Darcy's 10 Customer Service Commandments
Author: Darcy Raven
Working in customer service is no easy feat. People are unpredictable and it’s the job of customer service representatives to solve the situation as quickly as possible while being patient, understanding, and compliant. Even though it is not always the case, customer service roles are based on treating the customer like they're always right. So no matter what industry you are in, if you are a customer service representative then you should always keep these 10 commandments in mind.
Customer Service Commandment Number One:
Every client, candidate, and customer gets a proper hello and goodbye.
Greetings and farewells are important interactions between people and situations. They set the tone and create an impression on people that either engages them or repels them. People want to be noticed, they want to be acknowledged, and they want to be heard, so a simple hello is the driving catalyst to every interaction.
Customer Service Commandment Number Two:
Establish a friendly, first-name basis with your clients and check in from time to time to see if they need help.
Remembering a client or a loyal returning customer's name and possibly their “usual” order will be one of the reasons they keep coming back and using you and your services.
Customer Service Commandment Number Three:
Communicate clearly and help customers understand your system and processes.
People reach out to you for a need and with that, they expect an easy, upfront, understandable platform, otherwise, why wouldn’t they do it themselves? They are using you to make their lives easier so make sure you have a clear understanding of your system and process in order to relay that clearly to customers.
Customer Service Commandment Number Four:
Identify and anticipate needs.
Again, people reach out to you to make their lives easier so identifying and anticipating their needs is just one natural step to making a customer happy, satisfied, and willing to work with you again.
Customer Service Commandment Number Five:
Make sure customers feel valued. You can never say thank you or please enough.
This commandment is a great one to implement in your everyday life. People, in general, want to feel valued and if you make it a habit to say "Thank you", "Please" and "You’re welcome" outside of work, then it becomes a habit and a commandment you don’t have to think about doing.
Customer Service Commandment Number Six:
Do what is necessary, not what is comfortable.
Doing what is necessary can be tricky because it’s not always something you want to do. For example: Giving feedback or relaying bad news is in no way comfortable, but it can be necessary for your work and for the company to move forward and succeed. Also, sugar coating situations to make people more comfortable can lead to more trouble in the long run because the message can be lost in translation. Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help. Even though it can be uncomfortable to ask for help, it's often necessary. Don’t risk doing something wrong or wasting time avoiding the problem when it is just as easy to be vulnerable and ask for help.
Customer Service Commandment Number Seven:
Not much to expand on here. Listen. Listen. Listen. Listening is a skill. It takes us out of our tendency toward self-absorption and self-interest, connecting us to those we interact with, which is obviously a necessary skill for any customer service position.
Customer Service Commandment Number Eight:
Gather feedback regularly.
There is always room to improve no matter how much of an expert you are. A great way to improve is to gather feedback. Whether it is feedback about yourself, a feature, a product, etc. you cannot make things better or grow into something great without the foundation of regular feedback. And remember: all feedback is good feedback, no matter how much you don’t want to hear it. Be open and inviting to feedback, listen, and absorb and you will then reap the benefits of improving.
Customer Service Commandment Number Nine:
Always do more than is required of you.
Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do next. Take charge and do what is needed even if it is not required. Being open and doing more will set you apart and possibly make your life easier. Those around you should appreciate your hard work and feed off of your can-do attitude.
Customer Service Commandment Number Ten:
Be right, not quick, and know how to apologize.
Don’t be afraid to put someone on hold or ask to call them back in order to find the correct answer. People would rather wait and be given the correct answer than to receive the wrong answer quickly. Yes, people can be impatient, but they will be more impatient if given the wrong information. And no one can be right all the time, so be humble and know how and when to apologize. The customer is right even if they aren’t. Rise above conflicting situations, be an adult, and own up to mistakes. Apologizing isn’t the end of the world, in fact it’s the beginning of establishing an open and honest relationship with every client, customer, and person, which will make you and your relationships that much stronger and reliable.
These ten commandments are not the complete picture of how to become a great customer service representative. They are just some key things that will help along the way and help you in your position. But another great thing about these 10 commandments is that they will also help you and make things easier in your everyday life.