Good Customer Service: Practice Makes Perfect

There is something that I enjoy doing that I think a lot of people find quite weird.

Whenever I have to call in to a customer service line I always try to have a little fun with whichever representative is helping me out. Now, don’t assume I’m mean to them right off the bat, because it’s quite the contrary. To be honest with you, going back to my roots working as a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME) at Incept has made me noticeably more conversational and a better listener. I can hear the tone in people’s voice now and almost get a feel for their personality. So when I’m calling either halfway around the world for technical assistance, or the warehouse that is shipping out my motorcycle parts, I always listen for how their customer service reps handle me as a member of their clientele.

In my last post about customer service, we briefly touched upon what actually makes it. In this post, we are going to focus on three specific aspects of what you and your employees can do to provide good customer service quite easily. This not only can be applied if you work in a contact center, but if you happen to work with people frequently.

  • Listen to your customer’s needs

One of the things we are taught at Incept as Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) is the LAMAtechnique. LAMA stands for, Listen, Acknowledge, Make a Statement and Ask a Question. To be quite honest I think of all the steps in LAMA, Listen stands out. It is easy for someone to want to be too eager to help and, in doing so, perhaps accidentally interrupt the donor or customer who is talking before fully finding out their needs or the situation they are in. Never just assume. Instead, train yourself to fully listen, and that means not just hearing what is being said, but comprehending and even empathizing with what is being said so that you might just be that much more effective when it comes time to help your donor or customer out.

  • Dealing with conflict with “Thank You”

It would be nice if we lived in a world where no one got mad or upset, but that sadly isn’t the case. There are going to be times when you are faced with an initially angry or upset donor or customer, and it’s going to be up to you to have to figure out how to calm them down. One of the easiest ways that any customer service representative or donor recruiter can do this is by taking the time to listen to what is being said. Then thank them for being willing to try the product out or coming in and donating even though they might have had a bad experience either with a product or service. It is amazing how fast the words “thank you” can change someone’s mood.

We’ve all had to call in to a customer service line before for some odd reason or another. Sometimes the experience with the person on the other end of the phone is good and you can hear the respect they have for you as a customer in their voice. Other times you can feel just like you are another brick in the wall or another number in line, and your customer service rep sounds like he is simply trying to get through his day. When it comes to being on the phones, and not having any physical interaction with folks other than speaking and listening, your voice is your ultimate tool. Your voice, depending on what it sounds like, will conjure up an image of either a friendly employee simply trying to do his or her best to meet the needs of the customer or someone who just doesn’t care. When you practice positive voice inflection it will pay off considerably by creating a friendly setting at the very start of your call, immediately placing your customer or donor at ease.

Of course, there are probably many more tips we could have added to this list, but this isn’t a bad start. The biggest thing I try to remember in my own calls is if I was the one on the other end of the line, how would I feel about hearing the way this person is talking to me? Would I be pressed to hang up the phone, or would I be inclined to listen? Would I feel like I’m being helped as a person, or would I question whether I was being adequately assisted after all? There is so much more to be said about producing excellent customer service relations, but as always we want to hear from you.

What do the words “good customer service” mean to yo

For more information about LAMA, please visit McKee Consulting LLC