Have you ever had a waiter or waitress that seemed like they wanted to be anywhere but taking your order? What about when calling for tech support and the IT guy on the other end was condescending and rude?
Chances are, you never visited that restaurant again or called tech support.
Customer service is the backbone of nearly every business – it’s important to understand that without customers your business would not exist so with that in mind you must always be sure your business is serving your customers’ needs.
Does faithfully serving your customers’ needs mean that “the customer is always right?” Not entirely. Instead it is incumbent upon leadership to train employees in the best practices regarding customer service. This changes depending on your business – but one thing that is universal is your attitude when serving customers!
With that in mind, here are my five ways in which yourself and your team can approach customer service with the right attitude leading to greater growth and profits:
1. Assume the Best: When having to handle customer issues, don’t assume the customer is trying to pull a fast one. I always assume the customer’s intentions are coming from a place of goodwill. By doing this, I’ve found customers are very amenable to different solutions than what was originally sought. When you assume the best you put out good vibes, and those good vibes are usually returned – regardless of whether you’re on the phone or not!
2. Be Solution Oriented: Company policy serves as a guide to help customers, but it does not have every solution for every problem. A solution oriented mindset allows yourself and your team to be creative in going the extra mile for a customer. Customers want to be in a better place after the interaction than before. Having this mindset puts everyone’s attitude in a place where meaningful dialogue and resolutions will occur.
3. Empower Your Team: I learned early that when people feel empowered they’re more willing to go the extra mile in any situation. Customer service is no different. Empower your people to take initiative and solve customer dilemmas. If you micromanage what happens is your people feel between a rock and a hard place – they’re taking the beating from customers and you’re telling them to hold the line without being in the foxhole with them. Admittedly, war imagery is hyperbolic, but feeling beaten down leads to a poor attitude for customer service professionals. Let them solve problems and watch the team come to life!
4. SMILE: A job can be dulling, that’s why it’s important to find joy in small things. When you’re happier, your attitude is more positive and this in turn leads to productive interactions with customers. Happy employees are productive employees, and in turn make customers happy.
5. Walk in Customer Shoes: The most enduring line from “To Kill A Mockingbird” is Atticus Finch telling his children that the best way to understand someone else is to walk around in their shoes for a while. To have the right attitude it’s necessary to relate to the customer experience. Try working with your company as a customer or just simply listen. People are willing to tell you how they feel without much prompting. Walking in the customer shoes provides empathy which I feel is the key component to defusing bad situations and turning them into good ones.
Ultimately, providing world-class customer service is a choice – there are companies who are great at it and it’s because these companies believe strongly in a great attitude. Think about the best experience you’ve had a customer – undoubtedly these experiences are all related to the attitude of the person providing the service.
“Remember that it is up to you to choose everyday to Get off Your Attitude and to create a positive lifestyle for yourself and others.” Ryan C. Lowe