“Wax on-wax off!” Customer Service Lessons from The Karate Kid
In the original (and let’s face it the best) version of this iconic film, the young Daniel doesn’t understand the value of spending his time waxing the car, sanding the floor or painting the fence in order to master karate. His head is filled with the excitement of awesome high kicks and brick smashing hand chops. What Daniel didn’t appreciate was that these simple hand and arm movements became memorised in his brain so that his responses became instinctive. So when Daniel found himself in the face of danger, his hands knew exactly what to do, and what seemed like useless work was actually valuable training that gave him an advantage against his opponent. Mr. Miyagi’s foresight proved that fighting with your head is just as important as fighting with your hands.
So how can you be more like Mr. Miyagi with your customer service department?
Understand the value of training
Customer service training is essential in creating a well equipped, efficient and trophy winning team. Rather than just providing your agents with a standard script in which to read out automated answers like a robot, take the time to give them the foundations they need to fight any complaint or difficult enquiry. Teach them the importance of customer empathy, perceptive listening, an easy to understand pace and a friendly tone. Like Daniel, these tools will allow your agents respond instinctively to the customer in a way that benefits the company and makes the customer happy.
Become the award winning champion of your client’s brand
When Mr. Miyagi and Daniel come up against the Cobra Kai students, whose leader has trained his students to win by any means necessary, it’s the titles and the trophy that mean more to the Cobra Kai than honour. In the customer service world companies can fall into the trap of focusing on awards and statistics to prove their high-speed response rates and impressive volume call handing ability. But who is really winning when a company achieves their results by sending out automated responses from a do-not-reply email address, or wrapping up calls quickly to keep the duration time down…certainly not the customer! Merely dealing with customer complaints efficiently does not give sufficient information to know whether you are doing things right, but when consumers get great personalised customer service and experience genuine empathy, brand loyalty increases with a direct link to increased profitability.
Gain the competitive edge with customer insight
For Daniel, knowing his strengths and working on his weaknesses was a constant process, and likewise consumer insight is integral to the continued success of any customer care service. Through the collection and analysis of information provided by customers or based on their purchasing behaviour, you can learn valuable insight into the loves, hates and opinions of your consumers. By listening to how customers feel about your products and compiling this data into bespoke and detailed period reports, the ongoing analysis of consumer contact will highlight key issues so that you can work on your weaknesses and high kick your way up to the black belt of customer experience excellence!