In my last two blog posts, I shared a story about the worst customer service I had ever experienced. Then I followed that with introducing three techniques to improve and enhance customer service skills: Clarity, Character and Cultivate.
Today, let’s explore Character:
For me, the character of customer service is how you internalize the situation and believe in the solution, otherwise how can you make it happen? Your goal is to help people for the sake of helping them, expecting nothing in return – Nothing!
One example that I personally experienced occurred while I was driving in my car, during rush hour traffic, in Chicago! Now, I like giving people breaks in traffic. I slow down, motion to the driver to move into my lane – all with a smile on my face. I feel good about helping. But I have to admit that it really irks me when they don’t even acknowledge me with a thank you wave! Really? You can’t even say thank you??? But then I had to ask myself, why am I doing this? Am I doing it to be nice or to get a thank you. I had to look at this with a new perspective.
That’s the same mindset you have to develop with your clients. Be prepared to help this person and expect nothing in return. Here are some pointers that may help:
- Recognize the importance you play in someone’s life. Whether they realize it or not, you may be the only person who can help them. Maya Angelou once said: “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
- Listen with a goal of totally understanding your client’s point of view, without judgment. The key phrase here is without judgment.
- Let the client be a part of the solution. Ask your client what they think would be a good solution. Even if they say something you can’t do, respond by saying: “Even though this is not possible, this is what I can do.” Offer an alternative. Keep looking for new ideas to resolve the situation until you are both satisfied.
- Apologize for their inconvenience.
Good customer service can be hard because you have to put aside your own needs and “issues.” Next week we’ll talk about Cultivate and you will then have three powerful techniques that will help to enhance the great service you already offer.