Having established the importance of good Communication Skills in the customer service environment, let us move on to another important aspect of keeping a business vibrant with customer service excellence. Let us consider the ability to provide and display a high level of credibility as we interact with customers.
The meaning of credibility
What is credibility? According to Mind Tools, the root of the word “credibility” is “credo,” which means “I believe” in Latin. Put simply, credibility is the feeling of trust and respect that you inspire in others. In this case, the “others” are your customers.
Building credibility is not an easy task. It is one that takes time and effort; but it is achievable. In your effort to inspire that trust and respect among your customers, here are some areas that will certainly help and which are well worth considering.
Your own expertise
A good place to start is in your own ability to be fully knowledgeable about your company’s products and services. The confidence you will inspire here will establish your credibility not only with your immediate customer, but also with their friends and family members to whom they pass on this information about you and the company you represent. And if, perchance, you do not have the answer the customer needs right away, then it certainly makes all the difference if you know where it can be found. Then, having found it, you are able to deliver it.
Show respect and caring
Do not make “light” of a customer’s concern or complaint. Show empathy instead by imagining yourself in the same position, and the way you would like to be treated. Show a willingness to find satisfactory solutions to problems–solutions that really work, rather than those that cause further problems after a while. And resist assigning blame to another colleague or department when a complaint is brought to your attention. Remember, you are building credibility.
Very often we encounter people who feel it is quite acceptable to speak ill of the competition–the companies that offer the same service or product that theirs does. It really is not acceptable. Let us show respect for other companies by avoiding this behavior, which only serves to make the competition look more attractive in the eyes of your customer.
When a customer elects to do business with your company, as we well know, it is a choice that customer has made. Therefore, award that customer for the choice made, by showing your highest level of professionalism as you interact with him or her.
- Resist the urge to divulge details of a customer’s transaction to others. This is an area of trust that customers expect from you–and rightly so. The need for privacy in their affairs is much sought after by the people who patronize our business places. Please give it to them. They will repay you with their loyalty
- Use polite and courteous language as you communicate with customers
- Follow through in a timely manner with promises you made to customers
- Treat all customers alike–fairly
- Resist any urge to complain to your customers about management or working conditions
- Present yourself professionally in attire that follows the dress code of your place of business
- If an error was made, admit it and go on to make a correction.
These are a few crucial steps one should take in striving for one’s credibility within the work environment. Surely there are others, but begin with these. They will lead to immediate satisfaction among customers, which is our ultimate goal.