Those Customer Service Skills Really Do Come in Handy
Like many of you, my first job when I turned 16 was working retail. I learned a lot of valuable lessons during my customer service days.
- Most often, they just want to be heard. Whatever is upsetting your customer (or client), it is important to them that you know it and understand it. Sometimes the simple act of letting them rant a little bit and acknowledging that you hear what they are saying may be all it takes to diffuse a situation.
- We don’t have all the answers. Sure, we may know what’s expected of us and what we’ve been tasked with doing, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ideas worth considering. Ask what else you should consider, are there other ways to approach the situation, what would they do if they were in your shoes? You might get an idea or two worth looking in to.
- Sometimes no matter what you say or do, you may not be able to make everyone happy. That’s a hard one for me. And I suspect it is for a lot of you. But if both sides can agree to disagree, the likelihood of getting to a solution increases significantly.
So here I am, 37 years later and those skills have come in handy this week, as they have on many occasions in my career. Pretty sure at the time I didn’t consider how working in customer service would apply to the “real world,” but it was definitely the best early training for this PR career.