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Customer Service Matter
How many of you have been to a small shop, with good products, but the owner had no customer service skills? Did you go back a second time? I’m betting that you probably didn’t. I believe in supporting small and local businesses, but it can be hard to do that if they’re lacking in the customer service department.

Let’s be honest, It’s more than just the verbal interaction, it’s about the non-verbal language too. Ever feel like you were being watched, misjudged, or even ignored? These are all too common and are easily avoidable. You would never make these kinds of mistakes with your valued customers, right? You just might be unaware that you are making these same or similar mistakes.

Who Is The Customer?

When you think of customer service skills, do you reserve this for customer-facing roles only, or do you also include the service provided aside from the end customer? Is good customer service something you automatically expect when you are in the customer role exclusively, but think little of elsewhere? How about at your job or serving your family?

We actually should be more considerate and attentive to our co-workers, friends, and family as these are the people we deal with daily. In the same way our paycheque and staying employed keeps us on our toes to provide good service, we should have the same zeal to serve others. How can you be of service to someone else? Can you help others around you in any way? Everyone is your client.

I believe the basic premise of customer service is being able to service all whom you interact with, with respect and to the best of your ability. This isn’t exclusive to customer-facing roles or even the workplace. We should strive to be courteous and pleasant with all whom we are in interaction with. Whether it’s a customer, co-worker, sales associate, friend or an acquaintance, practice giving good service.

Customer Service In the Workplace

For most work positions, having basic or strong customer service skills is required and expected. When you are a business owner, having good service is the least you can do to show your appreciation to your customer. After all, a customer may not remember the words you spoke, but they will most definitely remember the way they were treated and attended to.

Basic training is usually given on how an employee should handle clients, but there are simple ways for you to develop these skills and become a customer service champion. Here are 4 tips to consistently providing exceptional customer service.  

4 Tips To Become a Customer Service Champion

1. Practice being a good customer

Associates wear name tags for a reason, and it’s not just so you can identify them when you want to make a complaint. Once someone has serviced you, say thank you and use their name. They’ll be pleasantly surprised.

You can ask the associate how their day is going or compliment them. Actually, listen to their response, and then acknowledge their reply. You may have been just 1 of 100+ customers that came into their store that day. But if you can make them crack a smile on what may have been a tough shift, why wouldn’t you?

2. Show genuine interest

Make small talk with your customer. It could be a joke about what they may use your product for or that a lot of people have come back with positive reviews of the product their purchasing. You can complement their child, their dog, or their hat, but always be genuine. Try to stay away from the default of weather, as we all know where those convos end up. Thank them for choosing to shop with you, and ask if there was anything they didn’t see or if there was anything they’d like to see improved.

3. Go above and beyond

This doesn’t mean to try to upsell them more product. This can involve providing them personal experience on a product, giving them options and being honest in your suggestions. Even if it means suggesting a lower-priced product that could do the same job. Show the customer that you are looking out for their best interests and not just the company’s profit margin.

People love free stuff, but make sure it’s practical and something they’ll want to use. I’ve loved stationery all my life, so I love promotional pens. Think Freebies that’ll they’ll use or something the kids could play with, and not just a desk calendar that they may forget they have. Think a bit outside the box. Give them a mug if they spend over a certain amount of money. Make them feel like a valued customer.

4. Be seen as the management team

If your business has employees, be available and be seen. Introduce yourself to shoppers as the owner or manager, and get their feedback on the spot. Show customers that management cares and appreciates their customers. Step outside your usual managerial duties and work the frontlines with your staff.

Respond directly to customer calls, emails, or complaints yourself if you’re able to. Thank them for taking the time to bring the issue to your attention and offer them something of value in addition to resolving the problem. It could be a cash value discount or percentage off service, or company swag.  

Key Takeaways

Just like any other skill, practice makes progress. Keep working at improving your skills and don’t restrict it to just the workplace. Practice being a good customer, and be mindful of how you would like to be treated. Don’t automate your responses, but personalize them. Strive to make genuine connections and build relations with those you are interacting with. Make going above and beyond a regular practice. Gradually, it’ll become second nature for you to take the initiative and your customers will always be pleased.

Post Author: Chadene Mbouogno

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