Effective Customer Service Representatives

Effective Customer Service Representatives

I am a customer service representative.  Becoming good at my job has taken some time.  This has come mostly through trial and error, but it has produced amazing results over time.  Listed below are some of the tips that have allowed me to not only become good at what I do but enjoy my job as well!

  1. Be Organized. One way to be at the top of your game as an employee is to make sure you are organized – at all times! This is accountability.  If you do not know about something and you need to answer questions right away, this can cause great frustration for the customer and also for yourself.  In some offices, the rule is that your desk and files should be in such a state that anyone could sit down at your desk and know what is going on and where all pertinent information is kept. This is practiced as you never know when a last minute issue may arise and you cannot be there.
  2. Ask Questions: Don’t Be Afraid. Good customer service representatives need to be confident enough to ask for help when they need it, even though their pride may be telling them ‘I know that’ or ‘I don’t want to bother so and so’.  Trying to guess the right answer can cause more harm than good and your boss might not be too keen with how you handled the situation either!  By the way, asking someone their opinion is often a relationship builder! This is effective communication. Knowledge is wisdom, so gain as much of it as you can!
  3. Keep your Emotions in Check – Always! Emotions play a big role in how we relate to one another.  If someone has had a bad day, no matter what you do or say, it is probably not going to be good enough.  And this goes both ways!  If you are having a bad day, or the customer situation is getting heated, whatever you do, do not take it out on your customers.  Chances are you may still feel negative emotions even after the customers is gone.  Take some time to get it off your chest with a friend or co-worker.  Sharing it once is free therapy, sharing twice is complaining.  Sharing three times is gossip.  Once is okay, then get back in the game.
  4. Respect Others. Ask yourself the question, “How would I want to be treated if I were in the same situation?”  This will help you to remember that we are all human beings and we all deserve to be treated kindly.  Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, not only allows you to empathize with their situation and engenders trust, but it also allows you to see things from their vantage point. I remember once having to deal with a death claim – my customer had passed away and her parents were tidying up all the paperwork, getting everything in order so that their grandchildren could be provided for.  The mother was pressurizing me to provide the pertinent information. However I had to wait for certain documentation to arrive, and in the meanwhile, she was getting more and more impatient.  Rather than getting upset with her, I stepped back and thought about what she must be going through, and realized that I could handle the impatience instead of getting ticked off.  You may not know what another person is going through at the time, but if you handle every situation with care and respect, you will win every time.
  5. Go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty! Look for ways to satisfy your customers and anticipate their needs. This is employee performance. Recently I was in a clothing store and they had an awesome deal on that day.  I didn’t want to miss it. I went into the store near closing time. Interestingly, the staff did not try and rush me out of the store, but instead, carefully went through my purchases, adding them up to the specified price so that I could receive the discount. And, they then gave me an additional 10% off each purchase. Even though these ladies should have been closing the store, they went about individually wrapping each item of clothing in tissue paper before packaging them in the bag.  These ladies earned a new return customer and although it was my first time in this store, it definitely will not be my last!

Summing up, how can you be a good customer service representative?  By applying the above tips in your work culture, you will be well on your way to becoming the best you can be in your industry.  Always remember that the customer will always be with you!  They depend on you to be able to meet their needs every time. Ensure you stay organized, be confident in your job, keep your emotions under control when dealing with difficult customers, treat everyone with the utmost respect, and be willing to go above and beyond the call of duty!  This will guarantee that you have customers for life. It’s also not a bad model for maintaining job security too!

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