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100 Customer Service Tips by Larry Williams

Quality Insider

Gratitude Is as Great to Give as Receive

Give to your community and it will give back to you

Published: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 06:00

Gratitude is something that is as great to give as it is to receive. There are many ways in which you can show your appreciation to your customers. Likewise there are many ways our customers do the same. These tips will help you focus on ways to restore the faith of customers who may have become frustrated and accustomed to workers who simply go through the motions without truly caring.

Give back to your community

Public service in any form is a worthy activity. People always recognize and appreciate those who roll up their shirtsleeves and help their communities. The act of giving back and participating in community-oriented events, fundraisers, and awareness campaigns are not only good for your soul but will also impress onlookers.

There are many ways you can offer your products or give your time to help the community. When you are approached for donations or support, know your company’s protocol. If the request needs to be handled by a particular individual, follow the chain of command to the proper person.

If you can fill a need through your talent and expertise, do it. Be humble, and consider that your involvement is a small contribution that will contribute to the success of the event. If your company sponsors a Little League team, the Special Olympics, or some other popular cause, share it with your customers. Let them know that by supporting your business, they are also supporting a cause. Do some research on how your contributions are put to use and share that information with your customers as well (e.g., new uniforms and softball equipment were purchased, or your staff helped present the Special Olympics).

Community involvement is a powerful affirmation of your character. The positive recognition you receive, not to mention the goodwill and referrals, will add greatly to your reputation.

Earn your gratuity

There are several circumstances, especially in the hospitality industry, where tips are customary and expected. In some cases, it is factored into the final cost of the service. Many employees are hired at a reduced hourly rate, so the gratuities provide the majority of their revenue source.

Nevertheless, even when tips are customary, a tip must be earned. Customers generally consider a tip optional, even for someone who meets or exceeds expectations. It is give and take, not an entitlement. The longer you work in customer service, the better you will understand the connection between exceptional customer service and gratuities.

There are many employee positions where no established gratuity policy exists. If your position is one where tips are not expected, don’t anticipate one. Expecting a tip may subconsciously affect the manner in which you treat customers. Never make the mistake of assuming that tips entitle customers to better customer service.

Customer service is taking care of the customers’ needs. The customer’s economic class or willingness to tip should never matter. Work hard to earn the praise of your customers. If that praise happens to come in the form of a gratuity, consider it an unexpected benefit for a job well done.

Your ability to say “thank you” through your actions and work performance will be greatly appreciated by your customers. Remember: They have probably seen their fair share of bad service. Surprise them by being a standout customer service representative.

In my next column, I’ll give you some tips on the mental preparation needed to achieve great customer service.

Discuss

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.