You give life to whatever you give energy to

When frontline leaders are performing at their best, they observe the energy of the team and notice when they need to address the issue of a fuel tank that is almost empty.

Topic – Creating ‘sticky’ customer service

Mentor – Jaquie Scammell

  • Where does the ‘happy customer’ result start?
  • 3 aspects that make up a high-quality service interaction
  • Describing a high-quality service interaction

Mastering Social Media with John Hellaby – The most powerful tool that agents DON’T use.


Kevin Turner: Today we’re talking about energy, and my guest once again is Jaquie Scammell. Jaquie has written a book called, Creating a Customer Service Mindset, which is what we’re focusing on all this week, and how you can create sticky customer service in your business. Good morning Jaquie. Firstly, how are you?

Jaquie Scammell: Good morning. Very well thank you.

Kevin Turner: Good. How do we relate energy, how do we bring energy into this? Well let me ask you this question, where does a happy customer result actually start?

Jaquie Scammell: Well, happy employees equals happy customers equals happy profit. It’s a good formula to have front of mind, and really it starts with the energy, the mood, the thoughts, the feelings of an employee, and how that translates onto the people they interact with, which in this case we’re talking about the customer. And if we wanna be really technical Kevin we could even say that the happy customer actually starts with happy leaders.

Kevin Turner: I think it was a day or two ago you talked about the fish running from the head. That’s pretty much the case, isn’t it really?

Jaquie Scammell: It sure is. And I think we’ve seen an example of that recently with the big four banks in Australia. The leadership infects the service culture, which has fundamentally fouled hundreds of thousands of customers.

Kevin Turner: I got a theory that, and I’ve walked into many real estate offices over the years, and I can tell the culture of the business, or I can tell the mood and mindset of the leader based on the culture that I can feel in the business the moment you walk in. You can actually feel it.

Jaquie Scammell: You sure can. Service is an exchange of energy. There’s this thing called the reciprocal loop communication, which is you pick up peoples’ mood and messages just on a feeling, which is what you’re referring to. So what the Science of that is there’re these things in our brains called mirror neurons, and it’s like the zing that is the movement of atoms moving from electron to electron like the power that charges up our appliances. This is what happens between two humans when we’re in each others’ presence, and it’s a hard thing to tangibly quantify, but we all know it, we see it.

Kevin Turner: Jaquie in the book, towards the middle of the book I think it was, you talk about three aspects that make up a high quality service interaction. What are those three aspects?

Jaquie Scammell: Back in the ’80s there was an academic by the name of Klaus, and he presented a theory that a high quality service interaction is made up of tasks, tangibles, and treatment. And so what I’m most curious about is the treatment part, which is the less tangible of the three. A task is something that has a beginning and an end like a transaction, like a paint process for example. A tangible would be something physical like you might walk into a real estate agency, as you suggested, and Kevin it might be cold, and it might not feel very welcoming. They’re things that we can change over time. But the treatment is that interaction between two people. It’s the feeling that the person gets when they’re being spoken to from the employee, and there’s good research to say that of the three, it’s the treatment that people prioritise the most when they determine was that a good or was that a bad experience.

Kevin Turner: I think we may even get to the, I hope we will, talk about a shopping experience that you had at the checkout. You know the one I’m talking about?

Jaquie Scammell: Yeah I do. I do.

Kevin Turner: I’m hoping we can share that because I think that’s a great message. These three that you talk about, task, tangible, and treatment, it’s a bit like baking a cake. If you miss out on any one part or … And I know you highlighted they’re treatment, I agree with you, but if you miss any one part of it the cake is not gonna be right is it?

Jaquie Scammell: That’s right. And the case study I’m using in energies is the MCJ, an iconic stadium in Melbourne, and what they realised was just like the baking of the cake. They had the service ingredients, they were doing everything right, they were looking at the quality of the score board, the wide side, the ceiling, they were upgrading bars and dining rooms, but one part of the ingredients to bake the cake, which was the human interaction, they neglected. And so the case study talked about how they went on a real constant transformation to address that. So we can’t leave out a critical ingredient of these three aspects. If we ignore to invest time and energy into how our people treating customers, then we’re gonna have flat, tasteless cake. So to speak.

Kevin Turner: I wonder if, before I let you go, if we can just … How do you describe a high quality service interaction? In other words, as a leader, what are the actions that I’m looking for from my people to define that service interaction? Can you run through those for me?

Jaquie Scammell: Yes sure. A good old fashioned smile is gonna work every time. That’s mirror neurons working at its best. Ask great questions, which we touched on previously. Listen to understand. So when people speak and they say something, rather than looking to contribute, or wishing to say something because you wanna look good, or look like you have all the answers, really listen to what they’re saying to understand and see it from their point of view. Be informative and helpful. So know your stuff. You gotta know your facts and your information to be able to guide people on their journey. Find solutions. I sometimes find Kevin in our high quality service interactions, we don’t like to over apologise. If something’s gone wrong or there’s a problem, acknowledge it once, give an apology, but then get on with caring about the solution. And I think customers really respect that. And don’t forget to thank the customer. Thank them for choosing you, or your brand, or business. So there’s just a few there that I think really at the end of the day what that all sums up is, was this an easy interaction?

Did they remove the obstacles for me as a customer? And how do I feel when I’m walking away from this experience?

Kevin Turner: Well there we go. We talked about the pace of the relationship. The empathy that you need to build, and also the energy that you need to bring. Tomorrow we’re gonna put a bit of heart into this conversation. Jaquie Scammell will be back again tomorrow morning. Thanks Jaquie. Talk to you then.

Jaquie Scammell: Thank Kevin.

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