Tip of the week - Deliver high-impact service

Published: Wednesday 2nd July 2014

Customer Service

Want to take your customer service skills to the next level?

Attend an upcoming Engaging with Customers and Stakeholders workshop at North Sydney, Strathfield, Canberra, Melbourne, Ballarat or Brisbane. Deepen your skills for implementing effective customer service strategies in the ACU context. Workshop topics will include getting to know your customer, providing customer service via phone and email and how to deal with difficult behaviour.

To wow a customer, it helps to put yourself in their place and provide the customer service you would like to receive.

Tips for high-impact service:

  1. Under-promise and over-deliver: Fulfill your promises and manage expectations. If you say you are going to return a call, do it. Manage expectations by keeping customers in the loop - e.g. if a book transfer from another campus has taken longer than anticipated, phone the customer and let them know an approximate time frame for delivery. Go that extra mile if possible!
  2. Leave your problems at home: Being distracted by our problems can affect the way we deal with our customers. We may not provide the best service as we have other things on our mind. So try not to let your problems affect the customer service relationship as customers are not responsible for your problems.
  3. Smile! Greet every customer with a smile and a cheerful disposition. Smiles are contagious, even when on the phone - customers can hear the smile in your voice.
  4. Use positive phrases: Use phrases like "I would love to", "I would be glad to help you with that" or "certainly".   If you’re unsure about the answer to a customer query, say "I am not clear on that, but will check for you" - there is nothing wrong with getting back to someone, a customer would much rather be given the correct information. Remember also to say thank you - this may seem obvious, however it is easy to forget. Being genuine can go a long way towards creating good feelings in customers.
  5. Name-drop: Use the customer’s name throughout the conversation, it conveys a personal interest in them rather than treating them like a number.
  6. Ears out: Listen to your customers and repeat their request to ensure that you understand clearly what they need. This demonstrates that you want to help; if you did not hear everything that was said ask the customer to repeat it for you rather than make assumptions.
  7. Know your stuff: When customers don't have the knowledge they need they look for someone else who does. Your expertise of your product or service is part of the value you bring to customer interactions. If you feel you require more knowledge to answer customer inquiries do not be afraid to ask for training; it will give you confidence in future interactions.
  8. Be helpful: Make customers feel that your primary concern is to help them.
  9. Be encouraging: Do your best to put each customer at ease to ensure they know they can openly ask questions and trust your response.
  10. Make it easy: Challenge yourself to think about how you can make each encounter as fast and effortless as possible for your customers.