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Innovating Service With Chip Bell

Customer Care

How to Get Really Great Customer Service

The first 10 seconds are vital to shaping the reception you are likely to get

Published: Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 12:01

Ever notice how some people always get the best table, the upgraded room, or the best cut of meat at the market? Great customer service is not an accident. Those who are served well follow a recipe that turns even a cold initial encounter into a warm one. Here are five tips for almost always getting really great customer service.

1. Check your pessimism at the door

Enter the service scene with the expectation that greatness is about to happen, and that it should happen to you. Visualize being served well. Then, let your obvious positive attitude come from your terrific mental picture. Avoid making demands. Put your energy into creating early lighthearted vibes.

2. Manage the first 10 seconds

The first 10 seconds are vital to shaping the reception you are likely to get. Aim your eyes and best smile straight at the service provider. Deliver a greeting that loudly proclaims, “We are about to have some unbelievable festivity here. And you’re invited!” Be confident, but not pushy. Assume you just encountered a future friend.

3. Help the service provider give you greatness

Most service people want to give good service. Sometimes, barriers make it difficult. Be a willing helper in clearing barriers away. If the barrier is a foul mood, try a sincere compliment to turn sour into sunny. If the barrier is an absurd policy, offer a suggestion that helps you get what you want without getting the service person in trouble.

4. Always lace your encounters with respect

No matter how determined a service provider seems to want to provide the bare minimum, treat the server with the utmost respect. Sometimes “no” is an unshakable “no!” Your best manners—“please,” “sirs,” and “thank yous”–can work wonders. That chilly initial reception will generally thaw if you continue being warm and cheerful.

5. Be generous and thoughtful

Never view a service encounter as a single transaction but rather the start of an important relationship. Praise service people to their superiors. Express your compliments to great service providers with a follow-up call. The next time you return, you’ll likely get their red-carpet best.

Don’t wait for great service to come to you. Take charge of elevating the encounter from a “pretty good” transaction to an “I wouldn’t go anywhere else” relationship.

First published July 21, 2020, on Chip Bell’s website.

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About The Author

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Innovating Service With Chip Bell

Chip Bell has helped companies dramatically enhance their bottom lines and marketplace reputation through innovative customer-centric strategies. For the sixth year in a row, Global Gurus in 2020 ranked Bell as one of the top three keynote speakers in the world on customer service. Bell has authored 23 books; seven are international best sellers. His latest book, Inside Your Customer’s Imagination: 5 Secrets for Creating Breakthrough Products, Services, and Solutions, shows how co-creation partnerships enable you to tap into the treasure trove of ideas, ingenuity, and genius-in-the-raw within every customer.