Customer Service

Commitment to Quality Customer Care

Elements of Quality Service
Opening
Functional
Interpersonal
Conclusion
Hidden

Opening

Project an attitude of service.
Always project professionalism.  Be eager to serve.  Get interaction off with a good start.
Consider the customer.
Recognition: who, where, when, why.
State of mind: distressed, angry, inconvenienced, cheerful.

Functional

Seek Data or information.
Begin with open probe.  Allow customer to speak freely.
Get the facts.  Define the situation.  Do not make assumptions, jump to conclusions, or act before you have sufficient information.
Check understanding.  Repeat information in own words, use closed probe (seek yes or no responses).  Demonstrates that I am listening and I understand.

Supply Data or information.
Give comprehensive or relevant information.  Avoid technical terms, vernaculars or jargon. Supply sufficient data, do not overload.  Link information to customer needs, including possible affect.
Check for understanding or acceptance:  “am I being clear, is that possible, can you do that?…”
Extend personal service.
Identify possible alternatives – other ways or persons that may provide help if I am unable to do so.
Offer extra information or data relevant to customer needs that I am unable to provide at present time.  This can prevent future dissatisfaction or anticipate future needs.
Take additional action, above and beyond expectations, if possible.

Interpersonal

Demonstrate awareness
Refer to customer’s situation.  Put yourself in their shoes. Show awareness of and appreciation of his or her situation.
Refer to probable feelings. Do not presume to understand exactly what the customer is experiencing. Address the situation or problem, not personal feelings: “It can be frustrating…” not “You must be frustrated.”
Apologize if appropriate. Accepting accountability for product or service is a genuine part of a commitment to quality. Apologize – do not criticize people, policies, or systems within the organization.

Explain service steps.
When service steps might be explained.
* To inform the customer of what is being done on their behalf.
* When it is necessary to temporarily depart from a conversation.
* After demonstrating awareness – this shows something is being done.
How service steps can be explained.
* What: what has been done, is being done, will be done, must be done.
* Why:  why something has been done, is being done, will be done, must be done.
*Define how this step will benefit the customer.

Emphasize positive aspects.
When might a positive aspect be highlighted.
* Customer behavior or attitude is helpful.
* Given the opportunity to emphasize organizational strengths.
How might the positive be emphasized.
* Specify the customer, organizational, or personal strength that merits emphasizing.
* Indicate, if appropriate, how it is helpful.

Conclusion

When should this be done?
Only after my best has been done to address the functional and interpersonal elements of a service transaction.

How might this be accomplished?
Review any commitments: Possible follow-up required, something required in writing…
Express availability:  “If you require further assistance…”, “If you have any additional questions…”, “I will contact you as soon as…”.

Thank the customer.Hidden

Rarely can one single handedly please the customer.  There are many dimensions occurring behind the scenes: information, time, resources, supply, logistics, authority.  I will whatever possible to link my responsibilities with, and work in conjunction with all other factors necessary to achieve quality customer service.

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Perspective     Management

Index