Efficient and effective customer service still matters. Not only does it matters, it’s necessary. Whether she or he is serving a customer over the telephone or in-person, proficient customer service is the first line of representation for an employer or company. The “first impression” and service offered are crucial in determining if consumers will continue as customers. Therefore, one must keep in mind, a simple “thank you, have a nice day, how may I assist you” could possibly be the kindest words a consumer has heard all day.
Years ago, one of the most professional customer service representatives I’ve encountered, Ms. Porter, worked at a company I regularly conducted business. We never met her in person, but Ms. Porter’s telephone etiquette and professionalism transmitted beyond boundaries. So much so, I asked her whether she was a Christian.
I never ask individuals conducting business about their faith. My questioning was not about any particular denomination, my reason for asking was because of her aura. When she responded, yes, I was not surprised. There’s something refreshing about your kindness, I told her.
A month had passed after our conversation about her faith when I realized I had not heard from Ms. Porter. One day, I received a call from a new customer service representative. Since I had not heard from Ms. Porter, I asked the representative about Ms. Porter. I was informed Ms. Porter had passed. The representative informed me that Ms. Porter was killed in an automobile accident. I was shocked and saddened by the news. By my calculation, the accident occurred only a few weeks after she and I talked, and I had asked if her if she was a Christian.
I have my own thoughts about her confession and affirmation of her faith as well as me asking her. I will always remember how I felt from our brief encounters. I am convinced how we present ourselves to others still matter. Our encounters produce lasting impressions. They also determine further interactions. Besides, what is better than being the source of someone’s inspiration?
Today, I experienced a similar encounter which reminded me of Ms. Porter. Although the customer service representative’s personality was different from Ms. Porter, she was similar in spirit. She was very jovial, a little talkative, but in a caring, helpful, and upbeat manner. Her voice was of a mature or elderly lady, and she possessed a sweetness about her.
While assisting me, she informed me of deals to save money I hadn’t considered. I ended up receiving a deal that was a startling savings. I thanked the representative for her service, and I told her how much I appreciated her willingness to provide customer care services. She responded by saying my acknowledgment meant a lot to her too, it made her day.
If you notice, a key element of customer service is two-way interaction. Since as a customer you are the receiver, it’s important you know how to receive. Instead of becoming irate when things do not go your way, sow a seed of kindness. Create the atmosphere you desire. If the representative isn’t conducting him or herself professional, remain calm enough to speak to a supervisor or designated person in charge.
How to conduct oneself sounds basic and mundane, but I’ve worked long enough to know applying basic etiquette is not always prevalent. However, if you want others to “do right by you” make sure you display the disposition or action you desire. Try making a habit of mirroring the actions you expect instead of magnifying the results you do not desire. More than likely, your expectations will happen. One reason is you create your own expectations. In the meantime, keep in mind, customer service still matters.