Why Should I Do Business With You??

Because the nature of conducting business has changed dramatically these last few years since the economic uncertainty began in late 2008, the basic principles of human interaction have, however, remained the same.  Given the changes in today’s world and business environment, there’s a growing shift in the business community from a ‘me first’ attitude to a gentler environment of ‘being nice.’

As a customer service professional, the urgency a representative conveys to the customer is extremely important.  It is essential to avoid a lackadaisical customer impression of us, at all costs.  One way to accomplish this is to simply not ignore the person who just called or is waiting on hold on our phone.  If it is necessary for them to wait for a few moments, just let them know.

Every business, every wisely run and successful enterprise, will be busy from time to time, and, hopefully more often than not.  If you are busy with a current customer and other customers are waiting, conveying a genuine greeting or making a polite request, will let them know that you know they are there.  That’s all it takes in those initial moments.  During these service related calls, it is easy to become distracted either by tasks or other clients.  These messages conveyed through verbal “hellos” or “may I please place you on hold” will ensure that the customer knows you have considered them a priority and that you are aware of their needs.

From my experience, when working in an office environment, whether you take inbound or make outbound calls, a good way to make a customer feel valued is to ask them if you may place them on hold.  Often times it simply is a necessity to briefly place a client on hold while you transfer a call or seek counsel from a co-worker or supervisor.  By simply being courteous with a customer, taking that extra moment to get their permission to disengage from the conversation while you seek to help them can make a difference.

There are many tricks and secrets to customer service, but for me, the most important thing I can do for the customer is to take the time to listen to their story.  Listening allows me to build rapport and gather information.  I don’t have to offer answers or solutions or become part of an argument when I’m listening.  The customer will let me know when they want my participation.  I’ve found that these very simple steps help build the ground work for a long relationship with the customer.

Another helpful skill set is to not take things personally.  Know that in your effort to value the client, view him or her as a person who has a story to tell.  It may be a difficult or tough story, but it’s just a story.  When we take our ego out of customer service, we can be more attentive to the customer because our needs aren’t involved.

When considering the service needs of the customer, there are certain skills, tools and priorities that are essential.  And, the benefits that excellent customer care skills provide your business are endless.  Not only can it make the difference between an immediate sale and or lack of it, it can also make or break a potential long term client relationship.  And, with everything else being equal, almost everyone will choose the company that treats them well and recognizes their needs over one that doesn’t.

Whether you’re in sales, service or production, you can set an example to foster kinder, gentler and open communication environments.  By leading with deeds and words to gain commitment, you can achieve your goals while providing exceptional customer service. 

Guest Blogger – Lonnie Ledford, Avatel Project Manager

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