I am often asked on customer service skills training courses why is it that so often when you ring a company to speak to a representative, the representative is not exactly a great ambassador for that company. They reply with a grunt, a huff or an "I do not know" and then do not even bother to find out your query.
When I am asked this question on customer service training courses it never fails to surprise me that people act like this. Either the person has not been appropriately trained for their job in customer service or else they just do not care and if it is the latter then a call to the manager should sort that out fairly promptly.
As a telecommunicater you know that it is your responsibility to provide exceptional customer service over the phone. Now, the trainers on customer service skills training courses do not deny that a telecommunicate can get a raw deal. The customer may be angry and take it out on you, you may get a bad reception and find it difficult to hear or you may sometimes have difficulties picking up on different accents. The visual communication is missing and therefore you can not see their facial expressions to recognise how they are feeling. As you have heard before a picture is worth a thousand words which obviously means you will need to compensate for with a lot more words.
Yet, trainers on customer service skills courses will tell you it is your job to keep that customer satisfied in order to build a solid track record to expand your relationship with the customers for the future.
Customer service skill providers develop their courses around moments of truth. These moments of truth are based on what you do to either add or subtract to your customer relationship. For example a negative moment may lead the customer having an unconstructive feeling about the company where as if you have a positive interaction with the customer by showing that you are human too and not just an answering service but that you are there to help and empower them.
One negative interaction can result in 4 positive interactions to compensate and this is what customer service trainers' stress. As you are not dealing with interpersonal communication you are dealing with perceptions so you do not want to assume the perception, you want to be responsible for that positive perception.
On customer service skills training courses I am often asked why customers leave. Well, in a study in Washington this was asked and it found that 1% die, 3% move and a staggering 68% felt that they were not supported or looked after appropriately.
The key to excellent customer service skills is to avoid generalizing. When you come to red lights in traffic you will find yourself saying, "Sure, all the lights are red" or if you talk to 3 people in a bad mood you find yourself saying, "Everyone is in a bad mood". We all do this but what you will realise through customer service training courses is that this is externalising and if you keep this in your head you will treat others this way too consequently resulting in negative relations with customers.
A key phrase n customer service training is to always remember 'you are the representative of the company so treat others as you would like to be treated yourself'.