Customer service sucks. It is worse today than in 1979 when I decided to do something about customer service and developed the world’s first customer service program, Feelings which was released in January 1980.
Today my son, Matthew, who is in Minneapolis for 4 days with his family, wanted to go to Wally’s in Bloomington, Minnesota. This is one of his two favorite restaurants in the Twin Cities where I live. The food was good, but the waitperson taking the orders was not. I keep wondering if customers have given up on demanding better service or if this is the new normal in customer service.
Most owners of businesses believe they already have great service. I went to a retailer last week that services swimming pool cleaners. The employees didn’t know how to get to their store and basically knew nothing. The manager was great and fixed my Dolphin pool cleaner, and while walking out to my car, I said you are great, but your employees suck. I said they are really bad. He said, “What do you expect when you pay people $15 an hour.”
Here is the Blueprint to Becoming a Customer Service “Rockstar” This is what Feelings is all about.
1) Feel Good About Yourself: We need to like ourselves. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. Accept compliments gracefully. Appearance is important. A positive attitude gives us more self-confidence.
- Always ask yourself if the attitude was contagious, would you want anyone to catch yours?
2) Practice Habits of Courtesy: Treat people with respect. Customers have Feelings too. Don’t treat them like a number or show boredom toward others.
- “Customers judge you by the way you look, what you say, how you say it, what you do, and how you do it” – Dale Carnegie
3) Give Positive Communication: Use caring communication and use people’s names. Being prompt and efficient really counts. Say “Thank You” and Smile. Your tone of voice says a lot. Body language is 55% of communication. Verbal and voice tones reflect your mood.
- Always tell your customers what they can do, not what they can’t do.
4) Perform for the Customer: Customers expect performance with speed. They aren´t interested in our problems and excuses. Take pride in a job well done. Poor quality comes from poor attitude. Set high standards. Deliver on promises. Do more than the minimum.
- When you can’t meet expectations, manage expectations.
5) Listen Carefully: Ask questions and listen. Get in tune with your customer’s situations, attitudes and needs. Anticipate, read between the lines, ask questions, and get involved… to show you care and to know what will satisfy the customer.
- Actively listen as if you plan to report what you learned to someone else.
6) Learn and Grow in Your Job: Learn about your company, products, and customers. Limited job knowledge reduces performance. Learn about one new product or service every day so you can communicate with it in a better way. A customer can tell in seconds if you know your products and services. With learning comes self-fulfillment. Move up and believe in yourself. Don´t wait for someone to give it to you, go after it.
- Learn about one new product or service every day so you can communicate with it in a better way.
By following these tips, you can become a customer service rockstar and provide exceptional service that will keep customers coming back.
This is part of the Service Quality Institute’s Proven Process for Driving a Service Culture. You can download a copy here.
About the Author
John Tschohl is the founder and president of the Service Quality Institute—the global leader in customer service—with operations in more than 40 countries. He is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on all aspects of customer service and has developed 17 customer service training programs, including Remember Me, that are used by companies throughout the world. His monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge at www.customer-service.com. He can also be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
For more information on John Tschohl and the Service Quality Institute, visit www.customer-service.com.