Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Almost every job has a customer service aspect. It doesn’t matter if your customers are internal or external; your job still requires that you satisfy somebody. You want your customers to want to deal with you directly and that is what makes you valuable to an organization. While the old adage “the customer is always right” may be old-school, there is still some truth to the message. What mistakes are you committing which may cost you a job?
You feel the need to be the winner every time. The only problem is that even if you win, what have you won? You like a challenge. You want that customer to know they are not going to get over on you this time. The only problem is that you probably won’t win the war. They may end up having to wait for the report or product until next week and chances are they will wait, but what happens in the afterwards? Your supervisor will be inundated with complaints against you or the company loses customers.
You don’t keep records of conversations. Documentation can be a pain. You’re probably thinking that you’ll remember the conversation right? Wrong, again! It’s important to remember the names, dates and times of all conversations regarding disputes. While it still may be a “he said, she said” you’ll still be more credible if you can discuss specific conversations. Follow up with an email to create a paper trail.
The majority of your conversation is full of company and department jargon and acronyms. Sure you know what you’re talking about. You also know that they don’t know what you’re talking about. If this is your attempt to look smarter than the customer, or cover up your own knowledge shortcomings, you’ll only frustrate the customer.
How much listening is really necessary? There is an old adage that says people really don’t listen, they only hear enough to figure out what their own response will be. Are you already planning in your head how to say “no”? If you are, you’re not really listening. You may miss out on vital information that will change your “no” to a definite “yes”.
The bottom line is you want people to want to deal directly with you as their favorite rep. A loyal, external client base will show the boss that you are important to the organization. People like working directly with you because they know you will handle their issues. Internal customers will come directly to you because they know they will get answers and results. You have suddenly become the “go-to” person in the organization; increasing your chances for promotions or raise.
Don’t let simple customer service mistakes derail your career!