When it comes to Customer Service, people somehow think it’s all about giving what customers want. I haven’t gone to business school, I don’t know if this is what they teach in school, but I personally feel Customer Service aims to let everybody win at the end of the day. And I learn about Customer Service through interaction with my son.
The first and very important ingredient of good customer service is Patience.
In running my business, I haven’t been very good in this department. I’m not saying I don’t provide good customer service. I always did, but I would run out of patience when customer pushed it too far, that was usually when I would call it a day and dropped the customer like hot potato.
But when it comes to dealing with my son, calling quit is not going to, and will never be an option, not at least for as long as I live! When I ran out of patience, I could choose to lose my grip, throw a fit and upset both him and myself — yet still do not get anything done; or I could choose to exercise some patience and strive for win-win.
So what do I do to keep my cool? I sing this song:
(No joke, I really do!)
As mentioned up front, to me, I feel customer service is not just about giving what customer wants, it’s about letting both parties get what they want.
Once again, when it comes to dealing with my son, giving in is never my favorite. Not because I don’t like to, but it is my duty to show him in life, one does not get what one wants all of the time. The sooner he can accept that fact, the happier life he can expect ahead of him.
Nevertheless, telling my son “no” all the time does not cut it either lest I would make him feel more and more oppressed, eventually turns rebellious. Or worse, loses interests to want anything at all. Ultimately, he’ll become an unhappy customer.
In the quest of achieving good customer service, I started to push myself to become more creative in coming up with solutions and better ways to get things done. To give my son what he wants, yet without giving in too much. I have become better negotiator.
#3 Anger Management
Pretty much relevant to first point. There were times I ran out of patience and lost my grip, and negotiation attempt went south.
This is usually when I would either throw in the towel, or unleash hell. But because it is my son I’m talking about, whom I care a lot about. Neither of above choice of actions would do him good.
So whenever I lost my grip, first thing I did was to acknowledge to him that “Papa is very angry now.”
“… I’m not going to shout at you because you will not like it. It will upset me too. And most importantly, it is because I have promised you that I will not shout at you anymore.”
This is usually when I would get his attention. “Now, can we do this without upsetting anyone. You will do <things I wanted him to do>, and I will do <things I was willing to trade off for him to do his part>, no one will get hurt, everyone will be happy. Can we do that?”
9 out of 10 times, this worked. Both father and son won!