Customer service is a major part of any business. Your customers are what keep your company alive! If it wasn’t for the consumer, there would be no need for businesses. So, it should go without saying that customer service should be on your top priority list! I have been working in customer service for eight years, and during these eight years I have learned SO MUCH about customer service.
I have been able to work in four different states with five very different jobs, and in this process I have been around a rainbow of individuals. This rainbow has given me extensive knowledge on dealing with individuals and I hope that this information will be valuable to you and your company!
The customer isn’t always right. I know, weird, right? But I had to put this tip first because I have heard so many times that the customer IS always right. I have found that in fact, they are not. I find this tip important because I think that sometimes we forget that we are humans too, and we deserve respect. Which leads me to customer service tip #2.
Repeat after me. I will not let a customer disrespect me. This is why the customer isn’t always right. Sometimes, customers think that because they are the customer they ARE always right. Sometimes, they will use this “mantra” to disrespect the person who is helping them. I don’t find this acceptable and neither should you. If you find yourself in a situation where you are being disrespected by a customer, follow the next tips.
Respect everyone as if it were the love of your life. The Golden Rule is to treat people how you want to be treated, but I have always found it’s much easier to treat difficult people how I would want someone to treat the love of my life. Respect is something everyone can appreciate. If you find yourself dealing with a #2 customer, continue to respect them. Identify their problem, do your best to assist them, but do not allow them to disrespect you. In the event that this should happen to you, I find it perfectly acceptable to ask for help from a manager, hang up on them, or ask why the customer is angry with YOU personally. The second is a bit unorthodox, but this is only in extreme situations. Example: I have had a customer begin to yell at me over the phone, over a situation that was not under my control. Hang up. Just hang up.
Smile. Whether you’re on the phone, writing an email, or in person, make sure to always smile. Smiles spread happiness and can give your customer a good feeling. Trust me when I say that customers can HEAR your smile when you are speaking on the phone. I don’t know what it is about smiling that changes the tone in our voices, but it does and people notice.
Make sure you helped your customer to the fullest of your ability. Ask if they need anything else, have any additional questions, etc. Just make sure that they are fulfilled and happy with the outcome you gave them. Even if you just have a small register job, you can still make someone’s day in the two minutes that they are at your counter.
Use concise language. Also, enunciate. Slurring with customers happens, but it’s always good to practice and do your best to speak correctly. Some individuals are hard of hearing, so enunciating will help them understand you better! It’s also just a good policy to have good language skills in life. It will save you a lot of time, and maybe even some headaches, if you speak at a good volume, use concise language, and enunciate!
This kind of goes with tip #6, but stay positive and use positive language! Staying positive is necessary because sometimes when you have customers that are not kind to you, you get grumpy and upset. It’s best in these situations to just remain positive so that you can continue to serve the rest of your clients properly! Use positive language, too! For example, instead of saying “can’t” or “won’t” find a way to reword your sentence with “can” and “will”.
“We can’t get the product until next month.”
“I can have the product available for you next month, and I will make sure to send it to you the moment we receive it.”
Always thank your customers, especially your most loyal customers! Thank them when you see them, when you’re talking to them, and even when your emailing them! The best thing you can do (and should do) is to send your most loyal customers hand-written thank you notes! Thank you notes seem to be a thing of the past, however, they should make a comeback because nothing is more warming than receiving a thank you note in the mail as opposed to a text or email.