Excellent customer service is one of the most important aspects of any business or professional interaction. Providing a satisfying, pleasant customer experience is often the difference between success and failure. While great customer service is easy to spot, it is much more difficult to do as a professional.
As a teenager starting my first job in retail, I quickly received a crash course in basic customer service skills. My employer showed me a few videos about customer interaction and little more. Much of the knowledge I gained about customer service came from the first-hand experience with customers. When I started my first job outside of college, I used many of the skills I had developed before, as well as some additional tactics specific to my position.
Many of the new professionals may not have had previous customer service experience in their previous position. Lack of basic knowledge of excellent customer service can have a negative impact on a person’s career in any profession. Simply understanding a few basic principles can help a new professional to ensure that customers leave interactions feeling satisfied and happy.
The first step to providing excellent customer service is to ensure personal introduction. Giving your name and the question of how you can help are key to setting the tone of the conversation. What’s more, it helps the customer to move easily and makes them more accessible. Go to any restaurant and watch as the waitress or waitress interacts with the eatery. They always take some time to present themselves and make a friendly report with the client. Although this step may seem unimportant, in fact, it is the basis for any great customer service interaction.
It is also important not to trivialize customer problems. As a professional, I often receive questions that I have answered many times over the years, but I try to treat each interaction as personal as possible. Although I may have had to deal with a similar issue with another client, it is harmful to assume that my current client is dealing with exactly the same problem. To put it simply, problems are different and require personalized attention. The way to provide personalized attention – even for the most down-to-earth problems – is to use active listening. Allowing the customer to express his or her problem or concern without cutting it off and restarting the problem to ensure that explanations are ways to ensure that active listening and great customer service are promoted.
In any customer interaction, it is important not to assume that the customer has a certain level of knowledge. When solving problems with customers, it is important to try to start from scratch and work upwards. I use a list of simple questions that I ask each client dealing with the issue. Covering these basics – which can be as simple as reloading a website – ensures that every possible solution has been considered before moving on to more complex solutions.
Ensuring the highest level of customer satisfaction is the goal of any customer interaction. Sacrificing an extra kilometer to make sure that the problem is solved or the question is answered can make a difference. At the beginning of my career, I often looked at the basics and simply tried to solve the customer’s problem, but as my career progressed, I realized that it was important that the problem did not reoccur. Discovering the source of the problem or providing the client with the knowledge to be self-sufficient provides an additional level of service that makes a difference in professional interaction.
Unfortunately, there are situations where the customer’s problems cannot be solved by phone or by visiting a shop. In such cases, a more escalated response may be needed to solve the problem. From day to day, sending a product, sending a technician or providing a refund are the right answers to more serious problems. When providing a more escalated solution, it is important to offer a timeframe and guarantee a response. It is also important to collect all relevant information to ensure that the problem is resolved without additional contact with the customer, making sure that your next interaction will provide a solution is a goal!
Finally, there is no guarantee that the customer will maintain a calm, collected way during the conversation. They can become annoying or hostile when your solution does not meet their requirements. If this is the case, it is important to stay calm and ensure that it is.