Communicating is Customer Service
Focusing on the youth population in today's economy, finding a job can be challenging as businesses cut back on staff. But the good news is that if a young person is seeking to work, the most available positions lie within the retail and service industries; stores and restaurants. Employers love youthful workers that have energy, are motivated and need to make some cash. That's why employers are eager to hire this population for part-time and summer jobs.
In my opinion, today's technology has weakened face to face interpersonal skills, therefore relationships. Relationships are the substance of "good business". These days, it seems as though we communicate more with our hands than our mouth. Not through gestures or signals, but through the messages we type out and send through various forms of communication technology. Technology is here to stay and is a valuable tool but too many of our young find difficulty in communicating with people in the most natural manner… talking, oral communication, person to person, face to face.
Customer Service skills are vital in all jobs and careers. Without them an organizations runs the risk of losing customers to a competitor. Customer service is the practice of providing customers with a positive, helpful experience when they enter a business, throughout the time they stay at the business, and even after the customer leaves. In most work situations, the employee is most successful when they effectively interact with the customer by having a pleasant and engaging conversation.
There are specific communication skills that every employee should master to "WOW" the customers that they interact with on a daily basis.
- Opening Communication - Greeting, Positive Body Language
In interpersonal encounters, the first few minutes are extremely important as first impressions have a major impact on the success of further communication.
- Reinforcement - Show Interest, warmth and openness.
Using encouraging words with non-verbal gestures such as head nods, a warm facial expression and maintaining eye contact, supports openness in others.
- Effective Listening - No distractions; the most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen.
Listening is an important skill and people often place more considering what they are going to say rather than listening to what the other person is trying to say.
- Questioning - Obtain information, start a conversation and get feedback. Asking Discovery questions is an essential skill. It allows an employee to find out the needs and wants of a customer and ideas of how to make the business better.
- Clarifying - Check that you have understood the request.
Summarize the message communicated to you by the speaker in your own words so that the customer knows that you understand their need.
Customer Service is about the basics; it is about reacting swiftly to satisfy customer needs and then using feedback to innovate your contributions and the process. Everyone plays a Customer Service role. You paint the picture of the organization for which you work. And you have a job because of your customers. You have to talk and not just text!