5 Qualities of Excellent Customer Service
By Kendra Tyner, Program Coordinator
Have you ever had an amazing customer service experience? What about a negative experience? Our experiences immediately form our opinion of an organization or brand for better or for worse. Companies either thrive or fail based on the preconceived notions of their customers. Have you ever visited a Chick-Fil-A restaurant? The workers are trained on how to speak, listen, and provide top notch service to each customer. I go to Chick-Fil-A once or twice a week and continue to return because the atmosphere is inviting and the staff is always friendly. Good customer service makes the difference! We make sure to provide our clients with the highest level of service by using our skills to make them feel like family. Below are customer service essentials to keep clients happy and maintain the highest level of support.
Know your Product
To successfully help our clients we need to know the product. How can you help an association with their needs without becoming knowledgeable about their organization? Make sure you understand the industry, how they operate, and what goes on in their association to make them run smoothly. Learn about your clients by exploring their websites, reading organizational policies and documents, learning about past meetings and events, and speaking to co-workers. The more knowledge you have, the better you will be able to help your clients succeed.
Listen and Learn
Do you ever feel as if you know what a client is going to say before they say it? You may have had the same conversation with others, but just because you had a similar conversation before, doesn’t mean it is the same. Put the client first and listen intently so you do not miss vital information you will need later down the road. You may gain new information on a policy change, updated member count, or a last-minute change before a big meeting. Make sure you are actively listening and understanding what is needed from you. Once you have all of the information, follow up to review and confirm next steps, details and expectations. Doing so keeps you organized and opens the lines of communication.
Have you ever been in a situation where you struggled to understand something, and the person helping you seemed rushed or upset because you weren’t understanding as quickly as others? It makes you feel bad, right? We do not want our clients to ever feel as if we are too busy or as if they are a burden. This may include helping a customer with an online order who isn’t tech-savvy or walking through a registration form with a first-time attendee. We want each person to feel comfortable asking for help. We are here to give the clients what they need and support them every step of the way.
Go Above and Beyond
We achieve client satisfaction by going the extra mile. Anticipate problems before they happen and seek solutions to combat them when they do. Not only can we anticipate potential problems, we can anticipate the client’s future needs before they even ask! You may fall into the habit of just doing the basics to get things done in the most effective way possible. But we can do so much better! Look at every situation and find ways to go above and beyond for the client.
Communication style can make or break a conversation. It seems simple, but remember to keep a positive and clear tone of voice, and wear a smile when speaking to someone. Talk to everyone as you want to be spoken to. We want to make sure we are operating at the highest level of professionalism. Be careful to enunciate words and avoid using regional vernacular or slang. Be intentional about turning negative phrases into positive phrases. This makes a big difference! You may not have an answer right away, but rather than saying you are unable to help, guarantee to find the answer as soon as possible. This turns a negative into a positive and lets your client know you are there to take care of their needs.
There are many ways to help our clients and be a positive part of their day. We all have the ability to be great and put our best foot forward. Adopt these practices and you will see your customer satisfaction increase immensely.
Kendra joined ASG this year and looks forward to learning something new each day! Outside of work, she enjoys karaoke, spending time with family and friends, Auburn football, and going to the movies!