This post was originally published by Colton Robbins on lessonly.com.
What is it about us as pet owners that keeps our furry friends content in our homes and loyal to us for eternity? Is it our commitment to keeping them happy and healthy? Maybe it’s our cheerfulness and kindness toward them. Or it might just be the abundance of belly rubs and back scratches.
I hope that both of my pets stick around for all of those reasons. And much like our dedication to our pets, as customer service professionals, I want to demonstrate the same kind of care and commitment to my customers—maybe minus the belly rubs.
My furry family has not only taught me how to keep something alive for more than a month at a time, but they both also helped me answer this question: What are three important qualities of customer service? I think it boils down to building trusting relationships, having patience, and being responsive and accessible to their needs.
The fact of the matter is, great customer service matters today more than ever, and that’s not going anywhere.
It’s all about your cat-titude
Let me start by saying, I wouldn’t typically classify myself a cat guy. Sure, my family had two of them growing up, but my relationship with each of them was pretty one-sided. I wanted everything to do with them, and they wanted nothing to do with me.
However, the cat tides turned for me about six years ago when a tiny, extra-toed kitten snuggled her way into my life. Now, she is a permanent fixture not only on all the pillows in my home, but also my lap while I work.
It didn’t start this way, though. As you may know, cats choose the human, not the other way around. It took weeks and months of consistent interaction and attention to gain Iggy’s trust. From feeding her when she howls for food, to buying her a running water fountain, I’ve always dedicated individualized care and effort to what she needs to be happy.
Just like our pets, earning a customer’s trust starts with the ability to deliver consistent and quality service. Trust is foundational to a long-term customer relationship, and the value of it cannot be overstated, especially when you consider that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience.
Much like you may have to buy your cat a water fountain so she likes you, you may need to go out of your way for your customer to deliver trustworthy service.
When I rescued my dog, Nash, I didn’t quite know what I was signing up for. It was a very impulsive decision, and I didn’t plan ahead. Needless to say, I was scrambling to get food, toys, and a bed the night I brought him home from the shelter. As a rescue, saying he required some extra love, attention, and patience would be an understatement—although he has taught me how to extend this same level of commitment to customers as well.
While some situations may be frustrating or may not have an immediate solution, it’s important not to transfer that to the customer you are serving. It helps keep conversations focused on the solution and provides a positive experience for the customer overall.
Patience is the starting point to understanding any customer need. It requires listening, which then provides me as their rep with focus, and ultimately, it allows me to deliver results.
All bark, no bite
If we’re being honest, there isn’t a lot of overlap in personality traits between my pets, but they do both require a lot of care and even more attention. Between routine vet visits and grooming appointments, we are constantly responding to the needs of our pets, just as we should be doing with our customers, too!
Being proactive to customer needs is a cornerstone of good customer service, and it’s truly required in delivering quality and results to customers effectively. Two key examples of customer service responsiveness include:
- Communicating accurate timeframes
- Maintaining an appropriate level of transparency
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