Customer Service: What I’ve Learned Through The Years

Customer Service is one of the areas in any business that is deemed vital. My mantra through the years of my marketing, business, and academic experience is that ‘(customer) service is your best marketing.’

You may find it hard to leverage with different brands because you think you offer the same as them. You innovate, of course, but sometimes it can fell short as other businesses are also in the move to offer fresh products. However, your customer service can be your edge. You may provide leaner choices than the other brands, but have a better customer relationship that gives you an advantage and eventually higher sales.

On the other hand, even if you ‘do it right the first time,’ there is also the concept of ‘you cannot please everybody.’ People especially your clients have different expectations that were also based on their past experiences; and, you may know nothing about it. Hence, your services and customer affinity shall be standard but not substandard.

Honestly, you may lose it at times. It is not always rainbows and butterflies from your end and stress could also make you impatient every so often. To keep your business and passion to serve running, here are some of the things I learned through the years:

Be Kind. Always. 

I am not always kind nor polite. I have days when all the burdens come right crashing me and I have to show up for work or still continue running a business. When I was younger, I tend to lose it and craft an argument with a potential buyer – may it be their fault or not, it was not an acceptable excuse for me to counterclaim.

Being kind is quite hard especially if clients have the tendency to go overboard. However, it pays to do so. Being resilient to attacks or choosing your battles could be excellent answers. If you are in a situation where you know you’d not be able to dodge it, think again. Process the situation. Ask yourself if it is going to be worth the argument and answer politely as much as you could – yes, no matter how belittling it at times.

Trust yourself enough that you would not be shammed of what was said to you. Brush off but do not tolerate – discuss details with the customer and pay attention to him/her. Sometimes, a ranting customer does not like to create a commotion, he/she just want to be heard.

Communicate Well

Good communication is always the key. We tend to react negatively on things that we do not understand well. If the customer had given all the pertinent details – do’s, don’ts, allowed, not allowed, etc. – chances are he/she would not be able to complain anymore.

Sometimes as a business or a company, we do not notice that we are not clear of the policies, instructions, and other directions; hence, the reason why customers’ inquire or complain. Learning how to communicate well and knowing the right words to say are one of the best practices in customer service.

Reflect

Since there would be days when you do not feel extending so much patience for your clients, reflecting about it could be a great solution. It will give you a wider perspective of what will happen next and/or what you could do.

Reflecting gives you inner peace. It soothes you and makes you calm. This way, you can think of your next best move, if need be.

When you deal with different clients, there should also a need innate for you to re-evaluate your services. You also have to be honest about what you can give and the number of things you are still lacking. This way, you can also grow and improve not only what you offer but also how you are as an individual on a more personal level.

Image from Formstack.com

Author: shainnehostalero

Shainne Hostalero, MDC is a social entrepreneur (owner and founder of Happy Shift PH), a communication scholar, and a writer.

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