Customer Service – Going the extra mile

Our two year old daughter loves the pastries at the newly opened pastry shop. Their pastries were beyond doubt, the best and the customer service was remarkably good; kind service staff, with that endless, beaming smile and the smell of freshly baked bread as soon as you enter the doorway. I’d walk a mile just to taste their delightfully soft ‘melt in your mouth’ pastries. We visited them often as the shop didn’t provide home delivery for purchase values that were below a certain amount of money and our purchases were never of high value. However, the customer service staff would offer our daughter freebies like their special pastry of the day or would carry her around, with our permission of course, and let her play around. Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell Over time, our visits became less frequent but the pastry guys were not willing to give up. Immaterial of the value of our purchase, we were offered home delivery at no extra charge. When we asked them why, they simply said, “We would love to have your daughter relish our pastries.” In due course of time we started getting discounts on our orders. We were grateful for their discounts and home delivery but we would have still gone back to them with or without the extras. We were impressed with the human touch they gave to their services, their core value of love and care through the customer service that they demonstrated. “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” – Walt Disney Despite their irresistible pastries, their willingness to look beyond the revenue aspect and to provide selfless customer service earns them a special place in our hearts. Isn’t it great when the work culture of an organization is as good as their products and services? Customer Service Training helps you to understand that customer service is about the heart and not the mind. So focusing on customer service techniques does not create the impact as the person providing the service needs to feel it in their heart. Below are some of our recent blogs on Customer Service and Soft Skills Training:

  1. The Art of Giving Knock-Out Sales Presentations
  2. Selling Skills – Achieving Excellence Through Training
  3. The Cost of Clarity in Communication

A Leader’s Greatest Strength – Resilience in the Face of Adversity

Should imbibing virtues be a part of Leadership Training?

One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” – Maya Angelou quotes

Ours was a private school and didn’t have the luxury of a large playground. So, we shared a playground with kids from other schools. They disliked us because they felt we were not supposed to be there.

It was one of those days when all of us were playing cricket and a few meters away were the other kids, also playing a loud form of cricket. There was tension in the air, as our team and theirs were playing side by side.

Suddenly, I hear a deafening silence. Our ball slipped into ‘their territory’ and we were not sure who would go and collect it from them. Finally, John, our class monitor, was left with the dirty job. John approached ‘the other kids’, who paused their game as their leader gestured for them to do so. Humbly, but bravely, he walked up to the leader of their group and said, “I am sorry to be interrupting your game. May I have our ball back please?” The response was as expected, a blunt ‘No’.

As a bonus, John was showered with a few adjectives in the local language. Not losing hope, John, despite our cautioning hisses, chose to insist, “Please don’t be angry. We will be careful henceforth. Please return our ball.”

One tight slap… that’s all we got to hear. John’s glasses were on the ground, covered with sand. Even before John could react, the other kids, along with their leader rushed out of the playground, taking our ball with them. John kneeled down to lift his broken glasses while we were still in absolute shock. Surprisingly, he then went looking for the other guy so he could try talking to him again, but in vain. John looked shaken but there was no fear in his face; soon he regained his calm composure…

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon quotes

It would have been very easy for John to retaliate in kind but he chose not to. He chose to believe in himself, his ability to discuss the issue and not in retaliation or one-upmanship.

While we didn’t have the nerve to stand up for ourselves, John faced our worst fear, and probably his too, without letting any of us down.

It is in adversity that one finds the shepherd emerge from the sheep.

Isn’t it this quality of courage under pressure that we would like our leaders to possess?

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

It is the learning from such experiences that develop the leadership traits that make you an impactful leader. Recall these life changing experiences and reflect on your learning and notice how it contributes to your performance today.

Read some of our blogs on topics that are frequently addressed in soft skills training:

  1. 3 Invaluable Soft Skills For The Workplace
  2. How Business Etiquette Really Matters
  3. TED Talks And The Art Of Public Speaking

Courage – A Must For Leaders

This story is an example of why we emphasize in our leadership training that courage is a non-negotiable for leaders.

This scene is set in Chinnakkalpet on the southeast coast of India on December 26th 2004. Unsuspecting fishermen were returning with their daily catch, their kids playing along the shore while their mothers got to their daily chores. Little did they realize that the sea was going to embrace them all, in one giant leap, in a short while.

At 8.30am the Tsunami struck with a vengeance.

Dinakaran was the oldest of three children; he was 7 years old. His parents felt that he had the greatest chance for survival independently so they gathered up their two younger children and ran to safety. But the wave was too high and too quick for Dinakaran. Before he knew it he was being dragged into the depths of the sea. He tried to grab at the shrubs and the trees as the water pulled him with great force. He was exhausted and he resigned to death when suddenly he felt a bite on his shorts which penetrated into his skin. He thought it was a tree stump but for some reason it stemmed his flow into the sea. When he looked down to his utter amazement he noticed that he was being dragged back to the shore. His guardian angel was his dog, Selvakumar.

Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.” – Sally Koch

Do we have the courage that Selva displayed? Do we handle situations with always the thought, “What is in it for me?” Can we display the selflessness that this animal showed in rescuing his friend?”

Selva teaches us to do what we shy away from doing most of the time – to help without expectations. While we race to compete and excel in our lives, it is important that we pause for a second and lend a helping hand to those in need. We would be living in a better world if only we could criticize less, ridicule less, mock less and help more.

The hands that help are far better than the lips that pray.” – Robert Green Ingersol

Here are some of our recent blogs:

  1. Essentials of any Leadership Training Program
  2. 3 Tips To Improve Creative Thinking
  3. Communication Skills Of A Good Manager