Customer service is a popular topic pretty much everywhere you go. Hardly a week goes by without you hearing about a customer service horror story from someone - a friend, acquaintance, family member or coworker. It's inevitable. If there's one thing that everyone likes to do, it's complain about bad service.
Now, improving customer experience has been a laser focus for businesses around the globe over the last five years. And, truth be told, the bar has been steadily moving to the positive during that time. Despite this, however, it still seems to be pretty much of a hit or miss proposition.
So, what should you do if you're a customer? Should you just cross your fingers and hope for the best? Sure, you make a point to do business with companies you know will treat you well, but what about all of the other places you spend your money?
There is a way for a customer to improve the chances of getting good customer service. All you have to do is be a bit proactive. Here's how:
1. Smile and be friendly
Service providers get more than their fair share of narcissistic, entitled customers who don't seem to appreciate their efforts. Most welcome the opportunity to work with someone who is friendly
2. Respect their jobs
Make an observation about their occupation that lets them know you understand and respect the challenges they face. For example, you could say something to a server in a restaurant like, "I don't know how you remember all of these orders. I can barely remember what I ordered!"
3. Learn a little about them
Dale Carnegie once wrote, "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you." Truer words were never spoken.
4. Compliment their performance
A well-placed, sincere compliment goes a long way. Even if you just said something like, "Wow - you're timing is perfect!" when your coffee arrives, you'll make someone smile.
Try these four things, and see if you don't find yourself getting a lot better service. They don't work 100% of the time of course, and yes, it's technically not the customer's job to create a positive experience, but there's absolutely no downside to trying.
These same principles, by the way, also work with your coworkers, employees and internal service providers. As our parents taught us growing up - 'you get what you give.'
The Belding Group helps companies stand out by providing Outstanding customer service training and customer experience consulting and measurement
Shaun Belding is a global expert on customer service ane workplace performance. To enquire about Shaun's speaking availabilities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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