What Is Customer Service?
Have you ever heard someone say that a store or company’s prices are a little higher than competitors, but the customer service is so good that spending a little more money is well worth it? What is the person really saying? They’re saying that they value help when they need it—and we all need it from time to time. Having good customer service can make or break a company. The field of Customer Service includes all the people who help customers to buy and use the products and services of a particular company. They are the employees who do their best to satisfy the customer or user needs while being courteous, respectful, knowledgeable, patient, and friendly. Customer Service is not easy because sometimes you simply can’t give the customer exactly what he or she wants; you may have to deliver a “No” or a “There will be a re-stocking charge of $50” message while trying not to escalate an emotional response.
So, what does it take to be a really good customer service person? Nerves of steel? Sure, that wouldn’t hurt. But the key is probably knowing the various products and services inside and out so that you are giving accurate information. Being trained in how to handle difficult situations is also critical—it is possible to give bad news while showing some empathy for the plight of the customer. Listening carefully, maybe even feeding back to customers what they’ve said so they know you understand their plight, is especially helpful. Being friendly, attentive, and always respectful can make the difference between a satisfied and a dissatisfied customer. Unhappy customers who tell their friends how awful you are can do a lot of harm to all your good intentions. Have you ever noticed the power of one negative review of a product on the Internet? It takes many positive ones to overcome your doubts about buying the product.
Do you have what it takes to be successful in Customer Service? Some of the job titles that you might find are Customer Service Rep, Receptionist, Member Services Rep, Call Center Agent, Greeter, Cashier, and Concierge.