There are few television characters more iconic or as universally beloved as Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson. Played to perfection by comedian Nick Offerman, the character has become synonymous with modern masculinity and public servitude. He’s relatable because of his no nonsense approach to life. Applying Ron Swanson’s philosophies to customer service makes more sense than you might expect. While the character isn’t exactly known for offering the most stellar customer experiences, we can all learn a thing or two about business customer service from Ron. Here are a few of the most useful Swanson-inspired customer service skills to try the next time you assist someone:
The Power of Straight Talk
“I am usually not one for speeches. So goodbye.” – Go Big or Go Home, Season Three, Episode One
Ron is known as a straight shooter. His straight talk is legendary – whether he’s leading his team in the office or simply ordering a steak at his favorite restaurant, you can expect Ron to cut straight to the point. We can all channel a little Ron Swanson straightforwardness in our lives, especially when talking to customers.
Too often, customer service gets bogged down by complicated jargon and confusing policies. By speaking to customers like you would your friends or colleagues, you can minimize miscommunications. That’s not to say that you should abandon popular sales techniques or your company’s preferred verbiage. Instead, adapt your customer service skills to deliver the kind of message Ron Swanson would most want to hear: straight, to the point, no-nonsense facts.
This style of speaking will save you serious time while earning you the respect of your customers.
Multi-Tasking is Useless
“Never half ass two things. Whole ass one thing.” – Sweet Sixteen, Season Four, Episode 16
Humans like to think of themselves as excellent multi-taskers, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In actuality, we’re terrible at doing two things at once. Studies have shown that when we multitask, we actually only perform one duty at a time, switching rapidly between the two (or more!) tasks to make it feel as though we’re being more productive than we are in reality. Ron Swanson knows multitasking is a farce. It’s time we all came to terms with that fact, too.
The next time you’re assisting a customer, resist the urge to multitask. By dedicating your entire focus to the person you’re helping, you’ll work faster to find a solution to their issue. In turn, the customer may notice your focus and appreciate the attention. It’s truly one of the best ways to prioritize customer service while becoming more efficient in your duties at the same time.
Your Reputation is All You Have
“I didn’t sell my chairs to that website because I value my name. The only thing that’s important at the end of the day is what’s on your gravestone – Your name.” – Recall Vote, Season Six, Episode Seven
Ron Swanson may serve as the director of the Pawnee Parks and Rec department, but his heart lies with his woodworking hobbies. Throughout the show, audiences see him fashion everything from a canoe to stylish chairs that become the talk of the town. Ron’s reputation precedes him, and when it comes time to sell out, he opts not to cash in. By keeping his hobby business small, he can maintain his high standards for quality and customer service.
As companies grow larger and larger, customer service skills can fall by the wayside. Good customer service requires training, and if you’re not constantly investing in your team’s abilities, your overall customer service strategy may suffer. Conversely, your reputation will only continue to improve if you spend the time to adequately train and develop each of your employees.
Admit Fault (and Make Things Right)
“You know what makes a good person good? When a good person does something bad, they own up to. They try to learn something from it and they move on.” – “The Trial of Leslie Knope” Season Four, Episode Nine
It’s hard to admit when you’re wrong, especially when working in a customer-facing role. Owning our mistakes, however, is more powerful than you might expect. Every mistake is an opportunity to provide a stellar customer service experience. As Ron explains, perfection isn’t necessary to success. Instead, our character can be defined by how we respond to errors.
If you or your company has made a mistake, be ready to admit fault to customers. You’ll come across as the bigger person and gain an opportunity to correct your errors. Most people are more than willing to forgive and forget so long as the resulting customer service rectifies the mistake and makes up for the hassle they experienced in the first place.
The Customer Service Experience Your Callers Deserve
In a perfect world, we’d have Ron Swanson conduct a special customer service seminar. Since Ron is unfortunately unavailable, we prioritize training our team with some of his philosophies in mind instead. Our call center agents work around the clock to provide friendly, no nonsense customer service 365 days a year. If you’re eager to up your customer service game, why not jump on a free trial of our inbound call center services? Click here to sign up now!
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