I hear this consistently in training and coaching. The myth goes like this: In order to give really outstanding service, you have to spend a lot more time with each customer.
BALDERDASH! (Does anyone still use this word?)
A professor of mine used to hammer into my young, impressionable head that "the difference between good and great is in the details". He was a wise man, and he was correct. The difference between average service and World-Class service is usually several small details done consistently and done well. Details, I might add, that add little or no time to the call:
- "May I..?" Customers like to feel that they have a say or that they have a sense of control. Asking the customer rather than telling the customer can be a subtle but powerful weapon that will lead to satisfied, pleasant customers.
- "Please" It amazes me how many people have never learned to use this little word. It turns a robotic CSR barking out military style demands ("Account number?! What’s your address?! Order number?!") into a pleasant request ("Your account number, please?")
- "Thank you" Thank you isn’t just for the close of the call. You can say thank you for the customer having her customer/order number ready. You can say thank you for bringing a problem to light. You can say thank you for the customer’s compliment.
- "You’re welcome" When the customer thanks you, respond with actual words. Grunting out an "uh-huh", a "yep" or "sure" sounds unprofessional and unenthusiastic.
When it comes to dishing out customer service, courtesy is a sweetner. Sprinkle a little on each part of the call and the experience will be more palatable for your customer (and ultimately more satisfying for you!).