Friendly, personable service is a rarity these days, even in service-related businesses. This is sad when you consider how important customer service is in the overall scheme of failure or success for businesses. In this article, we’ll look at a few ways to improve people skills and increase your level of customer service.
1. SMILE! Your expression is the first thing a client will notice even on the telephone so turn that frown upside down and put a cheerful note in your voice. Act like you’re happy to be where you are and you want to help them.
2. NO GUM OR CANDY. Nothing is more irritating than to speak to someone with a mouthful of gunk. Now, granted there are times you might be caught unaware by a customer, but do your best to remove the object from your mouth as quickly and politely as possible (use a tissue!) If you happen to have a scratchy throat or something non-contagious, at least apologize to the client and ask for their tolerance. You’ll be amazed at how understanding people can be when you’re honest.
3. LOOK UP! Even if you are in the midst of something important, look up when a customer walks into your establishment or office and acknowledge them with a smile or nod. If you’re in the middle of a conversation with another customer excuse yourself long enough to greet the newcomer.
4. UNDERSTAND WHO YOUR CUSTOMER IS. Many think only those who walk in off the street are customers but that assumption is incorrect. Co-workers, bosses, and other employees are also your clients.
5. NO CELL PHONES! Nothing is more irritating than to drive up to a service window or walk up to a clerk who is talking or texting while trying to wait on you. On the other hand, as a consumer, it is equally rude to be on your cell phone while negotiating business. Granted, there are occasions when a call is necessary… emergencies, accidents and illness of loved ones are the only exceptions to this rule.
6. CHECK YOUR BAGGAGE AT THE DOOR. Everyone has personal issues they deal with on a daily basis, but those should not interfere with your ability to relate in a friendly, personable manner with your customers. Make a habit of visualizing yourself shaking off or dropping those issues at the door when you walk into your place of employment. Same applies to returning home – your family deserves your best, not what’s left after an extremely stressful day!
Always being conscious of your attitude and demeanor on the job can make a huge difference in your level of success in whatever career you choose.