the fabric of your culture.

Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at Connect with Shep on LinkedIn. (Copyright © MMXVI, Shep Hyken)

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