In a world of change, high technology, globalization, and increased speed; there are still five basic tenets of what constitutes good customer service:
1. Welcome – The customer wants to feel welcomed and valued. Greeting the customer with a smile, showing familiarity, calling them by name, and generally making them feel like an invited guest to your home.
2. Build an emotional connection – People like to do business with an organization and people they like. Look for ways to build a relationship with the customer through matching your personality styles, relating on a personal level, or finding a common interest.
3. Listen – Give full focus and attention to the customer, show you are listening with nods, and paraphrase back to verify or clarify their needs.
4. Know your products and services – The customer expects you to be able to answer their questions, guide their decision-making, assist with their needs – the only way to effectively do this is to truly know and understand the products and/or services you sell.
5. Execute – Take ownership and follow through on any promises made to the customer. If there is a problem, exhaust all efforts to resolve the issue yourself.
Employees in any field or industry can exhibit the above five actions whether they are in government, health care, retail, education, non-profits, utilities, etc. It is management’s job to set the expectations, train, coach, counsel, and give recognition for performance.