POSITIVE Global Customer Service Model

POSITIVE Global Customer Service Model – Serving Diverse Customers

The following acronym (POSITIVE) provides some strategies for creating or contributing to a positive global service environment and building strong relationships with your customers. It provides a model to move you from good customer service to the best customer service possible.

Put your best foot forward. Maintain a positive approach to situations involving customers, smile frequently, and have a “can-do” attitude. When dealing with customers and potential customers, never forget that they are your reason for employment.

Offer whatever level of assistance possible. In addressing customer needs and wants, go out of your way to uncover and resolve problems and to build a strong customer-provider relationship.

Stay abreast of current industry trends and strategies for delivering quality customer service. By upgrading your knowledge and skills regularly, you will be prepared to address any type of customer situation.

Identify true customer needs by listening to proactively. You have two ears and one mouth. Use them accordingly.

Take the time to get to know more about your customers. The more you know, the better you can provide quality service.

Invite your customers to open up and share information. Ask open-ended questions (e.g. Who, What, When, How, Why, and To What Extent) that typically lead to more detailed responses from others.

Verify understanding. When a customer provides information, ensure that you heard and understood it correctly before responding. Use closed-ended (typically start with an action verb) to gather this information.

Engage in relationship-building strategies immediately. Use strong interpersonal communication skills. Start with a smile (on your face and in your voice and words) and a professional greeting when meeting customers face-to-face, over the telephone or in an email. If something goes wrong, immediately start on a course of service recovery with a sincere apology and taking steps to “make the customer whole” again with any appropriate compensation.

Source: Please Every Customer: Delivering Stellar Customer Service across Cultures, Lucas. R.W., McGraw-Hill Professional, New York, NY (2011).
Bob Lucas B.S., M.A., M.A, CPLP is principal in Robert W. Lucas Enterprises, Inc and an internationally-known author and learning and performance professional. He has written and contributed to thirty-one books and compilations. He regularly conducts creative training, train-the-trainer, customer service, interpersonal communication and management, and supervisory skills workshops. Learn more about Bob and his organization at www.robertwlucas.com and follow his blogs at www.robertwlucas.com/wordpress, www.customerserviceskillsbook.com, and www.thecreativetrainer.com. Like Bob at www.facebook.com/robertwlucasenterprises

Customer Service Breakdowns Are Everywhere

Customer Service Breakdowns Are Everywhere

It seems that there are no shortages of service breakdowns in today’s world. You would think that in the down economy where so many people are unemployed or hurting financially, that service providers would think before doing or saying something that could have a negative impact on them. But then you would be wrong in many instances based on my recent experiences. On two separate back-to-back business trips where I went to facilitate training workshops in several different geographic areas, I encountered at least a half dozen service providers in situations that I term “being stupid in a no-stupid zone.”

Customer Service Skills BlogBy that I mean that had they just taken a second to think before acting (or failing to act) related to serving their customers, they would not have needed to try to provide a service recovery strategy that might salvage their mistake. What was happening in each of my encounters is really not as important as the fact that on any given day in virtually any type of organization, there is a service provider who is improperly trained, has a poor service attitude or is inhibited from providing good service because they do not have adequate supervisory or organizational support. The result is that customers are disappointed and go away and ultimately negative word-of-mouth publicity follows an organization suffers.

If you are a service provider, I suggest using the acronym “STAR” to remind yourself of a way to provide positive customer service so that you do not fall into the dreaded “stupid zone.” Simply stated, that means:

(1) Stop to listen to what your customer is saying or asking;

(2)Think about what your customer said they need or want and the best way to address their issue or request;

(3) Analyze options for providing stellar customer service in that particular situation rather than taking a cookie-cutter approach to providing the same treatment to all customers; and

(4) Reflect on how you handled the situation after the customer has left in order to determine if you did the best possible job or how you might handle it differently in the future if a similar situation arises.

Customer service is not difficult if you approach it with a positive mental outlook and a plan to handle the unexpected.

Welcome to the Robert W. Lucas Enterprises, Inc., Customer Service Blog

Please feel free to comment on entries and Like Me at www.facebook/robertwlucasenterprises. I hope you find value in my future articles, comments, and observations related to customer service. Visit my other blogs on Creative Training at http://www.thecreativetrainer.com and Non-Fiction Writing at http://www.robertwlucas.com/wordpress

Customer Service Skills for Success

Customer Service Skills for Success – Tips for Delivering Excellent Customer Service

In one of my books, Customer Service: Skills for Success, I feature how-to strategies on topics for customer service representatives that can assist in moving from good customer service to excellent customer service delivery. By applying strategies found in the text, customer service professionals can enhance their knowledge and skills and make them more successful in delivering service to all types of customers.

Customer Service: Skills for Success - Tips for Delivering Excellent Customer Service

In the chapters of Customer Service: Skills for Success I cover the concepts and skills needed for success in the service profession. Strategies provided to readers include listening techniques, verbal and nonverbal communication, using technology to deliver service, addressing the needs of internal and external customers in any business environment, how to build customer loyalty and what to do when service breaks down and they need to recover. I also share experience and tips on how to use positive global service strategies for dealing with diverse customers.

Here are three tips for ensuring better service delivery to your customers:

  1. If you seek trust; communicate it through your words and nonverbal cues.
  2. If your supervisor empowers you to make decisions, that means he/she trusts your ability to handle various issues. Do not take this trust lightly. Before taking action, stop,Customer Service: Skills for Success weigh alternatives, and then resolve the situation to the best of your ability in order to send a message of competency and professionalism.
  3. Unhappy people are still either customers or potential internal or external customers when they contact you at work. Your goal should be to try to serve them effectively them so that they return for future products or services. If you fail at this goal, you and your organization or department will potentially suffer financial and prestige loss.

I am always interested in hearing what is working and what is not in organizations related to customer service. If you have ideas, suggestions, tips or cutting edge practices in the professional that you would like to share with others, please comment.

For ideas and information on how to improve your own customer service skills, get a copy of Customer Service Skills for Success by Robert W. Lucas.

About Robert W. 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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