Why the Individual Should Come Before the Customer in Customer Service Training
Confident people are better at being assertive, starting conversations with customers and generally able to engage with people they do not know. However, not everyone who works in a customer service environment is as described. Many who succeed the interview and then move into the reality of being at the customer coalface find conversing and interacting with customers, painfully difficult. For some, being in the customer arena can be quite daunting and stressful. And , from the customer perspective, people who are less than willing to engage come across as being not particularly bothered about the customer experience which doesn’t do much for an organisation’s customer service ratings!
Shyness inhibiting good customer service
One of the biggest hindrances to effective communication is shyness. Suffers often find it hard to listen to what people are saying and in turn get tongue tied or can be curt in their response. One definition of shyness is ‘avoidance of company’. Many of us have been on the receiving end of retail shop assistance who has tried to bury their head in a rail of clothes to avoid answering a question…. Many other avoidance tactics are also often evident.
Causes of Shyness
Some individuals think very negatively of themselves and end up being trapped in a net of self-doubt. Others people are concerned with failure and think they will look silly if they don’t know the right answer or solution. For some, a bad experience in the early stages of working with customers, or being on the receiving end of a complaining customer, can be the trigger of feeling unassertive.
The ‘Me Brand’
When confidence is low, it is not necessarily the right time to head straight into customer service development that focuses on ‘how to understand the customer’ including customer behaviours, customer needs. Instead, it makes far more sense for the first development step to centre on personal development, self-awareness and building confidence. This can be done by creating a ‘Me Brand’. After all, without confidence in yourself, how can you give ‘wow’ customer service and create a memorable customer experience?
Those lacking in confidence can benefit from understanding and buying into how they can contribute to the customer experience; by knowing their strengths and how to play to them, as well as their natural attributes, brings huge benefits. Once a ‘Me Brand’ is created and the confidence is there, then it’s appropriate to move the focus of the learning to the needs of the customer.