Customer Service Training 101

Quick and Easy Techniques That Get Great Results

 Customer Service Training 101

Author: Renee Evenson
Pub Date: December 2017
Print Edition: $24.95
Print ISBN: 9780814438916
Page Count: 240
Format: Paper or Softback
Edition: Third Edition
e-Book ISBN: 9780814438923

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Excerpt

CHAPTER 1: Your First Steps Can Make a Huge Stride: The Basics

WHATEVER BUSINESS YOU ARE IN, THE CUSTOMER IS THE REASON YOU HAVE A JOB

You may be wondering what has happened to customer service. Think, for a moment, about your own interactions as a customer. In the past few days, how many times were you a customer? Did you go to the grocery store or the mall? Did you visit the post office, doctor's office, bank, dry cleaners, or your child's school? Did you eat any meals out? Did you call a company to ask a question or shop online?

You probably were a customer more times than you realized. As a customer, you have choices. How many stores are in your mall? How many doctors are in your phone book? How many restaurants are nearby? And if you shop online, you know the choices are endless. In your interactions, how many times were you met with boredom, indifference, rudeness, or condescension? How many times were you greeted with a friendly smile and an enthusiastic attitude? Did this enthusiastic attitude come as a surprise, and were you thrilled or even grateful for the experience? Customers should never have to feel grateful for being treated well. Being treated well should be the standard.

The reality is that if you are not happy with the service at one business, you have the option of going elsewhere. When you are given great service, you are likely to go back for repeat business. You are also likely to recommend the business to your friends. As a service provider, keep in mind that your customers have the same choices you do. How you treat your customers does matter. If they are not happy with the way you treat them, they can, and probably will, go elsewhere.

Think again about your own interactions as a customer. Which ones stand out in your mind? You will remember service that is outstanding or awful. Mediocre service is soon forgotten. Be someone who is remembered for being outstanding.

CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE BASICS

We are going to take our first steps with the basics because:

The basics are the basis of customer service.

A favorable first impression is the basis of customer service. You begin providing service the moment you respond to a customer who comes into your business, calls you on the telephone, emails you, or posts on social media. When customers physically walk through your door, they take a mental snapshot of you and your surroundings. Without even thinking about it, they form a first impression. First impressions are also formed over the telephone and through online contact. How you speak, how well you listen, the words you choose, and how you write and respond all contribute to first impressions. If a customer's first impression is favorable, you have laid the foundation for providing great customer service. If the first impression is not favorable, you will have to dig deeper to begin building your foundation.

Being courteous is the basis of customer service. Customers appreciate courteous treatment. As young children, we learned basic courtesies: to say "please" and "thank you"; to pay attention and not to interrupt when other people speak; to treat others with respect; to play fairly; to say "I'm sorry." As adults, we sometimes forget how important these words and actions are. Courtesy words, phrases, and behaviors contain powerful messages. They show that you care.

A positive attitude is the basis of customer service. Customers appreciate a positive attitude. A great attitude can help overcome a poor first impression. Similarly, a negative attitude can destroy a favorable first impression.

Being truthful and acting in an ethical manner is the basis of customer service. Honesty is always the best policy. When you follow through on commitments and stay accountable for your actions, you show your customers that you value them and that they can rely on you to do the right thing.

By combining a favorable first impression, courteous treatment, a positive attitude, and ethical behaviors, you build a strong customer service foundation. Add effective communication skills, and you will be on your way to establishing long-lasting relationships with your customers. Once you master these customer service basics, learn how to effectively communicate, and develop skills to build strong relationships, you will confidently handle any customer in any situation.

Excerpted from CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING 101, Third Edition: Quick and Easy Techniques That Get Great Results by Renée Evenson. Copyright © 2018 Renée Evenson. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission.

All rights reserved. http://www.amacombooks.org.

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