A Customer Service Approach to Coaching

June 30, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Why not treat our clients (if we coach externally) and our reports (if we coach internally) like customers? Why not take a customer service approach to coaching? It seems rather logical that we lead and assist others in a way that revolves more around their needs than our proximity. Not saying the relationship that a manager and his/her team members establish doesn’t matter… but, I am suggesting that sometimes the familiarity can actually hinder the work we do when we coach.

Here’s what I mean. Awhile back, we built a customer service model that contains FIVE MOMENTS OF MAGIC. These include:

  1. Your Mental Psyche
  2. Your Greeting
  3. Your Ability to Meet Needs
  4. Your Follow Through
  5. Your Problem Solving Skills

I won’t go into depth on each of them here, but here’s why they’re relevant when coaching internally (if you’re a manager or a leader) and externally (if your career has been built as a coach).

Mental psyche is all about your attitude. It’s about treating others right, regardless of how you feel. It’s about acknowledging where your attitude has gone wrong and doing what it takes to make it right. It’s a process (and it’s difficult), but it’s essential if you want to coach others respectfully and professionally. If you let your emotions or your relationship with someone interfere with the work you have to do, you are working more from habit than skill. And no client or team member benefits from your carelessness.

The way you greet and welcome a client or team member to a meeting or status matters. That greeting sets the tone for how you two will spend that particular set-aside time together. Sincerity and care are involved here – even if you have hard feedback to deliver, it’s a must that you approach them intentionally. The other reason the greeting matters is because it can help you establish consistency with your client or team member. A dependable, stable presence is underestimated in relationships.

Meeting the need is about identifying a solution by listening well, asking the right questions, summarizing accurately and taking the client seriously. When this step is done between an employee and his/her customer, the employee can’t make as many assumptions about the customer’s real need. But unfortunately, the opposite is true in a coaching relationship. All too often, managers are making assumptions about their team’s needs – which can’t be done if coaches want to identify the real problem through the client’s perspective. This is when taking the familiarity out of your relationship is really advantageous.

Following through is where the best coaches distinguish themselves. This step is all about what you do with the information you have obtained from your client, team member or customer. This is where you take action, remove obstacles, brainstorm ideas, contact the right people, etc. It’s about taking responsibility for your role, instead of putting the problem on your client to solve on his own.

Finally, handling the problem is about ensuring that what you’ve done and heard is what the client or team member expressed. Confirming that their concern has been addressed accurately is essential to eliminate misunderstandings and disappointment.

With all of this being said, the bottom-line is this: remember to treat your team members and your clients and even your peers – like customers.

Looking for more insights about coaching? Check out more from Doug at his blog at http://wcwpartners.com/our-blog/.

Doug C. Watsabaugh, senior partner at WCW Partners, understands how to meet your unique performance challenges. With more than 20 years of experience, WCW Partners is a performance-improvement company that helps businesses revitalize their results and achieve record-breaking performance.

If you are looking to excel in sales, service or leadership, let Doug develop the capability in you! http://wcwpartners.com.

Article Source:

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Prev Post:
Next Post: