Regular readers of this blog know that I access a lot of information sources to stay informed and learn new ideas [Tips for Staying Fresh (or, Don’t Get Left Behind)! — part two – Court Leader]. One source I get via e-mail is Leadership Moments from Lead Star. The latest edition arrived in my inbox recently [We’re All in the Customer Service Business (hs-sites.com)], and it has great advice from Angie Morgan on improving customer service. It is so good that I’m reprinting most of it below.
…Everyone, regardless of who or where you are, is in the customer service business.
It’s easy at times to feel like we’re isolated, as if the work we’re doing is lone-wolf style, so there’s no one to serve. I’ve even worked with teams that felt as if the whole organization is designed to serve them … that’s never the case. When we work, we work together for a common purpose. Everyone plays a part, everyone counts, and everyone is there to serve someone (whether you can see them or not).
As leaders, here are a few ways to keep the customer service mindset front and center in your life:
- Remind yourself that the better service you provide to both your internal and external customers, the better you’re going to feel about the contributions you bring to work.
- Customer service is expressed in the simplest of ways: manners, being considerate of others and their need for information, agendas for meetings, your positive attitude, and the occasional initiative to create a potluck or team building event at work.
- Constantly reflect on who you’re serving and why. As an example, I have a friend who works as a manager at John Deere. He makes it a habit to remind his team, which are primarily factory workers, that while they’re working hard on the manufacturing floor, they’re really building equipment that helps feed the world. With a little bit of imagination and visualization, we all can see how our work connects to someone.
- Don’t expect anything in return. This is the hard part. When you serve, serve without any expectation of reciprocity. Don’t keep a silent list of all that you’ve done for others … this type of scorekeeping can be dangerous in any relationship. Feel grateful, not self-righteous, that you can serve others and let your generosity be enough for you.
Our world desperately needs others to step up and serve. I promise you this: your smallest actions can make the world of difference to others. Make the commitment to do five small acts of service this week – this type of goal setting inspires habit building. A service mindset coupled with a service habit has the power to change your world and the world around you.
Now, that is powerful advice! I especially like the part about reflecting on who you are serving and why. This is especially appropriate in the courts, where we are in the “justice business” and work every day to ensure the advancement of, and adherence to, the Rule of Law. Intrinsic motivation such as this is a powerful force to drive excellent performance and leadership.
Courts are indeed in the “customer service business.” I wrote a blog post about this in 2019: Fulfilling the Public’s Trust: Public Service and Accessibility – Court Leader. In that post I shared how my grandfather, who had been elected to a city council, said that “he had been given a public trust, and he would keep the faith.” He was right — excellent public service is vitally important to keeping the faith the public has in us to administer justice fairly.
Customer service is also an essential component of Procedural Justice, where how cases and people are processed and treated is as important as the final resolution of the matter before the court.
It is imperative that every court do everything it can to improve its customer service. The Lead Star advice will help all of us do that.