It actually makes me happy to help customers.
It is the honest, plain and simple truth.
Whatever your job, no matter your personal predicament in life at any given moment, when you have an opportunity to help a customer out with a solution, you should come away feeling good.
It should make you smile.
Good customer service, put quite simply, is a positive interaction.
Were you able to help this person yourself?
If not, did you find someone to assist who could?
If you were not able to deliver the product or service the customer was looking for, what positive were you and the customer able to take away from the interaction?
If your employees let the phone ring too many times before picking it up, you have a team that is hesitant to provide good customer service.
If someone on your team does not greet customers with a friendly hello and a smile when they come into your store, you have people on the front lines who would better serve you in some secondary, indirect capacity, rather than being the “face” of the business that answers the phone or greets a customer in person.
Good customer service begins at the interpersonal level and really is most easily accomplished by people who are genuinely nice. It’s an added bonus if these folks possess common sense, are customer selfish (more on this in bit) and are driven by the personal rewards that come when they deliver a good experience for your customers.
These qualities are critical when you are considering which members of your team to place on the front lines of your customer service team.
Although everyone’s job in a company entails customer service of some kind (directly or indirectly), I would suggest that good customer service skills can be sharpened, perhaps honed, but it takes people who are already naturally warm, charismatic, knowledgeable of your product and/or service and respectful, prior to whatever training they may be given, for your company’s customer service front lines to really shine.
Common sense comes with benefit of experience and is more important for customer service than many give it credit for. It speaks to good decision-making skills and you want people who have it in abundance in order to deliver a positive experience to your clients.
Customer selfishness is a term I use for those folks that put the experience of the customer truly above their own considerations during any given transaction—whether on the phone or in person. They feel lousy if they let a customer down in any given way and seek to always leave the interaction with something positive before ending the phone call or store or company visit.
You can easily recognize folks who have the customer selfishness gene.
You can hear it in their tone of voice as they are on the phone or in person.
You can see the smile, the happy crinkling around their nose and eyes, as their bodies are actually experiencing feel good, physiological changes while they help diffuse a problem, turning an angry customer over the phone into one who is once again eager to do business with you—and the team member who put aside everything chaotic going on around them and focused on turning a potentially impactful negative experience into something positive—was directly responsible for this happy ending.
Take a look at the customer service team you have built for your business. If every person in this critical role demonstrates customer selfishness, common sense, is genuinely nice, and always respectful under duress, your happy endings are just beginning.