What is Customer Service? <br />According to Jack Speer, a publisher for BizWatch,“Excellent customer service is the process by which your organization delivers its services or products in a way that allows the customer to access them in the most efficient, fair, cost effective, and humanly satisfying and pleasurable manner possible.”<br />
Mistakes happen, Who cares? <br />Mistakes in customer service can create a bad image for companies, create hostile customers, loss of customers and money. <br />
Mistake #1Not Being Friendly Enough <br />Not being friendly is the by far the top mistake employees can make. Customers should be treated as guests that are welcome and special. Customers should not be seen nor treated as if they are an interruption or annoying. <br />Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated!! <br />
Mistake #2Poor Eye Contact <br />It is very important to keep eye contact with your customers. They will notice if you begin glancing around. They will begin to feel as if their business is not important to you or that you don’t really care about them. <br />If you are on the phone with a customer obviously you cannot make eye contact so it is important that you remain focused on the conversation. Quit working on whatever you were doing until the phone conversation is over. Don’t type, check emails, etc. <br />
Mistake #3 Being Rude<br />This mistake can be tricky because many times people don’t mean to be rude. But it all comes down to perception…how does the customer take what you are doing or saying and how you are doing it or saying it. Here are a few things that can be considered rude: ignoring the customer, interrupting, eating or chewing in front of them or when on the phone, not being energetic and happy. <br />
Mistake # 4Poor Product Knowledge<br />Although it cannot be helped in every situation, it is very frustrating to ask for information about a product only to find that the salesperson cannot help you. <br />It is important to learn about the products you offer to maintain good customer service. Be actively interested in what is going on. Ask to be trained if you don’t know something about the products you offer. If you are in a situation with a customer in which you don’t know enough about the product to help them, offer to get someone who does. <br />
Mistake #5Talking with Co-Workers and Ignoring/Not Acknowledging Customers<br />This is a mistake that happens all too often. It may seem more important to finish your conversation but it is not. It is crucial that you build immediate rapport with customers as they come in. It is definitely unacceptable to carry on an in-office conversation while you are on the phone with a customer. <br />
Mistake #6 Blaming and Accusing<br />Never blame your company or co-workers! It only makes the situation worse for customers. It causes them to potentially lose more faith in the company and its products. Instead take responsibility for the situation and ensure you will do what is you can to correct the situation. <br />Definitely NEVER blame or get irate with the customer!! <br />
Mistake # 7Not Showing Empathy <br />It is important to empathize with customers. This will build your customers trust and give you a chance to build a relationship with your customers. You can empathize not only when something is wrong but also when they have happy things to share. A great way to improve your empathy is to comment on what your customers share with you. Which leads to the next mistake…<br />
Mistake #8One-Word Answers<br />Always use complete sentence when speaking with customers. One-word answers can come across as rude or lacking empathy. Even one word answers such as yes, no and ok need a follow-up. <br />
Mistake # 9Checking/Answering Cell Phones<br />Don’t check or answer your cell phone while dealing with a customer, unless the call/app pertains directly to the transaction. Glancing at your cell phone while speaking with a customer can be perceived as rude and uncaring. It also serves as a great distraction. This also applies to your telephone customers. <br />
Mistake # 10Not Smiling <br />A smile changes everything! It makes every transaction more pleasant. It demonstrates to the customer that not only are you happy but that you are interested in them and their concerns. A smile can be detected through the phone also. Before you pick it up, put your smile on. <br />
References <br />Friedman, Nancy. Telephone Doctor Monthly Communication Articles . November 2009, June 2010, February 2011 <br />Speer, Jack. What is the Definition of Customer Service? Retrieved from http://www.bizwatchonline.com/BWJuly06/article3_0904.htm<br />
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