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Think about all of the errands you run in a single day. You might have to purchase some groceries, stop by the pharmacy to get a prescription refilled, or even go to the drive through during your lunch hour. How many of those interactions were memorable? If you can’t answer then you probably weren’t receiving great service. That’s not to say the service you received was bad, just not anything to write home about.

Before we can dissect what qualifies as great service we need to understand how it is defined. The definition according to Reference.com is “…service that treats customers with a friendly attitude and tries to resolve their problem or question as efficiently as possible.” So how does one do this? Below are the five elements that make up great customer service.

Knowledge

Knowing what products or services you are selling is essential for providing great service. Be aware of common questions customers will have and be able to articulate your answers in a way that will leave them feeling better for having asked. Sounding unsure about your product or service will make the customers unsure if they want to spend their money with your company.

Smile

First impressions matter. They carry a lot of weight with a customer because you can never take back a bad first impression. A genuine smile is the best way to make a good first impression, whether in person or over the phone. When your appearance is approachable and friendly you’ve already started laying the foundation for a good interaction with the customer. Without a smile, you’ll just be fighting an uphill battle.

Be Respectful

Depending on what business you work for you may one day come face to face with an emotional customer. The important thing to remember here is to not let your own emotions get in the way of the customers needs. Even if insults and expletives are being hurled at you left and right, you must stay respectful towards the customer.

Listen

The easiest way to make a customer feel at ease is to listen to what they are saying. Be sure not to interrupt them while they are speaking. Let them explain everything that pertains to their situation, repeat key points back to them letting you know that you are on the same page, and then move forward in solving their problem.

Thank You

It’s funny how two small words can have such a huge impact. Saying “thank you” after each interaction with a customer shows gratitude and helps build rapport with patrons.

Great customer service comes down to checking in with your customers and making sure they are happy. If not, you need to have the knowledge to be able to fix it and turn their frown upside down. Using these five key elements listed above will give you the tools needed to make great customer service a second nature.

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