By The Editor
Customer relations is the central part of a customer service job and must not be considered as just an extension. It serves as the company’s lifeline wherein the customers serve as the essential source of its business existence. When customers are greatly satisfied with the kind of service provided to them, they do not only assure the company of their continued support, but they also become effective spokespersons to endorse the firm to others.
One who is involved in a customer service job interacts with customers as an authorized representative of an organization. Customer service personnel provide the necessary information to help customers in using products and services whenever they encounter difficulties. A customer service representative must not only possess excellent communication skills, but also be deeply ingrained with the principles of the job.
• Know how to treat a customer. This implies that the customers are the boss because what they pay for the service provided becomes the source of income for the company. Customer service is a service-oriented job that responds to the customers’ need. It can only be possible once the right communication line is established with the customers to determine what they exactly want.
• Listen to what customers say and do not say. Take note to identify the customer needs through every word, gestures, and tone they use to ascertain what they want or how they feel. Avoid making presumptions so as not to pre-empt or make speculations. Customers can appreciate it more if they know they are dealing with a good listener who devotes undivided attention to their case.
• Anticipate the customer’s needs. Customers do not really care about the products or services. They pay to alleviate their feelings and find assurance that everything will turn out well. Most customers look for a venue for emotional release than deal with the technical or logical explanations. The more a customer reveals about what he feels, the more chances of being able to anticipate their requirements. It is best to maintain communication to be updated with their problems or future needs.
• Pamper the customer’s feelings. Treat each customer as a unique case with unique needs. Be personal in dealing with them by calling them in their name to provide an impression of sincerity. Make them feel they are appreciated by complimenting them in whatever ways deemed appropriate and always remember to thank them for every chance of serving them. Customers can be very sensitive whether or not they are being cared about.
• Explain how the system works. You may exhaust yourself talking about something that the customer does not have an idea about. Take time to orient the customer how your company works to provide the most efficient service so that they do not become confused or impatient when things do not happen according to their expectation. Use simple words to make sure the customer understands the whole process.
• Be willing to help. Know the importance of saying “Yes” and devise ways afterwards to help the customers. Assure them their
request can be accomplished as long as it is within reasonable limit. Never commit without doing anything to fulfill it.
• Have the dignity to apologize. The customer appreciates when a customer service company sincerely apologizes if something goes awry. Let the clients know about the problem at its onset to avoid complicating issues. The customers may not always be right, but certainly, they must always win. There may be confrontations, but their complaints are revelations to help the company improve. Even if customers initially feel bad, a customer service employee who humbles himself to apologize can make them feel better.
• Serve beyond what is expected. A customer service job is involved in making customers happy and satisfied. Do not be the typical type. Think of ways to rise above the competition by providing more than what others can give to make customers look out for you and prefer to deal with you.
• Listen to feedback. Welcome opinions, comments, and suggestions to improve customer service. Apart from carefully listening to what customers say, follow up on their status to see how they fare. Create ways that can make customers submit their feedback regarding the service provided
• Value the employees. Treating the employees well is a manifestation of how management appreciates their importance and the kind of service they provide for the company. Employees are internal customers. If they are treated with respect, they are more inclined to value their job and treat their customers with high regard as well.
Although customer service positions vary, a customer service job demands the combination of quick thinking and pleasant attitude. These are what it takes to make clients comfortable and satisfied with what they get thus helping maintain a safe level of customer base to keep the business going.