This is an article for both employers and employees alike, so in order to achieve a higher level of customer service and satisfaction, be sure to pay attention. In one way or another, we’ve all done some sort of customer service, whether personal or for a business. Marketing and customer service are the two thickest pillars of any real business, so having adequate means to fulfill both of these is paramount. However, let’s not risk deviating from the reason we’re here: Customer service.
Check Your Issues at the Door
Wow, how cold does that sound? The fact of the matter is it’s true. Issues from your personal life, personal vendettas against another coworker, troubles at home, or any other things that might poison your personality and hinder your ability to serve customers should to be taken care of before you really start interacting with them.
A severely large percentage of job terminations are due to an employee’s inability to behave appropriately and hospitably with customers or coworkers. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a majority of employees are insensitive or have a toxic demeanor; what it usually means is they’re going through some conflict in their own lives and it bleeds into their workday. Not all issues can just be dismissed or “checked at the door,” as an individual’s fortitude and attitude are unique to them. One person who breaks up with their lover might be able to brush it off with little issue, while another might be so crushed that they can’t socially function.
These circumstances should be taken into account by an employer, but an employee should also be forward about why they can’t work appropriately. Nobody likes a callous business operator, and while family emergencies and deaths are universally excused, it’s important to understand that people have lives outside of work that can DEEPLY affect their productivity, work ethic, and enthusiasm inside of work. If you’re an employee who’s struggling with something and you can’t set it aside and do your job to the best of your ability, you need to let your employer know. If you run the risk of alienating customers and driving away business, you’re better off being at home
Keep Your Flak Jacket Handy
There are a number of customers who go to places with an unwarranted sense of entitlement, even if they have no intention of buying anything. When people like this frequent your business, you might wonder why they’re so pompous or unreasonable, as if you were born to serve them and you’re lucky to have them grace your business with their presence. It’s normal for these kinds of people to complain about your prices, be confrontational, and mutter profanities and intolerances under their breath (Though they’re sure to do it loud enough so that you hear). This is the toughest and most obnoxious type of person to deal with in the business world, and the only good way to handle it is by cordial and professional.
Either as an employee or as an employer, you can’t let the worst customers get to you; you’re better than that. If anything—depending on your business—you can simply refuse to do business with them.
Just as you don’t want to bring your personal issues into the workplace, you don’t want the workplace to poison you so that you’re taking your workplace issues home to your family. If you do let it get to you, you run the risk of pushing away your family, which will in turn create personal problems for you. This creates a vicious cycle of bringing problems from home to work, which creates problems for customers at work, which in turn builds MORE problems for you that you end up taking back home… stress, anxiety, anger, frustration… rinse and repeat.
Delivering exceptional customer service isn’t just about being good at what you do; it’s also about taking the proper precautions to keep yourself at optimum efficiency. Don’t let your customers drive you crazy. Drop your issues before starting your work day, understand that some people are just angry and that it can’t be helped, and don’t take things personally. If you need something to make you happy, just remember that they’re giving you their money, and a growing bank account is always something to smile about!