Book Review: Customer Service Devotional
Author: Priscilla M. Wellington
Book Reviewer: Wangari Njoroge
In a market saturated with businesses vying for customer attention, Ms. Priscilla Wellington’s latest book, Customer Service Devotional, emerges as a guiding blueprint for companies seeking to elevate their customer-centric approach.
The Foreward, authored by Emmanuel Dei-Tumi, sets the tone for a transformative exploration into the business of customer service, emphasizing the critical need for businesses to go beyond lip service and adopt a day-to-day common-sense approach to quality service.
In the introductory pages of the masterpiece, Ms. Wellington proves that customers play a central role in the running of businesses. Unlike what people think that employers pay business wages, it is actually the customer who does.
“In today’s business world, customers have become the crude oil and gold of your business and paying attention to them has become pivotal, especially when they have access to other options,” reads part of the introduction.
The book, Customer Service Devotional, is divided into five main chapters, then into 31 days of actions to take to ensure one’s business is successful by prioritizing the customer.
In this insightful chapter, the author underscores the pivotal moments where customers form opinions about an organization.
By emphasizing the importance of setting and revising standards, the narrative encourages personalized interactions, echoing Alan Bennett’s view that standards are ever-evolving.
The corporate image also involves the people hired in an organization.
Ms. Wellington advises competency and strong soft skills when hiring for a job that requires a lot of customer interaction.
“Technical proficiency is important, but when you are recruiting for a job role that involves a high degree of interaction with the customer, either internally or externally, it is crucial to focus on the softer skills like communication, grooming, and people skills.” (Pg. 25)
On Day 5 of the first chapter, she strongly emphasizes communication as a key to mastery of customer service.
Communication, she says, is everything in customer service.
She highlights tips for effective communication in customer service, such as personalizing the message, listening to the customer, using positive language even in bad situations, and being concise.
The author advocates for the profound impact of a smile and a positive attitude while emphasizing the contagious nature of enthusiasm in business.
Ms. Wellington, in three pages (Pg. 39-41), extensively discusses about the power that a smile wields in customer service.
“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, and how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark. A great customer service experience begins with a smile,” she writes.
Key principles, spanning across multiple Days of Ms. Wellington’s guide, include the significance of professionalism, empathy, timeliness, continuous learning, and responsibility in the business of customer service.
The author incorporates the narration style as she shares personal anecdotes, such as the impact of proper time management in overcoming challenges as a startup, wife, and mother, adding a relatable dimension to the masterpiece.
Between pages 57-73, Ms. Wellington pens about the importance of good “customer service to clients and why “the customer is always right is a mantra to live by.
She further discusses the wants of every customer which includes friendliness, empathy, fairness, information and control.
Ms. Wellington continues to assert that exemplary customer service naturally transforms individuals into brand ambassadors, fostering a culture of recommending your business to others.
This advocacy not only solidifies customer loyalty but also amplifies your brand’s reach through positive word-of-mouth referrals, contributing to sustained growth and success in the competitive market.
“As a customer service employee, you need to focus on becoming the organization’s brand ambassador and turning the customers into brand ambassadors as well,” appends the author.
Phone etiquette is key
In the fourth chapter of the book, Ms. Wellington insists that answering phone calls is significant to an indispensable pairing, which she compares to the inseparability of kenkey and pork.
Engaging with customers via telephone transcends casual conversations; it demands refined etiquette.
She again illustrates the power of a smile.
“Courtesy is demanded and you must smile on the phone in a way the customer can feel,” a part of the chapter reads.
Prior to answering, preparedness is key, requiring essential tools like a pen, paper, or a ready computer screen.
She added that the most professional way of answering the phone is within three rings.
“Introducing the organization is essential as it establishes a foundation for effective communication. One has to equally employ active listening skills, to ensure the customer feels heard,” she continues.
In her last chapter, Ms. Wellington talks about emotional mastery in customer service.
“When you know yourself well enough, you can relate to all manner of people. Customer service demands the strong use of emotional intelligence,” she begins the chapter.
Ms. Wellington further gives pointers on what one needs to do to master emotional intelligence:
- Know Yourself
Knowing yourself is about understanding your feelings and emotions, managing them and those of others, and knowing why you feel the way you do.
Once you know yourself, you know how to deal with the people around you.
- Social Competence
Emotional intelligence goes beyond “I”. It is about how we can relate to other people’s emotions.
Styles and themes in the book
Generally, Customer Service Devotional is an educative book that offers tips and insights to customer service providers to sharpen their skills in the industry.
It is also devotional in a way that it gives the reader an opportunity to grow every day through the 30 subtopics representing each day of the month.
Between the pages of the beautifully curated Customer Service Devotional are ample styles of writing employed by the author to ensure the purpose of the book is met.
Ms. Wellington uses a descriptive writing style as she tries to paint visual images in the reader’s mind to understand customer service properly.
For instance, the whole of Chapter 4 has descriptive conversations and real-life examples of phone etiquette: standards for answering a phone call, call transfer, taking telephone messages, and attitude on the phone.
Conversely, Ms. Wellington uses narration as part of her writing.
Between pages 53-64, the author uses narratives or stories to talk about the essence of customer service, knowing your customers and giving them what they need.
This masterpiece by the Customer Service Power House Ms. Wellington has been read and endorsed by many professionals both in the industry of customer service provision and away.
Dr. Damien L. Duchamp, Author of Path to Ghana: Tourism Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets and Developing Countries, in his endorsement terms this book as an invaluable resource for those who want to infuse customer service into their organizations.
“Ms. Wellington’s book is a tool rather than just literature. She presents a format that allows leaders and managers to incorporate daily devotionals into team meetings, retreats and weekly calls,” he wrote.
Additionally, the endorsements commend Ms. Wellington for choosing an easy style of writing that is easy to follow and, especially for the devotional 30 days of the month sub-topics that give the reader something to read every day of the month.
In conclusion, the devotional educative book Customer Service Devotional is a must-have for every entrepreneur who aims to up their skills of interaction with customers.
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The book provides valuable insights on effectively managing customer interactions, laying the foundation for holistic business success; implementing the strategies discussed by Ms. Wellington can undoubtedly contribute to any enterprise’s overall growth and prosperity.