4 Tips To Excel At Customer Service And Marriage
Customer service is…are you ready for it? Here it comes. Customer service is like a marriage between you (the company) and the customer. Crazy, right? Although, when you break down the building blocks of creating that lasting connection, the bond between customer and company it is very similar to a marriage. Not thoroughly convinced? Well, by the end of this year, I will have celebrated eight years in customer service and marriage. Over that period I have found that many things I apply in marriage can also be applied to customer service and vice versa. Below I have listed some of those day to day practices.
Active listening: We all have to listen to others at some point in our lives. It’s part of communication. But how many of us actively listen to the customer? Do you hear the questions, frustrations, concerns, etc that they are communicating? It’s easy to skim through a conversation while only partially engaging. Your ears will pick up some of what’s said, but you’ll miss the big picture. Customers aren’t always able to effectively communicate an issue they’ve run into. It will take active listening on the representative’s part in order to ascertain the situation.
See through their eyes: Place yourself in their shoes. Empathy doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people, and it’s definitely difficult when you might be the one at fault. Try to take a step back and view the problem through their eyes. Set aside your personal feelings and temper your emotions. This won’t be easy if the other party is upset and lashing out, but definitely needed to grasp where they’re coming from.
Place their needs above your own: So how do you apply this to a customer-based relationship? Simple! In the words of Vala Afshar, “Your problem is my problem until it is no longer your problem.” Work to show the customer that they’re number one. Treat each one with the same importance you would like to be treated with. We can only expect great service if we are willing to first provide others with exceptional service.
Heartfelt apology: A heartfelt apology will go a long way in restoring a broken bond. A generic, “I’m sorry,” will not always communicate the depth of your feelings. It can be overly used and thrown out in conversation to appease the other party. I prefer “You’re absolutely right and I apologize” or “I apologize for” followed by a list of items where I have failed to meet the needs of the customer.
Incorporating the above will help in filling your customer’s emotional cup. When they’re cup is overflowing you will have gained a customer for life.