Outlawing the Shrug

If you haven't seen the U.S. Cellular commercial that cuts to the core of bad service, check it out here. I love this commercial!

Their message (delivered exceptionally well in my opinion) is that bad service is caused by apathy. In the commercial they even say "Aren't most answers attainable with a little elbow grease? Doesn't anyone care?" Every time I see this commercial (or have an experience with a person that may as well have starred in the spot), I think, "ok, laziness, frustration, unhappiness, and/or a nonexistent corporate customer service training and rewards program may be the cause of poor customer service." But what causes good customer service? What is the makeup of a really great service provider?

To get my answer, I've been conducting a really unscientific (yet eye-opening) experiment. I've observed folks that stand out as superior service deliverers. I've watched how they act at work, what they do, etc. And then I've asked those close to these service stars (significant others, friends, family members) what they are like at home. And you know what is amazing? Coworkers and close friends and family members describe the people that excel at service the same way. They are the same in their professional lives as they are in their personal lives; the descriptors I hear most often are good listeners, helpful, good at making and keeping friends, and empathic. They are the folks that shovel your driveway when they are up before you. They babysit your kids when your sitter cancels at the last minute. And in their "spare" time, they are the director of operations or the vice president of client services at major corporations. Why? Because service is a part of who they are as people.

Some people just get it. As human beings and as service providers. And, yeah, you can teach service fundamentals, but what separates the good from the great are the folks who get it and apply it in all parts of their lives. Service is a lifestyle choice. So is being a good person. And that's no coincidence.

We want to hear from you!

  • Do you know someone like this—a person who is the personification of service in their personal and professional life?
  • Do you agree that service is a lifestyle
  • Do you disagree? Do you think people can be taught to be great service providers?

What do you think of the U.S. Cellular commercial? Are there any other commercials out there that so overtly promote good service as their differentiator?

Post your response!