Keys to Customer Service

Capitalism has provided a booming industry for business in America. Basically, any need a person could ever have can be provided from somewhere. You can pay for someone to mow your lawn or spend your money on your wardrobe. There are opportunities to conduct business everywhere in the country. So how do you choose where to spend your sacred earnings? Most business owners strive to make the answer their business. With many competitors in the field, it isn’t enough anymore for a store to simply offer you the best product. The product has to be sold to you with excellent customer service.

Customer service is a huge part of the business world. If you are hoping to be hired and excel at your job, you need to be a master of working with and for people. Even in jobs with little human interaction, you will be expected to keep your customer’s needs as your first priority. As a service provider or a salesperson, your position depends on how well you cater to other’s needs. And chances are you will eventually interact with someone else as their customer, so it is a two-way street. To start, always treat others the same way you would want to be treated. There are many keys to customer service, but this golden rule sums them up nicely.

What is the Job?

While all jobs involve interaction with customers, different professions deal with their buyers in different ways. For example, if you work at a car dealership, your job will involve working with potential car-buyers all day and night. You can’t be shy in this profession. You are constantly encouraging and energizing each client so that they are excited about buying a car from you. You must work to provide everything your client needs without going too over the top and keeping a smile on your face at all times.

While some jobs are 100% based on interactions, others can definitely be tamer. There are plenty of professions where you can take more of a background role rather than interacting with people all the time. Helping to plan sensory friendly activities in Lansing, MI or set up the catering for a big event, still involve customer service, but in a more background way. In these positions, you are still anticipating your client’s needs and providing them a service. Good customer service can be something as simple as setting out a “wet paint” sign to warn people of a recent paint job a reputable professional painter should automatically do this, but best to ask; or addressing people by their name in an email.

There are also certain skills that are good for both customer service and good for you to have in general. Skills like attentiveness and time management help you interact with your coworkers as well as your clients.

Customer First

One of the biggest parts of helping customers is putting them first. This doesn’t necessarily mean the customer is always right, because that phraseology has actually caused disputes among business owners and employees. While a customer can be in the wrong, it is still your job to go out of your way to give them a good experience during your interaction.

Putting your customers first means you have to understand them. Ask questions to really get a sense of what they are looking for. Then help them find answers. Stay on top of how your product/service works. Also, never be afraid to research yourself. If you have a buyer ask you a question that you don’t know the answer to, there is no need to panic. You can take a step back and ask a superior or look up the answer yourself.

If you consistently go out of your way to keep your customers satisfied, they will be more inclined to return to your business. People want to feel like their needs are important to you. As the old saying goes, “no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Simply caring about someone else’s concerns and requirements for the product they are buying will help them feel comfortable in their purchase. If you are selling someone a house or a couple of concert tickets, simply show how much you value them as a customer. People won’t easily forget you if you show them you care.

Positivity

A key to maintaining customers is giving them a pleasant experience when they are working with you. This requires everyone to keep a positive attitude during all customer interactions. Something as simple as a smile can go a long way. If you appear to hate the job you are doing, how do you plan on selling your product to another person?

However, staying positive does not always come easily. Picture this: you work with children, it’s the day before spring break, the kids are bouncing off the walls, and little Jimmy just asked if he could go to the bathroom for the 4th time in an hour. Yes, in this situation, you may not be grinning from ear to ear. But those kids will still benefit form a positive role model in front of them. Likewise, a job at a quality assisted living community in Farmington Hills, MI may be exhausting at times. But you’re providing positive care for elderly individuals who need that gift of encouragement.

Flexibility

Flexibility in customer service allows you to cater to your customers while maintaining your positivity. If you have an exact expectation for every interaction, you are setting yourself up for failure. Imagine you are working as a college counselor and your student admits they’d rather go to school online. You may be frustrated at first if you’d developed other plans for them. A good customer service response would be to switch to investigating accredited online degree programs, and work from there. What your client wants may change, so you can’t get married to anything simply because you like it. It is all about the customer, so their needs will always trump your own.

Adam Torkildson