Customer service skills aren’t just for employees directly involved in traditional customer service jobs. Everybody can benefit from integrating the basic principles of customer service into their day-to-day roles. Thinking of team members, managers, vendors, clients, and partners as “customers” deserving of respect and empathy can help transform working culture and boost morale, as well as your bottom line.
The fundamental principle of customer service is treating those you serve the way you would like to be treated. This doesn’t mean saying yes to unreasonable requests, nor does it mean compromising your values in order to avoid conflict. It does, however, mean treating those with whom you work with dignity, respect, active attention, and empathy. It also means operating with integrity and transparency.
It may sound simple, but maintaining an upbeat and positive demeanor can be a challenge, especially with difficult customers, colleagues, etc. Ensure employees understand the basics, from maintaining eye contact to building friendly rapport. Ingraining these fundamentals helps a good attitude become second nature, even during trying interactions.
Actively soliciting feedback and providing opportunities for customers to give praise, criticism, or suggestions helps create a positive feedback loop where customers feel heard and employees can improve their service delivery.
Timely responses help build trust with customers, teammates, bosses, etc. Show your willingness to be a team player by offering solutions when problems arise, rather than just lamenting that things didn’t go as planned. It’s important to set clear boundaries from the outset, so those with whom you work have a sense of when to expect responses from you and when to not. Being intentional about availability and sticking to it cultivates more respect and demonstrates integrity, while preventing employees from burning out by being expected to be constantly “on.”
Long-term relationships are important. Encourage employees to treat every interaction with an understanding of its lifetime value. You wouldn’t lash out at a colleague with whom you plan to work forever, would you? Nor would you dismiss a customer if you knew they’d be around for years.
Managing up means anticipating the needs of whomever you’re working with and delivering on those needs before you’re even asked. Being attentive and empathetic in this way demonstrates dedication, dependability, and helps to build trust and respect.
With HRDQ-U customer service webinars, you can instill a culture of superior service at every level of your organization.
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