Customer Service isn’t just a skill – it’s an art. People are complex creatures and the key is to unlock what makes them tick. This can take years of practice to get right, and hundreds of weird and wonderful experiences to truly understand.

And even when you think you’ve got it, that one customer challenges everything you thought you knew. Why? Well, we bet you’ll agree that no day (or customer) is the same in business. But hey, that’s why we love it.

Lots of things make up truly brilliant customer service. And it will continue to become such a sought-after skill. You’ve got to spend a bit of time polishing up your skills to really stand out as a small growing business in today’s competitive world.

So how can you master such a valuable asset? Here are 6 simple ways you can give better customer service today.

1. Identify What The Customer Needs (Before They Even Know Themselves)

A person’s body language and behaviours can give you insight into what’s on their mind. For example, a simple scratch on their head could mean they need help deciding, or a smile and eye contact across the room that they need assistance. So pay a little more attention next time you’re at work. Keep your eyes peeled – you may find clues as to how you can identify customers’ needs quicker, and better. Meaning you can attend to them more efficiently and keep them satisfied. A core element in service!

2. The Answer is Always Yes (Even If It’s No!)

Sometimes, you just aren’t able to provide what the customer needs. Maybe you don’t have the resources, time, or knowledge. For example, a guest wants to book an appointment but your diary is full. So, the answer is no. Or is it? Remember, there’s always a way. Even if you’re busy, take that one extra step to offer an alternative (Try not to say the word ‘no’, or ‘I’m afraid not’, as this can feel negative.) Suggest a different time, an altered service, or even the opportunity to book their next appointment online if you’re shut. So yes, they can have an appointment, but no to that particular time.

3. Always Make Your Customer Feel Good

“The customer is always right” is a phrase I’m sure everyone has come across. While anyone who’s in a customer-facing business may honestly admit this isn’t true, it should still be the overall approach. Why? Well, the aim of superior customer service is always making your customers feel good. And that means they should be right and get what they want (within reason). Sure, they aren’t always going to be happy, and you may not be able to meet their every need, but that won’t last – because every situation can be turned around.

4. Keep A Positive Attitude No Matter What’s Thrown At You

Situations arise on a daily basis that are sent to test us. It can be hard to stay positive when you’re stressed and have a million and one things to do. But don’t let that bring you down. Try and find the up-side! Every negative experience can be turned into a positive. Business must go on – no matter what. It can be an emotional rollercoaster, and you’ve just got to keep riding it. And hiding stress and negativity from your customers is the key to giving better customer service.

5. Quickly Learn How Attentive You Should Be (And Keep It Personal)

Each and every customer has different wants and needs. It’s sometimes a challenge to figure out how to communicate with them. Do they want me to talk? How much should I talk with them? Should I help them more? Do they need me? Dozens of questions! But take a couple of minutes to read into their body language, and listen to them. This will help decipher how much they need/want your services, and is usually learned through these questions. This takes some time and practice, but once you’ve nailed it, you’ll be able to tailor it to each customer – making it more personal and unique.

6. Give a Good Balance of Professionalism and Friendliness

Every business will establish the most appropriate way to communicate with customers. This will depend on the type of business you are, but remaining a good balance of being professional and friendly is a great way to achieve better customer service. Why? Friendliness is what entices a customer to use your service/product, but remaining professional reminds them that you are a business. They are paying you for that service/product, and they expect it to be delivered. And to do that, you have to mix your friendly attitude with ‘back-to-business’ approach. Not as easy as it sounds, but try for a 50/50 balance to see the best results.

So there you go! Give them a try today – your customers will love you for it.

Published on 13 December 2015