For better or for worse, most of us have at least one story to share about an experience we’ve had with customer service. While we all tend to laugh (or cringe) at the stories that contain an almost painful awkwardness to them, it’s the stories of exceptional customer service with that individual going the extra mile without anyone asking that leave us inspired and motivated to grow in the way that we serve others. That is ultimately what customer service is: the opportunity to serve people. How you serve people is carried out through a variety of ways contingent on your field of work, your personality type, the type of customers that you interact with…the list goes on and on. At the end of the day, we all have the chance to make a memorable, positive impression on the people that we come into contact with in a professional (as well as non-professional) setting.
Regardless of what you do for a living, here are some tips on how you can provide exceptional customer service to those around you:
Be proud of where you work.
I must preface that being proud of where you work and having your dream job are two very different things. Please don’t turn in your two weeks notice just yet! Just because you don’t have your dream job doesn’t mean that you can’t be proud of the work that you’re currently doing. Perhaps it’s the service/product that your company provides and how it helps people, the team that you work with, your company’s involvement in the community… whatever your reason, find out what makes you proud that you get to do what you do for a living.
I encourage you to find this because when you’re proud of where you work and you know the reasons, others take notice. There’s a substantial difference in someone that’s proud of what they do as opposed to someone that’s there to collect a paycheck. When you view the opportunity to represent your company as a privilege, you’re able to fully enjoy the best days/interactions on the job and more prepared to recover from those less than ideal scenarios.
Listen and apply.
Listening intently is the heart of customer service. We all have a desire to felt heard, but in today’s fast-paced, technologically-driven world, it can be a challenge for us to feel like we are truly heard and to make others feel that we are truly hearing them. The best way to start is by setting all potential distractions aside and focusing solely on the customer. If you’re in person, you’ll want to make sure that you are maintaining eye contact and displaying positive body language or if you’re on the phone, you’ll want to speak with a smile. Yes, a smile can even be heard over the phone!
If I were to ask you to remember one thing about this post, it would be this: Find out what is important to the customer that you’re working with. Once you know what is important to that person, you can then begin finding ways that your service/product apply to them specifically. In doing so, you will show that you’ve taken the time and paid the necessary attention to determine how to best serve them and meet their individual needs. What better way to show someone that you’ve taken the time to listen and understand them?
At the end of the day, there are times when a solution cannot be provided to a customer and they ultimately go in a different direction/remain unsatisfied/etc. While you might believe that you are offering the best solution for this customer, they may ultimately see things differently than you do. Take comfort in the fact that even in these situations, it’s ultimately outside of your control. Your involvement in this process for the customer is just one aspect of the overall process. Be encouraged and grounded by this reminder. And while you might do all that you could do, you may end up losing a customer. Just remember that your worth isn’t determined in that.UMHB strives to not only equip students with an education for life, but also to give every student the experience of a lifetime. We invite you to check out our website for more information, or stop by for a visit to see why UMHB would be a great fit for you!