Customer service is a skill that is required in almost all jobs. Regardless of your industry, it will always benefit you to have strong customer service skills. Surprisingly, it is so rare to see this, that we are often amazed when we encounter a positive customer-service experience. Sad, but true. Think about the last time you were paying at the grocery store. Was the cashier bubbly and chatty, or was she merely there? Whether you are in love with your job or not, it will benefit YOU the most by excelling at customer service at ALL times. I used to say to the servers when I was a Restaurant Supervisor, “YOU ARE ON STAGE WHEN YOU ARE ON THE FLOOR!” and it’s so true. People observe your every move, especially if you are front-line staff, which is what I am going to talk about today. Not only will implementing these tips help you to stand out in your role and make OTHERS have a better day, but it will subsequently also make YOU feel a hell of a lot better. Try it. You’ll see! You have to be at work anyways.. may as well make the most of it, right?!
- When you talk on the phone, smile: Practice this. Talk while smiling, and then talk with a straight face. People can HEAR a smile in your voice and it makes the conversation much more pleasant.
- Learn names and use them OFTEN: People love to hear their own name. It’s a fact. It also shows that you genuinely care enough to remember their name. I also make a point to do this with colleagues.
- Learn to read your guest: This point is SO KEY. Each guest is different and you need to treat them as so. If I am dealing with a 28 year old woman, my approach will be very different than if I am speaking to a 60 year old business man. Adapt your approach based on your guest and what they need.
- Stay calm… ALWAYS: Even if your guest is frustrated and yelling at you, you need to stay calm. The ability to stay cool when they can’t will help to bring them down a level and will make you stand out (in a good way).
- Smile: This one is a given, but try to pay attention to your facial expression. No one wants to be around a grump. If you’re in a bad mood, pick it back up once you clock out for the day. Moods are infectious.
- Pay attention to your mindset & try to be POSITIVE: Again, moods are totally infectious. Being around a positive person makes others more positive too. You WANT your guest to start their experience in a positive frame of mind.
- Listen before you speak: Let your guest talk. They want to be heard, whether they are upset or not. Let them talk and then you can talk. If there is an issue, allow them to vent it out without interrupting. Then solve the issue in a calm manner. Done!
- Build a personal relationship with your guest: I’m not saying you should go out for dinner with your guests, but I do think you should try to avoid being robotic. Often, customer service can become this way and I think to stand out, you need to really care about your guests (genuinely). Do they have children or pets? Find out what they like to do, and talk about it the next time you see them. This will make you stand out in a big way.
- ADMIT WHEN YOU ARE WRONG: This is a big one. There have been many times when I have made errors at work, however I immediately admit that I made a mistake, apologize, and then fix it. Guests appreciate the honesty so much more than you know. By lying or blaming others, you only make yourself look terrible & further upset the guest.
- Go above and beyond (when you can): What can you do to go the extra mile? I promise you right now, not only will this make you stand out, but you’ll also feel amazing. When I was working at Front-Desk at a hotel, I used to look for opportunities like this and it led to me getting a big award in my field. Not only that, but it made ME feel amazing by making a difference in someone’s day! For example, I once had a guest come in who had a cold. I sent up a hand written note, some soup & a tea. I know your ability to do tasks like this will change based on your industry, but try to think outside of the box. What can you do to show someone you really care about them as your guest?
Those are my best ten tips, guys! I practice these tips myself on a daily basis at work and it has always led to great things for me. I hope you try some of these out. Excelling in customer service is not only beneficial to your company, but to your guest AND to yourself, most importantly.
Have an awesome week & I will talk to you soon!
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