Go the Extra Mile - The Secrets to Great Customer Service

Wherever we happen to work, we are all consumers, all 'customers', and everyone enjoys it when we get really good service. But what, exactly, does 'great customer service' mean? And what are the best ways to provide it?

Customer service means putting yourself in their shoes

You might be at work, but you're still a consumer... and that is your best customer service weapon! As a human being you already know exactly how to treat your fellow human beings, simply because it's the way you like to be treated yourself.

When someone puts themselves in your shoes they understand you, they know what you're going through, they know exactly how you feel. It makes you feel someone is on your side, that they care about you. It's called empathy, and it makes us feel good.

At TGC Asia our customer-facing staff all get plenty of practical training in how to give great customer service. But empathy always sits at the heart of it, and that's something every human being has plenty of. Here's how to harness your own natural empathy to provide really good service, whether it's when someone wants to buy a policy, make a claim, renew their cover, cancel it, add extra cover to their policy or anything else.

18 top customer service tips

  1. Respond quickly
  2. Be polite, kind and understanding
  3. This isn't the time to chat – you've got business to do. It's good to be friendly and welcoming, but you're not there to have an idle conversation
  4. Smile when you talk – people can 'hear' your smile over the phone
  5. Use the person's name in your conversation so they feel you genuinely care
  6. Make sure they feel that their call or email matters to you
  7. Always acknowledge the person's problem and make sure you understand it properly
  8. Listen carefully to what the person wants – Be a good listener
  9. Don't react if someone is angry. Stay calm yourself and they will also calm down
  10. Don't take it personally – if someone is frustrated, they're frustrated with the situation, not with you
  11. Use simple, clear language, not insurance jargon – it's important for people to understand what you're saying
  12. Always be positive and upbeat
  13. There's no need to rush things. Quality means investing time in getting things right
  14. Know how to say 'no' with charm, firmness and positivity, so you don't cause offence
  15. If something else needs to happen before the customer is happy, be clear about when you will call them back, send a letter, change their policy, whatever it is that they need to complete the matter
  16. If you don't know the answer to a question, don't pretend you do. Say, “I don't know the answer to that, but I'll find out for you”
  17. Before you end the conversation, make sure there's nothing else you can help them with
  18. Always end the conversation by confirming all the details back to the person so they're 100% clear about what has happened and, if something else needs to happen, when it will happen

It feels good to help someone, to give them what they need, to make their day better. That's why customer service is such a cool job. Get it right and you'll leave work every day feeling wonderful!

Posted on 21 March, 2018 Reading time 4:15 mins

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