As a Corporate trainer, I am passionate about training on the discipline of customer service and often find myself becoming frustrated when I encounter what I consider to be bad service. Unfortunately, many of our local businesses, especially government agencies, have developed a reputation of providing such service.
While there may be a few individuals who go above and beyond, and do what they can to provide good service for the customers, the majority of persons seem to be lazy and indifferent. To many of them, their job is simply just that, a job, a way to make a living. They have no love for what they do and therefore, it shows in their actions.
This week I experienced what I would refer to as indifferent service, service given with a no care attitude.
Providing excellent customer service is all about meeting and exceeding the customer’s needs in a polite and professional manner, doing all that is possible to contribute to the welfare of the customers.
Many individuals who are employed in businesses where they have to work directly with customers, do not possess people skills; they do not have the interpersonal skills needed to work well with coworkers or customers. Some of these skills include:
Effective Communication Skills (Verbal, nonverbal and listening skills)
Speaking in a way that your message is clear and concise so that the receiver would understand exactly what is being said. It also includes watching the tone in which one speaks and being mindful of our body language (nonverbal communication). In business one must also practice effective listening skills and know how to ask the right questions in order to clearly understand the needs of the customer.
Having the ability to intelligently bargain or come to a mutual agreement through discussions.
Problem Solving skills
It is inevitable that problems will be faced in business. Problem solving skills is not just about how quickly one can solve a problem but also the way one goes about it, being creative and being able to ‘save face’ with the customer.
Decision Making Skills
The ability to use sound judgment, weighing evidence or choices in order to make a firm decision; using intuition and reasoning
Being optimistic, always expecting a favorable outcome and doing your part to ensure such an outcome
Displaying proper etiquette in every situation; being polite, courteous etc.
While some of these skills may be learnt in a classroom, interpersonal skills (also known as soft skills) come naturally for some people, they are born with it. For others, they must work harder at them but everyone must realize that no matter how knowledgeable you may be about your job or how hard you may work, having interpersonal skills; the ability to interact well with others, is extremely important in providing excellent customer service!
Let us all remember the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If we remember this and always ‘put ourselves in the other persons shoes,’ then our service to one another will improve.
• Questions or comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Published Thursday, January 26, 2017