By Jodi Beuder
This article originally appeared on LinkedIn
Jack Nicholson is one of the few actors who can make a despicable character likable. In the movie, As Good As It Gets, he plays Melvin Udall, a misanthropic, obsessive-compulsive sourpuss. For much of the movie it’s hard not to want to throw your popcorn at the screen. Melvin is rude, paranoid, demanding, difficult, and exasperating. There are few people who Melvin trusts in the world, and one of them happens to be Carol, a waitress played by Helen Hunt. Over the course of the movie Melvin drops some of his defenses and comes to realize that he feels better when he’s around Carol and, arguably, one of the best scenes in the film is when Melvin softens just enough to convince Carol to give him a chance at spending more time together. The line from this movie that has probably been uttered in a thousand different marriage proposals is, “You make me want to be a better man.”
While this movie certainly centers around Melvin, it is really Carol who inspires and is the biggest motivating factor behind Melvin’s softening. For anyone working in customer service, it might be easy to think of customers as Melvin. Yes, they can be infuriating at times. However, if we twist the analogy around, customers can just as easily be thought of as Carol. A lot gets written about dealing with difficult customers, but customers can also inspire!
When we work with great customers, a positive feedback loop starts to form. We feel good about our interaction. We want to do even better for the next customer. We take pride in our company. We notice that with each positive interaction, more positive ones follow. What if our industry focused more on the positives and elevated these interactions?
Customer facing agents, who experience the benefits of positive customer interaction, often feel inspired to want to do better. Training modules that teach agents how to take their customer service skills from good to great benefit the organization, the employee and the customer. When employees are inspired, and working to create even better experiences for customers, they are better able to handle negative interactions when they occur. Inspired employees have enough working knowledge to know not to let negative experiences “stick.” They don’t get dragged down by the challenges, and instead remain committed and devoted to delivering excellent care, because they know they are better for it.
“You make me want to be a better agent!” When our customer services teams are well trained to deliver excellent customer experiences, our customers can bring out our very best!
Jodi Beuder is a marketing strategy expert, with a passion for customer experience. She is keen to creating and following through, from canvas to fruition. Her expertise includes targeted social media campaigns, content and internet marketing, and product and branding campaigns.
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