Rise to the challenge

I’ve used this picture before yet it will all make sense…

This week is National Customer Services Week, or CSW, an opportunity to celebrate the relationship that all businesses have with their customers. I have been a member of the Institute of Customer Service for many years now and this week is one of the highlights of their calendar. More details can be found here.

This week then I am going to step out of my normal blog routine and focus on the five themes of Customer Service Week. Tuesday’s theme is the ‘Rise to the Challenge.’

A few weeks back I blogged about a trip I had made to Boots. If you remember I had popped into the chemist’s store near the Monument in Newcastle, to buy some pain killers. After being served the shop assistant asked me the question, ‘How has my manner been in serving you today? How have I come across?’

Her questions preyed on my mind for some time afterwards, so much so that I had to blog about it and I vowed that the next time I was passing the shop I would stop and ask her why. I just had to know. What was she hoping to achieve by asking them? How had people reacted? Where they honest and had anyone given her bad feedback.

To me it was a very brave thing to do and so sure enough, the next time I had a few spare minutes I went back to Boots and asked. She remembered me and the comments I had made. Our conversation was interesting as she had to keep breaking off to serve other customers.

It turns out that she was studying to get a promotion into a more senior role with the firm and that she had to produce evidence of her development. What better way than to ask directly. Most people had reacted positively and had taken it in the spirit it was intended. Only one person had been negative with er and that was moe to do with the seemingly endless tirade of questions you get asked when buying painkillers.

Eventually I thanked her, shook her hand and wished her the best of luck. To me she is someone who has risen to the customer challenge and is prepared to learn from her customers head on. I take my hat off to her and expect she will do well.

Her name is Ellie by the way.

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