The critical first step in the customer service process is meeting and greeting the customer. Those vital first moments with the customer set the tone for the entire interaction. By energetically and professionally welcoming your customer, you make successful customer interactions not only possible, but probable. Customers want to be recognized, appreciated, and treated with courtesy and understanding. For this to happen, you have to be at your best in the meet and greet stage of the service process. You need to know what your customers want.
Each customer is different, but certain basic principles apply to nearly all customers, and you can safely assume that most customers are looking for the same things in their interactions with you.
1. To be treated with courtesy:
Even rude people dislike being treated rudely. Common courtesies go a long way towards expressing respect to your customers. Good manners, like saying “please” and “thank you,” listening attentively, and expressing understanding, are courtesies that nearly everyone appreciates.
2. To be heard:
Every customer has a unique situation, issue, and desired resolution. Even though a customer’s circumstances may seem identical to the circumstances of many other customers, each customer typically still wants to talk through their issues, and your role is to listen.
3. To get what they want quickly:
Customers are on the move today, and you are just one stop on their list of errands. While there are exceptions to this preference, you can assume that the faster you address the customer’s issues, the happier they will be.
4. To be satisfied with their transaction:
Every customer wants a satisfactory end result and a hassle-free encounter with a customer service professional. Your primary goal in serving the customer is to leave them feeling positive about your organization.
5. To deal with someone who is knowledgeable:
Customers come to you for your expertise, advice, and experience, as well as for the products and services that you provide. They expect you to be able to answer their questions or know where to find answers.
6. To deal with a decision maker:
A customer’s life is easier if one person can provide answers and make decisions about the resolution of the problem. Customers don’t want to have to repeat their requests over and over as they are referred to other people for decisions.
7. To be appreciated:
Customers have a wide range of options. You should never take for granted their willingness to do business with your organization. It takes little time to express your appreciation for their business, and it sends a positive, reinforcing message to the customer.