Need some outstanding customer service tips? Here’s the most dependable tip around- Follow the Golden Rule. It goes like this: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
This rule is truly golden. Over 21 world religions adhere to this teaching and it works wonders in customer service.
Simply put, what would you do, or how would you respond if you were presently in the exact same situation as the customer whom you are serving?
For example, let’s say you are working the customer service desk at a department store. A customer requests a refund on a purchase that she has no receipt for. You explain to the customer that in the absence of a receipt, you are unable to give the refund. The customer refuses to accept your reason and proceeds to escalate the issue.
Now, as a customer service representative, it is easy to get frustrated with this customer. Why? They should have brought a receipt. It is pretty standard knowledge to bring along your receipt if you are planning to request a refund.
So here is where you follow the Golden Rule. Ask yourself, how would I want to be treated if I were presently in this exact same situation?
Here are some things to consider.
Go the extra mile for the customer.
Even if you are certain that you cannot help this customer without a proof of purchase, make an effort to show the customer that you are willing to try. Try asking a boss or a manager to speak with the customer. The reinforcement from your superior will usually resolve the situation in an amicable manner.
Seek first to understand.
If you assume that the customer has purposely arrived without their receipt and is planning to create enough tension to bypass policy and get a refund without a receipt, you will likely treat the customer with contempt.
Instead of assuming, ask some questions to try and understand the customer.
- Sir, did you make your purchase at this store?
- Sir, were you aware that you would not be able to return your purchase without a receipt?
- Have you lost your original proof of purchase?
- Is it convenient for you to get your original receipt and come back to return your purchase?
Asking questions is disarming. It gives the customer an opportunity to be in control and gives you information to make a well-informed decision.
Now, as a customer service agent you may endure scenarios like this one more than a dozen times a day. Not exactly a recipe for patience. But choose patience. Listen to your customers—always. Take time to go the extra mile for the customer even if you know the eventual outcome.
Follow the Golden Rule. It will force you to treat others the way you would like to be treated. And isn’t that what customer service is really all about?