CommentaryFeb 12th, 2014

Customer Service Change Takes Time


I saw an interesting graphic on Facebook the other day saying,

“It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body is changing, 8 weeks for your family to notice, 12 weeks for the world to notice, keep focused”

What struck me was that I have seen this quote before and I have used a version of this as I educated businesses on how to change behavior in their companies. Many people have told me they have heard this as well, but as soon as I would try to train on this, some form of resistance begins.

I wonder if you see the same types of resistance in your company as well. What I usually get, after the first few weeks of working towards change, is:

  • “Why is it not happening quicker?”
  • “Why do I have to do it if they don’t have to?”
  • “If I do this am I going to get a raise?”

Or, even worse than the resistance, is that after a few weeks of implementing change, individuals and groups begin to see and feel the difference, and everyone stops, because they see the initial progress. They stop what they were doing to create the success and feel that change will now be like a rolling boulder down a hill — hands off, it will pick up speed on its own towards success.

Instituting change is more akin to pushing the boulder up the hill. It starts off slowly. But then an interesting thing happens: after a few weeks more and more people begin to help and the change becomes easier as it moves towards habit.

I use this analogy, because so many people think that creating excellence in service is a short-term task. People believe that if they say it, train on it a little, maybe add a few cute slogans on my website, that this will build the momentum you need for change.

Too many times I have seen great intentions fall to the wayside, because no one had the discipline to follow through on the small daily tasks that eventually would build into the large rolling boulder of excellence.

Start the Change Now

How this works for your company’s customer service execution is that if you begin to implement changes and hold a small group of people accountable, others will start to see the success. Then more of your team will begin to help move the initiative along and, ultimately, your customers will want to join in and share the experience they had with you. With many people now moving the boulder, it becomes easier to keep the momentum going.

No one likes to hear that things take time, but if we stop and look at ourselves, we see that change is not an easy thing. It takes commitment every day to stay focused on the goal. So it is with your business. The momentum is built, because one person begins to live it and work it every day until it is ingrained in his or her process. Then others see and join in; then people you interact with want to use you as an example for others, and then word spreads and you have more business.

Dedication to change is not optional. It is not something that stops. It just is.

Glenn Pasch is the current CEO of PCG Digital Marketing as well as a writer, national speaker and management trainer. If you liked this article, please share.

Authored by

Michael Bowen

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