How do I successfully start off interactions with customers

How an interaction starts often determines how it goes and how it ends, which makes starting off conversations an important customer service skill

How do I successfully start off interactions with customers?

Starting off on the right foot isn’t just an empty saying when it comes to working with customers, both reasonable ones and the more unreasonable customers. Here’s some basic suggestions about how to start off your customer interactions successfully, taken from The Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook.

Note: When beginning a customer interaction, you want to be positive, but you do not want to come across as phony, or coached and rehearsed. If you can’t be honestly positive, and offer at least a sincere smile, the customer will get a sense they are being “handled”, or even patronized.

Whether you deal with customers in person or on the phone, the way you begin a conversation or interaction will affect how the customer treats you. You know what they say — first impressions are hard to change. Compare the way that you begin customer interactions with our suggested inclusions.

An affective greeting includes:

appropriate nonverbal behavior
eye contact posture
that indicates interest
appropriate tone of voice

Generating Rapport – When a client approaches you, your greeting should be short and to the point. But sometimes, it is more appropriate to spend a bit of time in conversation before getting down to business. …..spend a minute or two asking questions or talking on subjects other than the reason you are there. The purpose is to establish a form of relationship with the individual, or to recognize that a relationship already exists.
Using Names – People like to hear their own names. Likewise, they like to know your name. The use of names helps both parties see each other as real people, and as unique individuals. When possible you want to use the person’s name as early as you can. You probably want to give your name, if that is appropriate.

Author: Robert Bacal

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