Customer Service Wisdom We Can Learn from a Toddler

Toddlers can teach you a lot of things. But one that we never realized was that they can also educate us how we can be better customer service providers.
You see, customers and toddlers have a lot in common. For one, they are both demanding. Second, they depend on you to fix their problems. And lastly, how you relate to them basically defines how close your relationship will be in the end.
Now given these, we looked into our own experiences and how we interacted with toddlers and discovered that being with them yielded customer service wisdom. Here are insights we have gained:

Deal with the impatience.

The advancement in technology today has created impatient people. Everyone wants everything fast, quick, instant. Quite like the toddler—“wait” is a jargon to them and can never make sense out of it. So if you are a wise parent, you create strategies to address this impatience before a meltdown ensues. Just like in customer service, device approaches that will make it more convenient for your customers to have their concerns met. Show that you highly value their time by providing channels or programs that attend to their needs immediately or in the shortest time possible.

Listen with empathy.

Toddler tantrums happen because of frustration. Whatever nature it may be, a frustrated toddler will definitely test your capability as a parent or a daycare attendant. No argument is won when a toddler is in the middle of a tantrum. Now listen to your irate customer—that is the sound of sheer frustration that needs to be released. So don’t interrupt when he talks. Let the customer voice out their concern and just listen, and listen empathetically. Connect with your customer by telling them you get why they are mad and you would also feel the same way if you were in his situation. Most of the time, the only way you can calm a customer down is to tune in to their emotions. They may not need any resolution at all but just an ear to listen.

They need your assurance.

Even if a toddler is in a new place with plenty of unfamiliar faces or when they are in a scary situation, the presence of a parent calms their fears. This is enough assurance for them that everything will be all right as long as they are there. A customer also needs you to make sure that you have their concerns taken care of and that you will do everything that is needed to solve their problems. When a customer experiences this kind of assurance from your business, you can be sure that his loyalty sticks with you.

Their loyalty will follow you everywhere.

It is a common joke among mothers that when you have a toddler in the house, you are never alone—yes, even in the shower. They just follow you around wherever you go. They want to know what you are doing and be involved in it too (even if it creates a huge mess). Just the same, when you have won your customers’ loyalty, you can bet that they will follow you wherever you bring your business to. They will patronize your new products and services, give a good word about you to their networks, and even embrace what your business believes in.

Focus on them.

A toddler wants to be the center of your attention so he would do everything to keep it that way. While some parenting will train toddlers how not to be conceited, in customer service you thrive when you focus everything on the customer. We have cited in our previous posts about companies who excelled in their customer service when they made their approach “customer-centric”—i.e. Amazon and Zappos among others. Keeping your customers in mind when developing your business or improving customer service will definitely pay off in great rewards like gaining loyal customers and earning higher revenue.

Go the extra mile.

To keep a toddler happy, you have to be creative, especially when playing with them. Doing a pretend rodeo? Throw in some cowboy hats, include the dog or be the horse! It sure will be more exhausting and messier but I can guarantee you shrieks of laughter and winning the “Best-Daddy-Ever” award. If you would go through all that trouble just to make toddlers happy, you would do the same for your customers, right? Are you fixing a customer’s technical issue? Offer best solutions and maybe provide compensation for the inconvenience it caused. Did they experience a faulty product? Replace the item and shoulder the shipping. Are you launching a new line of product? Let your loyal patrons experience it first and give samples to potential customers. Always aim to exceed your customers’ expectations and make sure you do whatever it takes to keep them delighted and satisfied.
May these lessons help you understand how to deal with your customers (and toddlers) better. Let these toddler tips guide you in establishing good relationship with your customers and providing quality customer service delivery that you can be proud of.

Adel Zsurzsan

Adel Zsurzsan started as a Service Desk Analyst at transcosmos Information System. Currently based in transcosmos Hungary office, she now serves as the company's Business Development Advisor, helping the company grow and explore partnerships and opportunities. She speaks fluent English, Dutch, Romanian, Hungarian, German, French and Spanish.

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