This unexpected approach surprises consumers

People are naturally guarded when dealing with sales and service personnel; constantly alert to forking out more money than necessary, being sold a lemon, or paying for something that doesn’t deliver as promised. As soon as it’s obvious we are dealing with such individuals, our defences go up. And that’s why we are surprised when we hear the phrase: “I’m here to serve.”

A genuine ‘serving’ approach demonstrated by distributors, sales and technical staff is unexpected and something we rarely encounter. In a world where the focus is usually on our own interests above all others and profit-at-all-cost, this attitude understandably catches the attention.

But a ‘serving’ attitude can be misunderstood. Unlike a servant who is at the beck-and-call of their master, a worker who serves their client or customer is truly attentive to their needs. They listen carefully, make mental notes of what is being shared, and provide the right solution that will solve the problem the first time. And to provide the right solution requires years of knowledge acquired in their field. This approach is further characterised by the confidence to put others’ needs before one’s own, and being available to listen – almost counter-intuitive.

An attitude to serve is noticeable in many political, cultural and religious leaders; both past and present. It is an approach which leads by example from the front and is mindful of all levels of society and their own organisation. Serving our clients and customers does not always have to be about dollars-and-cents. And arrogance and self-interest should never characterise the way we interact with consumers, colleagues and subordinates. Serving others opens up healthy communication and works towards a win-win outcome.

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