Present To Connect

communication skills

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:

Rule#1:
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 excellence

Vince Lombardi

15 Responses

  1. The #1 reason for customer attrition is dissatisfaction with customer service. Do everything in your power to provide excellent service to your customers on an ongoing basis. Respond quickly and enthusiastically, and be ready to present a special offer or discount with the hope of up-selling the customer to buy more.

  2. The #1 reason for customer attrition is dissatisfaction with customer service. Do everything in your power to provide excellent service to your customers on an ongoing basis. Respond quickly and enthusiastically, and be ready to present a special offer or discount with the hope of up-selling the customer to buy more.

  3. Too many sales people find it impossible to say ‘no’, and end up taking on work that is non-profitable, proves difficult or impossible to deliver, is time consuming, and causes hassle to everyone in the business, as well as the customer. Add to this, the fact due to limited resources, this non-profitable stuff actually stops them looking for and working on the profitable work, it’s easy to see how many business managers find they are being ‘busy fools’.

  4. Too many sales people find it impossible to say ‘no’, and end up taking on work that is non-profitable, proves difficult or impossible to deliver, is time consuming, and causes hassle to everyone in the business, as well as the customer. Add to this, the fact due to limited resources, this non-profitable stuff actually stops them looking for and working on the profitable work, it’s easy to see how many business managers find they are being ‘busy fools’.

  5. In fact, 60 percent believe businesses haven’t increased their focus on providing good customer service — up from 55 percent in 2010. Among this group, 26 percent think companies are actually paying less attention to service.

  6. In fact, 60 percent believe businesses haven’t increased their focus on providing good customer service — up from 55 percent in 2010. Among this group, 26 percent think companies are actually paying less attention to service.

  7. Good customer service is essential to any business! Who wants to go to a store with poor customer service? As an employee, you want to customers to feel like you are willing to help them with any request and are more than happy about it. Nobody likes feeling like a bother, and in a professional environment it is so important to make customers feel comfortable. Great post.

  8. Good customer service is essential to any business! Who wants to go to a store with poor customer service? As an employee, you want to customers to feel like you are willing to help them with any request and are more than happy about it. Nobody likes feeling like a bother, and in a professional environment it is so important to make customers feel comfortable. Great post.

  9. You can’t put a price tag on good customer service. It’s the Number 1 reason I’ll continue to conduct business with any company. I can think of two service providers I use who are in the next town, and even though I can find their services closer to home, I drive out of my way to use them because they’ve made a connection with me, and I truly feel like they value me as a customer and appreciate my business. That’s hard to find these days.

  10. Unfortunately, I don’t think many companies make the connection between great customer service and strong communication skills. The people you encounter who are terrific at customer service are natural communicators.

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