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Servant Leadership: A Guide to Modern Customer Service

May 03, 2017 Matt Rocco

Because customers have so many more options than they did in decades past, we often refer to today’s business environment as the age of the customer. Technology is at the heart of increased customer options, providing them with the ability to shop online, request a real-time chat with a company representative, browse websites while they watch movies, and offer company reviews on a number of easy-to-use opinion websites.

With all of these changes, contact center leaders must be willing to acknowledge the increased need for enhanced customer interaction and outstanding customer service. More often than not, it is not the team of employees that needs to change. Instead, managers and team leaders must learn about the new practice of servant leadership and figure out how changing their own perceptions, habits and attitudes can bring about an incredibly positive shift in the call center.

With servant leadership, those in management positions are encouraged to serve first and then lead. Robert K. Greenleaf, who introduced the concept in 1970, encouraged managers and leaders to ask specific questions as they tried out this unconventional new management style. Each question was centered on helping team leaders take note and encourage their employee’s efforts in physical and mental health, personal growth and learning.

How Can Servant Leadership Lead to Better Customer Service?

If you are like many call center managers, you may be wondering just how changing your style of leadership will lead to your team getting higher customer satisfaction rates. In order to explain this phenomenon, you must stop thinking about being the manager and begin thinking about how you and each employee is an integral part of the team. Once you are committed to this style of thinking, you will be more capable of serving through the following methods:

  • Instilling Pride and Confidence – Though there are several different theories about where the Golden Rule originated, however, the statement of “do unto others as you would have them do to you” is still useful today, especially when managers are working to learn how to serve employees. When you serve them, work with them, and offer praise and sincere encouragement, your team will begin to work harder to exceed yours and the customer’s expectations.
  • Setting the Standard High – Once your team members come to the realization that your style of leadership has changed, they will watch more closely in order to learn what you are doing. In almost every case, once servant leadership has been established, employees will begin to mimic the service-oriented behavior with each other, and with each customer.
  • Exceeding Customer Expectations – When your call center agents begin to truly serve the customers, they will begin to notice what makes them happy and what leaves them dissatisfied. In an effort to offer the best service possible, they may even offer beneficial suggestions in team meetings. Through this process, they will come to not only meet, but exceed employee expectations.

Start Serving More Today

The sooner contact center leaders take time to put servant leadership techniques into practice, the sooner they will be able to see the results of this service. This cannot be a half-hearted effort that is infused from time to time with the old authoritarian style of leadership. It must be a true conversion toward knowing and serving those you work with. Start serving today and enjoy seeing happiness and satisfaction touch every part of your organization.

Matt Rocco

Matt Rocco is the President/CEO for Etech Global Services. Matt is a 38-year veteran of the BPO industry. He has held key leadership positions within Dun & Bradstreet, The Berry Company, and Etech Global Services. In the past 38 years, he has spent time in every facet of call center operations and outsourcing processes. Matt has been an avid speaker at many industry events and was featured in the articles of various renowned periodicals including The Wall Street Journal, Contact Center World, Call Center Magazine, Call Center Times and others.