What Customer Service Teaches Us About Business

According to Wikipedia, “Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.”

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  And it is, providing a few key principles are followed.  In my position as a Customer Service Representative, I want every customer with whom I have contact to be smiling by the end of my interaction with them– whether they call with a complaint, a problem, or a request for information. Similar to Sales, we are all in Customer Service.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for customer service:

Do:

  • Take a breath and smile before answering and keep in mind that the person you are about to speak with pays your salary.  There are times when a customer call may seem like an interruption to work, but in fact, serving the customer IS the work.
  • Listen to what they have to say and make sure you understand what they want. If you have to ask questions, make sure they know why you are asking; otherwise, they may feel like you’re wasting their time.
  • Use their name.  People like to hear their name and it lets them know you’re paying attention.  When a customer on the phone tells me their name, I write it down to help me remember it so that I can use it and also so that I can introduce them if I transfer their call to someone else in the company.

If you or someone in your organization has made a mistake, admit it, apologize for it and fix it.  Most people understand that mistakes happen.  They just want it to be made right.

Don’t:

  • Don’t say no.  Tell them how you can help, not how you can’t.  If you are not the person they need to speak with for their particular need, make sure you transfer them to someone who can help them, don’t just pass them off to become “someone else’s problem”.
  • Don’t be defensive or make excuses.  Remember: to that customer, you ARE your company and they will judge your organization based on your behaviour.
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep.  Sometimes it can be tempting to tell a customer what you think they want to hear, rather than telling them the way it really is.   Resist this temptation.  Telling them their problem will be solved in an hour when you know it will take 3 hours just sets them up to be disappointed.  They might not like hearing the truth, but they will like even less being given false expectations.

The bottom line is that, if you treat your customers the way you want to be treated, they will tell people what a great experience they had and they will come back for more.

Maureen Powell

Maureen is one of the friendly voices you will hear if you call Faronics Customer Service. She enjoys reading and writing as well as listening to audiobooks on her iPod. Maureen has been using computers since the olden days, before there were PC’s.