Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Customer Service Jobs Require More Than A Smile


In the world of customer service, there are no strangers, just friends you haven't met yet. And unfortunately, some of those new friends are mean, rude and just weird. But no matter the disposition of your customer de jour, your demeanor should always be poised and professional.

You"ve probably heard the expression, "The customer is always right." No one is always right, not even customers, so we've slightly amended this phrase to read as follows, "The customer is always right...if you want to keep your job." And you do want to keep your job, right? In this economy, jobs are precious resources.

So if you want to excel in the customer service field, there are a few things to remember. A smile goes a long way, but attentive, professional service goes even further. Not every customer is going to leave your business happy, but by treating people with the same respect you expect from them, you can at least minimize the damage a miserable customer can do to you and your company.

Here are a few customer service tips broken down by the most popular customer service industries:

"Counter" culture and retail jobs
When people think about customer service jobs, they often think about the cash register jockeys breaking change, and the sales floor employees folding sweaters and stocking shelves. These retail jobs can be stressful, especially during the holiday shopping season. (And if you haven't already started your seasonal job search, this is a great place to look). One way to ease the stress of these retail gigs is to embrace the diversity they offer. Ask your manager if you can move departments, or see if you can cross-train to learn a new skill set. For example, if you're a store greeter charged with making a positive first impression with customers, see if you can be a changing room attendant.

Manners are on the menu at restaurant jobs
Restaurant jobs may be the most demanding of customer service jobs. You're always on your feet, hungry people aren't always the most polite, and the late-night and weekend hours can be demanding. But these jobs can be especially rewarding because they're one of the few gigs where your effort and positive attitude are directly linked to your earning potential. That's right; tips represent the bulk of the pay for servers, bartenders and even bussers. So remember: Grabbing that extra serving of blue cheese dressing or bringing the undercooked steak back to the kitchen after a sincere apology can reap you big rewards on the flip side.

Dialing in call center jobs
Taking a steady stream of calls from angry and confused customers would be tough to do for 30 minutes. But imagine doing it for eight hours at a time. Many customer services jobs involve never seeing actual customers, but instead talking over headsets while typing up a storm. If you don't have an onsite ergonomic expert at your telemarketing camp, here are a few basic guidelines to make sure that you won't get carpal tunnel syndrome your first week on the job. Be sure to keep your eyes at least 20 inches from your computer screen, adjust the monitor to your eye level and keep your feet positioned firm on the ground. And don't slouch. Working at a desk or cube all day can make you feel cramped and restless.

There are, of course, customer service jobs in a number of additional industries we can't fit here. Just remember: When conducting your next job search, make sure to find out how you'll be interacting with customers - and whether or not that fits your personality.

1 comment:

Gwen Ann Wilson said...

Customer Service Representatives are important part of the company. Yes it requires more than a smile... Thanks for sharing.
To those who are interested on having a Customer Service career path, please visit New Customer Service Jobs for the latest job of the day review.