3 tips on how to behave like a Customer Service Professional
By Cate Schreck - Service Excellence Coach
My customers are located in Geelong, Ballarat, Melbourne and Regional Victoria and this sees me not only visit their workplaces but also lots of cafes, restaurants, motels, petrol stations, train stations, newsagents and supermarkets. As a Service Excellence Coach, I find it impossible to do my own shopping without assessing the skills of the staff I interact with and the overall feeling I leave a business with.
Like me, those of you who also aim to provide consistently excellent customer service will be disappointed when you don't experience that same level of service, when you're a customer. So what does excellent service actually look like and how do we get everyone in our workplace focused and able to provide that level of service? It takes work.
Customer Service Professionals are made, not born.
We all have what I call a natural customer service style. How you behave naturally will be great for some customers and certainly easier for you, but to provide an excellent level of service for all of our customers, we need to adjust our behaviour if we want to make a sale, educate, motivate or simply leave every customer feeling valued and respected
3 Tips to improve your customer service behaviour:
1. Give your customer 100% of your attention
In a face to face situation with a customer, you are literally being watched. Customers who have taken time out of their day to visit you will want your attention so stop what you are doing and it give it to them. Excellent service requires us to focus on the customer and we show that we are focused by giving eye contact and ignoring all distractions. Customers are not an interruption - they are the reason you have a job.
2. Let the customer talk more than you do
We don't learn anything whilst we are talking. It's always nice to converse with our customers but be careful not to dominate the conversation, especially when you first greet a customer. Let them tell you their story and let them finish their own sentences. Even if you know early on what the customer wants or needs or the problems you can solve, resist the urge to cut them off and take over. Customers feel respected when we listen - fully.
3. Look for clues as to the customers level of urgency
Customers who look at their watches, speak quickly and don't give you lots of eye contact are telling you they are time poor, stressed, busy or have other things on their minds. Ask them if they are in a rush or need a moment to sit down, catch their breath etc. Adjust your service to suit where you can. By making the effort to acknowledge your customers state of mind, you are showing you care and helping them to feel valued and respected.
The customer is paying your wage - without them you are no longer required.