By Lonnie Hershberger
Happy Customer Service Day! That’s right, January 17th is the day designated for honoring customer service reps everywhere, and we certainly appreciate our hard-working team here at ProVia. This is also an opportunity to spend a few moments reflecting on how we can make customer service the best it can be. We find it’s essential to have the right people in place, and we cultivate and support certain characteristics in them. Here’s our checklist of what we look for from our customer service staff:
1. Honesty is crucial in developing a relationship of trust with customers. Communication done with honesty builds a foundation of reliability. This creates belief with customers, knowing they’ll receive the necessary information and direction to help them. Delivering good news, or sometimes bad news, to customers with honesty builds a great relationship. Customers learn they can trust the message received, and know we’re working with integrity on their behalf.
2. Dependability means that we do what we say we’ll do and can be counted on in all situations. Answering calls promptly, following through on situations, returning calls in a timely manner, providing quotes on time, accurately processing orders and diligently helping customers configure difficult units are a few examples of dependability. Reps with this attribute also take ownership of situations that they’re working on. Responsibility or blame is not assigned to others; each rep manages their own requests from start to finish.
3. Knowledgeable means that we expertly assist customers with requests for information. Knowledgeable reps don’t always know all of the information, but know where to find it in an efficient manner. We are always striving to learn as much as possible about the products we support. This trait is also important within a team because it helps ensure that the same message is being delivered by all members of the team.
4. Positive Outlook means that we search for good in all situations. This creates an upbeat atmosphere for customers and co-workers alike. For example, when we receive a request we’re unable to deliver on, we strive to provide alternatives, rather than simply stating “no.” This is a can-do and make-it-happen orientation. People are drawn to others who are cheerful, helpful, caring and fulfilled. This trait is always noticeable in phone conversations and email communication.
5. Caring Attitude is the primary trait that separates great customer service from average customer service. Individuals with a caring attitude have a passion for serving. A caring attitude means we understand customer’s situations and questions from their point of view, seeking out options and solutions to satisfy them. We strive to help with every opportunity provided. Our satisfaction is derived from knowing we’ve given our best in every situation.
We hold these characteristics in the highest regard, and remind ourselves often that these are key to any company’s success.