CUST105: Final Project: Customer Service Training Manual


#1

Please prepare a 1,500-word training manual as if you were the manager of a customer service department orienting a new employee on the needs of your department. Based on what you learned in this course, what are the key points you would want the new employees to understand as they begin their new position? You may include and expand upon your writings from earlier units.


#2

Customer service involves working with a wide range of customers with varying needs and attitudes. It is your main duty to treat the customers with respect at all times, regardless of their way of responding to you. Customers are the individuals who decides whether or not our business rows. It is therefore our duty to ensure that our customers’ needs are met. Customers at times become irate and as such become angry when a product or service was faulty. Even though customers may seem angry with you, they are not; so it is important that you do not take their frustrations personal, as they are referring to the business in general. Never shout or become angry with the customers, but try to show them empathy and try understanding the problem from their point of view. Customers are able to interpret your verbal and nonverbal communication and gestures; as such, you should try to remain focused and professional at all times.
Speaking of communication, it is not professional or acceptable to use slang when dealing with customers. Be polite and friendly with customers at all times. Remember that you are the face of the business, so it is therefore your duty to ensure that customers are satisfied with our products and services in order for them to remain loyal to our business and also to be able to recommend us to other potential customers. If you are unable to assist a customer with a certain request or problem, then it would be best to pass the customer onto someone who has more knowledge or information about their desired product or service. Never hang up on a customer and ensure that you are able to solve their problem instead of having an unsatisfied customer. Your personal solutions may not always work with solving customer problems, so it would be wise to be able to adapt to new ways of dealing with and solving customer problems.
Every organization requires a customer service representative, as these persons are really the ones that pose as the face of the company. When applying for customer service positions, it is wise to complete some research on the skills required for the job. I you do not possess any of the required skills; it would be wise to get some training in achieving these skills. Another requirement is normally to attain a high school diploma and also be computer literate. In order to become an effective customer service representative, one must be able to handle customer’s anger and insults without taking it personal. You must be able to exercise patience and empathy to allow the customer to be comfortable with you and also to gain their trust. It is not hard to maintain a customer service position once you are able to comply with the rules and regulations of the company, and being able to keep the customers happy.
As a customer service representative, you are expected to be goal oriented, that is being able to meet deadlines, solve customer problems and also to grow professionally as an individual. You will also become accustomed to being a team player, as the job of customer service focuses on workers working as a team for the greater good of the company. It is important that you are able to communicate effectively with both customers and employees and also able to listen attentively. Be observant to every action so that you can easily identify acceptable and unacceptable behaviours and actions in the workplace. Be confident in yourself and your capabilities and don’t be afraid to take on responsibilities, as these may improve your role and position as time goes by. Provide customers with adequate and accurate information regarding products and services. It is important that your research on the products and services that you will be assigned to inform customers about, in order to have advanced knowledge on the products. This is important, as customers can identify when or if you have knowledge about the product or service being dealt with. As a customer service representative, it is also vital that you input customer information on the computer system correctly, in the case where the customer may call back or return to the business; another agent may have to access their information to continue their case. If complaints are made by customers, ensure that you record these complaints, as they can be used to see where the company is making mistakes in dealing with customers; and also to find solutions to handling these complaints. If you realize that you have tried all possible options to assist a customer and are unable to assist them, then it will be acceptable to transfer the customer to a team lead or the manager.
Never disclose customer information to anyone who is not permitted to receive such information, as this is considered a sin of confidentiality. When on the job and dealing with customers never handle your personal business or request while on the job; that can be done during break, before or after work. When dealing with customers, especially face-to-face, always wear a smile, even if you are having a bad day. This will refresh your customer and make them feel comfortable. Never take out your personal frustrations on customers or team members; once you are on the job, conduct yourself in a professional manner. When dealing with new software, training may be provided to equip you with adequate knowledge to utilize the software properly. Never be disrespectful to your customers.
You will come across customers from varying backgrounds, cultures or ethnic groups, and as such, you will be required to implement varying strategies to solve each of their problems; as each set of individuals beliefs may be out of bound with you way of handling the situation. Be careful also, of your choice of words and tone when dealing with various persons; as one set may not find a certain term or phrase insulting, another will be insulted or bothered by it. Learn to find different means of communicating and dealing with various kinds of people. Try to form relationships with customers to make them seem more of a friend than an enemy. Sometimes the reason why customers become angry really the way in which they were dealt with and not necessarily has to do with the product or service that was supplied to them. Some customers will understand thins from your point of view while others will not care at all. If you realize that customers are straying from the real problem, gently redirect the conversation back to the actual problem with coming off as mean.
When putting customers on hold, ensure that you tell them that you going to put them on a brief hold before doing so. Do not keep customers on hold for more than 1 or two minutes. If you plan to keep them on hold for a loner time, refresh the customer and then do so. When transferrin a customer to a supervisor or helpdesk; advise customer that you are trying to connect with supervisor before putting them on hold. After that is done, advise the supervisor that the customer wises to speak to them and update the supervisor on the customer details/ queries. After the supervisor has received customer name and details of the call, once you have received the permission to connect the call, you take the customer off hold and introduce customer and supervisor to each other and then connect their call and end yours.

If a customer calls in and you are unable to hear anything, if a procedure was given to handle calls like these, ensure that you follow the procedure. Customer service representatives should possess the skill of multitasking; as most times while handling a call, they will be required to write up a ticket which contains relevant information about the customers and also to recall procedures that they have not yet fully grasp. Once you have dealt with a customer and you were able to solve their situation, you are then entitled to close their ticket and give a report of how you handled the situation.
Try to learn as much as you can within the training sessions, because normally what you learn in training is what you will be expected to model during the real work environment. Don’t be rude to any customers even when they are being rude to you, it is best to remain silent for a while and take a deep breath. Remember to bear in mind that they are not angry at you personally but at the business itself and the way in which the service was provided or delivered to them.
Not every call that customers make deals with complaints. Sometimes they just want to give kudos to a specific employee or to commend the company on a job well done. Some days the experience will be good and some days it will be bad, but at the end of the day, it is a job that has to be completed; whether customers are fully satisfied or not.


#3

I felt that you had a really great manual and covered all the criteria


#4

The customer service worker is the face of the company and the first line of contact with the customers. Any business benefits from good customer relations, whether a large corporation or a small retail shop. Customer relations, refers to the way a business communicates and interacts with the public to gain and retain customers. It is necessary for a business to cultivate good customer relations to attract and keep a loyal base of customers. Some of their specific duties include;-

  1. Listen and respond to customers’ needs and concerns.
  2. Provide information about products and services.
  3. Take orders, determine charges, and oversee billing or payments.
  4. Review or make changes to customer accounts.
  5. Handle returns or complaints.
  6. Refer customers to supervisors or managers for escalated issues.

Customer service is all about solving the problems of the customer, which may vary from simple inquiries and questions to complex issues. The hiring manager for new customer service agents should check to see the following key traits

  1. Excellent Communication
  2. Problem Solving
  3. Analytical Skills
  4. Listening skills
  5. Empathy
  6. Good attitude.
  7. Technical knowledge.
  8. Knowledge about the product/service and company policies and procedures.
  9. Patience, patience, patience.

Customer relationship is the key to understanding consumer motivation. Without assessing customer relations, it’s difficult for a company to know how visible it is in terms of its client base. It’s also hard to figure out how to grow the company without understanding the relationships it has with current and potential customers. Customer Relationship Management explains the relationship between suppliers, technology, and customers, which together provide the link for customer support in a business environment. Managing relationships with customers has become a critical organizational competency. Get winning strategies for acquiring and retaining customers by leveraging the latest advanced technologies.

The key to exceptional service lies in building relationships with people; staff and customers. The customer service workers are internal customers while the clients are external customers. The lifeline of any business depends largely upon the relationship between these two types of customers. By understanding and focusing on the needs of their staff and the needs of customers, businesses create mutually beneficial relationships. Without the support and best efforts of its employees and the loyalty of their customers, businesses often fail.

Customers are able to interpret your verbal and nonverbal communication and gestures; as such, you should try to remain focused and maintain professionalism at all times. It is unprofessional to use slang when dealing with customers. Simulate an appropriate rate of speech when explaining important or challenging information to a customer. Adjust your approach based on your observations of your customer and your understanding of the situation. The most important aspects of both verbal and non-verbal communication are to work towards a mutual understanding, make your customer feel at ease, and ultimately ensure your interaction has a productive and satisfying end.

Customer Service Workers often interact with many different people across the divide. In some other situations the customers might be angry or upset because of a defective item, working under pressure, deadlines and or even personal issues. As in ICT Support, the common encountered issues are;-

  1. Computer/Laptop and or other devices not powering on (booting problems).
  2. Networking problems
  3. Internet login issues
  4. General user support.
    The above list is not conclusive, as a Customer Support Worker, you might get many issues some of which might even be more out of line. For efficient and effective service delivery, the customer support should up hold the following tactics;-
  5. Find out what the customer want.
  6. Treat them how they want to be treated.
  7. Listen to them
  8. Empathize we with them
  9. Partner with them
  10. Take control of the situation

While at it, is also extremely important NOT to;-

  1. Get angry.
  2. Tell them to “calm down”
  3. Defend yourself
  4. Interrupt them, give them some time to vent

In our modern developed world, the telephone and computer communications is largely adopted form of communication, due to distance, convenience and cost. The following tactics in telephone communication should be applied;-

  1. Identify customer problem by focusing on specific words spoken and the tone in their voice.
  2. Use a calm, friendly voice to convey warmth and concern.
  3. Quickly discern customer issues, describe viable options and pick a suitable resolution with the customer’s participation.
  4. If you must transfer a customer to another colleague, ask for their permission and make sure to introduce them to avoid the customer repeating the process again and don’t forget to thank them for their patience, apologize for any delays.

As for the computer communications which includes, e-mail, social media posts, blogs and other online platforms. The customer service worker can apply the following best tactics and etiquette;-

  1. Construct a message that is concise yet comprehensive.
  2. Use template copy to avoid ambiguity and unnecessary mistakes.
  3. Get to the point quickly clearly and without clutter.
  4. Use descriptive subject headings.

For overall success of the team. The members must observe the three basic components of team work;-

  1. Sharing a common vision/mission.
  2. Each member complimentary skills.
  3. Forming interpersonal skills.

Customer service workers must invest in their own personal growth and professional development to increase their productivity. Self-motivation on the job and personal recreation after hours go a long way in maintain a healthy and productive team member.There is an increasing demand for customer service workers in every industry because companies want to keep their existing customers happy and satisfied in order to get good reviews and ratings and generally good public relations.

Finding a job as a customer service worker requires investment in knowledge and relevant skills. Strong communication skills, interpersonal relations and problem solving skills are key in finding and maintaining the job. To find the job, an extensive search and research on the internet through professional networks e.g. linked in, company websites and recruitment companies, even though most of them are free, quite a number of them charge a fee to access their services. For whatever reasons, if you cannot secure paid employment, you can consider doing internships or volunteer programs to get the necessary skills and firsthand experience.

It is highly desirable and very important to invest in career growth, personal and professional development, in order to remain relevant and adapt to the dynamic work environment. Again, the internet can be a valuable source for joining professional forums, blogs, free massive online courses and even attending conferences and publishing as well.


#5

Customer Service Manual
As a manager, I will share the following points with the newly appointed person regarding my organization.

  1. Welcome to the organization. You are lucky to have this position. Based on the qualification, experience and other relevant skills that you have demonstrated in you test and interview, we have found you the best candidate and we hope you will contribute to the development of this organization using your qualities and skills. I want to orient you about this organization as well as the points you need to consider while working in this organization.
  2. You need to demonstrate your communication skills, listening skill, social skills and knowledge of the work as long as you are in this organization. Remember that customers usually need information about the products and their location when they come to purchase. For this purpose, you have to carefully interact with customers and use proper communication skills to guide them from the beginning till the purchase is done. You need to clearly communicate to the customer how the products looks like, how it will improve the life standard and compared with similar products in other stores, how this product will work effectively. Please be sure that if we are unable to clearly respond to the queries of a customer, the company may not be a choice for that customer in future.
  3. You are supposed to demonstrate effective listening skills. Through actively listening to the customer, they can be made feel that they are given importance. Using paralanguage words and maintaining eye contact with customers are effective strategies to make them feel worthy. Moreover, you also need to follow proper social skills such as being polite, respecting customers, feeling empathy with them and using culturally appropriate titles for the customers. Lastly, you should read all the documents about our company that have been shared with you as you need to have required knowledge about the company, its products and other rules and regulations.
  4. The documents that I have shared with you also contain detail of the vision, mission, values and other policies of our company/organization. The documents also include you job description. Coupled with those roles and responsibilities, you also need to be prepared for unexpected roles and situations. For example, the customer might have been given wrong information. Or the customer may have been given the product which he/she was not looking for. Or his/her queries may not have been responded to in a clear way. In such situation, you need to be very patient while dealing with those customers. You are not supposed to argue with the customer even if he/she is wrong. Always be polite. Try to resolve the situation in such a way that the customer will be willing to come to the company in future.
  5. Remember that communicating very clearly with customers is very important. You need to help the customer in their decision making which requires clear communication with them. You may be dealing with customers on phone that will require even clearer communication skills. While talking to customers on phone, listen carefully to them and make them feel that they are being listened to. Convey clear and accurate information to them. Keep in view their level while talking to them and transfer them to other relevant person if they need more information or clarification.
    Remember that you have to work in team and you are an important member of the team. If one member fails the whole team fails and therefore, we have to sink or swim together.
  6. Although you have demonstrated good skills during your test and interview, I expect that working in this organization you will further enhance your communication, social, interpersonal and problem solving skills. These are the skills that are very important for the survival of you as well as this organization. I once again stress that you always need to be patient and humane. I hope you will contribute to the growth of our organization and working with us will be an excellent experience of your life and career.
    Good luck.

#6

The customer service workplace.
As a customer service worker, you will be required to answer questions and solve problems. So, you have to develop good listening skills and the ability to connect with customers through many forms of media.
As a customer service worker, you will be placed in any of the following categories;

  1. Receptionist/front desk clerk
  2. Salesperson
  3. Insurance agent
  4. Data entry/order clerk
  5. Call center representative, among others.
    Some of your duties will include, but not limited to;
  6. Listening and responding to customers’ needs and concerns.
  7. Provision of information about products and services.
  8. Handling of returns and complaints.
  9. Researching answers and solutions when needed.
    You should be ready to give your customers your full attention and make them feel that at the moment, there is nothing more important to you than helping them. Futhermore, you should get to know your customer as well as you can within the constraints of the moment.
    You should learn to listen, empathize, and take charge.
    You should be able to use verbal and nonverbal means of communications so that your meaning and attitude understood respectively. Try to study your customers as quick as possible so that you can efectively use any of these communication modes.
    The Customer Service Duties.
    In your line of work, you will be meeting customers who might be extremely agitated because of dealing with a defective product or service, the customer being referred to other customer service worker before coming to you, a miscommunication of the company’s offer leading to turning away of an expectant customer, e.t.c. You should be able to listen to your customer’s explanation of the issue clearly, take ownership of the problem, and turn the problem into a partnership. Try to return your customer to a resonable state of satisfaction and be sure to provide a follow-up to ensure that your custermer remains satisfied.
    Be sure not to get angry yourself, even if the customer starts to attack you as uncaring or incompetent. Rather, try to assure the customer that you hear their concern and you sincerely want to help them. Many customers are from different culrures and backgrounds were thwy have different norms and values. Try to be flexible and adaptable even if what you are doing might be against you own cultures. Let the customer’s needs and interests superceed yours. Find out what the customer wants and treat them how they want to be treated.
    Customer Service Skillset.
    Each person in your team brings something unique to the group, every member providing assets to be utilized and accommodated. So, learn to work with a group. The strength of a group does not depend on your similarities, but the combined contribution of each member’s differences. To be effective therefore, you should learn to bond together in common support of the company’s vision.
    Finally, you should make good use of your free time by taking good care of yourself and improve your productivity. You know we cannot take unproductivity in ou company. Have a nice stay with the company.

#7

Excellent Customer service is very crucial to the growth of every organization, hence the need to treat the customer like a king and ensure that every encounter whether physical or virtual is pleasant and memorable for the customer. All Customers want is to receive a polite and helpful service, they also want to feel appreciated and their needs met in a timely and pragmatic way, to achieve this some qualities and skill sets come to play. Some of these will be discussed below.

A). Steps to Enhance customer Impression and Satisfaction.

  1. Give your customers your full attention, dealing with one customer at a time. Let the customer feel he or she is the most important, focus your attention on that customer and resolve his or her problems.
  2. Handle customer complaints efficiently and effectively. It is important to know that how you handle compliant from customers determine the level of confidence they have in you and your company. Go the extra mile for them.
  3. Know your customer. There will be a lot of customers to work with in your new positon but you have to make the effort to know their names and use it, this also makes them feel special.
  4. Do the unexpected – follow up on the customer via mail or phone call to ensure their problems have been resolved.
  5. Talk about benefits, not features – always let the customer know the benefit he or she will get from your product or service
  6. Know your competition – as a CSW know what your competitors are doing and always be above the competition.
  7. Listen, empathize, and take charge – attentively listen to your customer, make them feel you understand them and take action to resolve their problems.
  8. Always have a good Attitude – be friendly in your approach to customers and always look for an opportunity to help them. Always smile and maintain a good eye contact.

B). Customer Service through telephone and internet.
Telephone
a. Use a friendly tone of voice to convey warmth and concern for the customer
b. CSW should be enthusiastic and able to quickly use a suitable solution to resolve customer needs.
c. Use short words and sentences when communicating on the telephone in order not to frustrate the customer.
d. Seek the customer’s permission before transferring call, and explain the situation to the one receiving the call, to save the customer from repeating the same thing over and over again for solution.
e. When you need to put a customer on hold, check and update the customer on progress after every 30 seconds so the customer doesn’t feel ignored or hang up.

Computer
a. Messages should be brief, yet must clearly convey important detail while maintaining a cordial tone.
b. Take some time to read through the message and double check for errors to avoid miscommunication.
c. CSW must also carefully consider how to open and close messages. Always use a simple opening and closing remarks.

C). Customer Service Skill-sets
Customer service workers are in most cases the first point of call in every organization and as such the ways and manner in which services are delivered to customers determines whether they will return to the company or not. Here are some needed skills in this profession.

  1. Good Communication and Interpersonal skills.
    A good customer service worker should have good communication and interpersonal skills, his or her approach to customers, communication and service delivery must convey friendliness and targeted at making them customer feel important and part of organizational success. Both verbal and non-verbal communication cues must be used concurrently to ensure effective communication. A CSW will meet and deal with a lot of people from different backgrounds and experiences on a daily basis, some may come happy, angry, sad, moody just to mention but few, hence the CSW’s ability to adequately interact with all these people and ensure their needs are met in satisfaction cannot be over emphasized.

  2. Effective listening skills.
    One of the ways to ensure customer satisfaction is to listen to them and make them feel important. Effectively listening will enable the CSW understand the customer and meet their needs. In view of the fact that CSW exist to educate customer on products and services, answer questions and solve problems among others, one’s ability to proactively solve problems and make customers satisfied will keep customers coming back.

  3. Problem-solving skills
    To help resolve customer issues, the CSW needs to be able to analyse problems, research answers, and help customers implement solutions.

  4. Polite and tactful
    A customer service worker should be respectful and discreet in his or her dealings with customers. In other words show regard for others in speech and in behaviour treating customers as partners and not be rude to customers irrespective of the circumstance, because this can mire the image of the company.

D). Handling Customer Service Problems
Customer service problem comes in different forms therefore the Customer Service Worker needs to have a proper mind-set and attitude. When faces with problems;

I. Listen to your customer’s explanation of an issue clearly
II. Once you have identified the customer’s special problem, sincerely apologize to the customer for the inconvenience. A sincere apology can help alleviate a customer’s agitation
III. Take ownership of the problem. Make it your responsibility to resolve the problem.
IV. Involve the customer as a participating partner in resolving the problem. Work together with the customer to resolve the problem. In an event where you could not handle a problem at your level, refer to a supervisor.
V. Try as much as possible to exceed customers’ expectations and return the customer to a state of satisfaction.
VI. Follow up on the customer to ensure the customer remains satisfied.
These things can be achieved when the CSW remain focused, alert, be understanding, caring, unemotional, and above all patient.

E). Customer Service Do’s and Don’ts
Don’ts
 Do not interrupt when the customer is explaining the problem, unless you want to clarify and issue.
 Don’t try to defend yourself
 Avoid telling your customer to calm down
 Do not get Angry
 Do not argue with the customer
 Avoid making excuses
 Do not try to blame the customer
 Don’t take a customer’s anger or insults personally

Do’s
 Show empathy for customers’ problems. Let the customers know their problems concern you as well. Use the magic words, “I’m sorry” when the need be.
 Encourage an extremely agitated customer to vent a little before initiating steps to resolve the problem. You can use such phrases as “tell me about what happened.”
 Remain objective and calm. Take responsibility and keep a focus on achieving results.
 Involve the customer. This returns a sense of empowerment to a customer who may be feeling powerless.
 Provide clear options and steps to a resolution.
 Assure the customer that you will advise management of the problem to prevent a similar situation in the future.

F). Teamwork
A CSW will work with other team member to achieve goals and targets. Effective and well-coordinated teams make huge impact on the company. Let’s discuss the three primary components of effective teamwork

The common vision and mission shared among all team members – as a team your common goal is to work to attain the vision of the company. CSWs should always ensure effective communication and coordination among themselves to propel an overall excellent customer service.
The complimentary skills of each team member – each member of the group has a unique skill and characteristics that complement the group. It is important to note that the strength of the group does not necessarily come from your similarities, but the combined contribution of each member’s differences.
The interpersonal bonds that tie it all together - An effective team should bond together in common support of the company’s vision and mission. This is an ongoing process, as the team members come to appreciate each another’s abilities, loyalties, and commitment to individual and group successes. CSW should find ways of resolving their differences or conflicts without it affecting productivity.

G). Self-Care
It is important you take good care of yourself to stay healthy to perform your role. Here are some tips you can adopt.

  • Try not to go home with problems, conflicts or unresolved issues, leave them at the workplace.
  • Create time for relaxation and other activities that can help you rejuvenate and keep a healthy perspective on work and life. Such as exercising with a walk or a visit to the gym, reading, listening to your favourite music, getting a massage, taking a long bath, watching a movie among others to put your mind at rest and restore calm.
  • Collaborate with your employers to ensure they take the proper steps for time management and productivity.
  • Workers should beware of allowing negative emotions at the job place to affect their well-being

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#8

Customer Service Manual

Customer Service Representative interacts with a clients - that is - answers questions and solves problems on behalf of the organization. You provide information about our products and services. You are the face of our organization and, therefore, should act properly and in line with our procedures. This manual will give you some insights into how we see a perfect customer service specialist.

Customer Service Skillsets:

People, who are able to demonstrate positive aptitude during communication, speak in a confident, not arrogant manner, ready to assist to their colleagues, when situation demands such assistance - have all the chances to succeed in a customer service relations.

Your speech should be of a normal speed rate, tone of the voice is cordial and eye contact is maintained
intermittently.

An experience, when you had to communicate with agitated people and helped them to find a resolution of their problem would be of great help, when dealing with difficult customers.

Your listening skills, verbal and non-verbal communication are crucially important on this position.

You should treat the customer as a partner, and show empathy and intention to find a best possible
resolution of a problem - together with a customer. Moreover, you should demonstrate the willingness to exceed the customer expectations - by scrutinizing the customer’s problem, smooth and quick way of finding mutual beneficial resolution and suggesting, when needed, some extra offers/discounts - if the company policy/supervisor allows and situation requires.

To summarize, ideal customer service representative has:

  • great communication skills
  • problem solving skills
  • open for cordial and warm dialogue
  • good listener
  • shows empathy
  • takes charge in problem resolutions
  • exceeds customer expectations

Tips for dealing with extraordinary customers:

It will happen sometimes, that you will face some difficult problems and extraordinary customers. You should be prepared in advance to resolve those situations in a best possible way and with a compliance of our company’s
policy.

The examples of a challenging problems you would most probably have to solve are as follows:

  • Delay of the good’s delivery
  • Return of a defected good
  • Mismatch in a delivery

The phone call or a visit from an agitated customer will follow and you should be aware of how to deal with such customers.

Here are some useful tactics to be applied in such situations:

  • It is necessary to respond with care.
  • Listen to your customer, define the problem, show the empathy and suggest to find a resolution together.
  • Positive attitude is very important.
  • If a situation requires a referral to you supervisor - don’t hesitate to ask for help.
  • Don’t forget - a simple apology always matters!
  • Consider a possible remedies - such as a discount or refund. That as well may require assistance from your supervisor.
  • Discuss possible solutions to the problem and available options with your customer. Choose together.
  • Check the customer level of satisfaction, try to exceed the customer’s expectations.

Remember, when dealing with difficult customers, you should stay calm and detached. Do not take it personal. Remain focused, unemotional and patient. Use short sentences, while talking and listen to your customer. Try not to interrupt and turn the interaction to an intention of fixing the issue, involving our customer to the process.

Types of communications and insights into team work:

The job of a customer service specialist often involves such types of communications as telephone, e-mails and working in a team. Below are some insight into these activities.

Telephone communications:

  • The tone of your voice should be friendly and project your dedication to the customer.
  • Offer an apology for any delay of a conversation.
  • Use short phrases and sentences. Try to match your volume, vocabulary and speech rate to those of a customer.
  • If you should transfer your customer to someone else in your team, first explain the reason of transfer to your customer, ask for a permission to transfer. Be sure, your colleague is aware the customer’s problem. Introduce them to a new contact and convince a customer, that a solution will be figured out at the soonest.

Computer communication:

  • Use succinct sentences, yet clearly describing the issue
  • Create a template and personalize it as necessary
  • Think of how to open and close your message
  • Use a descriptive subject heading, get to the point, check the letter before sending it.

Working in a team could be enriching yet complicated experience. Three main components of an effective teamwork are common vision, complementary skills of each team member and interpersonal bonds. The best way to succeed in a team work is to help your colleagues display their best features.

Some tips for you personally:

In all these activities - please, don’t forget about yourself - your health and well-being. A good worker is a healthy worker. Allocate some time for yourself, when working. On your way home it is better to set aside all
the problems of the day and save yourself for the next beautiful working day in a challenging world.

Conclusion:

To summarize our manual, let us assure you, dear employee, that if you demonstrate strong communication, listening, interpersonal and problem-solving skills, are a very good team-player, show empathy, ready to provide support to your colleagues and achieve results in your work, then – welcome and, undoubtedly, good luck!


#9

CUSTOMER SERVICE STRATEGY
With increasing competition characterized by the technological innovation capable of removing product differentiation almost overnight, companies and organizations not providing a total customer solution as their value-added differentiating attribute will be at the disadvantage side. While product quality is important, it is nothing compared to market advantage. One way market advantage can be achieved is to have excellent service quality as part of offering a total customer solution. As most companies must be innovative and pioneering to make their service stand out in the market place. Unfortunately, many untrained salespeople are only after sales, while other staff members may be minding only their own business, without realizing the impact of leaving “orphans” (customers without the benefit of service) behind. Customer satisfaction need not be limited to the external customers or those final buyers and users of company’s products or services. Top management must consider the bigger picture – that the customer is the benefactor of one’s product or service. Therefore, anyone who receives the output of another is an “internal” customer of that person. The distribution and selling arm of a company, whether setup as another division or as an independent and separate business entity, must look at the marketing as its customer. It must be able to justify its existence by being competent, competitive and caring in both its cervices as well as its distribution fees. Otherwise, it will become inefficient and will not align with the brand vision. To achieve customer satisfaction, each employee must know and competently provide what the person next to him needs to accomplish his job well. The manner of treating each other as both a customer and supplier must be a way of life in the organization which will translate to delivering fast and efficient service. This Total Marketing Approach has its obvious advantages, as the function of satisfying customer does not solely rest on marketing department but the whole company. However, the creation of a corporate culture of excellence in customer service may take time to develop and will need constant follow through by all team leader. Marketers must always try their best and not give up in initiating their internal-external customer service movement within their company and make everyone in the organization end customer needs and expectations. It is important that top management provides for and leads this culture of service as this sends a message to the entire organization to work together as seamlessly as possible. Customer satisfaction need not be limited to the external customers or those final buyers and users of company’s products or services. Top management must consider the bigger picture – that the customer is the benefactor of one’s product or service. Therefore, anyone who receives the output of another is an “internal” customer of that person. The distribution and selling arm of a company, whether setup as another division or as an independent and separate business entity, must look at the marketing as its customer. It must be able to justify its existence by being competent, competitive and caring in both its cervices as well as its distribution fees. Otherwise, it will become inefficient and will not align with the brand vision. With increasing competition characterized by the technological innovation capable of removing product differentiation almost overnight, companies and organizations not providing a total customer solution as their value-added differentiating attribute will be at the disadvantage side. While product quality is important, it is nothing compared to market advantage. One way market advantage can be achieved is to have excellent service quality as part of offering a total customer solution. As most companies must be innovative and pioneering to make their service stand out in the market place. Unfortunately, many untrained salespeople are only after sales, while other staff members may be minding only their own business, without realizing the impact of leaving “orphans” (customers without the benefit of service) behind. Customer satisfaction need not be limited to the external customers or those final buyers and users of company’s products or services. Top management must consider the bigger picture – that the customer is the benefactor of one’s product or service. Therefore, anyone who receives the output of another is an “internal” customer of that person. Customer satisfaction need not be limited to the external customers or those final buyers and users of company’s products or services. Top management must consider the bigger picture – that the customer is the benefactor of one’s product or service. Therefore, anyone who receives the output of another is an “internal” customer of that person. The distribution and selling arm of a company, whether setup as another division or as an independent and separate business entity, must look at the marketing as its customer. It must be able to justify its existence by being competent, competitive and caring in both its cervices as well as its distribution fees. Otherwise, it will become inefficient and will not align with the brand vision. To achieve customer satisfaction, each employee must know and competently provide what the person next to him needs to accomplish his job well. The manner of treating each other as both a customer and supplier must be a way of life in the organization which will translate to delivering fast and efficient service. This Total Marketing Approach has its obvious advantages, as the function of satisfying customer does not solely rest on marketing department but the whole company. However, the creation of a corporate culture of excellence in customer service may take time to develop and will need constant follow through by all team leader. Marketers must always try their best and not give up in initiating their internal-external customer service movement within their company and make everyone in the organization end customer needs and expectations. It is important that top management provides for and leads this culture of service as this sends a message to the entire organization to work together as seamlessly as possible. Customer satisfaction need not be limited to the external customers or those final buyers and users of company’s products or services. Top management must consider the bigger picture – that the customer is the benefactor of one’s product or service. Therefore, anyone who receives the output of another is an “internal” customer of that person. The distribution and selling arm of a company, whether setup as another division or as an independent and separate business entity, must look at the marketing as its customer. It must be able to justify its existence by being competent, competitive and caring in both its cervices as well as its distribution fees. Otherwise, it will become inefficient and will not align with the brand vision. With increasing competition characterized by the technological innovation capable of removing product differentiation almost overnight, companies and organizations not providing a total customer solution as their value-added differentiating attribute will be at the disadvantage side. While product quality is important, it is nothing compared to market advantage. One way market advantage can be achieved is to have excellent service quality as part of offering a total customer solution. As most companies must be innovative and pioneering to make their service stand out in the market place. Unfortunately, many untrained salespeople are only after sales, while other staff members may be minding only their own business, without realizing the impact of leaving “orphans” (customers without the benefit of service) behind. This Total Marketing Approach has its obvious advantages, as the function of satisfying customer does not solely rest on marketing department but the whole company. However, the creation of a corporate culture of excellence in customer service may take time to develop and will need constant follow through by all team leader. Marketers must always try their best and not give up in initiating their internal-external customer service movement within their company and make everyone in the organization end customer needs and expectations. It is important that top management provides for and leads this culture of service as this sends a message to the entire organization to work together as seamlessly as possible. Customer satisfaction need not be limited to the external customers or those final buyers and users of company’s products or services. Top management must consider the bigger picture – that the customer is the benefactor of one’s product or service. Therefore, anyone who receives the output of another is an “internal” customer of that person. The distribution and selling arm of a company, whether setup as another division or as an independent and separate business entity, must look at the marketing as its customer. It must be able to justify its existence by being competent, competitive and caring in both its cervices as well as its distribution fees. Otherwise, it will become inefficient and will not align with the brand vision. Customer satisfaction need not be limited to the external customers or those final buyers and users of company’s products or services. Top management must consider the bigger picture – that the customer is the benefactor of one’s product or service. Therefore, anyone who receives the output of another is an “internal” customer of that person.


#10

Customer service is the soul of a company; therefore, excellent Customer service is very crucial to the growth of every organization. All Customers want is to receive a polite and helpful service, they also want to feel appreciated and their needs met in a timely way. It is necessary for a business to cultivate good customer service to attract and keep loyal customers.
Specific duties of customer service workers.

  1. Listen and respond to customers’ complaints and enquiries.
  2. Provide information about products and services.
  3. Take orders, determine charges, and oversee billing or payments.
  4. Create, review or edit customer accounts.
  5. Handle returns or complaints.
  6. Refer customers to supervisors or managers for escalated issues.

Customer service workers should possess the following qualities.

  1. Excellent Communication (Verbal and non- verbal).
  2. Problem Solving skills.
  3. Analytical Skills.
  4. Listening skills.
  5. Technical knowledge (about the products/services).
  6. Legal Knowledge (about company policies and procedures).
  7. Empathy.
  8. Integrity.
  9. Patience.
  10. Emotional intelligence.

Steps to enhance customer impression and satisfaction.

  1. Give your customers your full attention, dealing with one customer at a time. Let the customer feel he or she is the most important, focus your attention on that customer and resolve his or her problems.
  2. Handle customer complaints efficiently and effectively. It is important to know that how you handle compliant from customers determine the level of confidence they have in you and your company. Go the extra mile for them.
  3. Know your customer. There will be a lot of customers to work with in your new position but you have to make the effort to know their names and use it, this also makes them feel special.
  4. Do the unexpected – follow up on the customer via mail or phone call to ensure their problems have been resolved.
  5. Talk about benefits, not features – always let the customer know the benefit he or she will get from your product or service
  6. Know your competition – as a customer service worker know what your competitors are doing and always be above the competition.
  7. Listen, empathize, and take charge – attentively listen to your customer, make them feel you understand them and take action to resolve their problems.
  8. Always have a good Attitude – be friendly in your approach to customers and always look for an opportunity to help them. Always smile and maintain a good eye contact.

Customer Service via Telephone.

  1. Answering the phone
    a. Keep a pen and paper next to you.
    b. Answer the phone in as few rings as possible.
    c. Identify yourself and the company.
    d. Ask the right questions.
    e. Assume that someone from your organization is listening in on the conversation.

  2. Transferring the call
    a. Ask before putting someone on hold and wait for his or her response.
    b. Make sure the intended recipient wants to take the call.
    c. Use correct grammar.
    d. Pay attention to your voice.
    e. Use the caller’s name, whenever possible.
    f. Identify yourself first when calling another person.
    g. End the conversation in a professional manner.

  3. Handling difficult calls
    a. Practice active listening skills.
    b. Lower your voice and speak in an even tone.
    c. Establish rapport through empathy.
    d. Avoid getting upset or angry.
    e. Avoid taking it personally.
    f. Remember you’re interacting with a human.

Customer service Tips on the phone.

  1. Tone of voice- Use high pitch.
    a. High pitch shows enthusiasm and excitement.
    b. Flat tone shows dissatisfaction of job.
    c. Slow tone shows sadness and loneliness.
    d. Loud voice shows anger and aggressiveness.
  2. Use paralanguage.
  3. Refrain from interrupting the person on the phone.
  4. Talk with surety and assertiveness.
  5. Avoid distractions when you are on the phone.

Customer Service via E-communication.
E-communication involves messaging through business platforms such as email, corporate websites, social media and other forms of electronic writing.

  1. Give each customer a personal response.
  2. Message should be brief yet clearly and succinctly convey important detail(s).
  3. Maintain a cordial tone.
  4. Use template copy where possible.
  5. Avoid unnecessary typos, ambiguities and misinformation.
  6. Read and review before sending or posting.
  7. Always use a simple opening and closing remarks.

5P’s of Customer service.

  1. People- Nobody can do anything on their own. We need help from others to do our jobs the best we can.
  2. Products/services- You need to know the company’s products and services, know their features, benefits, prices and competing products.
  3. Policies- It tells what you can and can’t do for your customers. They give you boundaries.
  4. Procedures- It is important to know how things are done in the company.
  5. Places- It is good to know the company locations.

Customer Service Do’s and Don’ts.
Don’ts.

  1. Don’t interrupt when the customer is explaining the problem, unless you want to clarify and issue.
  2. Don’t try to defend yourself.
  3. Avoid telling your customer to calm down.
  4. Don’t get Angry.
  5. Don’t argue with the customer.
  6. Avoid making excuses.
  7. Don’t try to blame the customer.
  8. Don’t take a customer’s anger or insults personally.
    Do’s.
  9. Show empathy for customers’ problems. Let the customers know their problems concern you as well. Use the magic words, “I’m sorry” when the need be.
  10. Encourage an extremely agitated customer to vent a little before initiating steps to resolve the problem. You can use such phrases as “tell me about what happened.”
  11. Remain objective and calm. Take responsibility and keep a focus on achieving results.
  12. Involve the customer. This returns a sense of empowerment to a customer who may be feeling powerless.
  13. Provide clear options and steps to a resolution.
  14. Assure the customer that you will advise management of the problem to prevent a similar situation in the future.

#11

Customer Service Training Manual

Customer Service Job Description
The job of the customer service worker is to answer questions, resolve issues, and provide customer satisfaction.

The Customer Service Workplace
Customer service workers provide a number of functions in most every industry, sometimes working face-to-face, other times in customer service centers using telephone and computer technology.

Qualifications and Preparation
The typical customer service job is full time, and frequently doesn’t require more than a high school diploma. Most customer service positions will require some in-house training, and possible licensure depending on the nature of the job.

Important Skillsets
Important skillsets to develop in this course include communication, problem solving, and specific customer service tactics.

Communication Skillsets
A CSW must engage sensitive listening and speaking skills to accurately assess and respond to a customers’ questions and needs. The worker needs to be comfortable with communication media including telephone calls, email, and live chat; and be able to communicate clearly and accurately, with proper use of written and spoken styles.

Problem-solving skillsets
To help resolve customer issues, the CSW needs to be able to analyze problems, research answers, and help customers implement solutions. These problem-solving skillsets may be considerably expanded for positions such as
computer support specialists, bank tellers, financial advisers, and other positions requiring special studies and certifications.

Customer-service skillsets
A CSW needs to handle questions and problems with a friendly and professional demeanor. Customers may come from many different backgrounds, be frustrated and confused, be angry and difficult—so the CSW needs to be patient, understanding, sympathetic, polite, and create a positive relationship to help resolve the problem at hand, and represent the company well to help ensure good ongoing business standing.

Give your customer your full attention, and handle their questions or complaints effectively. Let your customers feel at that moment, there is nothing more important to you than helping them. You may have a line of other customers needing assistance at your help desk, or a number of callers waiting in the queue. Still, you can only serve one customer at a time, and the customer you are serving now should feel that he or she has your full attention and focus.

Two other important customer service tactics are to 1) talk about benefits, not features. Customers don’t need to know all the technical aspects of a product, but how is it going to improve their lives. And 2) know your competition; not to criticize them, but to better understand some of the options your customer may be considering.

Three phrases that help ensure the highest level of customer service: listen, empathize, and take charge.

Give your customers your full attention, dealing with one customer at a time. Handle customer complaints efficiently and effectively. Pay special attention to these customer service features:

Know your customer.

  • Give customers special treatment.
  • Do the unexpected.
  • Talk about benefits, not features.
  • Know your competition.
  • Listen, empathize, and take charge.

Understanding the Customer What the Customer Wants
Most customers say they simply want polite and helpful service. The primary response from customers is they want to receive polite, helpful service. A customer typically wants to complete a transaction as quickly as possible, minimizing the amount of time and energy it takes to serve a need or resolve a problem.

What the Customer Needs
Customers aren’t sure exactly what they need to do, only that they have a problem: it is your job to help find a resolution. It may be they simply need to better understand their purchased service or product. A good customer service strategy is to work with your customers as partners in the quick, smooth, satisfactory completion of a transaction. Always give you top effort to create a satisfied customer. Customer needs might include explanations on how a product or service works; replacement of a product; and return or cancellation of a product or service.

Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

Verbal Communication Techniques
Speak with short words: our customers may be highly educated, but when it comes to their particular product or needs, you are the expert and should gently help them understand potentially confusing concepts.

Nonverbal Communication Techniques
Present a calm relaxed face, especially if your customer seems agitated, confused, or angry. Smile warmly and try to put some friendliness in your eyes. Maintain intermittent eye contact.

We should stand with a confident yet non-threatening posture, smile with a calm face, maintain appropriate eye contact, use open gestures, to encourage customers while they’re speaking.

Handling Customer Issues
An apology goes a long way and can help alleviate a customer’s agitation. Resolution to a customer’s problem should equal or exceed the customer’s loss.

Handling Challenging Customers
There will be times when you will have a difficult customer. Although you cannot control how a customer reacts, you can control how you respond. Remain focused, alert, understanding, caring unemotional and patient.

Defusing the situation by showing empathy and suggesting a way to fix their problem may help. Remember to speak slowly, use short sentences, be tactful, and follow the golden model of customer service: listen, empathize, and take charge.

Do not interrupt while your customer is explaining a problem, other than to help clarify an issue. avoid telling your customer to calm down. That may make you appear adversarial to agitated customers, rather than as a helper trying to understand how they feel. Likewise, don’t feel a need to defend yourself. This can also create an adversarial relation. Rather, try to assure your customers you hear their concern, and you sincerely want to help.

Don’t take a customer’s anger or insults personally. Instead, show you are on the customer’s side. You might say something like, “I can understand why you’re upset.”

Involve the customer. This returns a sense of empowerment to a customer who may be feeling powerless. Ask, “How would you like to see this resolved?”

Provide clear options and steps to a resolution. Say, “Here is what we are going to do.”
Exceed a customer’s expectations. Let the customer know, “… and here is what else we have for you.”

Finally, assure the customer that you will advise management of the problem to prevent a similar situation in the future.

Customer Service Telephone Skills
Telephone and telephonic communications can include many different types of equipment and connecting platforms.

In the absence of visual cues, our voice and the voice of our customers become the essential medium of communication. We should speak at a proper rate of speed and volume, with a tone that conveys commitment and competency.

Ask for permission from customers before placing them on hold, initiating a transfer, and connecting them with a new service representative. Introduce them to the new contact, and inform them that you have explained their problem to the new representative.

Be sure to thank your customers for their patience, apologize for any delays, and assure them that a solution to their problem is on its way.

Customer Service through E-mail and the Internet
E-communication involves messaging through business platforms such as e-mail, corporate websites, social media postings, and other forms of electronic writing.

Writing for electronic media may necessarily be brief, yet must clearly and succinctly convey important detail while maintaining a cordial tone.

By using template copy where possible that has been customized and tested, you can avoid unnecessary work, typos, ambiguities, and misinformation.

Pause for a little time before sending or posting your messages, and double-check for errors.
Customer Service Teamwork
Working well to create an effective team may be one of the most challenging aspects at a workplace.

The three primary components of an effective team are a common vision, complementary team member skills, and bonding that holds the team together.

A diversity of skills and perspectives among team members helps create a dynamic team. A standard process in team development includes forming, storming, and norming.

If you can work for the best interests of the team, and help to resolve team problems and conflicts, you may be recognized and rewarded for your efforts.

Customer Service Worker Self-Care
your personal well-being is going to be outside their realm of responsibility especially since they will be rightfully concerned with their own well-being. the obligation for your own care and personal development is going to fall on you.

This means forcing yourself to do things you might prefer to avoid, motivating yourself to work on personal growth, and sometimes just saying “no” to things that might hinder your self-development.

Both you and your supervisor need to ensure you take regular breaks. It’s important to protect yourself from the draining influences of dealing with problems all day long, and to make sure you don’t take the issues home with you at the end of your shift.

Finally, put all that you have learned from this manual into action and you are on your way to become a great Customer Service Worker.


#12

as a manager i want them to understand and get a well knowledge about the company’s service\ product to offer the best resolutions for the customers , answer thier questions and respond to their needs . i want my hired employees to use the three gold rules :

  1. listen carefully to the customer concerns and respond to their needs .
  2. show empathy , let the customer know that you care and you understand him .
  3. take ownership of the customer’s problem , find resolutions and help him to chose the best one of them .
    the customer service worker can get simple and usual inquiries from customers , and sometimes you can get difficult issues , its better to transfer it to your supervisor espcially if there could be potential liability .
    for challenging customers or angry try to be patient ,listen carefully to them , assure then that you are here to help them . avoid telling angry customer to calm down , its ok to let them vent a little bit of their anger at first by asking them to tell you what happened , you can use the magic word iam sorry as apology to your customer can lessen their anger .
    the most basic skills employers seek in customer service worker are 1
  4. patience
  5. good communication skills , verbal and non verbal communication .
  6. technology skills
  7. can show empathy
  8. good attitude
    6.listen carefully and alert
    most of customers only want respect and polite ,helpful service .
    when communicating with customers on phone (telephonic system ) try to smile as the customer can feel you smile from your speaking tone , use gestures like aha and affirmation words like i see to make the customer feel that you listen carefully to him . remember don’t interrupt your customer speaking unless you need to explain to him a misunderstanding he got . if you will put him on hold , you should ask for hiss permission and tell him every 20 -30 secs about your update progress . if you need to tranfer him to another representative again ask for his permission and tell him why you tranfer him , introduce to him thje knew representative and assure him the he knew your problem details and he will find resolutions .
    if you will email the customer . its always better to use a template copy to avoid unnecessary mistakes.and read it before sending it , use descriptive headings subjsct. keep your message concise yet comprehensive . use simple , short endings .
    you can use internet to develope your career . once you are out of work leave all work problems behinde you .

#13

As a manager of a company hoping to pick a customer service worker, some of the things I will consider will include good communication skill, this is very vital as it serves as a window that allows the customer to rate the competence of the person listening to him or her. Therefore, there will no compromise in terms of ensuring that the applicant chosen finally will have unquestionable stance in communication.
The next trait to be considered will be the interpersonal abilities. Most times, when customers tell their problems, they want to say it to someone who will empathize with them. This can only be got when the customer service worker has got great interpersonal ability. Even though, some medium of communicating with a customer doesn’t allow the customer to see if the person listening feels their plight, it is very necessary to portray this ability in whatever manner that the customer will feel satisfied.
In the present age that we are, the applicant must possess fundamental computer and telephone skills. This will in no small measure allows him or her to document and communicate effectively with the customer.
The applicant to be selected will need to know how to solve problems as it relates to different customers. The applicant will be made to listen to some problems and proffer solutions to them. That way, it’ll be understood if the applicant can pull through when confronted with similar matters.
Every customer service worker also should show some level of patience. This also will be considered when going through the interview. Depending on the financial stance of the company, the applicant will also be considered based on the educational qualification, this will either be a diploma or the degree certificate the applicant presents in the course of the interview. All these will be carefully observed before picking an employee. After going through the screening process and passing, it is important to make the hired personnel understand that, he or she will be dealing with diverse kind of people, hence the need to let my employee understand some basic rudiments will be highly recommended. The employee should know that when dealing with customers, it is necessary to make the hired personnel in my company that complains will come in different nature and he needs to understand that different customers are different in the way they handle matters. Some of the issues he or she might consider trivial might be what the customer takes seriously. One thing the hired personnel should always have at the back of his or her mind is that, “the customer is always right.” The hired personnel needs to first understand that there could be complaint that might be too difficult to handle solely and he or she might either need to forwarf the matter to a supervisor or a team in the company that have more expertise and experience in the field the customer wishes to be cleared. Meanwhile it is very vital to the hired personnel to always put into cognisance that An attitude of calm detachment can help him or her deal with difficult customers In the course of duty. Every customer wants to be shown a little empathy and offered an apology to defuse an upset . this has proven over time to be the best tools in dealing with a customer’s problem. It is also very advisable that when dealing with angry customers, employ active listening skills, and assure them you’re on their side. This helps in building some level of trust between customers and the company. When a customer is agitated, not only does he or she attacks the company, they also attack the hired personnel. It is important that the personnel doesn’t get caught up in a customer’s personal attacks. The personell should also learn to Turn the interaction to a focus on fixing an issue, empowering the customer to help seek suitable solutions. Then he or she should try to exceed the customer’s expection. When a customer is venting his or her anger, a personnel shouldn’t tell the customer to calm down as this might aggravate the fury.
For every new employee, the need to guide them on their new job is vital. As such, understanding that their work as Telephone and telephonic communications agents isn’t limited to only these gadgets but can include many different types of equipment and connecting platforms. It should be at the back of their minds that in the absence of visual cues, their voice and the voice of our customers become the essential medium of communication.they need to understand the proper rate of speed and volume to converse with a customer, with a tone that conveys commitment and competency. Some things the employee should know may include but not limited to the following points

Ask for permission from customers before placing them on hold, initiating a
transfer, and connecting them with a new service representative. Introduce them
to the new contact, and inform them that you have explained their problem to the
new representative.

Be sure to thank your customers for their patience, apologize for any delays, and
assure them that a solution to their problem is on its way.

The employee should know that team formation phases include FORMING, STORMING AND NORMING.
A common vision requires strong leadership providing a direction for the organization
and your team to follow—a guiding principle or a mission statement. Before cohesion can be achieved in a team, there must be clearly defined duties, interim mileposts, and
expected end goals. Remembering the strength of the group does not necessarily come from the similarities of a single member of a team, but the combined contribution of each member’s differences. For the full benefits of team dynamics, creativity and differing opinions are not only valuable, but also essential. An employee should always carry in his or her mind that
A diversity of skills and perspectives among team members helps create a
dynamic team.
A standard process in team development includes forming, storming, and
norming.
If you can work for the best interests of the team, and help to resolve team
problems and conflicts, you may be recognized and rewarded for your efforts

if an employee understands that he or she can be most effective as a customer service provider by maintaining an objective detachment, but by also remaining focused, alert, understanding, caring, unemotional, and—most of all—patient, it will serve as a guide when on the job. Effective workers need to collaborate with their employers to ensure they take the proper steps for time management and productivity. Sufficient rest periods every 90 minutes can keep workers at maximum efficiency. Workers should beware of allowing negative emotions at the job place to affect their well-being. Creating time for relaxation and other activities can help a person rejuvenate and keep a healthy perspective on work and life.

These outlined issues will in no small measure keep an employee on track and provides a reminder each time he or she is going outside the radar.

As a student seeking a job in customer service and advance in career development, he or she should know that there are many employment boards (e.g. Careerbuilder.com, Monster.com, and Indeed.com) that list job openings and allow resume postings. He or she should not to get overwhelmed and discouraged by the process. He or she should believe that, It is possible to find job openings by connecting directly with key managers and decision-makers within a chosen organization. Employers are also apprehensive about the hiring process; strive to become a perfect fit for their needs. Internships are a useful opportunity to develop their skills, demonstrate their abilities, develop key contacts, and try out a field to see if it fits. International careers can be exciting and fulfilling. To appeal to international employers, develop valuable skills such as foreign language proficiency, crosscultural abilities, on-site country experience, and project management. There are a number of worthwhile networking resources that help job seekers exchange information and leads.

( Social networks such as LinkedIn allow us to post resumes, join online
professional groups, and help potential employers find us.

( Customer service success requires a high degree of interpersonal skills such as
simple but enthusiastic presentation, advanced preparation of information, and
sensitivity to the needs of others
If they have a difficult time with public speaking or interpersonal interactions, they
may want to find a Toastmaster’s organization near them for some low-stress and
supportive practice. When preparing for job interviews and performance evaluations, they should expect hard questions and draft out their responses in advance—especially for the questions they might not want to answer. they should not be afraid to admit that they do not know the answer to a question; instead, they should offer to find the answer and get back to the asker as soon as possible. They should not rush when answering any questions. Also not feel obliged to fill the quiet
after a tricky question. Just pause, think, and then answer. Always dress appropriately, projecting a cool, clean-cut professional image. Dress up or down as the circumstance dictates. Project enthusiasm for your ideas and goals; that attitude is contagious.
Remember that if they are not excited about themselves, then the listener never will
be. Be truthful, but also do not feel the need to be hurtful. Do not say someone looks
unwell, sick, or tired. This will do nothing to further conversation and will only
make the person uncomfortable. Remember silence is an option. All these amongst others should carve a path for the student to ply.


#14

The Customer Service Worker (CSW) answers questions and resolves all problems. These tasks require strong listening and communication skills, as well as the ability to communicate with all clients through many different forms of media. CSW’s main job is to interact with clients, constituents, etc. on behalf of the company or organization. A CSW must provide information about products and services; they could also collect details of a customer’s complaints and help resolve them. And, CSW could also take orders and manage returns or refunds.
A typical job description for a CSW could include these specific tasks:

• Listen carefully and respond to the needs and concerns of clients
• Provide information about products and services
• Take orders, determine charges and supervise billing or payments
• Review or make changes to receivables if necessary
• Manage returns or complaints.
• Research responses or solutions as needed
• Lead clients to supervisors, managers, or others who can help with issues that are beyond you, all CSWs can work from a manual that provides solutions and answers for most questions and problems potential. Make Sure If one of the employees is unable to solve a problem, he can turn to another team member or supervisor for help

The most important thing is to understand the customers, offering a superior customer service often requires that you discover what customers want. Once you’ve identified your most profitable clients or potential customers, you’ll be able to focus your highest levels of customer service on them. Another approach is the obligation to treat all customers to the highest standards. First, it’s important that my customer service team has the skills to meet the needs of our customers.
There is Empathy, patience and enthusiasm. Some customers will be pissed off. Others will have many questions. And others will just want to talk. You need to know how to manage each one and provide the same level of service each time.

Adaptability, Every customer is unique; some can even change from one week to the next. You must be able to manage surprises, feel the mood of the customer and adapt accordingly. It also implies the will to learn, because a quality customer service is based on a constant desire for learning. Clear Communication; Make sure you communicate exactly what you want to say to your customers. Use really positive language, stay nice in any situation, and never end a conversation without being satisfied that the customer is satisfied.

Customers appreciate an agent who will take care of their problem until it is resolved. At the same time, you must have good time management skills by not spending too much time on a client at the expense of other impatient customers. Stay focused on your goals to achieve the right balance. In the end, your customers trust you to give them the necessary information about the product. Be knowledgeable enough to answer most of their questions and know where to go if the questions become too detailed or too technical for you to answer. But do not be afraid to say “I do not know”. Customers will appreciate your honesty and your efforts to find the right answer.
There is a capacity to absorb, the customer is always right, is not it? The ability to swallow one’s pride and accept blame or negative comments is essential. Your team members must always keep customer satisfaction in mind.
Gathering information about customers and what they want is available from a variety of sources: records of their communications with your business: phone calls, meetings, etc.
feedback. If you ask them the question, customers will usually tell you what they want changes to customers’ ordering habits, changes to the overall success of particular products or services, feedback about your existing range. What she does and does not make inquiries about new products or services possible.
Although a good overall service is the best way to generate customer loyalty, new relationships can sometimes be strengthened, or old ones can be refreshed, using customer loyalty plans.
These are programs that use fixed or percentage discounts, additional properties, or awards to reward customers for behaviors that benefit your business. They can also be used to persuade customers to give you another chance if you feel you have successfully overcome old customer service issues.
You may decide to offer rewards based on the following:

• repetitive customer
• cumulative expenses
• orders for large quantities or high value
• fast payment
• the duration of the relationship
• For a delay or for a faulty order

CSW must also have problem-solving skills. To help solve customer problems, the CSW needs to be able to analyze problems, look for answers, and help customers implement solutions. A CSW must handle issues and problems with friendly and professional behavior. The CSW must be patient, understanding, friendly, and polite and create a positive relationship to help solve the problem and represent the company satisfactorily. To help ensure a good business reputation in progress. However, remember that the way your customers perceive all of the service you offer will influence their loyalty much more than short-term rewards.
Sometimes it could have problems with the customers of big problems, for example a customer can be extremely agitated to deal with a defective product or service. There may have been poor communication of a company’s offer, and many customers must be redirected or denied. Alternatively, probably the worst scenario, someone may have been hurt by the product of your business. Sometimes the problem of the customer can be more difficult than his reaction. So you must be able to fix this situation. It is essential to respond to these particular problems with care, even if the client does not seem particularly upset by the situation.
Fix extraordinary customer service issues Most of the special problems can be solved with the same basic tactics that you apply to any customer service situation: listen clearly to the explanation of a problem by your customer, take charge of the problem and turn the problem solution into a problem. Partnership-you and the customer work together to achieve quick resolution and satisfaction.
it requires effective communication, a positive attitude and your proven commitment to fix all that is wrong.

Do not argue with the customer, do not try to apologize, and certainly do not try to blame the customer. In the end, you should try to counter the depth of disappointment and inconvenience of a customer with a sufficient level of remediation, equal to the loss of the customer.
As a customer support worker, you could have many problems some of which might even be out of line. For efficient and effective service delivery, customer support should have the following tactics:

  1. Discover what the customer wants.
  2. Treat them as they want to be treated.
  3. Listen to them
  4. Empathize with them
  5. Partner with them
  6. Take control of the situation

Meanwhile, when you talk with them it is also extremely important not to:

  1. Get angry.
  2. Tell them to “calm down”
  3. Defend yourself
  4. Stop them; give them some time to evacuate
    Improving your customer service strategy your team has the skills and know-how to interact with customers. But the organizational strategies that you will use to please your customers, you must be close to them. Customers want to know that they have access to real people, do not have fun sending out automatic e-mail replies and make sure phone ads or the website do not hurt them.

Be available. The personal touch is to make sure that your customers can contact you. Work early and late when necessary, especially if your clients are abroad. Simply providing your mailing address to customers helps build their trust and reminds them that your business also exists outside of the Internet.

Take care of your customers. Make sure you fully meet the needs of your customers. Remember to assign agents to specific customers so that they can establish a relationship. Offer VIP treatment to your best customers to let them know you appreciate them. What special services could your customers appreciate?


#15

Welcome to our company!
On behalf of our team we would like you to know that we are grateful to having you. We believe that you can contribute a lot for our company’s success.
Please read this manual attentively as it includes all the main requirements for your position.
Customer service is a vital part of our business, as it represents our company to our customers.
As a customer service representative you will provide information about products and services to customers on behalf of our company. It is essential for you to:
-Treat your customer respectfully
-Understand your customer’ needs
-Be polite and tactful
-Give accurate information about our products and services
Be ready to exceed your customer exectations.
Therefore we expect from you next skills and abilities:

  1. Excellent communication skills and interpersonalabilities,
    2.Good listening skills and ability to emphasize,
  2. Computer and telephone skills,
  3. Problem-solving abilities,
  4. Excelent knowledge of our products and services.
    Communication skills and interpersonal abilities. The job of CSW is to help customers in finding solutions that the best serves their needs, clearly explain the options and make the best recommendations.
    The first step in our work is defining the customers wants. Most customers simply want polite and helpful service. Therefore, be attentive listener and try to find out all their needs. It is vital to be polite, not interrupt and respond with empathy. Be clear and specific when you ask questions and make suggestions. Offer clear ways of resolving of the problem and give them opportunity to choose the better option for them. Make your client your partner. Every customer should understand that he is important for us. Take them enough time, don’t rash them and try to fix their problem effectively. Some customers may need more attention; they can live alone and just looking for someone to talk to. In this case, be kind to this person, give your attention and you will have a loyal customer. A little emphasy can go a long way, espesially when you want to win customer trust and loyalty.
    In order to be good CSW you must learn how to use the both verbal and nonverbal languages effectively. Speak with short words to be the most understandable for the customers. Adjust your speaking volume to a level that is comfortable to a customer, and suitable for each circumstance. The good advice is try to mimic customer’s speach rate and volume. When you explain important information make sure you slow down your speech rate a little. Use nonverbal tactics as smile, eye contact, non-treataning and relax posture, open gestures, and paralanguage to encourage customers while they are speaking.
    Computer and telephone skills.
    When talking on the phone:
  5. Be friendly, calm and use proper words carefully. Smile, when you talk to customers, as they can sense your emotions easily.
  6. Don’t interrupt person, give him opportunity to tell his story and then use extra questions to make sure you understand everything properly.
  7. Don’t rise your voice, be patient and sympathetic, do not lose your temper.
  8. When you put your customers on hold, always ask them before you do it and do not make them wait too long. Be sure to check every 20-30 seconds with update on your progress. When you come back, say thank you for waiting.
  9. When you need to transfer your customer to someone else in your team ask him for permission to do so. Then contact representative and inform him about customer issue. Be sure to apologize for any delay to a customer and finally transfer him.
    When using the internet:
  10. When writing an email be brief, clear and use a cordial tone. Write smaller paragraphs, so to not overwhelm your customer with big blocks of text.
  11. Use template copy where possible to avoid unnecessary work and mistakes.
  12. Before sending your message use time to check it for spelling and grammar mistakes, or inaccuracy.
    Problem-solving skills.
    You are going to deal with various issues and communicate with different people as a customer service worker. There can be complicated situations, where customers are not satisfied with our products and services, or when they are given inaccurate piece of information, or they can simply misinterpret this information. It is impossible to have no mistakes in any business, and it’s impossible to deal with just happy clients as well. Some people tend to be rude even without visible reason. Therefore you have to be ready to meet agitated, angry and confused people.
    We chose you as our company member and we expect professionalism from you. There are some tips for you how to deal with agitated people:
  13. Don’t take their attitude personally, be patient and tactful. Even though it’s very easy to react aggressively on offences and anger, there is nothing good in escalating conflict. Your role is to calm down angry person and try to resolve his problem effectively. Remember, nothing resolves with argument and mutual offences. Never blame customer and never make excuses. The best policy is try to understand the customer and express your empathy to him. Hence, appologise for inconvenience and say that you will do everyhing possible for resolving his problem. And don’t forget to be friendly and express care.
  14. Ask person to tell about his problem in more detail and offer possible ways to fix whatever is wrong. Listen to cutomer attentively and don’t rush to say that you can’t do it. Try to contact your superior or another department for more information or piece of advice, if you need it. Look as you are master of the situation, be clear and express confidence in ability to fix wrong situation. Make your customer your partner and give him opportunity to choose the more appropriate way of resolving his problem, when you have several options.
  15. Exceed your clients expectations and offer extra help. When you have extra time it is better to make a call or send an e-mail to customer and ask if everything is good with his situation. Don’t forget to offer your help if anything is wrong.
    Good knowledge of company’s product and services.
    When you are communicating with your customers, it is important to provide accurate information. Any misleading information can have negative consequences for your customer and for our company as well. Therefore you have learn all the information about our services and products which we gave you. Also, you have to attend special seminars and trenings, which are created to teach you all the aspects of your job. Make sure, you understand every piece of information. If you feel uncertain about something, do not hesitate to ask your superior.
    Personal development.
    Much of the obligation for your own care and personal development is going to fall on your shoulders. This means facing yourself to do things you might prefer to avoid, motivating yourself to work on personal growth. It is helpful to master new skills, such as learn a new language or learn how to make a good presentation. Our company will appreciate your desire to learn and growth.

#16

Customer service is important because customer service does more than simply provide a means to drive sales,it is also said that when companies have a commitment to a customer service this raises the bar of competition.Also employers hiring customer service workers will typically be expecting at least a high school diploma,they will also require special licenses to answer questions about insurance or financial services and these licenses require passing a written exam,with preparation often provided by the employer.Some of the characteristics common in successful customer service workers are strong communications abilities,communication technology skills,interpersonal relations and problem solving skills and all require lots of patience.Also,some of the larger employers of customer service workers include administrative and support services(15%) retail trade (11%) credit activities(9%), wholesale trade(8%) and insurance carriers(7%).
Some customer service issues are routine such as return of a defective product,other problems may pose special issues that need to be handled with extra care. Other companies may lose 15% of their customer every year due to poorly resolved problems…Unsatisfied customers who complains to friends and online may cost a company even more business…A sincere apology can help alleviate a customers agitation…The resolution to a customers problem should equal or exceed the customers loss… In some cases you have to deal with a challenging customers,here are some tactics to defuse a difficult customer,always be focused,be very alert,be an understanding person,be caring,unemotional and most importantly be a very patient person… In summary to this,An attitude of calm detachment can help you deal with a difficult customers.A little empathy and an apology are often the best tools to defuse an upset customer.Also,when dealing with angry customers,employ active listening skills and assure them you’re on their side.Dont get caught up in a customers personal attacks.Turn the interaction to a focus on fixing an issue,empowering the customer to help seek suitable solutions and always try to exceed the customers expectations.
On how to deal with diverse customers,the customer service worker should be comfortable interacting with people from a wide range of cultural and demographic backgrounds.the customer service worker might need to adjust forms of verbal and non verbal communication,according to the cultural comfort of a customer.use of humor,gesture and level of assertive behavior are culturally sensitive.An effective approach to customer service is to discern how customers want to be treated and then treat them accordingly.Professional and effective customer service worker will set aside preconceived notions of correct behavior while respecting the cultural or demographic differences of the customers they serve.
A customer service worker should also be able to have this skill sets; Telephone and telephonic communications,which can be included in many different types of equipment and connecting platforms.In the absence of visual cues,our voice and the voice of our customers become the essential medium of communication… we should speak at a proper rate of speed and volume,with a tone that conveys commitment and competency.Also ask for permission from customers before placing them on hold,initiating a transfer and connecting them with a new service representative.Introduce them to the new contact and inform them that you have explained their problem to the new representative.And always make sure you thank your customers for their patience,apologize for any delays and assure them that a solution to their problem is on its way.
Another thing a customer service worker should have an idea is the E-mail and the Internet service provider…E-communication as we all know involves messaging through business platform such as e-mail,corporate websites,social media postings and other forms of electronic writing.Also, writing for electronic media may necessarily be brief,yet must clearly and succinctly convey important details while maintaining a ordinal tone and by using template copy where copy where possible that has been customized and tested,you can avoid unnecessary work,typos,ambiguities and misinformation.Is also good to pause for a little time before sending or posting your messages and double check for errors.The internet is a valuable tool for searching out answers to issues you may be working with,as well as developing your own career.
As a customer service worker,working well to create an effective team may be one of the most challenging aspects at a workplace…And to create an effective team which has a common vision,complementary skills and bonding skills that can hold the team together…A diversity of skills and perspectives among team members help create a dynamic team,A standed process in team development includes forming,storming and norming…If you can work for the best interests of the team and help to resolve team problems and conflicts,you may be recognized and rewarded for your efforts.
Creating time for relaxation and other activities can help a person rejuvenate and keep a healthy perspective on work and life…Also sufficient rest periods every 90minutes can keep workers at maximum efficiency. A customer service worker should beware of allowing negative emotions at the job place to affect their well-being.


#17

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you are well-bred people with a high-school diploma. You know, the typical customer service job is full time. Try to learn as much as you can within the training process. What you learn in training is what you will be expected to model during the real work environment. Customer service jobs are:
Recepcionist /Front Desk Clerk
Telemarketing Specialist
Call Center Representative
Food Service Worker
Travel Professional
Data Entry/Order Clerk
Insurance Agent
Salesperson
Repair Service Technician
As the Customer Service of my company you will be the visit card of my business. You will be the helping hand to our customers whenever they have any questions or problems. That is why you have to fully understand your job and what the company expects from you.You have to be polite, confident and very well informed about the products and services we sell. In this position you re not only here to provide help, service you are also a marketing representative as well. You will promote our business with your image, with your voice and with your behaviour. You have to shine with your appearance,knowledge and behaviour.
You have to be psychological above the situation. Empathize when ever it is possible. Choose the right words. Avoid phrases or jokes which can be interpreted wrong. Sometimes a nice word and a little smile can solve the problems. You have to have and use effective listening skills. It is one of the way to ensure customer satisfaction. Listen to them and make them feel important. This effectively listening will enable the Customer Service Worker to understand the customer and meet their needs. You must not interrupt when the customer is explaining the problem. You must not get angry. You have to avoid making excuses. Do not take a customer s anger or insults personally,
This job opportunity is a great place where you can test your patience and interact with different kind of people and their problems. Remember, a customer wants to complete the transaction as quickly as possible,minimizing the amount of time and energy it takes to share a need or resolve a problem. You might look at the customer more as your partner in the transaction. So, you need to have great communication skills as well as needed technical skills. If one of you is unable to resolve a problem, you can turn to a team member or supervisor for assistance.
Your work might include:

  • listen and respond to customer s needs and concerns
  • provide information about products and services
  • take orders, determine changes, and oversee billing or payment.
  • Review or make changes to customer accounts
  • handle returns or complaints
  • record details of customer contacts and action taken
  • research answers or solutions as needed
  • refer customers to supervisors, managers, or others who can help

You have to focus on the problem of the customer like he or she is the only person who matters in the universe. Focus on your Unique Selling Proposition. Show them what makes you the perfect one for this kind of job. It is very important to be informed about the business flow so you will be mentally prepared for the complaints of the customers. Keep it simple! The most effective way to find out what customers want is simply to ask them. Provide a polite and helpful service. Do not be to excessive in your attention …keep it normal. If a customer is rude to you, it is best to remain silent for a little while and take a deep breath. Keep in mind that they are not angry at you personally but at the business itself and the way in which the service or product is provided or delivered to them.
You should be comfortable interacting with people from a wide range of cultural and demographic background. Different language skills are highly appreciated.An effective approach is to find out how customers want to be treated, and treat them accordingly. We live in a century which provides us with a lot of communication possibility. Telephone skills (any type of voice - to voice communication) are essential so please if you think you need some more practice in providing effective telephone help ,exercise. As we speak with a customer telephonically we are trying to decrease Customer anxiety and dissatisfaction. You should speak clearly using a normal volume with short words and sentences so as not to overvhelm the pontentially frustrated and anxious customer. Very often an upfront apology for an inefficient automated system may help calm the first moments of your call. The best situation is when you are able to:

  • quickly discern the customer s issue
  • describe the options
  • pick a suitable resolution with the customers participations and fix any problem. Transfer Stress can cause a lot of trouble. So please before you transfer any calls inform your customer why are you doing it. Avoid any transfer where the customer will have to explain an issue all over again to another customer service worker or supervisor. When you return to your customer after finding the proper connection, be sure to thank him or her for waiting and apologize if necessary for any excessive delay. Take time to introduce the customer to whomever is receiving the call transfer, confirm the new representative has been informed of the issue, and assure the customer that a resolution is imminent. Your knowledge in electronic communications is essential. You have to be PC literate. You should know how to write effective emails. How to use good templates, how to find a suitable start of an email and a suitable closing. Use a descriptive subjective heading, so the intent of your message is clear. Start your emails with Miss, Mrs or Mr. and end them with best regards or sincerely .
    E- communications involves messaging through business platforms such as e- mail, corporate websites, social media postings, and other forms of electronic writing. Please, get familiar with it. It is very important that informations are precisely entered in the system. Be aware about what happens at your working place. I don t expect from you to spy on your colleagues but you should always be aware of what is going on.
    I suppose that you are normal, nice and well brought up people. That you are all acapable to work in a team. That you are all goal orientated. That you are aware that there are different stages which are called forming, storming and norming before the employed people are performing as a real team.
    And I hope that you are informed that negative emotions or being exposed to negative emotions can harm you. So, please find a way to reduce the harm of this work. After work go walk, train, socialize…everything what makes you relax . I need a healthy team.
    You have to look healthy, stable and nice. Your clothes have to be tidy and you have to be aware of the dress code of our company. You must not take out your personal mood, problems or frustrations on customers or team members. Just don t be rude ever. Behave yourself in professional manner. You present also our product and services. During the presentation you have to know what you want to say, do not read from notes, do not hold your hands in the pocket. Always keep in mind Customer Service is a job for people with
  • strong communications abilities
  • communication technology skills
  • interpersonal relations
    You might have to
    take payment information and other pertinent information such as addresses and phone numbers,
    Place or cancel orders
    Answer questions about warranties or terms of sale
    Act as the company gatekeeper
    Suggest solutions when a product malfunctions
    Handle product recalls
    Attempt to persuade customer to reconsider cancellation
    Inform customer of deals and promotions.
    Having a cheery and chatty personality can feel like an under-valued or unwanted trait, but it’s something lots of employers want.
    A smiling face is really important in the world of the customer support. Expected to be incredibly organised and friendly, this role is so much more than picking up the phones. Like in every jobs there are good and bad days. It is important that you are aware that you have been providing the best service you re able to provide.

#18

Customer service is the process of ensuring customer satisfaction with a product or service. Often, customer service takes place while performing a transaction for the customer, such as making a sale or returning an item. Customer service can take the form of an in-person interaction, a phone call, self-service systems, or by other means.
Customer service is an important part of maintaining ongoing client relationships, which is key to continuing revenue. For this reason, many companies have worked hard to increase their customer satisfaction levels. Although many people may work behind the scenes at a company, it is primarily the personnel that interact directly with customers that form customers’ perceptions of the company as a whole.
Customer service representatives must be accessible, knowledgeable and courteous. They require excellent listening skills and a willingness to compromise to reach a resolution. Training in conflict resolution can be very beneficial in fostering those skills. Strong speaking skills are another important attribute of a successful customer service representative. For phone staff, this means speaking clearly and slowly while maintaining a calm demeanor, even if the customer becomes upset.

Companies must make a commitment to providing up-to-date information to customer service representatives. To avoid complicating an existing problem, employees need to have the latest and most accurate information about products and company policies. Periodic assessment of customer service is essential to running a successful company. Surveys allow customers to provide feedback about the service they receive and to suggest areas for improvement.

With the proliferation of smartphones, customer service will increasingly be centered on the mobile experience. The key to meeting the evolving needs of customers will be customer service-centric mobile apps. This means that a customer need not leave an app to contact customer service. It also means accessing support via whatever channel the customer uses on their mobile device, such as telephone, social media, text or live chat. And it’s important to not only respond quickly to customer service requests (measured in seconds rather than minutes), but to make sure responses and help are personalized. It’s also essential to offer customers a way to solve their own issues by utilizing self-service customer support that offers ‘how-to’ content and additional online self-help resources. And finally, companies should be proactive in engaging with potentially dissatisfied customers. This can be done by contacting customers via live chat to discuss known problem areas and/or by using data analytics to identify potentially dissatisfied or low-engagement customers.
Most successful businesses recognize the important of providing outstanding customer service. A courteous and empathetic interaction with a trained customer service representative can mean the difference between losing or retaining a customer. When problems arise, customers should receive timely attention to the issue. Prompt attention to emails and phone calls is critical to maintaining good relations. Requiring customers to stand in long lines or sit on hold can sour an interaction before it begins.

Ideally, customer service should be a one-stop endeavor for the consumer. For example, if a customer calls a helpline regarding a problem with a product, the customer service representative should follow through with the customer until the issue is fully resolved. This may entail scheduling appointments with in-person repair personnel if the problem cannot be resolved on the phone, or transferring a call to skilled technicians in another department. Proactively following up with the customer to ensure that he or she is fully satisfied is another smart move.


#19

Taking an Honest Look at Your Customer Service
Survival in the world of customer service is predicated on critical evaluation. Honest
self- appraisal is necessary if you are to understand the quality of service your
company or organization is offering the customer.
Some companies and organizations never self-evaluate their service and operate in
a form of denial. These companies fail to form an honest assessment of the kind of
service they intend to deliver against the kind of service they are delivering.
Self-evaluation can be done by outside experts (consultants) or through internal
questionnaires as well as customer surveys and focus groups within your company
or organization. An aspect to consider when trying to decide how and who to
survey is the level of honest feedback you will receive from results scrutinized in-house.
Even anonymous in-house surveys conducted under “confidential”
conditions can yield less than accurate results. Employees and staff are often
reluctant to criticize their employer for fear of repercussions.
The critical factor in the success of self-evaluation is obtaining objective data and
results. Better to accurately know the inadequacies of your customer service than
to operate under the impression you are serving your customer well. In order to
obtain complete information and feedback, it is important that each level of
employee and each department participate in evaluations.
Once adequate self-evaluation has been conducted and you know where you
stand in terms of customer service, you can organize a service improvement
strategy catering to your service needs.
CUSTOMER SURVEYS
Before spending the time, effort, and resources to develop a strategy for service
improvement, you should take actions to make sure you know what your customer
expects and wants from your service.
A base-line survey can provide a starting point from which to design and implement
a customer service improvement plan. A base-line survey will:
• Provide specific feedback on customer satisfaction levels, wants, needs, and
service requirements.
• Gives you objective, valid data on customer service requirements.
• Provide a benchmark for measuring customer satisfaction.
Admittedly, surveys require the expertise of outside consultants or market research
firms and require expenditures on the part of your company or organization.
However, these resources are well spent if you want to improve customer
satisfaction.
There are many kinds of customer surveys, but the basic surveys include:
• Random customer survey
• Company -wide attitude survey
• Lost account survey
• Target account survey
• Customer exit survey
All the survey types listed above have their merits but the most common is the
random customer survey. The random survey is the easiest to conduct and
measures overall customer satisfaction on a range of levels. This methodology,
typically done by phone, mail or in-person, selects a percentage of customers and
randomly surveys them. If your organization has never conducted a market survey
or customer survey, the random customer survey is probably the best methodology
for you.
CUSTOMER BASE
The size and composition of the customer base to be surveyed is critical if the data
will be valid to inform the ultimate customer service improvement plan. You need to
assess the size of your customer base to determine the sample size for the survey.
If your customer base is in the thousands, it makes sense to hire a market research
firm to conduct the survey. A smaller customer base may not require the
intervention of a professional market research firm.
SERVICE FEEDBACK
Other types of service feedback include:
• Customer focus groups
• Polls
• Suggestion boxes
• Telephone Hotlines
• Public forums
• Customer evaluation forms
• Customer mail/email
Remember, if you do not know what your customer thinks about your service levels
and performance, there is no way to inform your future customer service activities.
This section of the manual and training explores the often insignificant behaviors
and actions that can lead to significant payoffs in customer service success. These
techniques and ideas, seemingly obvious and mundane, cover a variety of
communication skills leading to customer satisfaction
When reviewing these materials keep in mind that customers are like elephants –
they have long memories. They cherish companies who treat them well and quickly
stop patronizing those who do not.
Key statistical consumer sector data revealed:
• Customers will spend up to 10% more for the same product with better service.
• When customers receive good service they tell 10-12 people on average.
• When customers receive poor service they tell upwards of 20 people.
• There is an 82% chance customers will repurchase from a company where they
were satisfied.
Non-Verbal Communication
BODY LANGUAGE
Body language can say more than words. A recent university study on how people
receive information had these results:
• 55% of what we learn from others comes from their body language.
• 38% of what we learn from others comes from their tone of voice.
• 7% of what we learn from others comes from the words they say.
FACE-TO-FACE CONVERSATIONS
It is often not what you articulate but how it is presented. What you wear and how
you express yourself has a lot to do with how what you say is received.
Have you ever noticed how a person who is dressed-up, even in older or out-ofstyle
clothing, always commands more authority and respect? The impression they
make and what they have to say is enhanced by their personal presentation, facial
and hand gestures, as well as the substance of what they have to say. As it turns
out, substance is only part of the equation of being persuasive and influencing
perception.
On one level this seems unfair and superficial because what a person says and
how they behave should be more important than if they are well groomed, smiling
and dressed-up. Yet visual perception plays a vital role in human impressions and
reactions. For reasons psychologists do not always understand, nature and learned
behavior have taught humans to perceive neat, smiling, well-presented individuals
in a more commanding manner.
POSITIVE NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATIONS
Smiling. There is nothing like a smile and pleasant face to greet a customer,
especially if he/she has a complaint. A smile and polite conversation can
immediately disarm a disgruntled customer. Facial expression sets a positive tone
before you even begin speaking. A relaxed or pleasant facial expression is ideal
most of the time.
Eye contact. Always look into your customer’s eyes. Directly address customers.
How you look. Personal grooming has a big impact on your customers. Dirty hands,
messy hair and poor dress can mean the loss of an otherwise happy customer.
When interacting with customers, dress neatly and in a professional manner so as
to command respect and to let customers know you take seriously your position.
handshake is expected. This part of the greeting is now common among both men
and women in a professional environment.
Be attentive. When listening to a customer, slightly lean towards your customer and
nod your head ever so slightly to indicate you are listening.
Tone of voice. Always convey friendliness and amicability. Do not raise your voice
in frustration or anger no matter how difficult or tiresome a customer may behave.
Hand gestures. Use hand movements to emphasize what you say (even on the
phone) and to emphasize your feelings.
Personal space. This is the distance that feels comfortable between you and
another person. If another person approaches you and invades your personal
space, you automatically move back without thought. You are uncomfortable. Leave
adequate distance between you and your customer. Adequate space is important
to making customers feel secure and safe.
Posture. Slumping in a chair or leaning against a wall while interacting with a
customer are sure signs you are not interested in the customer. Your pose or
posture should express attention, friendliness, and openness. Lean forward, face
the customer and nod to let them know you are interested.
Observation. Notice how your customer behaves and what he/she reacts positively
to while you are providing service.
Remember, the little, interpersonal actions noted above mean a great deal in the
area of customer relations. They can change customer perceptions and ultimately
affect the success of your customer relations efforts.
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Tone of Voice
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
The moment you pick up a telephone, body language and visual perceptions
disappear and your tone of voice becomes dominant.
Almost the entire message you project to the customer over the phone is derived
from tone of voice and attitude.
INFLECTION
Inflection is what happens when you read a book to a child – it is the wave like
movement of highs and low in your pitch that makes what you are saying higher or lower. It is the way you emphasize aspects of what you are saying to make it interesting.
Speaking in a moderate voice is the norm for customer service as high volume
scares and intimidates people. Low volumes can be very effective, especially when
a customer is irate – a low volume voice under these circumstances serves to calm
the irate customer.
Speaking louder for short bursts can occasionally serve to emphasize or focus
attention, but this technique should be used rarely.
PACE
Pace is a great tool to build rapport with a customer. Customer service
professionals recommend mimicking your customers pace. Speaking too fast will
serve to confuse a customer while speaking too slow may leave the impression you
are talking down to the customer.
Telephone Etiquette
THE DREADED ANSWERING SERVICE
In the world of customer service most people hate the telephone. It has become
common in the US when calling a large corporation, business or service provider to
come in contact with an automated answering service that prompts the caller to
choose a series of numbers to attain their desired request. Often the service
request or query must conform to the categories designated in the main menu or
the call can be disconnected. It has become increasingly difficult to get in touch
with a live human being.
GOOD TELEPHONE ETIQUETTE
Thankfully, there are many companies and organizations that understand the
significance of the telephone in doing business and practice good telephone
etiquette.
Good telephone etiquette is the essence of dealing with people in a polite and
efficient manner over the telephone. It is one easy and definite way to improve
customer service if you follow the guidelines outlined below.
Telephone etiquette, unlike more varying body language, can be uniform and is not
culturally based. The telephone is often the first or last place a customer comes in
contact with an organization or company. Being telephone friendly is one of the
least expensive and cost-effective ways to deliver better customer service.
ANSWERING THE TELEPHONE
How a company answers the phone can tell the whole story of how they treat
customers and employees. The correct phrase said in the right order in a positive
tone leaves a good impression and starts the customer-client relationship off on the
right foot.

  1. Pick up the phone in three rings. More than three rings signals chaos in your
    office or inattentiveness on the part of your company or organization.
  2. Greet the caller, e.g. “hello”, “good morning”. Good manners show you respect
    the caller.
  3. Give your name, e.g., “Hi, my name is Martha”. This is a courtesy that serves to
    personalize the customer service experience as well as allowing the customer
    to hold you accountable for your level of service. He/she now has a point of
    reference and someone to contact when he/she calls back.
  4. Ask the customer if or how you can help. Asking to help tells the customer you
    are there to serve his/her needs and to solve his/her problems. This also leaves
    the customer with a positive impression
    VOLUME Speaking in a moderate voice is the norm for customer service as high volume scares and intimidates people. Low volumes can be very effective, especially when a customer is irate – a low volume voice under these circumstances serves to calm the irate customer. Speaking louder for short bursts can occasionally serve to emphasize or focus attention, but this technique should be used rarely. PACE Pace is a great tool to build rapport with a customer. Customer service professionals recommend mimicking your customers pace. Speaking too fast will serve to confuse a customer while speaking too slow may leave the impression you are talking down to the customer.
    Hiring Customer-Friendly, Motivated Employees
    Companies that provide good service devote time, energy and resources into
    influencing customer service. Training is important but you can only train so much,
    better to pick the right types of people and then mold them into good service
    providers than to try to create a great employee out of a person who is not
    interested in providing good customer service. Motivation is the key to successful
    employees and is an integral part of good customer relations.
    Everyone has their own hiring system, but in the specific area of customer service
    there are a number of key questions to ask potential customer service
    representatives and employees who will represent your organization or company to
    the buying public:
    • Does he/she really want this job?
    • How does he/she feel about meeting the public/customers?
    • What kind of a communicator does he/she believe they are?
    • How do they feel about themselves?
    • Are they easily upset, moody or prone to losing their temper?
    • Do they like helping people?
    • Does he/she feel service is important?
    • How does he/she define service and good customer service?
    • What type of attitude or outlook does he/she have?
    • What kind of person do you like to serve you?
    • What type of service do you like to receive?
    These questions are critical in hiring the “right” type or profile of person for
    customer relations.
    Individuals who are less social and are more interested in technical areas than
    communicating with people are better suited for other types of positions. You are
    looking for a “people person” who is not easily upset and understands the nature of
    customer service. Customer service is not unlike public affairs or public relations in
    that personal qualities and human contact are critical factors in professional
    success. Define your companies shared values and make sure the person you are
    hiring shares these same values. If your company or organization’s management
    does not place a premium on customer service, then employees will not emphasize
    customer service and will be frustrated by management’s lack of interest in this
    critical area. Remember, you cannot make people happy or motivated but you can
    hire happy and motivated people (i.e., people who smile and enjoy interacting with
    others).

#20

well done