Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Colors of Customer Service Profile: Peter

Peter is the central character in my book, The Colors of Customer Service. He's the new customer service supervisor at KarmaCo and he's normally a very polished and professional green. Imagine his surprise when he meets his team and finds out they are all frustrated reds, discouraged blues and apathic yellow! He's got his work cut out for him and it won't be an easy task!

Peter has been fortunate enough to learn from both good managers and even gleen important lessons from the bad ones. He's confident he can make a change. He's coming on the heels of the old supervisor and he's got to push for the new changes he wants to make. He's also got to gain the trust and respect of his new staff.

Here are some takeaways from Peter.

  • Praise Publicly. Criticize Privately. He has some pretty difficult conversations with his staff members but they are always held behind closed doors. No one wants to be humiliated or bullied. Likewise, most people like to have their successes shared.
  • Treat Staff Like Adults. Peter never talks down to his staff. He also doesn't try to shame, scold or embarass them. He treats them like adults capable of taking control of their own actions and dealing with their own consequences. When staff are treated like children, we can't be surprised if they start acting like children!
  • Be Approachable. Have an open door policy (you can put open hours on your door if you are busy). Let them know they can talk to you. However, as a manager, don't be afraid to approach your employees. Ask them how they are doing? Follow up with them on any outstanding issues. Approachability is a two-way street.