3 Roads To Fearless Customer Service

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Don’t worry, this is a stationary motorcycle in a museum, as fierce as I appear!

Motorcycles are exciting! I get a thrill out of holding on for dear life and riding on the back of the bike as it zips down the road. So, I figured, after being too afraid to drive on my own, that it’s time to just do it. I signed up for a course here in San Diego and am now about to hop on a motorcycle for the first time this weekend and learn to ride.

Before we hit the range, the courses begin inside the classroom with rider safety and our first session was last night.

The instructor repeated throughout the evening that you cannot be a scared motorcyclist. If you are afraid while riding, your focus will remain on the fear and not on the car that is about to swerve into your lane. He said to go into each ride with an open mind, free of fear, and put the focus where it should be: on the road.

In customer service, we’re also needing to put the focus where it belongs–on the customer! If we go into a call with an angry, screaming customer wi
th lots of fear about what to do, you may not be as much on your game as you would be if the fear were not present.

Or, it doesn’t even have to be with an angry customer: the situation could be something brand new, brought to your plate and you have absolutely no clue how to resolve it. You may feel some fear in wondering if you’ll do the job right. But, paying too much attention to how scared you are of messing up will only cause you to mess up.

How do you then focus on the job at hand, despite the fear?

Take one of these roads–or all of them!

3 Roads To Fearless Customer Service

1. If You’re Not Sure, Ask!

Lack of communication can drive fear into a situation. Instead of keeping the doors closed, ask questions if you’re not sure about how to resolve a situation. Hopefully you work in an empowering environment where asking questions is accepted, because it will be necessary to clear the fear. Once you ask, you know the answer and I’m sure you’ll feel a lot better going to the customer to take care of their problem. I know I’ll be asking 10,000 questions this weekend when it’s time to roll the throttle.

2. Think Outside The Box

Put on your creativity helmet and dive into solutions or alternatives to issues. You may not be able to fix every problem–but how can you explain it to the customer in a different, new way they will understand? How can you find a work around to an issue while the situation is being reviewed by an escalations team? When you’re cruising down the highway on a motorcycle, you’re constantly looking for escape routes to take in the event someone decides to merge into your lane. Being aware and thinking outside the box can help you jump when it’s time to move quick.

3. Look Further Ahead

When you’re on a motorcycle, they instruct you to look ahead on the road to scan for any potential hazards ahead of time. That way, when you arrive at that point, you are prepared. When working with customers, to prevent further issues later on, analyze the customer’s entire account to make sure no outstanding problems are on the horizon. After all, this helps not only the customer, but it makes you look really good and helps save a call back from that customer to a member of your team down the road.

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Jenny Dempsey is currently the the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. She has worked at tech startups since 2005. She's the co-founder and regular contributor over at CustomerServiceLife.com. She's a certified health coach, but not the kind that forces you to only eat cardboard and deprive yourself of ice cream. JennyDempseyWellness.com, the company she started, was designed to bring a new type of wellness into the workplace, one that gives you permission to look deeper into yourself, rather than just on the healthy snacks in the break room. She is the mother to a toothless rescue cat named Chompers. Avocados and veggie tacos are the way to her heart. She's also a Hanson fan for life.

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