Last week I told a true story of the worst example of customer service I have seen in a long time. While my friends and I were dining outside on a lovely summer evening, the lights strung above our heads came crashing down, spewing broken glass and sparks everywhere. Literally – on our heads!!! The owner came out and was more interested in moving the chairs, never even asking if anyone was hurt.
So this week, I’d like to share with you three key points on GOOD customer service. These are techniques you can use in a number of ways – with your client, your spouse, your children – in all areas of your life. So here goes:
I have found that Clarity, Character and Cultivate are used in every form of great customer service. Let’s talk about the first.
Clarity: It’s taking the time to find out what the real problem is; knowing that your goal is to solve that problem. There is one word, and one word only, that will help you get the greatest clarity on your situation at hand. LISTEN.
In this day of instant everything, we are all tempted to multitask. There is so much we need to keep up with – emails, texts, social media. Heck, if you walk away from your computer to get a cup of coffee, you come back to 50 new emails you have to deal with. So it’s very tempting to look at those emails while you are talking to a client on the phone. But if you are distracted, you are not totally absorbing what they are saying, or listening to the key words that can uncover what their real problem is.
There’s actually a name for the highest level of listening. It’s called Empathetic Listening and it’s the hardest level to achieve. To be successful at this, you must teach yourself to treat every call as though it’s the first time you’ve heard this problem, even though you may have heard it many times before. See the situation through the eyes of your client. How can you do this? I’m glad you asked…
You can accomplish this by:
Asking open ended question
Repeat back what the client said
One way to force yourself to listen is to take notes. Writing versus typing helps you remember the situation better and gives you more clarity. It will help you to truly listen to your client . I know this sounds crazy, but give it a try. See if it helps you listen better and gain more clarity so you can deliver extraordinary customer service.
Well, it seems like we’ve run out of time on this blog post, so I’ll save Character and Cultivate for next week. In the meantime, practice clarity. Let me know how that works for you.