Presentation Skills and Customer Service
Companies large and small are all coming to the same conclusion, customer service is their lifeblood. As profit margins are squeezed and customer acquisition costs continue to rise, what can business owners do to stay competitive? Simply differentiating your product or service is becoming less and less effective – in fact, futile. And focusing on price alone will most certainly doom your efforts.
Organizations from every industry acknowledge exceptional customer service as the differentiator, and they also recognize that communication skills are of paramount importance. And effective presentation skills are critical not just in strengthening relationships with current customers, but perhaps more importantly in presenting your product or service and driving market share. Just ask many failed businesses found that this out the hard way!
Role of Effective Communication Skills
What role do communication skills play in exceptional customer service? Active listening, tone of voice, body language and choice of words all determine the impression a customer walks away with after interacting with your company representatives. Simply directing your staff to exude excellent customer service isn’t enough, if they’re not provided the training to become confident speakers and effectively represent the company, they don’t truly feel empowered. Let’s take a look at Nordstrom’s, an exceptional company when it comes to customer service.
Here are the Customer Service rules for employees at Nordstrom’s:
Use your good judgment in all situations.
There will be no additional rules.
Please feel free to ask your department manager,
store manager or division general
manager any question at any time.
Nordstrom Employee Handbook
Excellent Service is a Culture
Legendary customer service is the responsibility of each and every employee in the organization. It becomes an attitude, an attitude that should permeate the culture and become systemic throughout the organization. This culture is what the customer experiences – both internal and external customers. Focusing on the quality of service at every level, from the janitor to the CEO, must become the norm. Understanding what the customer expects, and then exceeding those expectations, can take your business to a level that perhaps you never thought possible.
One of my favorite analogies about customer service and running a business came from a training I conducted many years ago. “Trying to run a profitable business by focusing on the bottom line is like playing tennis, with your eye always on the scoreboard rather than the ball.” Begin focusing on delivering legendary service to your customers, and train your representatives in all aspects of what that excellence entails, and the bottom line will take care of itself.
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellenceVince Lombardi