Why every professional is in Customer Service

It doesn’t matter what industry you work in or what role you play in it. You are in the business of selling. Selling yourself, your business, your skill; your ability to do your job well.

To convince people you’re the best at what you do, you need Customer Service at the heart of everything you do.

Perhaps you are a non-client-facing programmer. You don’t ever get out of the office, never lead meetings and are never required to make a sale - so you may be thinking this doesn’t apply to you, you’re simply there to do your job.

But do you ever answer the phone, speak to colleagues from different departments or meet bosses at staff away days or big meetings?

Then you are in the business of customer service, because you are representing your department, helping maintain its funding and either improving or making worse its perception in the business. It’s the same techniques, only without members of the public.

So what do you do?

Here are 5 key lessons from Customer Service in the Leisure, Tourism and Events industries to help you and your department lead the way:

1. Answer the phone – When the phone rings, do you always wait for someone else to pick it up? Make sure you do, ask how you can help and they will always sing your praise around the company, even if you can’t help right away. It’s free advertising when you’re not even there!

2. Listen - In every meeting there will be at least one problem you can solve for your boss or another department. Deliver the solution unprompted and you are clearly someone who should be promoted.

3. Be bold, make decisions - Don’t just wait for your manager; the best customer service reps believe in their actions and can justify them to their bosses. If challenged, say your goal was to help your colleague, save time and make your department look good. Even if your boss would have done it differently, they can’t argue with making your department look decisive.

4. Request feedback and act on it - Do you ever ask those you’ve helped how they find working with you or your department? Customer satisfaction forms are very formal, but a simple chat will lead to improvements and inter-departmental understanding.

5. Bad news travels fast – If customers can take their business elsewhere, they will. If you and your department don’t give the rest of the company the best possible service, very soon they will look at alternate ways to get it done. No one is irreplaceable.

Think of yourself as a Customer Service rep for yourself and your department, and you will survive any challenge in the company. Keep a bowl of sweets on your desk for colleagues, and you will always have friends!

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