There is a symbiotic relationship between customer service and coaching. The science of customer service, which is built around the 3Rs of reliability, responsiveness, and relationships, give us a behavioural framework in which to educate employees on how to deliver great customer service. This framework, based on 20 years of research on service quality in the eyes of the customer, is presented below:


However, having a customer service framework built on science does not mean that employees will execute great service every day. How do you know they are acting on the 3Rs and working hard to improve their skills in these three areas? The secret behind executing great service every day is through taking a constant athletic approach coaching.

An athletic approach to coaching begins by observing employees in their customer service role, demonstrating the customer skills you would like the employee to deliver and committing the employee to practice the identified opportunities to grow their skills, that are identified through the observation session. These three approaches will advance their technical customer service skills. The athletic approach to coaching also means you are growing their mental skills by showing you believe in the coachee and their growth, setting them challenging goals and giving them regular feedback as they progress towards these goals. Finally, the athletic approach to coaching means you are helping employees have energy when they work on the frontline. This means helping front-line employees be safe at work, helping to manage the stress that comes with working on the front-line and also helping them being in the best physical shape (by reminding them of employee health benefits for example).

When taking this approach to coaching front-line employees, it will mean they have mastery, focus, and energy. They will then be much more likely to deliver great service as they have become (or are becoming) customer service experts. A summary of this approach is presented below.


However, you need both a strong behavioural framework and an athletic approach to coaching. If you coach regularly, but don’t have a behavioural framework – in this case, the 3Rs – then what content will you coach too? What is your playbook that will enable you to spot the things employees are doing well and the areas that they can improve in? The 3Rs gives your coaching content and a checklist to use so you can specifically recognize high performance and carefully identify areas for even higher levels of customer service performance.

Behavioural framework + athletic approach to coaching = sustained service excellence

By executing both of these parts you can set yourselves apart from other organizations who only do one (or in many cases neither). In this way, you can determine your own customer service fame.

New book – Coming soon!

I’m absolutely thrilled to share my 2nd book with you, The Science of Service: The Proven Formula to Drive Customer Loyalty and Stand Out from the Crowd (hitting retailers: Sept. 18). Pre-order your copy today!