How to Deliver Customer Service Like an Athlete

By Drew Stevens, Ph.D.

Peter Drucker once stated that the purpose of every American business is one thing – creating customers. Research by the American Management Association show that your average HAPPY customer will tell 3 people about her experience with you. Research shows that, out of 25 dissatisfied customers, one customer complain, 24 are dissatisfied but do not complain, and 6 of 24 non complainers have serious issues with the organization. More importantly for selling professionals, customer service is included in 40 percent of every client interaction.

I remember the greatest words I ever heard when seeking to repair my computer after a 3 hour conversation, the representative getting tired stated, “You are a customer, and I will get this repaired for you no matter what”. When you supply grand slam customer service, your business costs are lower and your success greater.

Great Service Requires Great Solutions

After doing some research, I have discovered that the key to grand slam customer service is practicing it. Just like an athlete practices for an event, or the musician practices for a concert, the service provider must practice. Here is my seven-step protocol to enhance your service delivery based on my course Split Second Customer Service™.

PRACTICE ™ Customer Service

  • Positive First Impression – you must be genuinely interested in assisting others. passion and empathy separates the athletes from the spectators.
  • Rapport – 98% of every interaction involves trust and respect. Ensure you establish rapport with every client.
  • Assess the Issue – Asking provocative questions is the only way to get to the heart and soul of every issue.
  • Communication – The best communicators listen first and speak second. Athletes know when to ask and when to tell.
  • Time Management – Customer Service representatives are trained to expeditiously respond to issues but can you do this qualitatively too?
  • Interest – Gaining interest requires an understanding of the multi generational and cultural issues that assist in building rapport and becoming genuinely being interested in others, a famous Dale Carnegie and biblical trait.
  • Closing on a Positive Note – Always close your calls on the positive side seeking to address any open issues and questions.
  • Evaluation  – Customer service requires conviction and passion to aid others. Once complete with your calls ensure you also evaluate to carry these themes from call to call.

No Clients are the same

You must adjust this process to fit your business and strategy. Ensure success by evaluating your clients, and your staff to closely align the staff with compelling client needs. Document your successes and discuss these with your team, so that your game plans adjust as new needs arise.

© 2008. Drew J. Stevens. All rights reserved.

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