Customer Service Blog

Why people who foul-up get more recognition than you

“One of my biggest mistakes early in my career? Assuming that if I just worked hard and diligently, my bosses and customers would recognize and reward me.” This was a Senior VP of a medium sized company who was bringing me in to stage virtual training for his team. We were discussing the importance of being noticed by customers and the fact that often our service only registers when things go wrong. The result – you can be doing wonderful things for your customer (or your boss and co-workers) and generate zero loyalty or rewards from it. Ironically, others who foul-up – but who recover and ‘save the day’ – are often suddenly noticed and rewarded. It’s not fair. And it happens a lot; particularly when it comes to serving internal customers. Is this ever the case for you and your team members?

There are several strategies for addressing this that I share in my seminars. Here’s one quicktip – proactively provide your internal and external customers with “Courtesy updates”. In point form summarize actions you’ve completed or progress you’ve made on their behalf that they might not be aware of. Begin each point with an active verb: i.e., completed… inspected… confirmed… etc. By positioning this as a courtesy you’re not perceived as bragging, you’re proactively keeping them updated. The fact that it also reminds them of your exceptional service is a bonus.

In a perfect world this wouldn’t be necessary. In the real world, not doing this practically guarantees we are selling ourselves short.

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