“A workplace filled with and driven by employees with positive attitudes – vibrates continually to the tune of service excellence and passionate team success.” – Ty Howard
In the business world, customer service attitude will always trump over aptitude and skill. Skills and knowledge are easily imparted, but an attitude of service cannot be instilled unless it is inherent. For a company to build a culture and attitude of service, it must remember to hire the right people. ‘Right’ employees would be those who have a willingness of doing extra and a nature of helpfulness towards each other and most importantly towards the customer. It is a lot easier to develop technical skills as opposed to modifying or changing undesirable behaviour and attitude. Employees with an innate desire to help would be able to express an unfeigned customer service attitude and empathy towards customers, especially the irate or frustrated ones.
In order to ensure the best of customer service attitude, companies must pay attention to increasing engagement in employees. Engaged employees are a sure-shot way of gaining customer approval and increasing profits. In addition, happy employees are more productive, stay longer, and perform their jobs to the optimum level – which in turn significantly lowers the operating costs for a company, contributing to its profits. It makes sense for a company choose its employees, particularly the front-line employees, carefully. However, simply hiring right is not enough. A company must provide these employees with the necessary tools and technology, and ensure that they remain constantly motivated and appreciated for all their efforts. Employee satisfaction contributes towards developing a sustainable customer service attitude, which in turn would contribute to the success of the company.
An effective customer service program can only begin and remain with a deep seated customer service attitude of the front-line employees. Customers would be more amenable to listen and respond positively to the company and its representatives when they can perceive a friendly, empathetic, and service oriented attitude. In today’s highly competitive market, building a customer service attitude is the need of the hour and is one that customers perceive as valuable and effective. Such an attitude goes beyond simply fulfilling promises – it reflects the company’s commitment and dedication to the needs and interests of its customers, before all else. This attitude of service resonates with customers, and they tend to respond positively, remain trusting, and know that they can depend on the company.
Every business wants to build trust in and retain its customers for the longest time – and one of the most effective ways to do so is to cultivate and sustain a customer service attitude throughout the company. This would mean that starting with the top person of the company to the last rung employee, everyone has the right attitude to serve customers according to the expectations of the customers. A good customer service attitude is one where each person serves customers with efficiency and friendliness, ensuring that every interaction customers have with the company is memorable and customers leave, raving about the business. Having a positive customer service attitude – one with a smile and empathy – adds immense value to the offerings and reputation of the company, and no company today can do without the support of customers.
The most important aspect, after hiring right, is providing regular training, to ensure that employees remember the customer service philosophy of the company. It would not be possible for the service staff to have a positive customer service attitude unless the company informs them of what is expected of them. Customer service training must be mandatory for all employees and consistently. Each employee must understand the policies, processes, and expectations of the company with regard to customer service and must understand their role in ensuring top class service to all customers at all times.
An important part of a positive customer service attitude is helpfulness and friendliness – unfeigned. It is important for service staff to smile when speaking with customers – even over the phone. In addition, it is important to proactively find ways to assist customers, even if they do not ask for help. Providing intelligent suggestions and possible useful solutions will keep customers enthusiastic about the company – all these actions make the life of customers a lot easier, which is one of the prime concerns of customers.
Remaining empathetic and listening actively are among the top traits of good customer service attitude. Good service employees would definitely display these traits, which in turn would make them proficient at handling stress and managing conflicts. Given that the number of opportunities for conflict and stress are high in the realm of customer service, service representatives who would be better at dealing with this would have a better attitude and a calm demeanour. Keeping a positive customer service attitude enables the service representatives to deal effectively with irate and disgruntled customers by calmly listening to them and offering useful solutions.
When a person is emotionally charged, communicating becomes tough and muddled. Such a state of mind can prove highly detrimental when communicating with customers. Customers expect that the company’s representatives would be understanding and would know what customers need, and unless this comes across through the attitude of the representatives, customers could get extremely impatient. A customer service attitude enables the representatives to show their willingness to help customers and find solutions to their problems. In addition, to providing proactive solutions, it is also necessary for service representatives to accept responsibility for any service lapses or shortcomings on the part of the company. An instant unfeigned apology is necessary and it is essential to refrain from arguing with customers. Engaging in conduct opposite to these traits could create extreme ire and negativity in the mind of the customer, which will always be detrimental to the company.
The one important thing that companies forget in trying to please customers, is keeping their employees happy. Since service to customers is through employees, it would be necessary to treat employees well and make them feel appreciated, in order for them to display enthusiasm and positivity in their attitude when serving customers. A robust reward and recognition program is essential to show employees that their efforts are appreciated and that they are important members of the organization. An extension of a reward and recognition program, would be empowerment for employees – giving them the ability and discretion to make spot decisions to solve customer problems and sort out common issues. It does not reflect well on a company when the service staff need to ‘escalate’ even minor problems to ‘someone senior’ simply because they do not have the necessary leeway to address the problems.
The job of customer service is hard as it is, and without a positive customer service attitude it would be a lot more challenging and emotionally draining. It is the onus of a company to provide motivation, tools, and support to the service staff in order to help them provide the highest standards of service, which in turn would gain customer loyalty. It should be the aim of every company to act with unfailing devotion, honesty, and integrity towards its customers. The customer service attitude should be where everyone would be enthusiastic about satisfying the customers through every action and interaction. Most of the time customer service is about attitude and a company’s success would depend on whether it has a good or bad one customer service attitude. What kind of customer service attitude prevails in your company?