The FISH Methodology and Why It Makes Good Commercial Sense

A reliable and positive customer service is vital for businesses of all sizes and sectors. But still, many companies still face several customer service challenges these days. In fact, 78% of consumers have not pursued an intended purchase all because they experience poor service from the business. Of these dissatisfied customers, 70% said their buying experience is based on how they are treated by the company’s staff.

First impression last – and it holds very true in today’s business landscape. So, if one of your customer service personnel displayed an unpleasant attitude or behaviour towards your customers, you not only risk losing some of your loyal clients but also ruining your brand reputation in the market.

If there’s only a way to ensure a consistent quality customer service, right?

Actually, there is – and it is called the Fish! Philosophy.

What is Fish! Philosophy?

Fish! Philosophy is a technique used to make employees more satisfied and active in the workplace. It was developed by John Christensen in 1997, upon visiting Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. He was amazed by the fish sellers were having fun in the work, and at the same time give their customers with a lot of attention to make sure their visit would be memorable and enjoyable.

Overall, the purpose of this technique is to improve organisational culture, and ultimately employee engagement – a crucial element to achieving high operational efficiency and top-notch customer service.

The Four Cornerstones of Fish! Philosophy

Fish! Philosophy embodies four principles that should be followed in order to ensure a great customer service:

  1. Choose Your Attitude

We have full control over our attitude. We can either despise every minute we spend in the office, or accept the reality of it and try to find joy in working there.

“Most of us believe our attitudes are caused directly by outside influences like unpleasant experiences or negative people. But while external pressures may trigger our feelings, we are the ones wearing those feelings like a suit of clothes. We can either be subservient to external events, few of which we have any control over, or we can take charge of our own response.” – Fish! Philosophy website

  1. Be Mentally Present

This principle implies being focused on the present moment: Focus on the task you’re doing, and focus on the person you’re trying to help.

“It means getting out of your own ‘world’ so you can BE THERE for someone else. It means setting aside emotional baggage from the past, and worries about the future in order to appreciate the opportunities you have available to you, right now.” – Fish Philosophy handout 

  1. Play at Work

Having fun at work helps us keep a fresh perspective on everything, thus improving our enthusiasm and energy while working.

“An ‘all-business’ approach has a human cost: It’s not inspiring. We shut down emotionally and many who might make creative contributions keep that part of themselves at home.”

– Fish! Philosophy handout

  1. Make Someone’s Day

Doing something special for customers or coworkers not only make us feel good, it also transforms your business into a better place where gratitude thrives.

“At a deeper level, “make their day” means taking a genuine interest in the unique gifts of others. Spontaneous or planned, when you make the effort to brighten someone’s day—not because you want a reward, but because that’s the person you want to be—you receive an internal gift that makes life even more meaningful as well. No matter what, making someone’s day is a win-win. Every single time.” – Fish! Philosophy website

Why the Fish! Philosophy Makes Good Commercial Sense?

One of the greatest benefits of using this approach is that it not only makes the workplace more positive and engaging to work in but also help us be more resilient when dealing with setbacks not only in customer service but on other areas of the business as well.

Overall, when your customer service staff or anyone of your employees are focused on the present moment (Be There), stop complaining and start appreciating the good things in their work (Choose Your Attitude), understand the importance of giving gratitude (Make Someone’s Day), and have fun at work (Play), then your business as a whole will be able to create an organisational culture that foster happiness to its employees and customers.



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