Customer Service is obviously an important aspect of business, but we can learn from other customer service industries including one Huffington Post contributor who shared her experience working in a hospital caring for patients. Susan Kerr offers key takeaways from her time spent in hospitals which fall in line with how businesses should communicate and treat their customers.
As Kerr points out, it is crucial that a customer service member get to know their client. It is important to meet them where they are—learn who they are, what they want and their deepest motivations. Listen to what the individual is saying and now saying; ask what they want and respond accordingly.
From there, a relationship will begin to develop. Frame the relationship and expectations from the start. Building trust serves as the most critical first stage to developing this relationship. However, the second and third phases are important as well, as they work to elevate the relationship, add zest and commitment. Throughout this entire process, it is important that the customer service member own their own contributions to the relationship, not their partner’s. Fundamentally, the customer service member must remember to be simplistic in their communications. Communicate with humility, humor and compassion; invest before withdrawing, say thank you before please. Fundamentally, enjoying the process and remembering courtesy throughout the process can be crucial.
Enjoying the process while finding a sense of courtesy is nearly as important as the individual phases of developing the relationship. The customer service individual must create opportunities for joy, while minimizing any opportunities for pain. Lead with gratitude and appreciation, and always strive to be genuine in interactions. Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond in the demands of regular daily communications; send a handwritten thank you note to add an extra, personalized touch. If offense is given to the client, apologize and let the individual know that the issue is being rectified. The customer service individual needs to be careful not to over apologize, but to live the amend; amend is change, not an apology. Finally, put mind, heart and soul into every interaction; this will insure genuine caring and will be well received by the client.