Loving Unlovable Customers

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Loving Unlovable Customers

We’ve all heard the phrases “Kill ‘em with kindness” and “It’s easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar”. But how do we put that into play during an interaction with a customer that is not easy to work with? These simple tips on how to show love to your customers (during positive and not so positive interactions) will help you and your service team keep the love flowing all year round.

  • Service with a smile. A warm and friendly smile speaks volumes. A smile conveys openness, approachability and a willingness to assist. It is the first of many ice breakers your clients may need to turn their day around and leave in a better mood. A smile even carries across phone lines. When you smile your tone of voice and disposition changes. A genuine smile will help to ease any tension from the client.
  • Don’t take it personal. We’ve all had stressful days when everything seemed to be against us and we felt as though we couldn’t catch a break. When you find yourself with a customer who seems to be a Negative Ned/Nancy, remain calm and professional in your body language and tone of voice. Remember, if your customer does become rude or disrespectful it is appropriate to turn the interaction over to a colleague or manager after doing all you can to diffuse the situation, per company protocol.
  • Try to make it better, but don’t force it. One of your greatest assets as a customer service professional is people skills. Your ability to read people and intuitively interpret how best to approach them is what will cause you to stand out in your field. Once you’ve gotten a sense of your customer’s disposition consider adding an approved bonus for their purchase or interest in your service. Unexpected freebies are a great way to show appreciation and brighten someone’s day.
  • Mind your P’s ad Qs. Please and thank you seem to have gone away with the introduction of emojis and texting. Common courtesy and good manners will go a long way in the journey to show love to your customers. A simple greeting of Hello, Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening; using Sir or Ma’am; and making eye contact will show your client the respect they deserve as a voluntary patron of your establishment. When making a request for information from your client include please and say thank you. At the end of your service, thank them for coming to the store or calling the customer service line. Wish them a good day.
  • Become interested in what they’re interested in. Spend time getting to know your customers who come in on a regular basis. Listen to their stories, find out about their lives outside of their time at your business. If they’re having something special coming up remember to ask them about it when you see them again. If their grandkids are interested in a sport or hobby, consider taking time to find out about local venues or upcoming events. Sharing this information with your customer will show that you are listening and you care.

Working in customer service can be a demanding position, but most often it is rewarding. There will be days when we have to create those opportunities for reward by our actions and responses to customers. Taking the time to show that you love them in spite of their crabby attitudes will leave a lasting impression. In the end, one old adage remains true treat others the way you would like to be treated.

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