How well do you serve ‘customers’? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

How well do you serve ‘customers’?

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Even if your co-workers are your only customers, applying the principles of great customer service will allow you to sell your skills at a premium price.

Ask yourself whether you meet these customer service standards:

Welcoming. Do you make eye contact and give customers your full attention, or do you make them wait while you chat about personal matters with a friend on the phone?

Speed. Do you answer every call by the third ring? Do you forward calls immediately to another admin or your voice mail when you're away from your desk? Do you respond to every e-mail within 24 hours, even if it's only to explain that you're working on the request?

Personalization. Do you greet visitors by name before they introduce themselves and remember their preferences at subsequent meetings? When your boss will be meeting with a VIP, do you call that person's admin for advice, such as what type of restaurant to choose for their lunch?

Listening. Do you listen not only to customers' words but their tone and body language, as well? Do you paraphrase what you hear them say to ensure that you understand? Can you list the customer's top three priorities for the service you're going to provide?

Up-selling. Do you know your customers and 'products' well enough to suggest something better than what they request? Example: Can you explain why a database may work better than a spreadsheet for managing a set of information the boss wants?

Extras. Do you wow customers by delivering more than they expect? In describing Ritz-Carlton's reputation for great service, Business 2.0 cites an admin in one hotel who overheard a guest saying that he forgot to pack formal shoes for an important meeting. The next morning, he re-ceived a new pair, compliments of the hotel.

Calming. Can you turn an angry adversary into your partner to find a solution? Do you avoid telling customers that they're wrong or unreasonable? Do you thank customers for bringing problems to your attention? Instead of passing a customer along to someone else, do you explain, "Here's what I can do to help you ..."?

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