Listen To The Language To Sharpen Customer Service Skills

I called an electronics company last week to arrange repair of our television. The automated answering system offered these three options:

For Sales, press 1.

For Technical Support, press 2.

For the Office of Customer Delight, press 3.

I pressed 3 and was connected to a service professional who quickly took care of my needs.

What surprised me was not the polite efficiency of the staff, but the name of menu option 3! What an excellent display of customer service skills!

Listen to this evolution (in many industries it’s happened quietly over several years): the Product Repair Center became the Product Service Center which became the Customer Service Center which was renamed the Customer Care Center which is now called the Office of Customer Delight.

Can you hear the difference? Of course you can. Language makes a difference and shows excellent customer service skills!

What do you call the departments in your organization? The Office of Credit Control sounds quite different than The Department for Credit Approval. The financial criteria may be exactly the same, but the underlying attitude toward your customers is not. The right words can show off exceptional customer service skills.

Position titles also matter. Sales Manager is a common title, but how many customers want to be “sold”? Business Development Manager might be better, but business development is your company’s concern, not necessarily your customer’s.

So what should you call that important job of closing sales and making deals? Guarantor of Client Success? Bold Champion for Customer Value? Supreme Supervisor of Spectacular Service?

How creative can you, or should you, try to be to sharpen customer service skills?

Key Learning Point For Customer Service Skills

Department names and position titles send clear messages to your customers and your staff. Make sure your company language promotes success and a customer-friendly point of view. Remember, language makes a difference in portraying your customer service skills!

Action Steps For Customer Service Skills

Review the names of all offices, positions and departments in your organization. What point of view is embodied in each? If your terms are industry jargon, internally focused, customer unfriendly or simply out-of-date, it’s time to make a change and put forth better customer service skills.

Note: This approach makes sense for people who have contact with external customers, not necessarily for those who work deep inside highly technical organizations.

For example, the person whose business card reads: “Technical Software Specialist, XE73 Packet Switch” should probably be called just that!

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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “UP! Your Service” books and founder of UP! Your Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit UpYourService.com.

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