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Effective skills for excellent customer service

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customer service


What Is Customer Service?
Customer service is the act of taking care of the customer’s needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high-quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer’s requirements are met.

It is can also be defined as, how you relate with and treat all stakeholders who support your business success – these can be external or internal customers. In providing excellent customer service there is a customer service ecosystem that needs to be taken into consideration. Customer service should lead to customer satisfaction, which should lead to customer retention, business success, which eventually results in personal and professional fulfillment.

There is a need for excellent customer service in business, organizations and companies as data revealed that a typical business hears from only 4% of its dissatisfied customers while the other 96% just quietly go away and 91% of them will never come back.
A survey on “Why customers quit” found the following: 3% move away; 5% develop other friendships; 9% leave for competitive reasons; 14% are dissatisfied with the product; 68% quit because of an attitude of indifference toward the customer by the owner, manager, or some employee.

A typically dissatisfied customer will tell 8 to 10 people about his problem. One in 5 will tell 20. It takes 12 positive service incidents to make up for one negative incident, 7 out of 10 complaining customers will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint in their favour. If you resolve it on the spot, 95% will do business with you again. On average, a satisfied complainer will tell 5 people about the problem and how it was satisfactorily resolved. The average business spends 6 times more to attract new customers than it does to keep old ones and a typical corporation loses half of its customers every five years. Yet by increasing the yearly customer retention rate by as little as 5%, companies can increase bottom-line profits from 25 – 100%. These facts are necessary and helpful in knowing the importance of customer service for everyday business and service in organizations, businesses and companies.One of the essences of customer service is, Service Excellence. This leads to customer satisfaction which will make you feel better about yourself, your role, develop your relationship, and fulfill the ultimate purpose of relationships which is to meet each other’s needs.

It is important to note that Service is a philosophy and culture; and NOT a department, a program or a policy. Service means exceeding customer expectations to deliver customer satisfaction. Service is learnt, intentional and purposeful.The following points are the necessary skills needed for excellent customer service.

SMILE; a smile is helpful in creating a powerful first impression and it translates through the phone. It makes the heart merry, provides excellent authentic customer service and helps create cordiality during conversations. To ensure a genuine smile during interactions with customers, the “Duchenne” (Genuine) Smile should be deployed by employees, named after the French neurologist Duchenne de Boulogne, who conducted pioneering research into the science of electrophysiology. Duchenne discovered that 2 specific facial muscles must work together in order to produce a genuine smile, namely: “The zygomatic major muscle which turns the corners of the lips up and the orbicularis oculi muscle which contracts around the eyes resulting in the appearance of distinctive wrinkles commonly referred to as crow’s feet.

Genuine Smiling is Great because it signals friendliness, reduces aggressiveness, provokes a smiling response, encourages positive interactions, releases positive emotions of happiness and joy It also encourages physical attractiveness, improves quality of social relationships and increases the likelihood to get and stay married.

COMMUNICATION; It is vital to know that we speak in 2 languages, verbal and non-verbal languages. Through our words and our body language, we communicate 7% in words, 38% in tone and 55% with our body language. It’s not the words that we use when we communicate that passes a message but also our non-verbal cues or “body language” speaks the loudest. Body language is the use of physical behaviour, expressions, and mannerisms to communicate non-verbally, often done instinctively rather than consciously.

Whether you are aware of it or not, when you interact with others, you are continuously giving and receiving wordless signals. All your non-verbal behaviours – the gestures you make, your posture, your tone of voice, how many eye contacts you make – send strong messages. They can put people at ease, build trust, and draw others towards you, or they can offend, confuse, and undermine what you’re trying to convey. These messages don’t stop when you stop speaking either. Even when you are silent, you are still communicating non-verbally. For instance, what comes out of your mouth and what you communicate through your body language may be totally different things. If you say one thing, but your body language says something else, your listener will likely feel that you’re being dishonest.

Your non-verbal communication cues – the way you listen, look, move, and react – tells the person you’re communicating with whether you care, if you’re being truthful, and how well you’re listening. When your non-verbal signals match up with the words you’re saying, they increase trust, clarity, and rapport. When they don’t, they can generate tension, mistrust, and confusion.

Non-verbal communication plays the following roles:
•Repetition: It repeats and often strengthens the message you’re making verbally.
•Contradiction: It can contradict the message you’re trying to convey, thus indicating to your listener that you may not be telling the truth.
•Substitution: It can substitute for a verbal message. For example, your facial expression often conveys a far more vivid message than words ever can.
•Complementing: It may add to or complement your verbal message. As a boss, if you pat an employee on the back in addition to giving praise, it can increase the impact of your message.
•Accenting: It may accent or underline a verbal message. Pounding the table, for example, can underline the importance of your message in some cultures.
The following are some examples of non-verbal communication, and what each example communicates to other people:
• Arms crossed over the chest. This example of body language can indicate that a person is being defensive. It can also demonstrate that the individual with crossed arms disagrees with the opinions or actions of other individuals with whom they are communicating.
• Nail-biting. This is a habit that can demonstrate stress, nervousness, or insecurity. Oftentimes people bite their nails without even realizing it.
• Hand placed on the cheek. This example of body language can indicate that a person is lost in thought or is considering something. Sometimes when the hand is on the cheek, it is accompanied by a furrowed brow, which further demonstrates deep concentration.
• Tapping or drumming the fingers demonstrates that a person is growing impatient or tired of waiting.
• Head tilted to one side indicates that a person is listening keenly, or is interested in what is being communicated.
• Touching the nose. When someone touches or rubs their nose, it can signify a number of things: it can be a signal of disbelief or rejection, or it can also demonstrate that an individual is being untruthful about what they are saying.
•Rubbing the hands together briskly. This can show that a person’s hands are cold. It is also a way of communicating that an individual is excited about something, or is waiting in anticipation.

•Placing the tips of the fingers together or “steepling” of the fingers, is a demonstration of control and authority. Bosses or authority figures to subtly demonstrate that they are running things can use this type of body language.
•Palms open, facing upward. An open palm is a sign of openness and honesty. It can be a show of submission. During the time when many people carried weapons, this was used to show that they were not holding one or to indicate sincerity and innocence. Some people open their palms during worship at church as a sign of submission and respect.
•Head in hands. Yet another example of body language that might mean a number of things, the head in hands can demonstrate boredom, or it might show that a person is upset or ashamed and does not want to show their face.
•Locked ankles. When the ankles are locked together, either while standing or seated, it can communicate nervousness or apprehension.
•Standing up straight, shoulders back. This position shows that a person is feeling confident of him or herself, and is often accompanied by walking at a brisk stride.

•Stroking of the beard or chin. When one strokes the chin, he or she is communicating deep thought. Such a motion is often used unintentionally when an individual is trying to come to a decision about a matter.
•Pulling of the ear. People often pull the lobes of one of their ears when they are attempting to make a decision, but remain indecisive. This motion demonstrates the inability to come to a conclusion.

Next week we continue with the second part of Efficient Customer Service Skills.To equip and perfect your skill of building rapport for effective and excellent customer service, such that you are able to create, retain and manage your customers for repeat business to increase profitability, sign up for our Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) 1 course scheduled for 25th November 2019 to 1st December 2019. To register, call 08077077000 or send an email to info@olcang.com. Shalom!


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