Ten Best Customer Service Skills and Techniques
By Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor
- Be a DOUBLE CHECKER.
Learn to use those words. Everyone loves it when you double check something for them. Even if you’re pretty sure the item is out of stock or the appointment is filled or there’s no room available, it sounds so good to hear, “Let me double check that for you.”
- PRETEND IT’S YOU
If you’re working with a customer, either on the phone or in person, and they need something, pretend it’s you. What would you want to have happen? What would make you happy? What would make you satisfied? Here’s a great place to remember the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
- GET INVOLVED
Let your customer know you’re on their team. If you’re ringing up a purchase for someone, mention how nice their choice is. If you’re helping someone with a trip of some sort get excited with them. When customers feel as though you’re part of the package they love it.
- STAY FOCUSED
Eye contact is critical in delivering excellent customer service. Heads that turn on a spindle and look everywhere but at the customer get very few good marks in customer service. Eye contact shows you are listening. If you’re on the phone, eye contact is definitely difficult. We can, however, learn to stay focused on the phone. Don’t type unless it pertains to what you are doing. Don’t read something while you’re on the phone with a customer . . . STAY FOCUSED on the caller. We need to stay focused without eye contact.
- DO SOMETHING EXTRA.
There’s usually always ‘something’ you can do for the customer that’s extra. In most of the cases it won’t even cost very much. Example: Keep a stock of penny lollipops for kids when they come into your store with the moms. Or a balloon. Or coloring books. Spend a few dollars if you have the budget for those “giveaways.” Nail clippers . . . key chains . . . customers LOVE that something extra, oddly enough, even if they can’t use it. The thought of getting something FREE is very special to the customer.
- SHOW YOUR TEETH.
(In Telephone Doctor language that means to smile.) There are many people who think they’re smiling, but aren’t. So Telephone Doctor’s motto is: SHOW YOUR TEETH. Smiling is one of the best customer service techniques there is. It’s so frustrating to walk into a store, or call some place and not see or hear a smile. (And, yes, you can hear a smile!)
- ASK QUESTIONS
A super way to offer superior customer service is to ASK QUESTIONS. Build on what the customer is talking about. Listen for one or two words that you can ask something about. Even a simple, “Tell me more,” will work. Once the customer is talking, you will be able to help them much better.
- USE COMPLETE SENTENCES
One word answers are semi-useless in customer service. And one word answers are definitely perceived as RUDE. “Yes,” “no,” and the like, tell the customer “I’m not really interested in you or what you need.”
Most people have what Telephone Doctor calls the CARE GENE. Some of us use it more than others. We just forget we have it. Learn to CARE what your customer’s needs are. CARE what they are referring to. CARE about your customers and they will take CARE of you.
Laughter will lighten the load. Everyone likes to laugh. Some even in the darkest moments. Take the time to laugh and enjoy your customers.
Put any one of these Telephone Doctor customer service skills and techniques tips into action and watch what happens. They intertwine with each other and make customer service special. Use all ten and expect more business.