The Customer is Bothering me

Posted November 1, 2009 in What We're Reading

By: Shelle Rose Charvet

Reviewed By: Glain Roberts-McCabe

The Premise: Canadian author, speaker and consultant, Shelle Rose Charvet follows up on her bestselling book “Words That Change Minds” with this offering designed to take customer interactions to the next level and help you “change attitudes, improve results and grow your bottom line.” An appealing message to anyone trying to thrive in the current economy! As in her first book, Shelle draws on her expertise in neurolinguistic programming (NLP) to show a deep understanding of what motivates people on a “below conscious” level. As a “customer service” book, the essentials are all covered: from defining your service philosophy through to how to handle upset customers through to recruiting the right team. However, what sets it apart is the deeper dive into the underlying motivations of both the customer and the service provider. This isn’t “customer service lite”. Rather, The Customer is Bothering Me is an in-depth look at why people do what they do and what you can do to create a better experience for everyone involved.

The Bottom-line: Having designed and delivered provincial customer service programs in a previous career life, I was interested to see how Shelle could take, what I perceive as a subject that’s been “done to death” and put a new spin on it. And that she did. By layering in her experience in learning, predicting and influencing behaviours, I definitely walked away with some new awareness about my own style and it’s applicability in working with others. Probably one of the biggest “a-ha” moments I had was this: we could ALL use customer service training. Although a lot of the examples in the book relate to groups that face external clients, there is typically a big gap in how we treat internal customers and, in this regard, any leader could benefit from reading this book and bring the practices into their teams. Depending on your interest level in the area of NLP, you may find the front end of the book a little “heavy” as it sets the stage for the later chapters. However, it did leave me thinking that tooling yourself up in neuro-linguistic programming isn’t a bad thing in a workplace where the ability to influence and persuade seem to be the most crucial core competency for any leader today.

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