It's Not About You. It's All About the Customer

Lauren Krause
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Training is a key element of ensuring your customer service staff is prepared to represent the business on sales calls. Even the best training program may fail to emphasize the importance of taking a back seat to the customer. Customer loyalty is obtained when employees learn how to put themselves on the back burner and customers in the forefront.

Customer service representatives who can absorb feedback or criticism without taking it personally are more likely to improve their skills and better serve clients, according to Peter Karpas with Entrepreneur Magazine. Determine what is working and what is not by soliciting feedback from customers and using this valuable information to make changes to your processes, procedures and sales approaches. It may be tempting to wallow in negative feedback, but the key lesson is that it is not about you. Every process, procedure and approach should be about the customer.

Step into your customer's shoes to determine the tone you want to portray as a customer service representative. Clients do want to avoid negative experiences, but more so, they want memorable experiences created from the start of the transaction to the delivery of the product or service. Spend ample time with clients in person or on the phone so they understand you are willing to devote time and effort to gain customer loyalty and build a business relationship.

Make your clients feel special by spending extra time with them to ensure they are satisfied. Although it is important to work quickly and efficiently, taking a few extra minutes to chat about the customer's interests or needs may be well worth it in the end when the customer becomes a repeat client. Avoid rushing to improve the customer service experience for both of you.

Avoid selfish acts that only produce personal gain versus customer satisfaction. Ideally, you want to make the sale, but taking the time to offer expert advice and getting to know what your client needs can lead to more sales in the short and long term. Customer service should include professional guidance and trust to build a long-lasting client relationship.

Empower clients by soliciting their input on processes, products and services. A customer who is encouraged to present creative solutions or negotiate changes within the company may feel much more valued. Ask customers what part of the process made them happy and what elements of service from the company posed frustrations.

A positive customer service experience must include a clear-cut focus on the client versus the representative or employee. Put your own wants and needs aside, and show genuine concern and care for the well-being of the customers you serve to build loyalty, repeat business and a solid business reputation.


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