The empowered team member who confidently goes above and beyond for a customer is a practitioner of Performance Magic.
Service magicians use genuine rapport and personal connection with customers to create performances that are magical. Customers receive the product or service they want or need, but they also get that something extra that makes the experience unexpected, unpredictable, and memorable.
Alert to customer’s needs, service magicians read the often-subtle signals being sent. They know how to establish rapport with customers, sometimes mirroring their emotions and listening intently to ascertain the feelings behind the words – and respond in way that acknowledge those feelings.
Tricks of the Trade
What do service magicians watch for when they aggressively, proactively observe customers?
- Clothing – What do people’s clothes telegraph about their view of themselves and the world, and their mood and personality?
- Eye contact – Does the customer meet your eyes? For how long and how frequently?
- Body language – What is the customer’s body language telling that he’s not saying?
- Voice characteristics – What can you glean – beyond the words – from this person’s manner of speaking?
The core skill for effective, active listening is getting focused and staying focused. When listening is your goal, make it the priority – do not let anything distract.
Read customers carefully – then test your assumptions before you act on them.
Service magicians take charge of customer encounters, setting the stage and the mood for the magical connection to come. They unobtrusively direct service encounters, setting the mood and making customers comfortable.
Though service magicians make connecting with customers look effortless, it doesn’t come without working at it.
Tips for Creating Magical Dialogue
- Establish – and publicize – a clear service philosophy
- Build proficiency though practice
- Develop great conversation openers that fit personality and mood
- Listen, listen, listen
- End with a satisfied customer wanting more
Performance magic should leave customers pleased with their experience and just a little puzzled at how you managed it. The trick is, there’s no trick at all:
Performance magic is accomplished through careful observation, fanatical listening, and genuine conversation. A disciplined practice of these actions will enable you to identify our customers’ needs before they even have a chance to voice them.
Performance Magic happens when a surprisingly positive interaction occurs between the customer and organizational personnel during the acquisition and delivery of a service or product. Magical performance is the manner that enables a service magician to take customers on an emotional journey so enchanting they cannot wait to tell their story to others.
Remember that as a church leader you have “customers” – they are the Guests who come to your place every weekend.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to utilize magical performances in your organization!
Adapted from Service Magic by Ron Zemke and Chip Bell
Part of an ongoing, periodic series exploring the translation of customer service in the corporate world to Guest Experiences in ChurchWorld