Customer service isn’t a strategy.

For decades organizations and leaders have tried to determine the secret to successful customer service. We have developed strategies and implemented processes all in an effort to get closer to engaging customers and selling our products/services. But does all of that matter?

About a week ago, I was on Facebook and I stumbled upon a video that most of you have likely already have seen. If you haven’t, please take a minute or two to watch.

Exhibit A for great customer service right? Now before you go thinking that this is a great little viral ad for Starbucks (which it is), I think we need to look beneath the surface and determine where great customer service comes from.

This is Sarah Campbell. She is also a Starbucks barista. Do me a favor and watch this video and “listen” to what she is saying.

“You have to understand, the reason I started working for Starbucks is that I love communicating with people. Oh my goodness, I love it so much!” – Sarah Campbell

So where does great customer service come from? It’s roots are grounded in empathy. Truly caring for another person. Seems Starbucks is doing a pretty decent job of finding people who actually care.

You can develop customer service strategies. You can enlist best practices. You can train your people how to smile, greet, and talk to kindly to people. But if they don’t truly care, the proper strategies, best practices, to-do’s and processes make for some great icing, but in the end, the cake will crumble.

Customer service isn’t found in expediting a product delivery process. It’s not optimizing your product life-cycle. That’s par for the course. Customer service is found in caring, looking beyond your product and service and meeting your customers where they’re at.

Because, let’s be honest, you don’t define customer service. Your customers do.

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