Trust is an absolutely essential part of customer service, as well as business in general. Trust with customers is built by delivering on our commitments and engaging with them. Meeting customer's expectations is a common focus but engagement is frequently overlooked. That's a costly mistake because our focused attention and engagement, our presence, affects how customers perceive us.
On a recent call with my insurance company to clear up some billing and coverage questions I was actually surprised when the customer service person truly engaged with me. After clearing up my initial questions on my policy she asked me if I would mind staying on the line to ensure she input the data correctly. I could hear her start typing as another question came to me. When I asked it she said, "Let me stop typing. Can you repeat your question? I want to make sure I answer it accurately and adequately." I've grown so accustomed to people multi-tasking that I was pleasantly surprised that the customer service agent was taking a moment to focus on me and my specific need.
I felt heard. I felt acknowledged. I felt important.
That kind of presence has unfortunately become more rare in the business world, as we all feel pressed for time. Don't allow the many tugs on our attention and time to undermine how we approach clients. When you choose to pay close attention to a customer, you’re sending a message that they are valued.
You build trust and connection when you offer customers, team members, and colleagues the gift of your presence. This kind of sincere connection can’t be faked. It takes a conscious effort to focus on the person in front of you and the task at hand. Describing it seems simple but doing it consistently dozens, or hundreds of times a day becomes a real exercise in discipline that must be practiced and internalized.
Many customer care professionals allow multi-tasking and hectic schedules to undermine their presence. But presence makes a big difference. Make your customers feel they matter by the extraordinary presence.
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