How many times have you found yourself applying to job listings and come across “customer service-oriented” in the requirements? This can often be found in more obvious listings, such as those for Customer Service Representatives and Receptionists, but also in less expected capacities such as File Clerks or Receptionists. If you work in an office, you could be interacting with clients or customers at any time, regardless of your title—and, therefore, office-based clients often seek professionals with the ability to make these interactions as pleasant and effective as possible.
However, many office support professionals might come across this requirement and apply without second thought, thinking that they already have what it takes to truly provide great customer service. But being customer service-oriented is more than having great communication skills. So what does “customer service-oriented” really mean? And what are these professionals really like?
- They’re understanding. Professionals who are genuinely concerned with the customer’s experience empathize with them and put themselves in the customer’s shoes. Before taking the logical approach to an issue, or attempting to meet the customer’s needs in any way, they attempt to understand whatever that particular customer is feeling. Then they take action with that in mind in order to come to the best conclusion possible.
- They’re proactive. The best way to keep customers happy is to prevent problems before they occur, and someone who works with customers on a daily basis often knows this. Therefore, a truly customer service-oriented professional will work to ensure problems don’t arise.
- They’re communicative. Though not the only aspect of customer service, communication still plays a large part in ensuring clients are assisted and satisfied. Customers shouldn’t be kept waiting for long periods of time, and when waiting is necessary, they should be informed with regular updates. Likewise, a professional who is invested in providing a great customer experience will make sure to always greet and acknowledge them and put other tasks aside when they are present.
- They’re observant. Sometimes customers won’t be very communicative or will be unsure of what they need. This is where observation skills come into play, and they’re another essential tool in the customer service box. A great receptionist, for example, might notice that a customer is looking around or seems lost, and will take the initiative to discover their needs and lead them in the right direction.
- They’re knowledgeable. Rather than put a customer on hold or ask for them to wait while looking for a solution, a great customer service professional will often already have an idea or an answer in mind. Of course, there will be instances in which an alternative solution must be found, but the professional will often know the ins-and-outs of the company and their services in order to provide the best possible service in the least amount of time.
- They’re comprehensive. They see a problem or need through from start to finish, even if it means regular updates and/or follow-ups in order to do so. Every customer service professional must be able to help their clients, but comprehensive help doesn’t stop with a solution. If you’re looking to enhance your customer service skills, consider following up when possible in order to make sure the customer is satisfied.