Customer service can profoundly affect the customer experience. This lesson discusses the importance of having a positive outlook while working in customer service. It includes information on setting the tone of an interaction, building strong customer relationships, and working to maintain an authentic demeanor.
The Power of Positive Thinking
Positive attitudes can be contagious! Customer service teams can positively influence customers in many ways. Let’s go over some techniques that can help staff members to keep and maintain a positive attitude in challenging customer service situations.The first technique is all about setting the tone.
It is common for staff to focus on poor interactions with customers instead of the positive events of the day, such as helping to resolve a concern. However, setting the tone for a positive interaction can help to guide the way to a successful customer experience. Let’s look at an example of this.
Renee works at a business where some customers are irritable, frustrated, and/or annoyed. When Renee leaves work, she finds herself focusing on the negative events. These thoughts result in Renee dreading her workday and starting each morning off with a negative attitude. Renee vows to change this behavior by setting the tone.
Before each customer interaction, she puts herself in her customer’s position and considers their viewpoint. After a few days, she feels less anxious when greeting customers because she has begun to reshape her own experience by starting each interaction with a warm smile and a cheerful voice. By beginning each exchange with a positive attitude, Renee is changing her mood and, in turn, the customer response.Another technique to maintaining a positive attitude is to focus on supporting the customer. Customers appreciate service team members when they feel heard and respected. Team members can make their customers feel heard by using reflective listening. Reflective listening involves an active effort to understand the customer’s thoughts, followed by a verbal confirmation of that understanding.
For example, Renee is working with a customer who explains she is planning her upcoming wedding. Renee might respond, ‘It sounds like a busy and exciting time for you!’ By using reflective listening, she is recognizing the significant event that the customer referenced, and showing that she understands how the customer is most likely feeling about the event. By letting the customer know she is being listened to, she is helping to shape a positive interaction.
Another way to positively shape a customer interaction is to provide advocacy, which is a technique that demonstrates the staff’s desire to support and assist the customer. For example, if Renee does not know the answer to a question, she can ask her supervisor to help explore what options may be available to the customer. This type of support will help the customer to feel validated, which will sustain the positive tone of the interaction.Finally, remember that authenticity is key. Being authentic and honest is extremely important. Customers can spot an insincere person immediately.
If the customer experiences genuine and sincere interactions from a customer service team member, they will usually reciprocate the positive attitude and are more likely to trust the staff and the business.
A positive attitude can greatly impact customer service interactions. Setting the tone, using reflective listening, and integrating advocacy into each experience are all important techniques that service team members should use when servicing customers.
Staff members must also be authentic in order to gain the customer’s trust.