Great Customer Service Starts With YOU

It’s your job to make customers happy — and it’s not always easy. On the front line, you deal with anything and everything. And you have to be prepared not only to satisfy each and every type of customer, but also to go beyond their expectations. It’s a tough job, but it’s extremely valuable to your organization. And in the face of strong competition, increasing prices, and increasingly demanding customers, the only way to ensure your organization’s continued success is through adopting a customer-centric approach. But very few companies actually know how to do this effectively.

Yes, you can become a customer service superstar. As you probably know, being a good customer service representative has its challenges; customers can be difficult, and talking on the phone all day can be exhausting. But your profession also has its own rewards. Making customers happy and keeping them loyal to your company plays a big part in any business’s financial success.

Make a great first impression

You have only a few seconds to make a good first impression, so use your time wisely. The simple secret to making a good first impression is to SMILE and to greet the customer by name. This immediately sets the tone for further customer interaction.

Use the right words and phrases

As a customer service representative, you can get customers to trust and like you by using language that makes them feel valued and appreciated. This is a giant first step toward effective customer service.

Happy Female Customer Service Representative Wearing Headset“I will …”
“I will call our warehouse and get back to you by 2:00 p.m.”
Instead of:
“I might be able to get an answer for you.”

“Will you …”
“Will you please complete this form.”
Instead of:
“You will have to complete this form.”

“You can …”
“You can get that information from our parts department.”
Instead of:
“I don’t know anything about that. It’s not my job.”

Listen to yourself

Your most important communication tool is your voice. You can use your voice to communicate, inform or persuade. Your voice makes an immediate impression. You can sound friendly or distant, confident or unsure, relaxed or anxious, natural or emotionless. To find out how others hear you, record your voice. Do you sound enthusiastic? Do you enunciate and speak clearly, without mumbling? Does your voice reflect a positive attitude. If not, PRACTICE!

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes

You have to be respectful, professional, and helpful, no matter what the situation or who you’re dealing with. Sure, that’s easy when you’re handling the dream customer — you know, someone who is polite, reasonable, and willing to listen.

Angry businessman shouting on the phoneInstead, you often find yourself having to handle the opposite: customers who are rude, confrontational, even bordering on abusive! But try and see it from their perspective. There’s a reason they are angry. Most likely it has to do with one of these five reasons…

  1. They are confused or overwhelmed
  2. They feel ignored
  3. They are defending their ego (self-esteem)
  4. They were treated poorly in the past
  5. They had to wait too long for service

If you can figure out what is bothering them, then you can take the proper steps to remedy the situation.

Never forget how important customer service is

According to the statistics compiled by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, Technical Assistant Research Programs (TARP):

  • 96% of unhappy customers never complain
  • 91% of those who don’t complain will not buy again from your business
  • The average unhappy customer will share the negative story with at least nine
    other people
  • 13% will tell more than 20 people
  • The average unhappy customer will remember the incident for 23 years
  • The average happy customer will talk about the pleasant experience for 18 months

Your job is important. Stay positive and don’t let one bad apple affect your next interaction … or the rest of your day!

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