When we talk about customer service, we usually think about how we deal with the people who walk through our doors--both physical and virtual--to purchase our products and services. What we often fail to realize, however, is that we also have customers within our organizations; those customers are our coworkers.Â
Customer service means being responsive to a customer's needs and being resourceful in meeting those needs. Customer service is many things: knowledge, communication, skill, attitude, efficiency, integrity, reliability, knowledge, and helpfulness.
How you interact with coworkers and supervisors has a huge impact on the effectiveness of the team. When Dan asks for your help, do you tell him that it's not your responsibility, or do you eagerly offer to do whatever you can to help him meet his deadline? When Bethany points out an error, do you get defensive, or do you view her comment as constructive and vow to improve your performance?
When you treat coworkers with respect, when you help them solve their problems and meet or exceed the demands of the job, your value increases dramatically. Just as you should do whatever it takes to satisfy a customer, you should do whatever it takes to help a coworker.
If you want to ensure that the service you are providing is exceptional, take these steps:
There is great power in mastering the skills necessary to provide exceptional customer service. You will gain confidence in yourself and your abilities, you will earn the respect of your coworkers, and you will be recognized and rewarded. You will set yourself apart and be recognized as a valuable member of the team. And you will have satisfied customers.
John Tschohl, the internationally recognized service strategist, is founder and president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Described by USA Today, Time, and Entrepreneur as a "customer service guru," he has written several books on customer service and has developed more than 26 customer-service training programs that have been distributed throughout the world.
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