Nuggets | Ask Yourself...Am I GREAT at Customer Service? - Part 3

Seek to Understand Before Seeking to be Understood

Want to be GREAT at something?  Try being GREAT at customer service.  It starts with listening.  Listen more than talk; ask more than pontificate. Read more

Learn a Lesson from Sports Teams

Successful sports organizations have everyone on the same page (management, players, coaches, trainers, even business operations); if they had different objectives, they'd eventually fail. Read more

Get Complainers to Respond to You

They're complaining again!  To end conversations more quickly, gain control of the conversation - professionally.  Have them respond to your questions so you don't Read more

Learn How to Find Information Quickly

Responsive people can find and relay information quickly.  Can you quickly find specific e-mails, project or issue documents, softcopies of reports, resolutions to past Read more

Make Them Know You Care

Do you care about your co-worker or customer?  If so, great!  But it's equally important FOR THEM TO KNOW YOU CARE.  So how do Read more

Tell Them What They Told You

People like to feel that you are trying to understand them, that you're empathetic.  One way to do this is to paraphrase what they Read more

Solicit Complaints...Kind of

Stat of the Day - Customers who complain and get complaints resolved quickly are 9 times more likely to stay with a business than Read more

The Definition of "Active Listening"

The difference between listening and active listening is - in active listening - the other person KNOWS you're listening because you're asking questions, clarifying, Read more

Do It, and Then Tell Them You Did It

One great way to have others view you as "responsive"...Couple every action to complete something for someone with a communication stating that you completed Read more

Avoid the Fight

“Are you with me or against me?”  Many upset customers and co-workers have this attitude when an issue arises.  To help them feel you’re Read more

Care Without Words

Convey that you care with a voice that shows interest and concern, with body language that shows openness and understanding.  Convey you care in Read more

Be Close-ended, Not Close-Minded When Addressing Complaints

To diffuse the upset customer, ask close-ended questions - the yes/no questions or those requesting facts/figures.  Avoid open-ended questions that result in longer responses Read more

Get Organized

Being organized is not magic.  You can do it.  Many people judge your level of service by your level of responsiveness, and organization helps Read more

Don't Talk Much; You'll be a Better Conversationalist

When talking with someone, if you spend more time listening and asking questions than talking about yourself, others generally think you’re a good conversationalist. Read more

3 Steps to Responsiveness

To convey you're responsive to needs/issues, (1) End discussions by restating what you'll do next. (2) Do it. (3) Tell them that you did Read more

Employee and Customer Satisfaction are Linked

Studies have shown a direct link between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction; that's especially true when the co-worker is the customer.  Want to help Read more

Convey You're Listening

The person you're talking with wants to feel they're being listened to; the operative word is "feel."  So don't just listen; CONVEY you're Read more

Tell Them You Care

To convey you CARE about the other's need, restate it to them.  Also, literally tell them that "I WANT to help…" or "I HOPE Read more

Don't Ignore Their Emotions

When dealing with somebody arguing, upset, or irate, try to defuse them emotionally.  It's easier to deal with the issues if you can lower Read more

Show Your Empathy

To appear empathetic to the other person, try to understand and restate the other's situation, clarify their feelings, and nod Read more

Get Organized to be Responsive

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Organized people are usually more productive, but organization is also a key to excellent customer service.  If you’re organized, you can more quickly find information and respond.   Get organized.

I.D. Co-workers who are Customers

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Write down the names of 5 co-workers who rely on your decisions, your information, your services.  These co-workers are your customers.  So we need to treat them as customers.

Defuse with Empathy

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To defuse the upset customer or co-worker, empathize with them.  This shows you’re more concerned with being understanding than with arguing and being right.

Convey You Care

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To convey you care, be attentive, focused, patient, empathetic, respectful, have an ownership attitude, be solution-oriented, and be responsive.

Help Your Customers Remember

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To manage expectations, have standard documents conveying next steps or responsibilities of you and the customer; send summary e-mails after planning meetings; have intranet-based documents to which to refer others.

When Making Decisions, Ask…

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Providing consistently high levels of customer service isn’t easy.  It requires you to constantly be thinking of others first.  Constantly ask yourself “what’s best for the customer?”

Stay Composed During Telephone Complaints

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When hearing a complaint on the phone, write down what they say.  You will get focused on the facts instead of the emotion; that will help you keep your composure.

Treat Co-workers as Customers

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Every customer service technique, philosophy, or principle you’ve ever learned applies to your co-worker just like it does to your customer.  Treat co-workers as internal customers.

Show You’re Focused on Them

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When listening to someone, get in the habit of making good eye contact and periodically nodding when you agree with something.  It shows you’re focused, you’re open, and you care.

Have the Will

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Those great at customer service have the will to be great, the will to care, the will to think about others first.  Do you have the will?