Really, having worked in Customer Service for the past 4 years or so (in various fields) I cannot stress enough how important it is that the CUSTOMER COMES FIRST! (No, not THAT KIND of come). It really irritates me sometimes how some CSAs can be so stupid. Or rude.
I used to work for a chain bookstore, and used to receive complaints from customers that one of our other outlets had a crummy attitude, though they had a wider range of books. Now I didn’t believe them (because from my experience of working at my branch, customers come first and we were “reminded” gently whenever possible that it’s not a good thing to send the customers all over the place, in fact it was frowned upon) but when it happened to me, I was shocked and surprised.
Customer service is one of the most important factors for any retail store. In fact, sometimes it’s the deciding factor between two similar stores. That’s why I like shopping at where I used to work despite the fact that they were slightly more expensive. So, here are my tips for those who are thinking of working in that line (no, this only applies to face-to-face service. I’ve had no experience with telephony):
- BE POLITE. You may be feeling like shit, you may not want to smile, you may want to bite that customer’s head off, but you should mind your Ps and Qs. You don’t have to smile (will be covered in the following) BUT MIND YOUR MANNERS AT ALL TIMES. It will NOT kill you.
- SMILE. Well, not really. Some people’s smiles are scary, but they are nice people in the end. It’s one of the nicer things in life, just smiling. However, be warned that the most innocent of smiles can make a baby cry. *Snickers*
- DROP EVERYTHING. Alright, this should be number 1, but it doesn’t always have to be. There are times when you simply cannot attend to a customer (an almost-bursting bladder is one of them), but you should direct them to the nearest PERSONNEL you see at hand, not the nearest service desk.
- KNOW WHERE IS WHERE. Familiarize yourself with where everything is.
- IF IT’S NOT WITHIN YOUR JOBSCOPE BUT YOU KNOW WHERE/HOW TO GET IT, DO IT. This is an especially important tip to remember if you’re sure you know where it is, and you can do it relatively quickly. Saves you time, makes the customer happy, and shows that you have initiative.
Bah. Some people should never be allowed to handle customers.