The Service Experience Alphabet©
26 essential human characteristics of a service professional
The Service Experience Alphabet© is a deeper dive into the mindset that is needed to make a difference as a service professional. It is about the human touch in service environments, which is becoming increasingly rare, and therefore increasingly valuable. This alphabet summarizes 26 of the most essential human characteristics that service bots don’t have, and provides guidelines on how to apply these.
The alphabet can help you to determine service standards and KPIs, and can be used for training and coaching on soft skills. If you’re a recruiter, it can be helpful for hiring new employees. And if you’re a service professional yourself, you can give the alphabet a try right away.
You are more than welcome to download and use the entire alphabet (A to Z). You’ll find a link at the bottom of this page. I would very much appreciate your comment below on how and where you applied it. I’d also be interested in your thoughts about possible improvements. I can think of alternatives for most letters, but this selection pretty much covers the essence.
A IS FOR AUTHENTIC
You are the owner and sender of your messages, so choose your words as an individual. Tailored instead of one-size-fits-all. Clients will sooner or later sense scripted or copy / paste replies, be it online, in an email, on the phone or face-to-face.
B IS FOR BUSINESSLIKE
Stay in control and draw a line when necessary. Lead the conversation and know when to end it. Don’t go onto the defensive or persist in making a point. Avoid sparking a debate, or you’re likely going to lose a client. Leverage commercial opportunities if appropriate.
C IS FOR CREATIVE
Forget the “yes, but” trap as much as possible. Think in terms of possibilities, rather than limitations. Offer a choice or an alternative. Try new things and consider out-of-the-box solutions that bring a smile to a client’s face. Keep policies and compliance in mind though.
D IS FOR DISCRETE
Privacy is more than a GDPR requirement. It’s equally about your personal respect for others. Only store data which serves the interest of your clients. Make sure to use secure channels only when exchanging personal information online.
E IS FOR EFFECTIVE
Let quality prevail over quantity and deliver first-contact resolutions. Quick fixes don’t last, so eliminate root-causes when possible. Focus on frequent irritators and key moments in the customer journey. It may take some extra time now, but it will prove time well spent.
F IS FOR FOND
Be an ambassador for the brand you represent, even if you are employed by a third party. Show enthusiasm about what you do. Continue this attitude when you are off-duty just as well. To a (potential) client, you are the brand.
G IS FOR GAY
You only get what you give, so be positive and spread some love and sympathy. Appropriate humor can do wonders in breaking the ice. Depending on the brand you represent, you can even be edgy at times. Mind, however, never to downplay emotions.
H IS FOR HONEST
Integrity is golden, so speak the truth at all times. Lies will backfire on you. People want to understand what they pay for, and so they expect clear answers. But be smart, it doesn’t mean you have to reveal all your strategic and confidential information.