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The Soul of Customer Service

The diary of a customer service professional.

Regina Rivers

Image by Vera Miljkovic

Naturally, customer service workers are trained to be kind, courteous, and professional at all times when we need help with a product or service. Depending on the individual or company, the goal is to make a sale and make sure the customer leaves happy and satisfied. To many, this seems like another job completed and another skill gained. To others, it’s considered a stepping-stone towards excellence in their communication and personal skills.

When you visit your favorite store, bank, accountant or insurance consultant, how often do the employees greet you by your first name? Can they even remember your name? Or, do they treat you like number, make you wait for twenty minutes and your situation still goes unsatisfied? In a world where questions, comments, and concerns are directed to the company inbox or automated phone line, talking to a human being can be a rare, yet comforting experience. The customer will build a rapport with the person helping them, whether intentional or not. The person wants to feel comfortable with you and know that you are going to help them. If you can accomplish that, they will remember you and be very grateful for your assistance. In turn, you will likely remember them and hope they come back with any more concerns. Referrals can build up the clientele, and generate good business.

Plus every time they return and see you, they know they’ll be in good hands because the previous experience was a positive one. It’s amazing how far a little kindness can go on with both parties, especially if a discrepancy should arise.

People like to be taken care of immediately and machines can’t do that. There are moments when customers can get irrational and representatives do try their best to calm them down. At that moment of intensity whether over the phone or face-to-face, it’s better to remain professional. It is simple human nature to react defensively when we feel we are being offended or attacked, however it’s important to remember that the customer is mad at the situation, not you personally.

Enhancing your communication skills with a nice, calm voice with a goal for problem-solving can bring the customer back to reality and let them see that you are doing the best of your ability to handle the situation. Customers are even moved to show their appreciation and apologize if they overreacted. Time and patience counteract off of each other in customer care and no matter how fickle, anal, or high-strung, never resort to getting them out of your face as as fast as possible. They can sense when you don’t want them around and can bridge the gap between customer-to-business loyalty.

Customer relations is in no way rocket science. The only thing that makes it hard is its unpredictability. You never know what’s going to happen and things won’t always go as easy as planned. You can know your product and company inside and out and you can even know the ins and outs of your competition. Just remember to keep the product as nice as its presentation.

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