Standouts in the sports, entertainment, business, and political fields are sometimes said to have “an air about them.” Unfortunately, that definition of air sometimes is perceived as an air of superiority or an air of condescension or something that doesn’t always have the most positive connotations.
Well, the greats in customer service have more of a presence than an air, and that presence is a presence of mind. It’s a phrase we don’t hear as much about as we used to, but it’s all about being in-the-moment. It is being able – based on the unique circumstances of this specific situation at this point in time – to know what to say or not to say. It’s about knowing what to do or not to do. It’s about thinking of alternatives and options and resources, all while maintaining your emotions and helping to manage the customer’s emotions.
This is one of the most difficult things to do in customer service. It’s being able to be agile in your approach at any given instance based on the situation.
Some people are really good at customer service, but if the circumstances go off script or require thinking out of the box, the conversation can go awry. Maybe they have difficulty with the emotions or are hesitant to or unable to come up with the alternatives.
If you want to be GREAT at customer service, know your resources. Know your co-workers. Know your policies and procedures. Know the alternatives and the options and the next steps you can share. And above all, know your customers. Ask enough questions so that you can head them in the direction that’s going to work for their unique instance.
To be great, cultivate your presence of mind by building your knowledge, adding to your service recovery toolkit, and practicing for the most difficult of situations so that those that are routinely tough are easier for you to navigate.
Cultivate your customer service presence of mind.