Sometimes you can’t help it. You gasp. You get upset. You get angry. You have this look of shock on your face. You say something defensive. You react.
I love people who are in customer service roles. These are the folks that people say things to in the business world that you wouldn’t expect. They are dealing with rude and obnoxious customers, odd situations, and complaints they didn’t cause. The topic and the person that they’re having to deal with can change literally minute-by-minute.
And through it all, these customer service stars try to be caring to that other person. They try to be selfless. They try to balance the company, the customer, and the co-worker.
But even customer service stars aren’t perfect, and they should not expect themselves to be perfect.
We’re all human, and we all react. The difference between people who are truly great in customer service and those who are simply in a customer service job is that those who are great may follow-up that natural reaction with reflection and a response based on that reflection.
The reflection involves understanding the situation, quickly understanding your own role, and then trying to create empathy in the moment for that other individual. The reflection is looking back on the similar experiences you have encountered in the past, the training you’ve received, and identifying the best ways to handle this unique situation.
That reflection is followed in the response – one where the combination of body language and tone of voice and the words you use and how you engage others is done in a thoughtful, professional, and solution-oriented manner.
Those who are great in customer service react naturally. We all do because we’re all human. But those who are dealing with these trying situations and these challenging customers are great at not letting that reaction continue unabated through the conversation. Reflection leading to a thoughtful response is what separates the good from the great.
React, Reflect, Respond.