9 Customer Service Lessons from Ron Swanson
Parks and Recreation may have wrapped in 2015, but its legacy lives on. Fans of the show sport Lil’ Sebastian t-shirts. They know full well what it means to treat yo’self. And then there’s Ron Swanson, a man who’s more than a character; he’s a lifestyle.
It turns out, you can learn more from Ron Swanson than how to consume meat or turn a sconce into a wedding ring. Beyond the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness lie several important dos and don’ts that will help you raise your customer service game.
1. Always use the customer’s correct name.
And spell it correctly. It goes a long way in personalizing your communication and making the customer feel heard.
2. Never lie to a customer.
If you don’t know, don’t guess. Use the resources you have to give accurate information, and don’t be afraid to escalate to someone with the expertise the customer needs.
3. Read and listen fully.
Don’t assume from a few key words that you know what a customer is asking. Take the time to hear them out (or read thoroughly) and ask follow-up questions to make sure you’re addressing their individual needs.
4. Give each customer the attention they deserve.
Multitasking generally isn’t a good thing. Focus on the customer you’re helping before moving on to the next one. The short time the second customer has to wait will be well worth the better quality service they receive from your full attention.
5. Be careful with humor.
Especially when customers are contacting out of frustration or confusion, humor isn’t always well-received. Humor and sarcasm can also easily be misconstrued in writing, so play it safe unless you’re certain the customer will understand and appreciate your joke.
6. Know your limits, and escalate when necessary.
This is especially true for inquiries related to exchanges and refunds. Don’t take actions you aren’t authorized to; it may cause more complications for the customer or the company further down the line.
7. You win some, you lose some. Take it in stride.
As much as we want to, sometimes you can’t please everyone. Some customers will not be happy with the solution you provide (and that’s okay). Don’t take it personally if you can’t turn every upset customer into a happy, loyal one.
8. Stay calm.
No matter how the customer’s feeling, it’s important to keep your own emotions in check and not take things personally.
9. Start your day with a healthy breakfast.
This is just good advice for everyone. That said, you may want to consult someone other than Ron on an accurate definition of “healthy breakfast.”
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