How would you define a “Customer Service Representative?”
The definition Answers.com gives is: an employee responsible for maintaining goodwill between a business organization and its customers by answering questions, solving problems, and providing advice or assistance in utilizing the goods or services of the organization.
That sounds about right. But what do you actually think of when you hear the term Customer Service Representative?
In many, the title conjures up images of grumpy people, dawdling in a call center somewhere in the middle of nowhere making minimum wage. Fair or unfair, this seems to be the overwhelming consensus. Why? Because everybody has had a few bad experiences with a call center at some point. You need help – you’re reaching out to someone – and if they have a glaring indifference to your problem, a bad attitude, or are ill-equipped to handle it, then you will remember it. People always remember when they’re left with a feeling of helplessness. It’s almost like being victimized.
Those tend to stick out more than the great ones. But let’s forget them for a moment and take a minute here to recognize the great customer service representatives out there. I already blogged about my terrific customer service experience with Macy’s on a Black & Decker blender. I also had a five star experience with Men’s Wearhouse recently.
What makes a customer service representative great?
According to About.com, The Ten Commandments of Great Customer Service are:
- Know who is boss. You are in business to service customer needs, and you can only do that if you know what it is your customers’ want.
- Be a good listener. Take the time to identify customer needs by asking questions and concentrating on what the customer is really saying.
- Identify and anticipate needs. Customers don’t buy products or services. They buy good feelings and solutions to problems.
- Make customers feel important and appreciated. Treat them as individuals. Always use their name and find ways to compliment them, but be sincere. People value sincerity.
- Help customers understand your systems. Your organization may have the world’s best systems for getting things done, but if customers don’t understand them, they can get confused, impatient and angry.
- Appreciate the power of “Yes”. Always look for ways to help your customers. When they have a request (as long as it is reasonable) tell them that you can do it.
- Know how to apologize. When something goes wrong, apologize. It’s easy and customers like it.
- Give more than expected. Since the future of all companies lies in keeping customers happy, think of ways to elevate yourself above the competition.
- Get regular feedback. Encourage and welcome suggestions about how you could improve.
- Treat employees well. Employees are your internal customers and need a regular dose of appreciation.
Any others you would add?