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5 Powerful Tips for Providing Great Customer Service

Ron has served as a Technical Support manager for a high-tech company.

Whether they realize it or not, Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are the face of their company to the people they interact with. Much more than a CEO or some celebrity endorser, it’s the CSR who will determine the image the organization has in the minds of people who call in for help.

If you are a CSR who wants to do a great job both for your company and for your customers, here are some tips that will help you.

1. Be Professional But Friendly

Good CSRs often pride themselves on being professional in their dealings with customers. What many forget, however, is that professionalism without personableness comes across as cold and uncaring.

In today’s world of automated phone systems that often seem to lead callers around in circles, by the time a person gets to speak to a real, live CSR, their stress level may already be elevated. If the customer senses that you, the CSR, view them not as an individual, but simply as the next problem you have to deal with in a long day, stress levels on both sides of the conversation can quickly spiral upward.

The easiest way to ease that tension is to focus on communicating, by word and attitude, that you value that customer as a real person, and have a genuine desire to help resolve their concern.

One great way to do that is to keep a smile on your face as you talk with the customer. Even though they can’t see you, that smile will come through and make a real difference in the attitude they sense in you.

2. Become Your Customer’s Teammate

Too often, CSRs unwittingly communicate that they aren’t really interested in helping the caller – they’re just going through the process they’ve been trained to follow. When customers sense that kind of uncaring attitude, it can be incredibly frustrating. What they are looking for is someone who takes a personal interest in helping them get their problem solved. In other words, they need to see you as being on their team, working with them to get the job done.

Something that can help with this is to think (and as appropriate, say) “we” instead of “you” as you discuss with the customer how you can help resolve their issue.

3. Keep Your Cool!

Never allow yourself to take on an adversarial attitude toward the caller, even when they express irritation or blame because you are unable to give them all they want. Many times customers are already frustrated by the time they speak with you, and sometimes that frustration can boil over even when there’s been little provocation on your part.

Let’s just be real about this – in your customer service career there will be times (probably many of them) when you have to deal with callers who become abusive in the way they speak to you.

Don’t take it personally! Make it a point of personal pride to continue being gracious to callers even when they are far from being gracious with you. After all, you’re a professional at what you do, and responding to irate callers with understanding and kindness is just part of the job.

4. Keep Your Word

When you tell a customer you’re going to do something, be sure you follow through. For example, if you tell a caller you’ll get back to them by a certain time, do it! Even if you don’t yet have an answer to their problem, they’ll appreciate hearing that it’s still being worked on.

You should regard this as an issue of fundamental integrity, both for your organization and for you personally. Once a customer comes to believe they can’t rely on what you say to them, it’s extremely difficult to regain their trust.

5. Aim to Impress

People talk about the customer service they’ve received!

According to a survey by American Express, if customers have a positive experience with you, they’ll tell an average of nine other people about it. On the other hand, if their experience was negative, sixteen of their friends and relatives are going to hear the story.

You should make it your aim to provide your customers with such a satisfying experience that they won’t be able to stop talking about how great you were to them.

If a customer has a positive customer service experience, they’ll tell nine of their friends about it. But if their experience is a negative one, sixteen of their friends will hear the tale!

Of course, you won’t be able to make every caller happy. But knowing that you did your very best to make the customer service experience a positive one for every person you interacted with can make your job as a Customer Service Representative a very fulfilling one.

© 2021 Ronald E Franklin

Comments

Ronald E Franklin (author) from Mechanicsburg, PA on March 13, 2021:

Thanks.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on March 13, 2021:

Nice tips.

Ronald E Franklin (author) from Mechanicsburg, PA on March 12, 2021:

Thanks, Liz. Dealing with a CSR who truly wants to help you can make all the difference in what you think about about that company.

Liz Westwood from UK on March 12, 2021:

This is an interesting and very useful article. I wish customer service representatives in the UK would take note. I always feel better about a company if their representatives take my point and I feel like they want to help sort issues out.

Ronald E Franklin (author) from Mechanicsburg, PA on March 12, 2021:

Thanks, MG.

Ronald E Franklin (author) from Mechanicsburg, PA on March 12, 2021:

Thanks, DW. I think the more of us who refuse to accept bad customer service, the better it will become.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on March 12, 2021:

You have summed up everything so well in your article.

DW Davis from Eastern NC on March 12, 2021:

Your points about customer service are spot on. My decisions as to giving a business my trade rest heavily on the customer service I receive.

It was good to see you posting.

DW

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