Hello, I'm Chieko Shichijo, a customer service etiquette instructor. This time, I'll be sharing information on the theme of "What should be conveyed to customers through customer service," providing valuable insights for your customer service duties.
When asked, "What is important in customer service?" many would answer:
- eye contact
While all these aspects are crucial in customer service, if you were asked why these are important or what are you doing them for, how would you respond?
For instance, consider a staff member who is shy and often lacks a smile. It cannot be definitively stated that such a staff member will receive only complaints. Even if smiling is a challenge, there are instances where the staff member can provide services that can please customers. Similarly, not being proficient in polite language does not necessarily mean customers will always be offended. Conversely, fluency in polite language doesn't automatically guarantee customer satisfaction.
Unlocking the "Why" of Customer Service
In essence, the important points in customer service as aforementioned earlier are tools and processes to achieve a purpose; those are not the goal itself. These elements need to be executed with a goal in mind, otherwise they become superficial and lack depth.
By strongly recognizing why you are doing them, your actions will be imbued with sincerity, bringing you closer to what you should convey to customers.
The Three Pillars of Exceptional Service are:
- warm welcome
The clear communication of these elements is the most crucial aspect of customer service. Simply put, it involves expressions of gratitude like "Thank you for choosing us" or "Thank you for visiting us", warm welcoming phrases like "Welcome" or "We are delighted you came", and expressions of respect like "We consider you an important customer" or "We value you". When these sentiments are effectively conveyed, customer satisfaction increases.
Let’s take for example when greeting customers, what aspects do you pay attention to? Are you conveying gratitude, welcoming them, and showing respect? Or is your greeting mumbled and distant, your tired eyes avoiding theirs? A “hello” alone doesn’t just cut it; it's about conveying emotions. Your greetings should be woven with the three pillars that were mentioned earlier: gratitude, warm welcome, and respect. Take a moment to ponder what kind of greeting would effectively convey these feelings to customers. By doing so, you will naturally develop greetings that leave a positive impression on the customer.
Presentation Matters: Your Visual Impact
In customer service, first impressions hold immense power, and presentation plays a crucial role. While maintaining personal hygiene might feel like a routine task, it influences how customers perceive you. Imagine encountering a staff member with an unkempt, sloppy appearance. Would the crucial trio of gratitude, warm welcome, and respect easily radiate from them? Probably not. In contrast, a neat and tidy presentation instantly communicates professionalism and care. A tidy appearance isn't just a coat of cleanliness and respect towards the customer; it's also a reflection of self-worth, and a magnet for positive customer engagement.
Beyond words, a pleasant smile, courteous behavior, and a well-groomed appearance speak volumes. They build trust, boost confidence, and create a ripple effect of positivity. Investing in these simple acts can undoubtedly make customers feel gratitude, warm welcome and respect. Let's prioritize visual impressions and watch the smiles become contagious!
Embracing the Power of Intention in Everyday Interactions
This simple question of "why you are doing them" holds the key to unlocking exceptional customer service. By holding this question close, we shift from routine transactions to meaningful connections with our customers. Remember, it's not just about smiles and greetings, but about the intention behind them. To ensure that the three pillars of excellent customer service are effectively conveyed, I hope these insights I shared can encourage you to pay attention to aspects like smiles, eye contact, behavior, and appearance.