Wag Your Tail

Bad customer service can drive a business into the ground however, what many people don’t realize is that mediocre customer service can do equally as much damage.  It’s extremely easy for people to notice when someone doesn’t care: sagging posture, blank or emotionless facial expressions, and a lack of tonal changes in their voice.  These are all signs of mediocre customer service.  When a customer service rep is uncaring, it not only affects their attitude towards the consumer but it also negatively affects the consumer’s experience.

So what can your customer service team do to avoid mediocrity?  Easy – wag your tail.

If you didn’t already know, I’m the proud owner of two small dogs, one of which is a Schnauzer Poodle named Edison.  He is just about the happiest dog I’ve ever met and spends almost every waking second of the day literally wagging his tail.  Of course Edison doesn’t worry about a home mortgage, his next job promotion or paying off student loans, but he does have a valuable lesson to teach.  When working in customer service, always wag your tail.

How do you wag your tail?  Two easy steps.

Step One: Push your worries to the side.  If you’re at your job and about to start work, chances are there’s nothing you can do in the next few hours to solve the issues you’re worrying about.  So don’t worry about them now.  I know this seems easier said than done but your work requires your full attention and if your mind is occupied on how to tell your mom you’re not coming home for Christmas, your service to your customers will fail.

Step Two: Get happy.  Whether this means sneaking a peak at a picture of your kids, reciting your favorite joke in your head, or singing the first few lines of Baby Got Back (I know you know the lyrics), do what you need to do to find your happy place.  Happiness is contagious so if you’re in a positive state of mind, your demeanor towards your customers will reflect that and your customers will come away happy as well.

When I work with people, whether it’s over the phone, on live chat or via email, I always try to be in a happy state of mind.  I put myself in the shoes of the consumer, think “what type of person would I want to work with?”, and then try to be that person.  I might have just had a fight with my boyfriend or realized I forgot to pay my Nordstrom bill on time, but the customer doesn’t need to know that and honestly, they don’t care.  When working with a customer, your one and only job is to help them and solve whatever problem they have.  Period.  If your personal life doesn’t help solve the customer’s problem, and I bet 99 times out of 100 it doesn’t, then you shouldn’t bring it into the conversation.