Customer service training is great, don’t you think? It reminds you of the things you should be doing on days when you are thoroughly fed up with just that….customers. Come on, seriously – how often would you like to start your conversation off with the word ‘LOOK’ or ‘do you realise how annoying you are’. But we simply can’t can we? Remember – however fed up you are – these poor customers on the end of the phone, or sitting in front of you – their day may have been even worse than yours. They can hear what kind of day you are having by the tone of your voice and how fed up you are. Have you ever answered a phone call with a smile? Sounds corny doesn’t it but try it tomorrow. It seriously works and has a knock on effect, they feel happier that you haven’t sounded grumpy on the phone. You in turn are dealing with someone who’s back isn’t up immediately.
A few years ago, the organisation I work for decided that to become more efficient and business like we should all answer the phone the same way. Company name, salutation, your name, how can I help you. Bit of a mouth full. But it has been proven that callers don’t listen to the first part of the phone call. They know who they are calling, they know if its afternoon or morning – they hear your name, and the offer of help. It always amazes me that at the end of a conversation with someone they often say, ‘thank you Pat’ – it takes me aback – they did hear my name when I answered the phone! It does work. And if you are all answering the phone in the same way – none of you will sound stupid – I know that’s what you were thinking!
This sounds like I am so righteous doesn’t it, never on my phone in work, never texting my mates, never fooling and laughing around, and having a joke. Well let me put this another way.
Its a busy Thursday lunchtime. You have 30 min to go and pick a present up for a friends birthday, and get back to the office again. The shop assistant is busy chatting when you get into the shop and doesn’t see you or acknowledge you. You can’t find what you are looking for, you know that little specific item that will make your friend smile when they see it. After 5 min you still cant see what you want, and when you try and catch the attention of the sales assistant – they huff and puff, and don’t make much of an effort to help you find the elusive gift. Walk out of the shop- just do it! Go into the shop where you know the sales assistants appear happy, they greet you with a smile, and offer to help you with your search. You leave happy and content, they know they have helped you, and your friend is so pleased with their gift! I hate shops where they chat to one another at the expense of customers. I’m the one walking out the door into your competitor shop down the road!
Don’t get me started on Social Media – it does what it says on the tin- SOCIAL MEDIA – not work media. Do it in your own time – not mine! I work for an organisation that is funded by the tax payer – so I pay my own wages in effect. I will not allow myself to spend time on my phone during the time I’m paying me to work!
All life is a fish bowl. And work is no exception. In fact work is more of a fish tank than a fish bowl, everyone sees what you do, and how you do or don’t do it! So if you follow some simple rules, your customers will hopefully remain your customers, and not go somewhere else, and fill one of those ‘how did we do today’ forms in with some positive comments for you.