Answers from frontline reps —
Be polite and smile. Always remember to be respectful in every dealing, with every customer and in every situation. If the customer is having an off day, and being rude, don’t stoop to that level. That is not the way to be a great customer service rep.
Also, make sure that you know your product or business so that when customers ask questions, which they will, you can answer them with knowledge and confidence. Customers tend to lose faith with employees that don’t know these answers, and I can’t say as I blame them.
Finally, always be polite and smile, and always include “thank you” in your dealings with your customers. A little courtesy goes a long way with many customers. Customers can hear in your voice if you are engaging with them, or just going through the motions. This is true both on a call and face to face.
— Jo Sprowl, SKF USA Inc.
Follow the Platinum Rule. The best advice I can offer a new customer rep is to treat every customer or caller as the only one you’ll have that day, follow the Platinum Rule, and be patient. Treating the customer or caller as the only one you’ll have that day allows you to focus on meeting his or her needs to the best of your ability without allowing anything else to distract you. Yes, long lines or high call volume can sometimes put pressure on you to get things done quickly, but if that one customer is made to feel valued and respected by the time and effort you spend with and on them, you’ll surely make a longtime customer out of them.
We’ve all heard of the Golden Rule – Treat others as you want to be treated – but the Platinum Rule goes one step further: Treat others as you would want the person you most value and respect to be treated. Think about the person you’re helping. Is it someone who didn’t grow up with technology? Maybe you’re reminded of your grandmother, who didn’t have a computer until she was in her 70s. The person you’re assisting is someone’s grandmother. Maybe they’re someone’s mother, wife, sister, etc. Ask yourself: Am I providing the customer service I would like my loved one to experience?
— Stacy Ernst, Navy Federal Credit Union
Maintain your confidence. When you start as a new customer service representative, it can be scary to assist that first person. You may have doubts about your ability to assist but trust in your training. Customers can hear the doubt in your voice if you begin to falter. The trick is to maintain your confidence and stay professional. It’s also important to know who your resources are and feel free to reach out to them. They are there to help you and make the transition into your new role easier. Customers don’t mind if you take a little extra time to find a way to assist them as long as you resolve the issue.
— Rachel Dillan, Assurant Specialty Property
Learn all you can. The best advice that I have for a new CSR is to be flexible and adaptable. Building your own expectations of how a job will function often leads to disappointment. The first couple of months on the job are for you to adjust to the routine of the new employer and learn all you can about their business.
If you allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them, you may find that you are less stressed because you anticipated coming in to a learning environment. Often mistakes are expected with a new employee; however, repeated mistakes can be a red flag for an employer in terms of job fit. Keep a notebook of tips and tricks as well as acquired learning along the way to minimize repeated mistakes in the future. Review these resources frequently and check with a trusted mentor in the organization for clarity and accuracy.
— Megann Wither, Doc’s Doggy Day Care