“Customer Service is not a department. It is an Attitude.” – Unknown
It is no secret that customer service can have a profound and lasting effect on the customer’s experience of a company. Given that customer service as a role is demanding, annoyances and irritation are part of the everyday operations for the service staff, and it becomes even more imperative to remain positive while dealing with customers. A positive attitude in customer service is all about remaining calm during interactions, making every effort to build robust relationships with customers, and ensuring that customers view the company as authentic through their demeanour. Customers expect high standards of service and top class experiences with a company – every time and through every touch-point. Creating such positive experiences for customers is possible only by maintaining a positive attitude in customer service, which sometimes can be hard to cultivate and display. It is important for a company to provide training and coaching to help the service staff understand the important of offering the most positive service as possible.
The reason for positive attitude in customer service (and in every aspect of life) is that such an attitude spreads and has a profound positive effect on people. By remaining positive, the service teams would be able to mould customer behaviour and influence them a lot more easily. It is necessary for the service staff to focus on the good things and positive interactions they have with customers, rather than on only some of the negative ones that may occur. By maintaining a positive attitude in customer service, the service staff would set the tone for all their interactions with their customers, which would ‘rub off’ on the customers too. The fact is that when service staff focuses on the irritated, annoyed, and screaming customers only they encountered during a workday, the result is a feeling of dread and lethargy that will spill over to the next day, making them hate coming to work. These negative attitudes then snowball, and the service staff would possibly become rude and defiant.
Maintaining a positive attitude in customer service is about putting oneself in the customer’s position and viewing the problem from their eyes. This would make the service staff feels less threatened and anxious, since they would know how to deal with different emotions of different customers. By beginning each interaction with a positive attitude, the service staff would be in control of their mood, and in turn positively influence the customer’s attitude and response. The first part of positive attitude in customer service would be positive language. This would mean showing the customer a ready and willing demeanour that would display the willingness to see every interaction from the customer’s point of view. It would also mean being proactive towards the needs of customers, asking the customer what the company can do for them, rather than telling them what cannot be done. The idea is to make every experience more pleasant and efficient for them.
Customers love to stay with companies that provide them with as many positive messages and experiences as possible. It would be necessary for a company to revamp and reorganize its processes to allow for things that customers would want – free shipping, easy returns, swift and varied payment methods, and other such needs. In addition, customers expect to receive service and responses when they want and, as they want. For companies this would mean ensuring round the clock service, with speedy efficient responses. All these aspects would reflect the positive attitude in customer service, on the part of the company as a whole. The positive attitude must reflect through at every touch-point – that means whichever channel a customer contacts the company through they must have a positive experience. To display a positive attitude in customer service, the customer facing staff must refrain from negative words, and behaviours.
It is important from a customer retention point of view, to keep customers interested and engaged. The company must show its appreciation for the customer’s patronage by offering timely incentives and other ‘lures’. The idea is to ensure customers want to come back for more and offering them some such offers will make them. Even through intelligent content, companies can keep customers interested and entertained even outside the confines of the business relationship and ensure that customers keep providing repeat business. Creating and maintaining a positive attitude in customer service is beyond just offering satisfactory service in every customer transaction. It is about serving with a smile and with unfeigned interest. A positive attitude in customer service will ensure that customers have positive experiences each time, and would leave feeling good about themselves and the company, which in turn would mean wanting to do business with the company repeatedly.
When a positive attitude in customer service exists, the service staff will appear more amenable, amicable, responsive, and attuned to the needs and expectations of customers. This in turn would reflect in their behaviour towards customers, who would feel heard, respected, and cared for by the company. When service staff remains open-minded and positive, they would be able to ‘hear’ more than just the spoken words and requests of customers. They would be able to convey empathy and care by making a concerted effort to understand the thoughts and feelings of customers, which is what customers expect under every situation. Positive service staff will always appear happy and ready to help. Their style and manner of communicating would reflect their attitude, and if it is positive, existing customers would remain and the company would be able to attract more customers, translating to higher sales and revenue. A warm friendly smile, courteous mannerism, a willingness to serve, and an empathetic demeanour – are all part of a positive attitude in customer service.
A positive attitude in customer service means happy customers, which in turn means success for the company. Everyone wants to work and remain associated with a successful company – the overall work environment would be a lot happier, energized, and everyone would want to contribute to make it even better. A positive attitude in customer service would resonate with the whole organization, encouraging a spirit of cooperation, collaboration, and a constant endeavour to ensure customer satisfaction at any cost. In addition, there would be better communication and cooperation between the employees, each team would understand the challenges involved in interacting with customers and hence would be more likely to provide timely help and support. Customers remember when they are treated well but may not talk about it. However, if they were not treated well they would be very likely to spread the negativity and tell a number of people of their poor experiences. It makes sense for a company therefore, to ensure that their employees treat each other and customers with courtesy and kindness.
Through a positive attitude in customer service everyone would feel more accountable, everyone would be more resourceful in searching for solutions, ensure regular follow-up to show customers that everyone in the company cares. The quality of products and services would become better, as everyone would strive for excellence and fairness while dealing with customers. Everyone would be more mindful of their manners towards customers and would put the customer’s interest in mind. When everyone keeps a positive attitude in customer service (service to customer), customers will be happier and as a result would work towards making the company successful.