being authentic in customer service

Authentic communication is sincere, honest communication from your heart.

In my customer service workshops and speeches, I often talk about the importance of being real. Here’s a real-life story about Nick Sarillo, a Chicago-area pizza restauranteur who saved his business with a very humble and authentic email to his customers. Even if you’re not particularly interested in business, it’s a short read with a simple message about authentic communication with our fellow humans. It’s refreshing, especially considering that his bank and his PR team discouraged him from doing what, in his gut, he knew was the right thing to do.

In an Orwellian world where up is down and we’re told not to believe our eyes, authenticity is refreshing. When people know the truth, they can handle it. They can make informed decisions. Not only that, but most people appreciate being treated respectfully and with honesty. Authentic relationships are built on honesty and candor. In Nick Sarillo’s case, his decision to lay bare his soul (and his business’ finances) not only helped him solve a short-term financial problem, it also helped him build longterm relationships with customers, vendors, and employees.

In your relationships with your end-users and coworkers, respect them enough to treat them with honesty and authenticity. Recall the words of author Meryl Runion in her book Power Phrases, “Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t be mean when you say it.” That’s authenticity!

Always be authentic.

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