Customer Service 101
Customer service is an essential tool in any industry. Whether you’re running a company, working behind the scenes, or interacting with people all day. Great customer service the key to success.
Engaging with people in a friendly manner opens doors. Discovering new business opportunities, developing better networking skills, and even creating new friendships can be gained from practicing good people skills in customer service.
Using six simple techniques, you can rise above others in your field to become the best.
“Let us always meet each other with a smile; for the smile is the beginning of love.” –Mother Teresa
Smiling is an act of kindness many people crave yet never seem to pass along. In the customer service world, smiling seems like an automatic technique, but surprisingly, so many people forget it.
When you give someone a genuine smile, you set their mind at ease. You show them you’re there to help them. You open the door to a positive experience. Good customer service is a great representation of how you view your industry, your job, and most importantly, yourself.
Every encounter you have with another individual should always begin with a smile.
“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” –Warren Buffet
Knowledge of your industry is a key factor of good customer service. In order to provide your customers with accurate information, you must have a good grasp of products and services your company provides. This can be learned through product manuals, training guides, online research, and on-the-job training.
When you are well versed in what products or services your company offers, your confidence levels increase. You can move forward with excellent customer service skills because you have full knowledge of what to say and do.
Your reputation as an expert will grow and you’ll become the employee everyone looks up to.
“I think it is incredibly important to be open and accessible and treat people fairly and look them in the eye and tell them what is on your mind”– Bob Iger
In an age where so many people stare at their phones when having a conversation, engaging customers with direct eye contact sets you apart.
This is not a bad thing for customer service. In fact, it can actually build you up as a leader in your field.
When you look someone in the eye as you speak, you command authority.
Commanding authority through eye contact creates a concrete case for your capabilities. You’re showing, with great authority, that you know exactly what you’re talking about. You’re letting your customer know you can be trusted to provide excellent information and service.
“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm.” Audrey Hepburn.
Being helpful is the very definition of customer service. But, too often, customer service representatives actually give out wrong information or simply don’t care to help at all.
Giving a customer the wrong answer, wrong product, or simply choosing not to help them at all can lead down a path of destruction.
Your job as a customer service representative rests on your ability to help those you serve. It’s the reason you offer suggestions or go out of your way to find the right answer. It’s the reason you go above and beyond to give your customer what they need.
“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker
Being efficient plays a huge role in customer service. The ability to provide your customer with their needs in a timely, yet, accurate order allows for a better experience for both you and your customer.
In order to effectively provide such level of care, you have to have a good understanding of your workplace. Knowing where to find extra items your customer may request will help you when the time comes. Understanding the timeline and appointment procedures of services your company offers will allow you to answer questions without needing to ask another coworker.
Saving the customer time while providing accurate answers will result in a happy customer.
“Honesty is the fastest way to prevent a mistake from turning into a failure.” – James Alutcher
Honesty is a key ingredient to any aspect of life, especially customer service. If you’re unsure how to approach an issue or solve a problem, you need to be honest. Communicate in a way that lets your customer know you may not know the answer, but you will get someone who does.
This not only shows your level of service commitment; it also shows your integrity. It shows you care more about helping someone than you do about looking like a pro.
Most of the time, asking for help not only helps your customer, but it also becomes a learning experience for you. You can use the knowledge gained in future situations or even pass the knowledge on to another coworker.
Customer service at its best
The rule of customer service is simple: treat people how you want to be treated.
These six tips are not all you need to be an excellent customer service representative, but they are a great place to start.
Smiling is scientifically proven to make people feel more at ease with strangers. Having a great understanding of your job and the products and services you’ll be offering is the best way to build confidence and look people in the eye. Helpful, honest and efficient customer service representatives are always in demand because these qualities are slowly becoming a lost art.
With a strong command of these six tips, you can find yourself at the top of the hiring list as well as a well-respected employee.