This week I delivered a seminar to one of the largest government agencies in the District of Columbia. Attendance was mandatory and the topic of the seminar was supposed to be about customer service. But I decided to broaden the focus just a bit.

So, instead of the usual class about “walking in the shoes of the customer” and “being polite and friendly,” I wanted those in attendance to emerge from my seminar with a framework that would help them deconstruct service. I wanted them to be able to see service as an experience; as something that is based on a series of social interactions that are anchored by touchpoints that can leave lasting impressions.

Now, this might sound complicated. But I tried my best to simplify my message by condensing it into the following key points:

  • [ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”] Everyone has a story.  [/ut_highlight] We each have hundreds, if not thousands, of encounters with other people on a daily basis. Most of us process those encounters as stories; as a series of interactions that we recall as snapshots in time. As we tell our stories, we don’t necessarily focus on every detail. Instead, we focus on a few memorable moments that made a lasting impression on us. So, when you interact with a customer or a co-worker, we are creating one of many memorable moments that will influence how they construct their story. It’s up to us to be aware of the critical touchpoints around us.