Sport: it’s one of the few things in life which can, in a couple of heartbeats, bring you to your feet in pure adulation or knock you down in deep despair. A few seconds can make all the difference between winning and losing – so you need to make them count.
Ask any sports fan and they will regale you with their team’s best performances and star players or commiserate over shock defeats and missed opportunities – as a Scottish rugby fan, I’ve personally ridden the emotional rollercoaster more than once.
Customer service can induce a similar effect – joy and relief brought about by a good result or, and we’ve all been here, frustration and agitation when things don’t go according to plan.
Furthermore, as recent performances in the Rugby Six Nations and the UEFA Champions League demonstrate, possession and ball trickery might be entertaining, but they mean nothing unless the ball is touched down over the try line or hits the back of the net. Similarly, a business is only ever as good as its last customer interaction, so it is important to deliver the right end result.
For me, and every other sports fan out there, victory is the ultimate goal. Likewise, for customers, total satisfaction is paramount. In both scenarios obstacles need to be overcome (it can’t be easy tackling a 20 stone, 6.5ft rugby winger travelling at 23mph...). Inevitably mistakes will be made, we are all human after all, however it’s in the way a team resolves a problem or deals with a setback which determines its ability to come out on top.
To take an example: Lionel Messi and his Barcelona colleagues might be adored around the world because of their footballing exploits, but it took hundreds of hours of training to reach that level, continues to take hundreds more to maintain it, and even they aren’t invincible (although try telling that to the Leverkusen coach!).
As a team battles for victory, it might take a tactical reshuffle or a moment of inspiration from an individual player to get supporters off their feet. Likewise, the best results will occur when a business takes responsibility, listens, and works with its customers to find the right solution. Embracing new tactics could lead to the business equivalent of scoring that trophy-winning goal or famous try (remember that Hastings try which snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against France in 1995?).
Like all good sport teams, we realise we’re not infallible and are constantly working at getting better. So, if you have any tactical suggestions leave a comment below or send us a tweet and let our customer service coaches know.