Working Successfully with Customers: Staying Courteous Under Pressure
All of us who work have customers. For some, your customer is external to the organization – visitors, vendor, end users of your products or services, everyone. For all of us, there is another group we serve – our internal customers – a co-worker, an executive, a shareholder or other stakeholder, a colleague from your own or another department.
The working with customers workshop is designed for anyone who has direct contact with others, who supplies a valuable customer service role to internal customers, and who wants to improve his/her customer service skills.
The Importance of Customer Service
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
- Identify who your customers are and what they expect from an employee.
- Link mission, vision and values to the delivery of “world class” customer service.
- Establish the standard and level of service you have to provide to be successful.
- Learn why “high quality” service is critical for the customer and you.
- Learn how to communicate with a customer “what their needs are” even if is not “what they want to hear.”
Getting Off to a Good Start
“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve”
- Building a good customer relationship from the “get-go.” Apply techniques to tell customers what they “need” to hear, even when they don’t “want” to hear what you have to day.
- Learn solid telephone techniques that will enhance your image and the image of your organization.
- Develop techniques to work with people who are hostile and uncooperative over the phone.
- Learn how to “strengthen” the relationship with a difficult customer.
- Learn how to build GOOD WILL even with the most difficult customer.
- Develop an understanding of management’s role in reinforcing, supporting and recognizing quality customer service.
- Learn some techniques to “manage stress before it manages you.”
What Motivates People to Serve Customers Well
“If you want to be creative in your organization, your career, your life, all it takes is one easy step…the extra one. When you encounter a familiar plan, you just ask one question: “What ELSE could we do?”
- Develop an understanding of the responsibilities of each employee – from the top to the bottom of the organization – in delivering quality customer service.
- Learn what motivates others to work cooperatively with you or to work against you.
- Develop strategies to keep discussions with customers open, less defensive and keep the focus on problem solving.
- Learn how to build a “trust climate” so your internal customers will want to work with you to solve problems and get the job done.
- Practice the “choices” you have when dealing with conflict with internal customers.
- Develop ways to address “the boss” when he/she is a part of the conflict and you need his/her help in resolving internal customer service problems.
Skills to Deal With Anger – Your Anger and Other People’s Anger
“Sometimes I feel like the world is out to get me, but deep down, I know that is not true. Some of the smaller countries are neutral.”
- Develop skills to stay “grounded” when someone attacks you personally or is trying to manipulate you.
- Learn how to stay assertive when someone is uncivil and behaving in an “ugly” fashion.
- Develop an understanding of how body language, inflection and pitch influence interactions with others.
- Practice using empathy when dealing with an upset or highly emotional customer.