In today’s hectic workplace where customer service representatives are constantly multitasking, it is sometimes easy to forget that your customers are a priority. Being preoccupied and not giving full attention to a customer is one quick way to cause a service breakdown. This is often due to trying to juggle multiple tasks or simply failing to care about the quality of customer service that you deliver.
If you have ever called or visited an organization only to have them put you on extended hold while they performed some task? Have you ever visited an organization where a customer service representative failed acknowledge your presence and serve you right away? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you know how your customers might feel under similar circumstances. If you must put someone on hold while on the phone, do so only if you are currently serving another customer or you have no other option, but make sure that you explain why they are being asked to wait and how long it will take to get to them.
To prevent possible negative situations with customers from developing, if a customer arrives and you are performing an administrative function, such as filing, calculating, writing, or stocking, quickly get to a point where you can pause and serve the customer. In the meantime, take a moment to make eye contact, smile and either tell them or non-verbally (by holding up a single index finger) that you will be with the customer as soon as possible. This is an especially important action when dealing with someone from a culture in which relationships are an important aspect of business (e.g. Middle East, Hispanic cultures, and Asia). Such efforts may not satisfy everyone, but they work with most customers, who understand that many service providers are doing more with fewer human assets these days.
To learn more customer service tips, ideas and strategies that might help prevent customer service breakdowns and how to better deliver excellent customer service to your internal and external customers, check out Please Every Customer: Delivering Stellar Customer Service Across Cultures and Customer Service Skills for Success.