The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield had a catchphrase, “I get no respect”. If your customers feel they get no respect, you’ll soon be out of a job. One way you can show respect to your customers is by honoring their time.
Today people are busier and busier than just twenty or thirty years ago. People are over scheduled. They work more hours now than ever before.
The last time I checked we still have only twenty-four hours to a day. Today people multi-task working from home in the evenings and even checking email and text messages from home and when they are out shopping.
Time is valuable. That is why people get unhappy when they think someone is wasting or intruding on their time.
When I make an outbound service call or call back to the customer, I ask them if this is a good time for them. I ask this question even when I have an appointment with them. Why do I do this? Situations change. You can listen to the background activity if you are calling someone on the phone for clues. You can tell if they are busy and stressed. You can offer to call back if the timing is wrong. You can suggest they call you when it is a better time.
Other times you may be providing face to face service to a client. Never forget they come to us needing us to do something for them. When they arrive, they want help now. They want everything solved on their schedule. Most of all, they do not want to be made to wait.
You know slow or bad service. Have you ever walked away because the person is just too slow? I have. Slow or bad service is especially frustrating if it is taking too long for a job that should be quick and easily handled.
You would think since we all are busy, and all have experienced slow service it would be easy to remember to be not slow. Don’t do it to your customers! Slow or bad service includes how long someone waits on the telephone.
I find it easy to tell when someone is getting impatient. You should be able to determine that as well. If they are looking at their watches, you know you are probably guilty of doing things too slowly!
You need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Avoid chit-chat or small talk when possible. Sure, both are good to build rapport with the customer, but just shooting the breeze wastes time for this client and those waiting in a physical line or call queue. It’s okay to talk to your customer about their concerns and how you make them whole.
Never forget the great customer service is about putting your customers ahead of your needs. One way you do this is to respect their time. Respecting their time is
- Quickly identifying their needs
- Staying on task
- Seeing things from their point of view
- Solving their concerns the first time
- Avoiding transferring the customer to someone else
- Taking ownership of their concerns
When you do the above items in a timely manner, you show respect for your customer. Good service will build customer loyalty. Customer loyalty adds to your bottom line. It increases profits and you’ll never have a customer say, “I get no respect”.
Customer Care Tip – Give your customer respect by respecting their time.
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Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a writer of speculative fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and reviews books. He’s written for Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine, Thinking About Suicide.com, Author Culture, FrontRowLit.com, The Baseball History Podcast, Writing After Fifty, Sunday School Leadership, Church Leadership, Motivators For Sunday School Workers, The Deacon, Preschool Leadership, Sunday School Leader, and The Baptist Program. For sixteen years, he wrote a weekly newspaper column. He has written five fiction and poetry books. All are available on Amazon.com. His blog “Kepler’s Military History Book Reviews” was named a 100 Best Blogs for History Buffs and has had over 750,000 visitors.