I (Frankie) thought that when you were in customer service, some things were just a given. Like…I don't know, maybe you're polite, return phone calls, and provide the service you say you provide. Just little things; things that we take for granted that you will do because IT'S YOUR JOB!
I guess you can tell I'm a little pissed about this. One thing I cannot stand is bad customer service. And, let's face it, we're all in customer service in some way. If you're a nurse, your patients are your customers. If you're in sales of any kind, then pretty much everyone is your customer. Even if you are stacking pallets in a warehouse, your supervisor is your customer because you are providing a service for him and he expects you to do your service. And never forget that when you work from home, you are definitely into customer service. Every job you do, you are providing a service and if you want to be successful, then you better make sure you're providing outstanding customer service.
We all get lazy from time to time. We all get a little burned out with our job and maybe we aren't jumping for joy to go to work some mornings, but that really doesn't matter. Unless you're going to quit your job right then and there, it's still your responsibility to provide good customer service. If you're a bad waiter or waitress, I'm not going to tip you. If I don't do my job, I'm probably not going to get paid. It's all customer service.
Let me leave you with just a few tips on things you should ALWAYS do to make sure you're providing great customer service. They are little things, but could make or break you in the end.
1. BE NICE! I know sometimes it's hard. I know that when you've got Mrs. Battlefield screaming at you that the dress didn't fit or you didn't type the report in the correct font, it's hard. But, be nice anyway. Suck it up and be the bigger person and people will remember that even when they weren't being nice to you, you took the high road and were nice to them. You'll get repeat customers, and they will also feel ashamed of the way they acted, which is a great plus.
2. Return correspondence (emails, phone calls, texts) in a timely manner. It's rough. I wake up some mornings to 50 emails and 10 voicemails. I try to make those things a priority. It takes some time, but I want to take care of those things first because I've been on the other side of that. I've been the one waiting on a response to a very important email I sent or voicemail I left. Sometimes I never get a call back or a reply to an email and let me tell you now, that is NOT okay. If I leave you a voicemail or send you an email about your service and you don't bother to respond, that tells me that if you can't be bothered to respond to me, you are someone I definitely do not want to work with I can already tell for sure that your service will be subpar at best.
3. If you can't provide the service someone is asking you for, do your best to refer them to someone who can. A lot of people don't like to do this. They think it's taking business away from them. But, if you try to perform a service that you really can't do, that's going to show and that's definitely going to take away your business. If you can't do it, send them to someone you trust that can. People remember that kind of thing and they will send business your way. They will also return to you when they need a service you can provide because you were a stand up person and honest with them, and even though you couldn't help them, you got them to someone that could.
These are just 3 small things that should come naturally to everyone that is providing a service, but, unfortunately they don't. There are tons more customer service etiquette tips, but I won't go into all of them here.
I dealt a lot in January with people that were supposed to be providing a service and it was terrible. I encountered some of the worst customer service I've ever experienced. But, we'll talk about that next week. For now just remember:
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.