To Be As Effective As Possible, Consider That Everyone’s a Customer
Everyone loves great customer service. Great experiences of customer service are few and far between, and almost unbelievable. It might get to a point where it seems so good to be true that it almost feels as if someone is playing a cruel joke on us.
It’s so rare but it’s also something that we wish we would encounter more often and that it were the rule rather than the exception.
Customers are just as eager to share their experiences of great customer service with others as they are about sharing horrible customer experiences, if not more, as they want the experience of their colleagues, friends, and acquaintances to go as smoothly as their own.
Social media makes it easy for customers to quickly spread the word, for better or worse, about any topic at hand so why would anyone risk providing bad customer service knowing they could probably lose future customers due to that inattention to detail?
So customer service is powerful. It adds to the experience. Great customer service might even provide a more memorable and enjoyable experience than the service that the interaction is actually about.
So, why would we not like to feel that same satisfaction of service in the everyday? Better yet, what if we took the stance that, through our actions, we would treat everyone with whom we interact with great customer service? This does not mean actual customers but, instead, others who surround you who are stakeholders or who can benefit from your help and guidance. What would that look like?
Here are a few common factors that make up great customer service that can translate to everyday situations:
- Genuine Feel to the Conversation – The interaction shouldn’t feel too scripted. Most scripts sound robotic, rushed, and impersonal. Can you make the other person feel as if they’re the only person who’s had your attention all day? Even the simple gesture of making attentive eye contact alone can provide that assurance.
- Acknowledge of Customer’s Experience – This exhibits empathy in understanding what the person is going through. It shows your understanding that they have needs and you’re willing to assist in any way you can because you know what it’s like to be in need.
- Provide Questions to Consider – Provide questions to them they might not have considered about what they need. Some people might avoid this step as it takes up more of their time to assist, but it demonstrates commitment and investment.
- “Real Talk” – Tell them the truth about what might work and what might not. Some people might be asking questions, expecting a certain answer, but think about what you would need if you were in their shoes. Think about what they say they want, but act for what they actually might need.
- Complete Walk-Through – Depending on the complexity of the issue, there might be various steps and considerations you’ve outlined so it helps to re-walk them through the process to make sure they understand and have gotten everything they need. It shows you’re not aiming to just move them along.
- Follow Up – A personal and rare touch is to follow up with the person. This again demonstrates that you’re invested in their betterment and making sure their issue is resolved and that you want them to succeed.
These steps might sound as if they take a lot of investment and time, but once you figure out how each of them might work in your environment, it might only take a few words and comments to achieve each of them.
If you don’t have time to work with the person right away, tell the person the same, assure them that you’ll follow up with them as soon as you can, and then do so. Think about it: How often have you been in the store and been told by someone in a sure and genuine voice that they’re busy with a customer right now but they can help you as soon as they’re available. Most of the time, just the acknowledgement is enough to make someone feel as if they’re a valued customer, as long as there is regular followup and updates as to the timeline for when the help can actually take place.
Be sure to get them to where they need to be.
In the end, it all comes down to common courtesy and respect. How you interact with others is a reflection of your character and a staple of your reputation or brand.
So make every interaction count.