Providing top-notch customer service without the right attitude is like expecting a harvest when nothing was sown. Attitude perception is like a smoke that cannot be hidden, it is what will help a customer representative provide an unparalleled customer service experience to customers on a daily basis.
More like a state of mind or a determination, maintaining the right attitude isn’t so easy, but with the right training and focus, consistently maintaining a great attitude is possible. There are moments when you may want to give in to an outburst of anger with absolutely every justifiable reason (as some customers can be extremely difficult), irritation and frustration are sometimes inevitable while stress may also keep you company. However, what you should remember is that customers are human beings with emotions just like you and will sometimes behave erratically. Some are bound to make unreasonable requests and comments or attempt to be violent. When any of these happens, the saving grace will be how you react; realizing that only the most important battles are worth your time.
Providing Top-Notch Customer Service Despite the Stress of Work
Depending on the circumstance, as an ambassador charged with the responsibility to keep up the company’s brand, the best reaction is to behave totally different from whoever is dishing out the negative behavior in order to provide a top-notch customer service.
Furthermore, keeping up a positive attitude gets the job done quicker, as you are not exerting your energy by thinking up issues and cursing the customer under your breath, but you are simply using all your strength to find solutions to every problem at every given moment. Whats more, your productivity output will increase exponentially, a great thing for any business or organization.
Who doesn’t want to soar?
That being said, should you find yourself some time at the edge and unable to keep up with the best attitude or if you have to seldom get short-term breaks so that you can let out the fume, here are some simple techniques for providing top-notch customer service to keep you going and get you to maintain a positive attitude in the course of your customer service routine.
Techniques for Achieving a Positive Attitude in Customer Service
Watch Your Language Use
There is a difference between positive and negative language use. A passive voice in administering the right solution to a client may sound negative when, if you had used the active voice it wouldn’t sound negative but positive. You should always let the customer know what the company is able to do even though there may be other things the company cannot do.
For example, if you run a logistics company and you have sent a document or a ‘good’ to the recipient, however, due to acts of God such as ‘bad weather condition’ the delivery is taking longer than expected and the sender is at wits-end. What you should say is that
“I apologize for this inconvenience but you can be sure that we will do all we can to track the parcel”
‘I apologize, but you know we are not in control of the weather’.
Choose to empathize with the customer and see it from his point of view in order to understand their pain and feelings. If the customer is the one to take an action such as place a call to the delivery company in the recipient’s country, don’t stop at “you would have to call 098374747” but go further to let them know why it is their responsibility and the benefit it will be to them.
Get the Right Tool(s)
There are customer management software which can greatly optimize your work and help resolve issues faster than if you have to do all the work manually. When a representative can be helped, albeit automatically by a software, there is a higher chance that he or she will be able to maintain a positive attitude and provide a top-notch customer service.
Great communication involves speaking and listening, but when the stages are not well managed, it may end up being a one-way communication, one which can make the party frustrated and cranky.
When the customer is speaking, ensure to listen and make summary jottings when needed. You may decide to ask for a pause here and there, but do not brainstorm on the solution while the customer is speaking. Yes, the aim of the complaint is so that a solution is proffered, but where the full information is not received, you may end up giving the wrong solution.
So, the question is – would you rather have to apologize for not listening carefully or would you prefer to politely ask the client to take pauses while you jot down as he speaks so that you can get the total picture of the problem before setting out to rectify it?
Offer Some Freebie
Where a customer is slighted due to a fault of the company, you can offer a free service or a 50% discount if it was either the customer’s fault or partly from the company. The idea is to make the customer feel delighted so that they keep referring others and returning.
Expect the Worst Reaction
It’s a common saying that expectations lead to disappointments. This simply means that as soon as you see a customer walk in through the door or call the company, expect an outburst of anger from the customer. If you are fortunate to receive the opposite, then you should react the same way you would react if the attitude received was one out of frustration or irritation.
Some customers are just irritated by the fact that they have to come in or put a call through. The issue may be minute and should generally be passed across with a gentle tone, but customers are different from one another. But, once your mind is prepared to receive the worst, you will find yourself responding calmly and handling the matter positively says Ryan Reynolds.
Other Notable points
Besides the above-given points, take note of the following to ensure you remain positive at all times:
- Always start your response to customers with a win-win mentality.
- Accept mistakes on behalf of the company where necessary. Honesty remains the best policy.
- Don’t give false promises but stand by your words. Integrity goes a long way in keeping a customer loyal.
- Strive to exceed customers’ expectations.
- Follow up with customers after issues have been resolved so that they know you care enough to ensure they are satisfied.
Going the extra mile by touching even the seemingly unimportant aspects of your service must be part of your daily to-do list. Every customer wants to be treated like a king and that’s the treatment they should get; a positive attitude is one of the skill-set that ensure this is achieved. Where a calm and positive reaction seems impossible, a further training in that respect wouldn’t hurt.
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Overall, focus on positive vocal and body language. Do not say ‘we apologize for every inconvenience caused while your body languages say ‘we don’t care about your problem’.
Finally, don’t forget that the basic principles of customer service rest on the fact that it’s the little things you do that improves your customers’ experience.
Hope that wasn’t too much information? We wish you a blissful time in your job role or as an entrepreneur doubling as a customer service expert; the sky is just the beginning.
Deciding the right phrase to handle different situations can be very tasking. As a correspondent, you are directly involved in critical day-to-day interactions via email. This makes your ability to craft good email messages, using the perfect phrases and clauses, tangential to your business success.
There is a book by Meryl Runion that will help you to a great extent:
Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals: Hundreds of ready-to-use phrases for getting respect, recognition, and results in today’s workplace
Overall, this book will greatly improve your communication skills. It will also help you easily clarify assignments with your manager or projects with your clients as well as guide you in handling the inevitable complaints that sometimes follow sales of products or services.