Chances are if you're a living, breathing,
money spending human being, you have
at some point been a customer.
The chances are also high that at some
point in your life that you have been a
victim of rude, abrasive, or downright
unhelpful customer service.
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It's surprising just how little some
companies value good Customer Service.
How your customers are talked to and
handled by staff is inextricably linked to
the customer's image of the company
and so is essential to the health of the
So with this in mind, here are the 5
Golden Rules that businesses should bear
in mind when dealing with their
Share a smile - even a joke!
Okay, so you don't need to become Eddie
Izzard. But customers - especially those
in busy shopping environments - will
likely be feeling a little stressed or
anxious. Simply smiling, making a joke,
or even just starting some good old
English small talk about the weather will
smooth tensions and give your customer
a much more pleasant experience.
Deal with complaints
Some businesses seem to develop an
unhealthy 'us and them' mentality
between the customers and employees.
So if a customer complains to you about
the business or another employee, it can
be easy to take personal offence and to
disregard the complaint.
The problem is, if one customer
complains, whether it is about a rude
member of staff or being held on the line
for too long, it is likely others will pick up
on it too, and before too long you will
have a whole bunch of complaints.
Instead of taking offence, take the
complaint as a opportunity to improve
Always deal with the customer
Note the keyword in this sentence is
"yourself." It can be tempting to palm off
your customer onto another employee -
especially if you're busy.
But the thing is customer service is a
shared responsibility and nothing makes
a customer feel more uncomfortable than
being made to feel like their presence
The customer has asked you where to
find the egg aisle, so unless it is beyond
your capability, you should be the one to
The customer is always right (even
if they're not!)
Admittedly, there will be times when
customer has misread, misunderstood, or
are just plain wrong. Some customers
may even get quite abrasive at insisting
their refund IS valid, despite not having
read the small print at the bottom of the
While it is tempting to reply to such
behaviour with your own shirtyness, you
should always try and be sympathetic to
Explain to them carefully the policy, call
over a manager to discuss the matter
and generally show them you are doing
everything in your power to rectify their
Probably the most important of the
Golden Rules, and despite being one of
the most basic forms of politeness, is
surprisingly often ignored. It doesn't
matter if your customer is telling you
about their day, complaining to you
about your business or calling you for
assistance from the top of an aisle, you
need to show at all times that you are a
polite, attentive and helpful member of a
team who values their customer's input.
Customer service begins from the
moment your customer walks in the door
and lasts until they leave. Everything you
do will be judged and your flaws
exposed. Stick to the five golden rules
and you should be on the right path.
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