1) What is your suggestion about?
Using humor, Beyond Paper or Plastic gives readers suggestions for improving team and/or individual customer service and communication skills, and explains how to “wow” the customer. The title of the book stems from the author’s experience working at a supermarket in college. A specific incident there taught him how to handle customer service issues and be more accountable for his actions.
2) Why did you choose it?
I heard the author speak at a local speaker series, and later read his book. I found the tips on “customer service” in his book to be as meaningful as his actual in-person presentation. With the author’s permission, I wanted to share the book with others that might be interested in taking their customer service skills to the next level.
3) What else do you want to tell us about it?
The author describes his eight steps to remarkable service:
- Manage First Impressions
- Keep it Clean
- Keep It Friendly
- Be Accurate
- Serve with a Sense of Urgency
- Be a Great Listener
- Run to the Opportunity
- Be Knowledgeable
Beyond Paper or Plastic talks about how every contact with another person is a “moment of truth” that falls into one of three categories: misery, average moment, and magic moment. The book explains all of these in more depth.
Several short quotes throughout the book make you stop and think to yourself, “That makes perfect sense!” For example: “If we don’t take care of the customer, someone else will,” and “When you give more than you get, you get more than you give”.
Also included is a “complaint quiz” to test your knowledge on customer service.
4) What is a key takeaway for leaders driving improvement in how we deliver for the citizens of Missouri?
We all serve a customer in some way – whether they are a colleague or a citizen. Therefore, everyone could use a refresher on customer service. With every customer interaction, we have the opportunity to make a friend, and the build trust and loyalty needed to potentially serve that customer again in the future. We have the opportunity to strive for excellence in our customer service to the citizens of Missouri and feel excited about the work we do. And if we are able to “wow” them in the process…even better.