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Delivering Effective Customer Service

Delivering Effective Customer Service

Delivering Effective Customer Service

Customer service is based upon four key elements:

  1. Communication skills
  2. Positive Attitudes.
  3. Technical Skills and knowledge.
  4. High standards.

Your organisation can live long and prosper, only if it satisfies the needs of its customers.

These days, customers are more demanding and less tolerant of poor service than ever before. Therefore, in your organisation, customer service should be a high priority.

To improve your customer service, develop these four key skills:

1. Communication

The most obvious tool for effective customer service is excellent communication skills.

Communication skills are themselves composed of various subsets:

  • Listening skills: the ability to pay attention to, understand and remember what people say.
  • Questioning skills; the ability to get to the facts and understand how it induces feelings.
  • Speaking skills; the ability to explain things so that there are never any misunderstandings.
  • Negotiation skills; the ability to find a practical solution between two or more opposing positions.
  • Rapport skills; the ability to make an emotional connection with any type of person.

Communication skills are the result of developing the right mental attitude.

2. Mental Attitudes

Underpinning your communication style is your mental attitude.

Your attitudes are the sum of all the thoughts, feelings and beliefs.

You have attitudes towards everything; you have attitudes towards your customers, your bosses, your work; and your suppliers.

Your attitudes will shape your results because your attitudes affect everything you say and everything you do.

What should be your attitude when at work?

Your attitude should be a keen desire to add value to the other person.

You should strive to add value to your boss, your customers, your suppliers and your colleagues.

Add value to everyone you meet.

If that were your prevailing attitude, then your language and actions would satisfy the needs of your customers.

But, in order to add value to your customers, you need more than a good attitude, you also need technical skills.

3. Technical Skills

Attitudes must be backed by technical ability.

Your levels of technical ability define the limits of your service.

If suppliers are good at what they do, then you may forgive them for any failings in other areas of their customer service.

But if suppliers of services are incompetent, then no matter how polite their customer service staff are, you will not give them any more business.

Technical skills mean; skills relating directly to the provision of the product or service, for which you are being employed.

  • If you are a plumber, it means being proficient at plumbing.
  • If you are an electrical engineer, it means providing safe electrical engineering.

Any laxity or failing in the basics of your trade will be judged severely by customers.

For example: In our bathroom, we have discovered that the fitter failed to install a waterproof membrane behind the shower tiles, and this omission has resulted in the wall suffering water damage that has spread far beyond the dimensions of the shower cubical. Under these circumstances, there is not much the fitter can say to me that will induce me to trust him with more work, nor to recommend him to others. He fell below an acceptable standard.

4. Standards

Ultimately, you need to present work of such high standards that the customer will be ready, willing and able to give you continued work, and to recommend you to others.

You should hold yourself to standards that are HIGHER than your customers are likely to expect. You should do that for many reasons:

  1. It protects you from complaints.
  2. It generates new leads in the form of referrals from satisfied customers.
  3. It gives you the edge over your competition.
  4. It makes you feel good about yourself and your organisation.

Write down a list of standards and stick to them.

Keep your standards high.

Never compromise your standards.

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Further Reading in Communication - Clear Communication

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