4 Tips for Great Customer Service Skills

Learning the proper customer service skills can go a long way towards providing you with a successful career. There are many things that you need to keep in mind when dealing with customers. Here are a few tips for great customer service skills.

1. Focus on First Impressions

When you have a chance to interact with a customer, you should do everything in your power to make a good first impression. Everyone has heard that first impressions are extremely important. Nowhere is this more true than in the customer service industry. The first few moments of an interaction with a customer will set the stage for the rest of the interaction. If you make a good first impression, and come off professionally, they will treat you with respect in return. However, if you are unprofessional and unfriendly, this attitude will be reflected to you through their actions. In the case of an angry customer, this may not be true. However, as a general rule, the way you treat a customer from the beginning will make a big difference in the rest of the conversation.

2. Determine What They Want

When dealing with customers, you should continually be trying to determine what it is that they want. Many customers will say a number of different things that may or may not apply to what they want. Sometimes, an angry customer just wants to vent to someone in the company. If this is the case, allow the customer to vent, but at the same time you need to be trying to determine what it is that they want. Ask yourself how you can most easily help this person. If that action involves getting them in touch with a manager, then do so at your first opportunity. If you can handle the situation on your own, go out of your way to get it handled. 

3. Defuse Angry Customers

When you are presented with an angry customer, you need to do what you can to defuse the situation. First of all, you need to listen to their complaint. Do your best to take charge of the situation and assume responsibility for it. Do not try to make excuses, but offer your help to the customer. Tell them that you will handle the situation for them. Whatever you do, do not give them more ammunition by asking questions that you do not want to hear the answer to. Try to act like a real person and be down-to-earth. Customers will appreciate this more than someone that has to do everything "by the book."

4. Help With Unusual Requests

Many times, customers will present us with requests that are outside the norm for our businesses. Instead of automatically telling them "no" consider helping them anyway. If you go outside of the normal responsibilities and "go the extra mile"for them, they will be much more likely to remember your company in the future and return.