4 • Leadership attitude matters in customer service

Attitude matters – and it’s your customer service attitude that makes a difference to the people you deal with every day. As a leader, your managerial attitude affects employee behaviour – and that affects the customer experience.

In this podcast, I’m using a customer service case study to show why managerial and employee attitude is so vital to customer service – and the difference that your leadership behaviour makes.

PODCAST • 9 minute listen

In this podcast episode

If you’re managing teams, it’s your leadership attitude and your words and actions that set the standards for those around you. If you’re on the front line of customer service, your attitude comes through in every interaction you have with both your customers and your colleagues.

Whoever you are, your attitude matters.

In episode 3, you heard a customer experience story that illustrates the issue of managerial attitude very well. We heard how a front-line employee went back to her manager three times, only to return with "no" each time.

But what should have this situation indicated?

Firstly, what is it about the broken process that's causing customer pain and stopping my employee from helping this customer? Managers need to focus on employee empowerment. In this podcast, you hear why.

Secondly, why didn't this manager step in and deal with the problem? As a customer service leader, it's your job to support your staff - especially in the face of a customer problem caused by your organisation's processes.

As a manager, don't throw customer-facing team members under the bus. Stop the bus, and get in the driving seat.

Dr. Jason Price

As a manager, what you say - and what you do (and are seen to do, or not do) - has an impact. This podcast talks about the impact your actions as a customer service leader will have on your employee morale, and the follow on impact for customer experience.

It's nine minutes of well spent time for leaders and customer service front-line staff alike.


Lessons to learn

The key learning points you can take from this podcast and apply to your own situation are:

  • Attitude matters - whether you're in leadership or on the front-line of customer service
  • Leaders who use positive, motivational language see reduced employee absenteeism and lower turnover
  • Leadership actions matter. The way you're perceived as acting sets the tone for organisational culture
  • A customer service attitude means taking action to sort out problems that stop you putting service first

Links and references

Internet Movie Database : The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Research papers referenced in producing this podcast

• Ugboro, I.O. & Obeng, K., 2000. Top management leadership, employee empowerment, job satisfaction, and customer satisfaction in TQM organizations: an empirical study. Journal of Quality Management, 5(2), pp.247–272.

• Alexandrov, A., Babakus, E. & Yavas, U., 2007. The effects of perceived management concern for frontline employees and customers on turnover intentions: Moderating role of employment status. Journal of Service Research, 9(4), p.356.

• Ongori, H., 2009. Managing behind the scenes: A view point on employee empowerment. African Journal of Business Management, 3(1), pp.9–15.

• Luria, G., Gal, I. & Yagil, D., 2009. Employees' Willingness to Report Service Complaints. Journal of Service Research, pp.1–19.

• Mayfield, J. & Mayfield, M., 2009. The Role of Leader Motivating Language in Employee Absenteeism. Journal of Business Communication, 46(4), p.455.


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