The 4 Must-Have Customer Service Skills to be Successful

...guest post by Lynn Macfarlane

Today’s guest post is by Lynn Macfarlane.

Early on in my recruitment career I was provided with leads to generate business but I knew at some stage I would need to get away from the telephone and the cold-calling monster and do what others were not doing, i.e. knock on doors and make face to face introductions.

4 Must-Have Customer Service Skills

It is the passion for what you do, who you are and who you work for that will help you succeed. It is not about the money – that is a secondary factor.

When you go about your work in a positive and enthusiastic way, your new customers will see how much passion and interest you have in THEM. This is how I nurtured relationships with my new customers.

Treading the streets of my City and the West End of London with “dogged” determination, I knew I had to persevere. I needed to develop and build a client base in order to establish business and to stay in business myself!

If you believe in yourself, your concept and your product it’s amazing what you can achieve.

Once a customer is established you should prepare yourself to stay engaged by regular contact, whether they make frequent purchases or not. You are in this for the long haul. Learn their needs, wants, likes and dislikes. Get to know your customers.

Great salespeople keep updated files on their customers; birthdays and anniversaries are tracked, frequency of purchases monitored, etc.  They also send a thank note or card or just to say “how are you?” Let your customers know you care and value their business.

Here are 4 must-have customer service skills you need to be successful…

Skill #1
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in. Customer service skills are transferable to any other business, private or public. The focus must be about customer service, the customer experience and the customer’s satisfaction.

Skill #2
Be proud of what you offer, never promise what you cannot deliver and always look for ways to please your customer within the demands and ability of your business.

Put your customer’s needs first, this leads to repeat business when they return again and again. An added bonus is their potential to tell others to use your product or service. Word of mouth is your best recommendation.

Skill #3

Welcome First With a Smile:
Even when speaking on the telephone your smile can be “heard” on the line. Address the customer’s needs personally, don’t pass it on unannounced or to the wrong person. Be available, interested and actually listen to your customers.

Skill #4

STAR – Situation – Task – Action – Result:
Business is built by establishing and developing a firm customer relationship – an experience. Listen to gather information needed to determine the situation of each customer, work out the task ahead of you and take appropriate action accordingly to make the best outcome/end result.

Meet your customer needs – this is their first experience with you. Maintain this experience by building rapport and a relationship beneficial to both sides.

Wherever you can, exceed your customer’s expectations – “go the extra mile”. This is what makes your customer service stand out.

When you really know your customers well you can almost second guess what their wishes and needs will be. This will help you manage and lead your customers to additional products and services your business can provide.

This creates added value and more reasons for your new customer to stay with you long term.

In conclusion: we must remember that customers are unpredictable, affected by changes, good and bad. How we adapt to this unpredictability will set the tone of business yet to come. And your customer service skills will be the reason it works!

About the Author

Lynn MacfarlandLynn Macfarlane has been deeply involved in new business development, recruitment and consultancy for most of her career.

As a trainer, coach, mentor, leader and team player she was “recruited” by Ritz Recruitment as a senior consultant/trainer to lead a team which developed the careers of new consultants. Lynn continues her work in the customer service field by providing a voice of experience to those in need.

It is my pleasure to be able to share this guest post from Lynn.

Next Post: The Shocking Truth About Self Service

Copyright © 2017 Steve DiGioia

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6 thoughts on “The 4 Must-Have Customer Service Skills to be Successful

  1. Lynn,

    What a beautiful post! It really touched my heart, not just my mind. Too often we forget that a customer is not yet-another-money-source, but a human being with feelings, needs, dreams and expectations, who deserves attention and respect. Too much focus on money ruins everything for both sides.

    And the power of a smile! 🙂 I could tell the difference myself, as a customer, when I was addressed with kindness and care instead of a cold voice and a business-first approach. I felt attacked, used and intruded in the privacy of my home/life. That discomfort led to distrust toward the company. But every time I was shown kindness and respect, the left a warm footprint in my heart and mind and I never forgot about them. Actually, I looked for them myself when I needed them later. They had built TRUST in me through respect and a smile.

    Because of that experience, I try to treat my own freelance clients with kindness and respect, too, to really listen to their needs and to help whenever possible.

    ~ Luana

    • Hi Luana,

      Relationships are key to any long term customer/business partnership. Both sides must benefit and interact in a manner of sincerity and genuineness. Lynn would be very happy with your comment, thanks.

    • Hi Luana,
      Steve is quite right. I am very pleased with your comment.
      Customer Service is KEY in all areas.
      Yesterday on a personal note – I attended a close family member’s funeral. I thanked the Vicar and the Undertakers, for their empathy, understanding, humanity. To be honest one of the more personal funerals I have attended. The sermon and epilogue were upbeat, everything flowed well and all attendees felt they were well received and looked after in their grief. Lots of reflection/memories afterwards.
      Thanks again Luana.

  2. The one thing that I have found that stands the test of time is the ability to adapt. If you truly have a good base grounding in customer (Guest) service, you will be able to adapt to almost any situation — whether it is the company you work for going in a new direction, or your customer base seeking new items or service, you’ll be ready to give everyone the best service you are capable of giving.

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