Customer Service Lessons To Help Grow Your Professional Career



Customer Service Lessons To Help Your Career

One thing every career person must know is that every professional is in customer service.

It doesn’t matter what industry you work in or what role you play in it. You are in the business of selling – selling yourself, your business, your skill: your ability to do your job well. To convince people you’re the most beneficial at what you do, you need Customer Service at the heart of everything you do.

You could be a non-client-facing programmer, an engineer, a technician or a data clerk. Probably, you don’t ever leave the office, never lead meetings and are never required to make a sale, so you may be thinking this doesn’t connect with you, you’re simply there to perform your job. But do you ever answer the phone, speak to colleagues from other sections or meet managers in some events or get-togethers?

If yes, then you are into customer service, because you are representing your department, helping maintain its functions and either improving or making worse its perception in the organization. It’s the same customer service techniques you need, only without members of the public.

So what do you need to do?

Here are some customer service lessons to apply in your professional life to help you and your department deliver the best possible service in your company:

Always strive to deliver your service promptly: When requested, provide fast and prompt service to your clients – colleagues and/or other departments. Do not push the service to another time or ask them to come back later when you can offer the service immediately. The service requested may just be a small report, a copy of some document you keep, a file, a softcopy of a manuscript, among others. If you respond to requests promptly, you will become the ‘go-to’ person in your department before long.

Answer the phone: When the phone rings, do you always wait for someone else to answer it? Make sure you pick it up yourself and always ask how you can help even if you can’t help instantly. Surely, before long, people will sing your praise around the organization. Actually, it’s free advertising when you’re not even there!

Listen and help as much as you can: Listen attentively to people around you at the workplace. Listen to hear their need and what they have to say. In every meeting there'll be at least one problem you'll be able to solve for your boss as well as another department. Deliver the solution unprompted; this will clearly show you as someone who should be promoted.

Be bold to make decisions when possible: Don’t just wait for your manager; the best customer service reps have confidence in their actions and can justify them before their bosses. If confronted, say your goal was to help your colleague, save time and make your department look great. Even if your boss could have done it differently, they won’t squabble with your effort at delivering quality service and making your department look good.

Be sure to act on feedbacks and comments: Do you ever ask those you’ve helped (your colleagues, clients, etc.) how they find working with you as well as your department? This isn’t about some formal customer satisfaction forms or feedback emails. This can just be a simple chat that will result in service improvements. Always analyze feedbacks, criticisms and comments from people about you and your service delivery style, then work at taking corrective steps where needed.

Clients will always find alternatives: If you and your department don’t offer the best possible service to your clients, very soon they will look for alternate ways to get it done, and you (and your services) will become redundant. No one is irreplaceable.

Keep a bowl of sweets on your desk for colleagues: Try to do this as much as possible; it will ensure you always have friends. And you will appear as a friendly, welcoming and listening professional. This has worked like magic for me.

Look up from the computer and smile when someone enters your office: I bet you won’t want to return to that office where you weren’t welcomed the last time because the officer was just too busy on his system. Have a welcoming face when someone knocks and enters your office. Look up from the computer. Staying fix on your job and looking all busy can be interpreted as you not welcoming people. This will make you lose touch with colleagues before long.

Deal wisely with difficult clients and don’t ever get angry or shout at them: There is always the temptation to shout and walk that difficult person out of your office; after all, they are fellow colleagues and not external parties or buyers. But you can develop your customer service sense until you are able to wisely handle such people without getting angry.

Think of yourself as a Customer Service rep for yourself and your department, and you will develop into a highly-rated professional in your field.

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