Is Customer Service Week the Best Time to Show Customer Appreciation?

Is Customer Service Week the Best Time to Show Customer Appreciation?

Is Customer Service Week the Best Time to Show Customer Appreciation?Have you noticed how many articles and references are flying around stores and on the Internet regarding the importance of Customer Service Week? Service providers are wearing shirts and hats and articles abound on blogs and on various business sites stressing the importance of customer service. It all makes me wonder — “Is customer service week the best time to show customer appreciation?”

My question is, why do organizations and customer service representatives wait for one time a year to thank the most important element of their business – their customers? Without their customers, they could all pack up and go home. This negligent approach to customer service reminds me of a joke I heard many years ago about an old married couple sitting with a marriage counselor. The wife was very distraught and crying her eyes out as she told the counselor that their problem was that after fifty years of marriage that her husband never told her that he loves her anymore. The startled husband was dumbfounded to hear that. He turned to her and asked, “Didn’t I tell you I loved you when we got married?” She responded timidly, “Yes.” He countered with,Is Customer Service Week the Best Time to Show Customer Appreciation? “Well if that changes, I’ll let you know!”

Similar to the story above, many organizations go out of their way to court potential customers by offering discounts, special incentives, and promises to outperform their competition. Once a customer comes aboard, the company is off creating new campaigns to entice more new customers, while typically forgetting about the current ones or demonstrating how much they mean to the organization.

It is no wonder that most organizations experience such high customer desertion or turnover rates (customer churn). Why would you go to an organization that does not appear to respect or value your business; Especially, when a qualified, and sometimes better, the competitor is only a mouse click or phone call away.

Managers need to continually remind themselves that they should not wait for a customer to reach out to inform the organization that they are taking their business elsewhere before going into recovery or retention mode.  Often their special retention department customer service representatives have special authority to grant customer incentives, offer lower rates, and take other actions to encourage the customer to stay. At this point, depending on how irritated the customer is, it might be too late and the damage is irreversible.

Here are five simple things companies can do to reinforce customer satisfaction or brand loyalty and reduce customer attrition:

  1. Empower every customer service representative to offer customer incentives and help head off customer desertion.
  2. Create policies that are customer-centric and are continually updated to demonstrate that all customers are crucial to the organization.
  3. Continually look for ways to show that their organization really is the best value for the money and has its customers’ best interests in mind.
  4. Regularly provide customer service training that focuses on customer service skills, tips, ideas and strategies to address customer needs, wants and expectations.
  5. Treat every customer as unique and important and do not lump them into various demographic groups that receive generic approaches to service based on pre-conceived ideas of what they want or expect.

For hundreds of additional effective and proven customer service tips, techniques and strategies for creating and maintaining an excellent customer service environment that truly supports all customers, get copies of Customer Service Skills for Success, How to Be a Great Call Center Representative and Please Every Customer: Delivering Stellar Customer Service Across Cultures.

Customer Service Training Should Address Nonverbal Communication

Customer Service Training Should Address Nonverbal Communication

Customer Service Training Should Address Nonverbal Communication

Good verbal and nonverbal communication skills are crucial for any customer service representative who wants to deliver the best customer service possible. This is why any customer service training should address nonverbal communication.

The art of sending and receiving messages through words and with facial expressions, gestures, and other body language is crucial in dealing with customers. This is especially true when dealing with people from other countries or cultures since one’s values and beliefs impact the interpretation of nonverbal cues. Failure to be aware of diverse differences can lead to an unfortunate breakdown in communication.

Because facial expressions are closely tied to human emotion, you should be careful about projecting subconscious biases that you might have toward any group because you might unintentionally send a negative message to a customer before you realize it. For example, if you disapprove of customers who have facial piercings and tattoos you might indicate your displeasure nonverbally. This might be done unconsciously with a smirk or other facial gestures. You might also unintentionally stare when a customer matching that description walks up to you or passes by.

The bottom line is that customer service is all about being in the people business. By better establishing sound relationships and communicating effectively with your customers, you can move from good customer service to the best customer service possible.

To better understand why customer service training should address nonverbal communication, search nonverbal communication on this blog. Want to explore the role of facial expressions and other nonverbal cues that impact relationships in a diverse business world? Check out Please Every Customer: Delivering Stellar Customer Service Across Cultures.

About Robert C. Lucas

Bob Lucas has been a trainer, presenter, customer service expert, and adult educator for over four decades. He has written hundreds of articles on training, writing, self-publishing, and workplace learning skills and issues. He is also an award-winning author who has written thirty-seven books on topics such as, writing, relationships, customer service, brain-based learning, and creative training strategies, interpersonal communication, diversity, and supervisory skills. Additionally, he has contributed articles, chapters, and activities to eighteen compilation books. Bob retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1991 after twenty-two years of active and reserve service.

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