3 pillars of customer service in a VUCA environment

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The world has changed and with changes come challenges. The VUCA environment, volatile, uncertain, changing, ambiguous, challenges us as human beings and members of organizations, to adapt in the most efficient and assertive way.

In the corporate environment we are used to handling technical challenges that are part of our daily lives very well and with great skill: What tools to use to systematize and automate processes, reports, data? How to best take advantage of the benefits of artificial intelligence to manage, from senior management and across the board, the company and make the best decisions? We know more and more about these issues and we take advantage of the benefits that new technologies offer us to get to know our clients better and to even anticipate, to exceed their expectations and cover their needs the best way possible.

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However, the VUCA environment puts on the table other challenges that practice and technology cannot solve by themselves. We are the people. Human beings for whom our environment changed. We went from working from our offices to working from our homes or from anywhere that collaborative tools allow. We learned and assimilated into the new virtual world. That virtual world that allows us to take on more roles in parallel to the work environment. That world where we went from having close, emotional, relational, physical contact, to contact through screens where we share and project what happens to us and what affects us, becomes more complex and concrete, sometimes colder. Human beings who serve other human beings, our clients. A challenge that challenges us to get the best out of each other to understand each other and consolidate relationships.

In this new reality, I would like to highlight three aspects that, among many others, I consider essential for providing excellent customer service. First of all, I want to highlight the importance of empathy. That empathy that in our previous world was being lost due to the speed of our autopilot. Today more than ever, empathy once again has a key and strategic position as a fundamental pillar of customer service. Put ourselves in the position of the other, understand what they are experiencing, what is affecting them, the impact that my service generates in their life, in their company, in their role. And this empathy is required in a bidirectional way. On both sides of the table, both on the provider’s side and on the client’s side.

In an empathetic way, the question arises: how to generate confidence that we are giving the best version, doing our best to solve any inconvenience that may present itself? To answer this question, a second fundamental aspect arises in our companies. The empowerment of each and every one of our collaborators. A relationship of trust in the good judgment of handling the different situations that may arise in the day to day of our clients, so that in the most assertive way they can manage the effective, timely solution for our clients. Good judgment and timely decision-making by our collaborators only occur if each one feels the trust and support of the entire organization in the actions they take, in order to resolve in an intelligent and timely manner the challenge that our client is sharing with us. Experts call it the Psychological Safety of our collaborators.

Finally, it is essential that as individuals who are part of an organization we are clear about our common purpose, that which motivates us every day and gives us a clear reason to live and give our best. It generates in us an authentic commitment to fulfill our purpose, it challenges us to innovate and find the best ways to reach the goal that guides, and guides us in our day to day lives.

These three pillars represent no less a challenge for our organizations. How we face them and how we bring them to reality in the day to day operations of our companies, represents one of the most important challenges for senior management.

Let’s give ourselves the opportunity to understand our own “auto pilot”, let’s promote experimentation, involve people, and build together to make the best service experience a reality for our customers.

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