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- Customer Service & Satisfaction
Everything is a lesson
Difficult customers are lovely people with unlovely requests, or unlovely people with lovely request. The thing is to persuade yourself that there is a tiny percentage of positive in dealing with annoying customers.
I passed through this by overcoming several stages which enabled me to observe myself, my potential and human psychology:
Phase I - Warrior
Having insignificant experience in customer services, I used to think that it was my destiny to deal with the grayest customers, i.e. those whose case was urgent, difficult, unbearable, unreasonable and weird. Given the business card of each customer service representative was to balance the environment through delivering excellent customer services, any angry loud request had to be handled for the customer's benefit and with white-teeth smile on my face. Normally happy and normal people were a rare case, for my smile doubled, and endeavor maximized and I rushed to make extra efforts to meet and exceed normal people's expectations. But given the overwhelming majority of my customer base, I used to daily mask my face with professionally happy smile as my only weapon, and get engaged into your-every-problem-will-be-solved battle to the detriment of my nervous system and tolerance in order to confide everyone that customer services in Armenia is a rarity but possible.
Morale:If you think to become a customer service ambassador, learn to always keep your smile and patience on "show-must-go-on" mode.
Phase II - Customer services is not a battle field, but if I had a gun...
Acquiring some essential skills and competencies, handling sticky and thorny inquiries was not a torture for me anymore. I knew every hall under each window and learnt the know-hows to face angry requests and resolve them. However, I didn't miss any opportunity to rebuke sharply the lack of discipline of my customers refusing to accept varied stupid requests and aggressive disposition of people. But next day I again received the same customers with foxy happy smile but "uncomfortable" feeling inside.
Morale:Never speak bad of your customers even in company of your friends. It is not professional.
Phase III - I am OK, but I have a gun (just in case)
Listening to customers' stories, especially when all your customers are lonely housewives dying to tell their story to be appreciated and comforted, certainly required special ears and my entire reservoir of energy. But I was on the safe side to know that they would be happy ultimately to be served by me, because I was there to delightfully answer all their foolish questions. Nevertheless, I noticed that I needed my gun by the end of the day when I was totally fatigued and didn't care of those silly stories and unhappy faces.
Morale: Customers should never know that you are falling with fatigue, hungry, angry and want to go to the toilet.
Phase IV - Everything is possible
Soon I learnt to effectively communicate with talkative customers which helped me manage my time and priorities and save my energy. When they started telling me their story with unhappy end, I started playing on words and face gesture, which served as a kind reminder and was followed by polite apologize and thankfulness to be permitted to serve the long queue in due time and manner.
Morale: Every customer is a unique and requires special communication method. To be professional, try to scan your customer to design his/her specific communication tool.
Phase V - Everything is a lesson
The fifth phase has commenced and officially has been completed today when my colleague shared a wonderful idea "Angry people strive to change their environment for the better, therefore their behavior is constructive". While moving forward our career ladder we meet many people who turn out to be “perfect” teachers. Being teenagers, we hated strict teachers who were demanding towards their subject. Nevertheless, we remember by heart their subject and now name those teachers "professionals".
Morale: Through finding the rationale of your customer’s behavior, you will take personal responsibility to self-develop and take the best out of everything.