The greatest customer service trait: Do your employees possess it?

Good customer service isn’t the sole province of a customer service department. It’s more of a companywide attitude. Does your company have the right attitude?

Fact is, most departments deal with a slew of “customers” all day.

Take Finance, for example.

Staffers there interact with everyone from actual customers to vendors to the internal customers they serve as they field payroll questions, handle expense reimbursements, help managers budget, etc.

While managers are probably sure to stress the importance of being customer-friendly, if folks don’t possess this one trait, they won’t be too successful.

That trait: empathy.

It’s more than “saying it with a smile.” Many people think of  “customer service” as the ability to be perky and friendly. Not so.

The real secret is the ability to put oneself in the customer’s place and react accordingly.
That doesn’t mean giving people everything they want. That’s the last mindset you want folks to adopt.

But encourage staffers to develop more empathy.

Two ways:

  • Ask ’em to think about who their “customers” are. Yes, Credit’s customers are your external customers, but salespeople count, too.
  • Encourage them to walk in the customers shoes. If someone misses a deadline to get a reimbursement check, they miss the deadline. But talk with staffers about the best way to break that news.

Adapted from “The Greatest Customer Service Trait,” by Rick Weaver, at http://customer-relationship-mgt.bestmanagement

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