This week, our Commercial Director, Geoff Slaughter tells us why he believes good customer service skills are developed through life experiences and not something that can necessarily be taught…
In every role I’ve had throughout my career, I have always believed in delivering the best customer service possible. Not for altruistic reasons, but rather that I genuinely believe that in the long term, you will get more business by providing a better service, it’s as simple as that. That focus was exactly the same when I was a young sales executive stepping out onto my territory for the first time right through to when I was an experienced director of a large multinational organisation. My belief was always that in order to be successful, we had to deliver the highest level of service possible.
As a manager, whenever I took a new role, I would invariably share the ‘customer focus’ message during one of my early meetings with the team. Very often it would result in a debate, where we would end up discussing not whether there is value in good customer service, but rather, whether team members needed training to be able to provide good customer service.
My contention is this: we all know what good customer service is, we don’t need to be trained.
We experience customer service in our everyday lives, and in every case, we, the customer knows if the service we received was good or not! So many times, my wife has taken time to explained the excellent service she received when she returned something to a high street shop, or my son will complain about the attitude of the guy changing his car tyre…my point is this, without any formal training and even with little life experience, we all understand when we have received good service and it is that satisfaction that we need to deliver to our own customers.
Even though we can’t always give the customer what they want, it’s amazing how much further you will get if you are polite and smile. After all, manners cost nothing and it makes sense that given the choice of being polite, or adopting an arrogant stance, you should choose the one that makes the customer happier to deal with you.
Next time you receive a complaint from a client, or a request that’s a little challenging, try and remember the times that you’ve smiled as you’ve walked away from a shop, delighted by how they treated you and the importance they seemed to place upon your request; then turn it around onto your customers. There’s no training necessary and it’ll be worth it, I assure you.