2010 Employees' Resolutions for Customer Service
Written by Susan Hoekstra
Happy New Year everyone! The beginning of the new year allows us to reflect on what went well in the past and what changes we would like to make in the future. While we define our personal 2010 resolutions, let's set up some...
Happy New Year everyone! The beginning of the new year allows us to reflect on what went well in the past and what changes we would like to make in the future. For me personally, I'm going to finally lose that last 10 pounds (again)! While we define our personal 2010 resolutions, let's set up some customer service resolutions, as well.
Understand the why part I - Why does your client want to go to that destination, liquidate that account, order that dish, buy that house? If you understand what is behind your clients' thought process, you will be able to offer much better advice. For example, if you know that I want to go to a particular destination because I am planning a family reunion, you will be able to offer more suitable alternatives if that destination is not available.
Understand the why part II - Why are certain policies in place? Where are the links that substantiate the law you have been told exists? How does your company's product work? In no case should the answer be 'that's our policy' or 'that's what I've been told'. Make it your mission to find the link, find the reason the policy is in place, and figure out how the product or technology works in order to give your client a much better answer.
Share your expertise - Did you learn something recently from a class, a client, or perhaps this blog? Leverage that knowledge by letting your colleagues know about it as well. If clients only benefit from your knowledge if they personally work with you, they're not benefiting from the impact that can be realized if all your colleagues deliver that same level of service.
Seek additional expertise - This year, increase both your technical and your professional skills. There are things we all can continually learn and there are a number of ways to accomplish this. Classes, webinars , and books are great formal ways to improve your skills. Blogs, managers and colleagues should also be leveraged however. Find out what best-practices or painful learning experiences your colleagues have had that you can adapt and benefit your clients as well.
Choose to be positive - Attitude is a choice. I have learned to understand and appreciate this idiom many times during my lifetime. In fact, if you've read my book, The Service Journey, you'll get a glimpse into how many times life has thrown me a curve ball. Choosing to look at these circumstances as an opportunity is a choice we all can make. Start by reviewing the language you use. Replace phrases such as 'It can't be done', 'I don't think so', and 'No problem' with 'I can help you with that', 'Let me look into that' and 'My pleasure'.
Care for yourself. Service is all about developing and cultivating relationships. It is not possible to give to others if you haven't also taken care of yourself. So spend time every day investing in you. I know for me, I have to walk every day and get cranky when I don't. Even when it is cold or dark outside, walking helps clear my mind. In fact, now that I'm finished writing this blog, I'm going to venture out in the snow!
Lastly, have fun. Delivering great service is hard work, but it also is fun. Realize you are the expert and you can have a positive impact on a lot of people's lives. Challenging yourself and your colleagues to deliver great service is contageous!
Best wishes for a healthy and happy new year!
Susan Hoekstra is principal consultant of Susan Hoekstra & Associates and author of The Service Journey. She has a proven 25 year history developing customer service strategies and solutions including strategy development, training, presentations, recognition programs, surveys, and contact center