The Innovative Customer Mentor

Thompson Rivers University“Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity,” wrote Paul in his letter to the church at Colossae, a city near what is now Eskihisar, Turkey. “Your speech should always be gracious and sprinkled with insight so that you may know how to respond to every person.” The wisdom from Colossians 4: 5-6 (Common English Version) provides great council to a service provider wishing to be a customer mentor.

“Act wisely toward outsiders…” was Paul’s version of Empathy. Learning is a door opened only from the inside. Customers must invite in your wisdom. Show customers a welcoming spirit with a sense of kinship and humility; not arrogance and snobbery. Customers enjoy being in the presence of a smart person, not a smart-aleck. Don’t wrap your delivery in technical jargon––especially the type which reminds everyone in earshot that you are the authority. Customers will start to believe all your self-esteem is wired to your knowledge.

“Make the most of the opportunity…” is code for being Proactive. Find customers, don’t make them find you. Go out of your way to share what you know. Staff costs can be the most expensive item in the company. It can sometimes mean too many customers for the number of people to serve them. It also means being more assertive in finding customers to serve. Never let customers have to search for assistance. And, let your “how may I help you” sound like you mean it.

“Your speech should always be gracious…” means displaying the outlook of a Host. Be the attitude you want your customers to show you. We all enjoy serving happy customers. You can help them act pleasant by showing them how. Aim your best smile and warmest attitude toward your customer. Then, deliver a warm greeting that says: “I can’t wait to give you a really great customer experience.” Optimism and joy are contagious.

“…and sprinkled with insight so that you may know how to respond to every person” suggests a conversation with Exploration. Great customer mentors invite customers to join them in a treasure hunt in search of a new application, novel technique or clever fix. When you are open to new possibilities, you lay the groundwork for serendipity and discovery to happen. And, when customers partner with you on that special learning pursuit they return wiser and more devoted.


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Dr. Chip R. Bell is a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and innovative service. Global Gurus ranked him in 2018 the #2 keynote speaker in the world on customer service; #1 in North America. He also is the author of numerous national and international best-selling books including Take Their Breath Away, Managing Knock Your Socks off Service, Magnetic Service, The 9½ Principles of Innovative Service and Customers as Partners. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

His newest customer service book is the award-winning, best-selling book Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.

Dr. Bell has appeared live on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, CNN, Fox Business, ABC, CBS, NPR Marketplace and his work has been featured in Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.


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