I remember my first day in a customer service position. The manager was showing me around the store and pointing out employees, selling points, and a large laundry list of to-dos. We passed an elderly customer (this was not a credit union) and the manager was quick to point out her extravagant brooch on the label of her winter jacket.
“That is absolutely gorgeous!” He marveled as he touched it and tilted it back and forth.
She smiled, thanked him, and continued on with her shopping.
She was no more than fifteen steps away when the manager leaned into me and whispered,
“That is the ugliest thing I have ever seen, but THAT is how you do customer service”.
Most people talk about a pivotal moment in their employment journey and this was one of mine.
I knew almost immediately two things;
- This was NOT the place for me
- This was NOT the philosophy that I would ever hold when it came to service
It became severely apparent to me that the service industry was suffering because of people who held this wonky idea of what it should be.
I worked there for a brief time until I could find something else and I remember watching him in disgusted awe as he spent his days schmoozing customers and then making comments behind their backs. Everyone was his buddy when he had something bad to say. He would throw his head back and snicker while elbowing the nervous employee he was speaking to.
He was unaware that he was the very reason my idea of what service should be was shaping up to look the exact opposite of what he displayed.
Service, for me, is something that you can do with the absolute ability to be genuine.
It isn’t that hard to connect with another human being and find something that you can honestly compliment. If not a genuine compliment, how about just a wholesome slice of kindness.
Member service is one of the ingredients of the Credit Union secret sauce. With that quality service at the right time, financial mountains can be moved for members that needed that boost, the members that have perhaps been mistreated by other versions of service.
When you think about it, the credit unions ability to cultivate kindness and service is more often than not that very pivotal moment for our members and potential members to know they have found their financial safe place. That moment in which the light bulb shines bright, they feel a bit better about asking the hard questions, and they know that without a doubt they are not being judged by three little numbers.
Think about your service pivotal moment. Are you honoring that impact in how you treat your members? Are you honoring that in your service code at your employment?
More importantly are you opening yourself up to be THAT positive moment for others?