What Is A Mindset?
Let’s start there, because if you read 4 Ways to Improve your CX then you will know why the definition of a word matters greatly! :) So let’s define mindset…
A mindset is an established set of attitudes or beliefs.
It goes with you in every interaction you have with a customer. Whether you realize it or not, you’re always operating with a specific mindset. It becomes so common to you that you probably don’t even know you’re making choices based on an unconscious belief system. You’re so rooted in it, you don’t even realize how much it’s impacting your choices, your thoughts, or your behaviors.
This happens in almost every area of life!
Think for example about a pan of freshly baked brownies. They’re cut into pieces and all you have to do is dive in. So, which piece do you pick? The warm, gooey center? Or the crisp outer edge? If we were sitting across the table from each other, I bet you’d have a pretty good argument as to why the piece of brownie you’d choose is the right one. And that’s because over time, it’s become a mindset—an established set of beliefs about which brownie is the best brownie.
Or what about parenting? As parents, we might catch ourselves saying things like, “I can’t wait until my kids go off to college. Then things will be less chaotic at home,” or, “My kids never help at home. They can be so lazy at times.” Those simple phrases are indicators of mindsets we have about our children.
The same is true when it comes to work. We all walk around with mindsets related to our jobs.
Thank goodness it’s Friday.
The customer is always right.
I would help with that, but it isn’t my job.
These customers complain all the time.
I’m here to help whoever comes in my path.
Those thoughts are all indicative of a mindset. And whether we know it or not, those mindsets show up in the way we engage with our customers.
Now of course, sometimes those mindsets are based in reality.
Maybe the tourists getting off the bus really are messy.
Maybe the best brownie piece really is the center. Maybe your kids really can be lazy sometimes.
Maybe the customers you interact with really do tend to complain on a regular basis.
Those things may be true, but letting them become the foundation of our mindset isn’t helpful. Because our mindset dictates so much more than just our attitude. It drives our thoughts, our actions, and our behaviors. It changes the way we interact with others, for better or for worse.
Why Mindset Matters
I like to think of it like a formula.
Our mindset dictates our thoughts. Our thoughts motivate our actions.
Our actions are what the customer experiences.
So, if our actions follow our thoughts and our thoughts about the customer, the work, or just life in general are motivated by a poor mindset, we can’t help but treat the people on the other side of us poorly. That attitude is going to come out, one way or another.
And that’s why mindset matters here. It’s one of the key elements in creating an exceptional customer experience. And even better, it’s one of the few things completely in your control. If you want to see a change in the customer experience where you work—if you want to be an employee who makes a real impact—you have to start with your mindset.
Here’s the good news: Knowing is half the battle here. Recognizing you have this established set of beliefs or attitudes is a great place to start. Because until you know it, you can’t change it!
So then, how do we change our behaviors?