Many things interfere with a customer service representative’s ability to effectively deliver customer service and help build customer and brand loyalty by increasing their satisfaction levels.Here are three tips for effectively dealing with potential problem areas that can interfere with your ability to provide the best customer service. These techniques can also assist in creating a more customer-centric environment that helps address your customers’ needs, wants and expectations.
Keep personal emotions under control. When your emotional state rises because of personal issues or an angry reaction to a person or situation at work, take a few minutes to get away, if possible. Ask a co-worker or your supervisor to cover for you while you go for a short break to clear your head. While away, do not dwell on the issues causing the reaction. Instead, read a book, take a walk and think of positive things, focus on other issues so that when you return, you will be ready to listen to your customers effectively and deliver quality service.
Address personal issues before coming into contact with customers. If you have personal issues that are distracting from your work performance and preventing you from effectively assisting your customers, seek help through your Human Resources department. Many organizations offer an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) that provides support for financial, legal, health and many other personal issues. In most cases, services are outsourced to a third-party vendor and are not provided by your organization’s employees. The services are anonymous and no reports listing your name are available to your supervisors or other employees in the organization.
Work to improve your listening skills. To verify the accuracy of your perception about your own listening effectiveness, ask several people in your workplace who know you’re listening abilities well to rate you. Have them use the scale of Outstanding, Above Average, Average, Poor, and Ineffective. Once they rate you, have them provide hints on how to improve you effectiveness. These submissions or ratings could be done anonymously on a piece of paper in order to get more candid feedback. Once you get the information, objectively analyze it and then incorporate it into your listening improvement action plan, as necessary. You might check books, articles, Internet sites dealing with the topic of listening and interpersonal communication, or enroll in seminars or college classes that cover the effective listening.
For additional ideas and strategies for enhancing you customer service skills, increasing customer satisfaction, promoting customer retention and building brand and customer loyalty, get a copy of Customer Service Skills for Success, How to Be a Great Call Center Representative and Please Every Customer: Delivering Stellar Customer Service Across Cultures.