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7 Things Every CSR Needs to Know

Author: JoAnna Brandi

Customer Care should be part of everyone’s job description. But in every organization there are those people – the customer facing people – whose primary responsibility it is to take care of the customer. It’s to them I am speaking today, so be sure to make sure that everyone in your organization has a chance to read this tip. Here are 7 things that I think every customer service person needs to know....

 

You may be a small business owner, the manager of customer service, operations, branch banking, or any number of organizational functions. You may be someone in a customer facing position yourself.  Either way, this is an important message for you to read and to pass on.
 
In my opinion, Customer Care is everyone’s business, and should be part of everyone’s job description. But in every organization there are those people – the customer facing people – whose primary responsibility it is to take care of the customer. It’s to them I am speaking today, so be sure to make sure that everyone in your organization has a chance to read this tip. It’s especially critical in these challenging times to take EXQUISITE care of the customers we have, so herewith are 7 things that I think every customer service person needs to know.
 
1.  You chose this job, or it chose you. Either way, it’s in your best interest and the best interest of the customer for you to show up and be fully present to the job. Set an intention every day to be the best you can be at your craft. Make it a point to do a little learning about how to get better at it every day. Find joy in doing your job well. Recognize and acknowledge yourself for all the “wins” during your day. (Even if, and especially if your boss doesn’t notice often enough.)
 
2.  Be proud of what you do. You play an important role in the company’s success. I’m here to remind you that the experiences you provide for the customer could make or break their relationship with the company.  Even if parts of the process are broken, even if the wait times are long, even if the customer is upset about some aspect of the company, a great experience with a customer facing person can make up for a whole lot. You have the opportunity to make deposits in the customer’s emotional bank account and keep those customers happy.
 
3.  You have emotional genius. Being good at customer service requires a great deal of emotional intelligence. In fact, in your job, EQ is as important – and often more important – than IQ. Here’s the neat thing – being in a people oriented position gives you the unique opportunity to practice and even perfect those EQ skills. That’s going to help you in every relationship you have in your life. As you get better at your job, you get better at your life. That’s a bonus!
 
4.  The customer is not always right. I know you might have a little card that came from the corporate office that tells you they are, but I’m telling you what you already know to be true. They are not always right. Sometimes they are wrong, sometimes they are mean, sometimes they lie, sometimes they drive you crazy. But being right or wrong is not the point. Your job is to be so skillful that even if they are wrong, angry, nasty or just having a bad day, you have the ability to turn a bad situation into a better one. A highly skilled customer facing person is a magician, able to transform and diffuse difficult situations into good ones.
 
5.  You work in the performing arts. Service is not like a manufactured good. It can’t be made ahead of time and put on the shelf. It happens in the moment, as needed, and it’s all about performance. That makes you the performer. Just like an actor (or a public speaker or trainer for that matter) there will be days when you just don’t feel up to it and you will have to act “as if” you were. Here’s where your good training comes in. Rehearsal and visualization work to help you prepare for a great performance every time. Think of yourself as an improv artist.  Ta-da!
 
6.  You have a stressful job, but the amount of stress you take home every day is up to you. How you view your job is just as important as how you do your job. If you allow yourself to over dramatize, ‘catastrophize’, get defensive, and take everything personally, you’re in for a tough time.  Your body reacts to the perception of danger with primal instincts to fight or flee – both involving a cascade of stress chemicals that can damage your body. You have the power to change how you view any situation – including your job. Find a frame that makes it less stressful and more enjoyable. 
 
7.  You have the opportunity to make the world a better place every day.  Whether you deal with 10 customers or 200 customers a day, you have the power to create positive experiences for all of them. When you make your best effort to add sincere care and appreciation to every interaction, you are infusing it with positive energy and vibration. When the customer leaves the interaction with you feeling good they are likely to spread that positive emotion.  Emotions are contagious. 

You have the power to spread positivity and make the world a better place. We all know how important that contribution is these days. Take it seriously and you can make a serious difference in the lives of your customers and every one they touch.  Allow yourself to see the ripples of good will and well being you are sending out into the world. Spread happiness and appreciation and you will feel energized. 
 
So there you have it – a short story every customer facing, customer caring person should see. Spread the word around and start a lively dialog in your organization by discussing each of the points – and perhaps by adding a few of your own.
 
If you are looking to keep all the customer facing people in your organization motivated to stay focused on that customer – take a trial run of our Monday Morning Motivation – it’s an easy and inexpensive way to focus attention on the things that matter. It’s all about keeping the main thing (the customers) the main thing. Monday Morning Motivation
 
Caring is contagious – please spread the word…
 
JoAnna 

 

JoAnna Brandi is Publisher of the Customer Care Coach® a weekly training program on mastering "The Art and Science of Exquisite Customer Care." She is the author of books such as "Winning at Customer Retention - 101 Ways to Keep 'em Happy, Keep 'em Loyal, and Keep 'em Coming Back" and "Building Customer Loyalty - 21 Essential Elements in ACTION."
 
A Speaker and consultant, she is publisher of the bi-weekly Customer Care Tips Bulletin. To receive her free bi-weekly tips bulletin, sign up at www.returnonhappiness.com. You can also reach JoAnna at 561-279-0027 or e-mail joanna@customercarecoach.com.

Copyright 2008 by JoAnna Brandi. Used with permission.

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