When you think about it, no one knows more about customer service than mothers. Tending to different personalities each with unique (sometimes conflicting) needs, finding solutions to tough problems, listening with sympathy and generally going the extra mile to keep everyone happy, healthy and thriving is a mother’s lot on a daily (hourly) basis.
It’s really no surprise (to me anyway) that the best customer service rep I ever knew, Bill, credited his mother with teaching him the essential skills that made him so good at his job. You see, Bill was always jovial, smiling and helpful â€” his answer to any problem was a confident,Â “We’ll take care of it.” He remembered everything, the boring technical stuff and the funky little, personal things about our department. He routinely delivered what he promised when he promised, and, most important of all to hungry, overworked staffers, he brought each of us a coffee just the way we liked and a selection of donuts, bagels and muffins every time he came to the office.
So just what were those lessons Bill’s mother taught so well?
â€¢ Smile â€” not only can people see it, they can hear a smile in your voice. As Mom told you, no one wants to deal with a snarl or sourpuss in life or in business. A smile makes you approachable, human, accessible. People prefer to deal with pleasant people.
â€¢ Remember your manners â€” remembering to say “please” and especially “thank you” go a long way in life and in business. These days not many people respect the value of good manners, and so your behavior will stand outâ€¦ set you apart in a good way.
â€¢ Be patient â€” Bill waited, without a complaint, for us to finish up and hand things over â€” he never showed a bit of impatience with delays, instead he kept his cool, bit back his frustration at having his carefully crafted schedule fall apart and waited. This made him our “go to” vendor, for which he was rewarded with regular commissions and steady work.
â€¢ Give more than you get â€” a customer wants to work with someone who cares about what they do, who’ll go the extra mile for you. Bill was like that. He gave us excellent service, always went the extra step (without having to be told), and genuinely got a charge out of doing a good job.
â€¢ Listen â€” without trying to anticipate your own reply to what’s being said. Bill never rushed us, always listened to what we said â€” we had the feeling he had all the time in the world for us. Now he didn’t of course, be we never felt that.
â€¢ Do your best â€” like Mom always told you, give your best effort, 100%, all the time. Be enthusiastic and positive and you’ll make customers feel like you want to work with them.
You see? Not all that difficult, just good old fashioned manners and a bit of common sense and you’ll be ready to offer the kind of customer service that customers remember.
Now, call you mother and wish her a Happy Mother’s Day!