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100 Customer Service Tips by Larry Williams

Quality Insider

Everyone Likes to Be Recognized and Complimented

The road to sales is paved with friendly conversation

Published: Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 15:39

A large part of developing a rapport with customers is to offer a conversational tone that is warm and inviting. This can sometimes be achieved by paying close attention to the little things a customer might say. Search out ways to take your verbal exchanges down a road that is paved with friendly conversation.

Recognize and acknowledge

As you get to know your customers, you might discover some things about them that are worthy of your praise. If you learn of a birthday, marriage, anniversary, graduation, or other recent milestone, offer your congratulations. It’s a quick and easy way to instantly put a smile on their faces.

Look for things that can allow you to offer sincere validation of their interests as well. Acknowledgements can mean a great deal to people. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, just so long as your questions take on the form of “small talk.” Don’t let customers perceive you as someone who is prying into their personal lives.

For example, if a customer is wearing a New York Yankees ball cap or other piece of clothing, break the ice by acknowledging him as a fan. Tell him of your favorite team. You will be surprised where a conversation like this might lead. You might even learn of his graduation from college, recent marriage, or other achievement.

The key here is to know when to back off and get back to business. Always get to know your customers and support their achievements and interests. When you can genuinely “warm up” a customer, you will have crossed the first hurdle in public relations.

Appreciate every compliment

Compliments fuel your passion. Every compliment is like a brick being laid for the construction of your dream home. Without compliments, the dream never becomes reality. With them is a feeling of pride and knowledge that each brick has a purpose that contributes to the overall structure.

The next time someone gives you a compliment, listen intently. You will be able to measure the sincerity in her voice and see it in her eyes. Some forms of gratitude are so heartfelt you can’t help but feel overjoyed. Most people in our society don’t give compliments freely throughout their day. When they do, appreciate the effort and the choice of words used.

But never let compliments go to your head. Let them be the fuel that drives your passion to give good customer service. Enjoy the moment, but not for too long. Get right back to work and let your achievement inspire even more focused efforts for customer service.

Appreciate every compliment that comes your way. Accept compliments graciously and work hard to deserve the trust and praise of your customers.


Sales are not always about the pitch. To the contrary, a more effective approach is to make the customer feel at ease with you. Work to create the environment that helps them feel comfortable with you and the sales process.

Next week we’ll travel outside the workplace to find conditions that can jeopardize your employment.


About The Author

100 Customer Service Tips by Larry Williams’s picture

100 Customer Service Tips by Larry Williams

For more than 20 years, Larry Williams has been a respected public speaker, journalist, and business entrepreneur. He is recognized and awarded for his business professionalism, community service, and national involvement in a very high-profile child abduction case. Through his leadership, educational offerings, and public speaking, Larry Williams has set a standard for customer service that is recognized and emulated regionally and nationally; and he “tells it like it is” in his book, Customer Service A to Z.