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9 Aug 2014

First Impressions and Ways to Service From the Heart

(For Face-to-Face Customer Service, read here)
1. First Impressions Matter
First impressions are mental snapshots the customer take when they first encounter you.  They include your look, your grooming, clothing, body language, posture, tone of voice and most importantly, your SMILE.  SMILE means Sincerity, Mental Readiness, Interested Look, Liveliness and Enthusiasm.  

You need to maintain a relaxed and open demeanour.  

2.  Courtesy
The best way to convey a positive first impression is GST - Greet, Smile and Thank You.  GST also comes in other forms:
  • Excuse me
  • I'm sorry (when you did something wrong)
  • Use Sir/Ma'am
  • Use Yes rather than Yeah
  • Smile
  • Introduce yourself by saying "My name is Andy, I'll be happy to help you"
Common courtesies include things that you should not be in the presence of customers, including talking with your colleagues, using your mobile phone, eating or chewing something. 

3.  Attitude is Everything
People may not remember what you do or wear but they will remember your attitude.  Projecting a positive attitude is key to a long-lasting impression on others.  

Remember, you may not get a second chance to interact with others.  Even if you are down or not a naturally upbeat person, you can train yourself to have a more positive attitude.  It begins by learning how to appreciate others. 

Positive attitude also includes the following:
  • Believe in yourself
  • Believe you can make a difference
  • Keep an open mind and not stereotype people
Maintain your attitude by not carrying an emotional baggage when you arrive at work.  Leave your troubles at home and never make your customers suffer because you're having issues.  Remember, you are paid to add value, not minus value, to customers.

4. Doing the Right Thing: Ethical Issues
Being ethical means being honest, doing the right thing and being accountable for your actions.  
  • Be truthful about your service and products by not over-promising or make misleading claims or make negative comments about your competitors
  • Do what you say and say what you do
  • If you think you have done something incorrect or unethical, be upfront and talk it over with your colleagues.  
When you take responsibility for your actions, people will respect and trust you. That must be the biggest branding you can make for yourself.

Remember, at the end of the day, the customer is the only reason you have a job. So do the above 4 first steps correctly and you'll be able to truly serve from your heart. 

By Andy Ng of Asia Trainers, (course schedule at here) whose course on Customer Service includes Service From the Heart, Customers as Raving Fans and Your Customers Your Goldmine.  Related articles:

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