Sometimes we get so caught up in making a living that we forget what life is all about: helping and sharing with people.
And it is this – to help people – upon which customer service is based. That’s why the art of customer service is one of the greatest professions in the world.
We’re in the people business, and we’re only successful if our customers are happy and satisfied with our services.
A true customer service professional comes to work for one reason and one reason only: to be of service to the customer. It’s impossible for a successful customer service professional not to be successful at helping others.
And considering the state of current affairs, customer service professionals are in a unique position to help the lives of the customers they touch – and the health of the nation’s economy.
Now, more than ever, our customers need our help – not only from the benefits resulting from our products and services, but from the strategies, knowledge, expertise and the empathy we can share.
We will all encounter customers who are fearful. You must ease your customer’s fear, uncertainties and doubts, and help them understand that you and your company are there to restore their comfort.
How is this done?
First and foremost, put yourself in their position. Before making any recommendations or offering any suggestions, ask yourself, “How would I want to be treated by this company?” “What would I need?” “What would I want to hear?” “What would I be grateful for?” “What would I, as an expert in being helpful, know to expect or request?”
Spending even a few seconds prior to each customer contact to get truly focused on being of service to the customer can make all the difference.
Second, if you haven’t been doing so already, I strongly suggest that you become a friend to your customers, as much as possible, in concert with being a professional. Realize that common concerns may now be more urgent, traditionally “little” things may become gigantic roadblocks if not handled appropriately.
Being a friend and being a customer service professional share many similarities, most notably the desire to help our “friends” solve their problems or challenges. Handle these “little” things with empathy, care and compassion, and put in a little extra effort for your customers.
And finally, learn the most valuable skill of customer service: the skill of listening. Good customer service professionals are good listeners. Be aware that many of the concerns your customers share might just be venting steam.
Perhaps you’re the person who can provide the outlet to let them just express their feelings. Remain cognizant of this and resist the temptation many salespeople succumb to: the temptation to immediately talk and not listen. One of the most rewarding truths is that it really is possible in the same moment to be both a professional and a friend.
As a customer service professional, helping your customer with absolute dedication and integrity, you’re giving back to your customers, who benefit directly from your knowledge, expertise, effort and empathy. And just as importantly, you’re doing all that you can to help and share with others.
About the Author
Mike Treas is Owner of the HVAC Sales Coach specializing in residential replacement sales, sales management, customer service and maintenance agreements. Mike has worked with hundreds of contracting professionals all across the United States and Canada using proven processes and motivation to increase sales and customer retention.