[BOOK REVIEW] Customer service book shows the power of stories

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

power of stories in Who's your Gladys bookThe book Who’s Your Gladys?: How to Turn Even the Most Difficult Customer into Your Biggest Fan” uses the power of stories to share how we can all go about pleasing and helping our customers – even the most difficult ones.

The authors – Marilyn Suttle and Lori Jo Vest – share stories throughout the book from companies that practice excellent customer service. They use real life examples gathered from companies and share what works and what doesn’t. They used the power of stories to get their points across and form relationships between the characters and the reader. I continued to catch myself feeling and pulling for the business people highlighted.

“I wonder how she’ll solve this problem.”

One example: An economy-class flyer of a Singapore Air flight asked for cookies, despite the snack not being offered in that class. The stewardess – the airline doesn’t call them flight attendants – came back with a plate of cookies, admitting they came from First Class. A relationship was formed by the service.

Or the training director who goes above and beyond and acts immediately to help customers who call or email with questions. Conference attendees helped by her seek her out when they attend the actual training in-person.

The director says that it’s usually easier to respond to customers immediately. Don’t put it on a to-do list that you don’t get to or, even worse, forget about the request. Responding and helping now is usually the easiest, quickest and most customer friendly solution.

After sharing authentic stories from businesses – ranging from moving companies, airlines to engineering firms – the authors highlight some key takeaways from each story and even offer a worksheet for the reader’s self-guided reflection at the end of each section.

This book is a great example of the power of stories – not made-up ones, but real ones. The stories are easy to relate to and educational. We can learn from them and the stories are memorable.

The book teaches us – or reinforces, depending on each reader, of course – how we can take our customer service level and engagement to the highest level possible.