6 Steps for Great Customer Service in 2024
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6 Steps for Great Customer Service in 2024

6 Steps for Great Customer Service in 2024

In 1979, I developed Feelings, the world’s first customer service program. Since its release in January 1980, millions of people worldwide have taken the program. Through the five versions available today (Service Retail, Professionals, Healthcare, Supermarkets, and Higher Ed), we share the foundational principles essential for outstanding customer service, which are noticeably absent in many organizations today.

These principles are designed to elevate the customer service experience by fostering personal growth among employees, encouraging courteous interactions, emphasizing the importance of positive communication, advocating for performance and reliability, highlighting the critical nature of active listening, and underscoring the value of comprehensive job knowledge. Together, these elements form a blueprint for not just meeting, but exceeding customer expectations.

1. Feel good about yourself

Most employees have personal problems. Little things become big things. The employee wants to know what’s in it for them. “You want me to deliver great customer service? So what do I get out of this?” When employees feel good about themselves, it reflects in better customer service, teamwork, and employee morale.

2. Practice habits of courtesy

Every customer wants to be treated with respect. In 2 or 3 seconds, a customer can tell how much you care. It’s a smile, warmth, and so many fundamental skills. No education system anywhere in the world will teach students these skills.

3. Use positive communications

Customers can hear your tone of voice, see your body language, and view your face and eyes. Employees must learn the art of positive verbal and nonverbal communication. They have just a few precious seconds to create a positive impression in a customer’s mind.

4. Perform

Do what you said you would do. You can be super nice, but if you do not do what you said you were going to do, you have lousy customer service. Over-deliver and under-promise. Speed is everything.

5. Listen

Rarely do employees listen or pay attention to what a customer wants. Employees are too busy thinking about their next date or party. When you call to make a dinner reservation, you often have to repeat yourself, because rarely was the employee listening. I recently was trying to book an expensive trip to Africa. My travel agent was awesome, but the other three I reached out to never read or paid attention to my email requests.

6. Learn about your job

It is really easy to move up and make more money if you learn everything about your job and every position in your organization. Too few people know everything about where they work. You can tell in seconds if the employees know what they are doing and what their product or service really does. Do this on your own time if you really want to move up in your organization.

Well-trained employees will help you achieve your sales goals. They create word-of-mouth advertising. Their performance will help bring customers back… with their friends. Service leaders value customers and their employees and are willing to invest in training their entire staff.

John Tschohl is president and founder of Service Quality Institute, with operations in more than 40 countries. He is considered one of the foremost authorities on service strategy, success, empowerment, and customer service. His monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge. Contact him at 800-548-0538, WhatsApp at 612-382-5636, or email John@servicequality.com. He also can be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Published: April 15th, 2024

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