Customer service by definition is the process of ensuring customer satisfaction with a product or service. Often, customer service takes place while performing a transaction for the customer, such as making a sale or returning an item. That sounds reasonable and most people would be happy with being satisfied while purchasing a specific item or service. But don’t you want your customers to be more than just satisfied? Sounds kind of mediocre…wouldn’t it be better if your customers were thrilled, excited, beyond ecstatic? Hence, giving them a great experience, something they will remember and share with their family, friends, coworkers and more. That sounds like great customer service. So what is great customer service?
Truth be told, anyone can give good customer service but not everyone is capable of giving great customer service. Here at #NAHANCO, we take pride in our great customer service, (see our fabulous staff pictures). Not only do we have an amazing Customer Service Department, but we have excellent departments within our company and amazing supervisors that take immense pride and satisfaction in manufacturing, production, maintenance, product development, packaging, shipping, marketing and selling products that not only meet but exceed our customer’s standards. It’s important to remember that great customer service starts with knowing your product or service and that you have to own it, taking the good with the bad. Knowledge is power, train your team and listen to them and your customers. Ask for feedback, what can you do better? Here are 5 easy tips to remember when it comes to great customer service.
Great customer service includes 1. Putting a smile on your face 2. Having a pleasant tone or demeanor 3. Making eye contact with the customer (or if on the phone, listening to what the customer is saying without distractions) 4. Completing the transaction in a timely and efficient manner 5. Saying Thank You.
Let’s start with #1, putting a smile on your face. A smile—or the nonvisual sense of a smile for telephone customer service representatives—can be the most significant part of a business transaction. In retail, it can influence people's perception of a brand and their customer satisfaction (http://customerthink.com/the-power-of-a-smile). Smiling is free, it doesn’t hurt and it’s contagious. It also helps to not only generate a sale, but completes it with the ultimate customer satisfaction guaranteed. In addition, if you present an enthusiastic, up-beat and positive attitude it will surely rub off on your coworkers and customers.
#2. Having a pleasant tone or demeanor. If you are grumpy, irritated, or flat-out bored with your customers, don’t convey it in your tone or your facial expressions. Swallow your thoughts, chew on them and then spit out a positive message that conveys an understanding and pleasant, natural response. Remember the golden rule of life; treat people how you would like to be treated. It’s ok to have a bad day, or not agree with a customer, but it’s not ok to let your personal feelings or ideas get in the way of a customer’s experience. Here are 5 simple tips for improving tone of voice in customer service, https://www.customersure.com/blog/customer-service-tone-of-voice/
Moving on to #3, making eye contact with the customer. No one at that moment in time should be more important than the person standing in front of you, or on the other end of the phone. When you look a customer in the eyes, you convey trust, understanding, empathy, compassion and that you are focused on their transaction or experience. How to do eye contact? According to Jodi Schulz from Michigan State University Extension (http://www.canr.msu.edu/news/eye_contact_dont_make_these_mistakes) “to maintain appropriate eye contact without staring, you should maintain eye contact for 50% of the time while speaking and 70% of the time while listening. This helps to display interest and confidence.” I know a lot of this sounds like common sense, but many people struggle with making eye contact. A few tips and a little practice, you will catch on in no time and build your confidence to engage with your customers in a relaxing and meaningful conversation.
#4. Completing the transaction in a timely and efficient manner. In a busy world, nobody has time for anything. When attending to a customer’s transaction or service, don’t become distracted by what is going on around you or “chatty” with the customer. Stay focused on the task at hand, don’t become engaged with your co-workers if it doesn’t involve your customer and don’t try to do more than one thing at a time. Your customer’s experience is almost complete, don’t blow it now.
And last, but certainly not least, #5. Say Thank You. Gratitude is memorable, and it can remind your customers why they shopped at your store or called you to place an order or book a service that you provide. Regardless of the type of business you have, saying thank you after every transaction is one of the easiest ways to start a habit of great customer service.